Day 120: “I’ll Cry Instead”

When was it recorded?  Jun. 1, 1964

When was it first released, and on which album?  Jul. 10, 1964 on “A Hard Day’s Night”

Who wrote it?  Lennon

Have I heard this song before?  No

What my research dug up:

“I wrote that for ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ but Dick Lester didn’t even want it. He resurrected ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ for that sequence instead. I like the middle eight to that song, though – that’s about all I can say about it.” — John Lennon (David Sheff, All We Are Saying)

John intended for “I’ll Cry Instead” to appear in the film “A Hard Day’s Night” in a sequence where the Fab Four escape from a television studio and play in a nearby field. (The scene as it appears in the movie can be seen on Day 31: “Can’t Buy Me Love.”) According to Wikipedia, “director Richard Lester vetoed [including] it because of its downbeat lyrics.”

Lyrically, “I’ll Cry Instead” was kind of a precursor to “Help!,” being similarly a veiled reference to John’s dissatisfaction with fame. According to Cynthia Lennon, “It reflects the frustration [John] felt at that time. He was the idol of millions, but the freedom and fun of the early days had gone.”

Quoth The Beatles Bible, “[T]he lyrics for ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ hint at the misogyny which Lennon would more explicitly reveal in ‘Run For Your Life.’ His confessions of insecurity, meanwhile, would later be explored in the likes of ‘Help!’ and ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.’” Alan Pollack is more interested in “the complete focus in this song on the forlorn aftermath of the breakup, accompanied as it is with thoughts of self-pity and revenge. There are no descriptions or allusions here to any past pleasures, why’s or wherefore’s; only pain.”

The Beatles recorded “I’ll Cry Instead” Jun. 1, 1964. According to the Beatles Bible, the group recorded the song in two parts, doing six takes of Section A and two takes of Section B, which were then edited together three days later.

Here’s how “I’ll Cry Instead” appears on the album “A Hard Day’s Night.”

“I’ll Cry Instead” was released as a single in the United States on Aug. 20. Here’s that version of the song.

This is reportedly the full version of “I’ll Cry Instead.” According to Wikipedia, this was also the version “used in the original ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ film print since it ran at a slower speed than the record version.” The “I’ll Cry Instead” single peaked at #25 on the Billboard music charts. The American single also bore the label, “From the United Artists Picture, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’,” which I find amusing for obvious reasons.

In 1982, Walter Shenson re-released the film “A Hard Day’s Night” and inserted a montage of behind-the-scenes photos set to “I’ll Cry Instead” at the start of the movie. I think this is it (if not, it’s damn close).

Quoth Wikipedia, “The prologue was assembled without the involvement or knowledge of the film’s director Richard Lester, who subsequently expressed his disapproval of the addition,” and it was excised from the 2000 restoration of the film.

I like the song alright and can see how it would have worked in the movie.  I can also understand why “Can’t Buy Me Love” replaced it though.  As jaunty as the tune is, those lyrics are a major bummer.



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