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You Can't Do That

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“You Can't Do That”
“You Can't Do That” cover
Single by The Beatles
B-side "Can't Buy Me Love"
Released 20 March 1964 (UK)
16 March 1964 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded Abbey Road Studios
25 February 1964
Genre Rock
Length 2:37
Label Parlophone R5114 (UK)
Capitol 5587 (US)
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" / "This Boy" (UK)
"I Saw Her Standing There" (US)(1963)
"You Can't Do That" / "Can't Buy Me Love"
"A Hard Day's Night"/ "Things We Said Today" (UK)
"I Should Have Known Better"(1964)
I'd find it a drag to play rhythm all the time, so I always work myself out something interesting to play. The best example I can think of is like I did on 'You Can't Do That.' There really isn't a lead guitarist and a rhythm guitarist on that, because I feel the rhythm guitarist role sounds too thin for records. Anyway it drove me potty to play chunk-chunk rhythm all the time. I never play anything as lead guitarist that George couldn't do better. But I like playing lead sometimes, so I do it.

—John Lennon, 1964

That's me doing Wilson Pickett. You know, a cowbell going four-in-the bar, and the chord going 'chatoong!'

—John Lennon, 1980

George Harrison and I were once in a car and the Beatles song "You Can't Do That" came on, with that great riff in the beginning on the 12-string. He goes, "I came up with that." And I said, "Really? How?" He said, "I was just standing there and thought, 'I've got to do something!'" That pretty much sums him up. He just had a way of getting right to the business, of finding the right thing to play. That was part of that Beatles magic – they all seemed to find the right thing to play.

—Tom Petty, in Rolling Stone magazine

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