The history of this classic Beatles song
She's A Woman
Written by: Paul McCartney (100%) (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: October 8, 1964 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: October 12, 1964; October 21, 1964
Musicians: John Lennon: rhythm guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 325)
Paul McCartney: lead vocals (double-tracked), bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1), piano
George Harrison: lead guitar (Gretsch 6122 "Country Gentleman")
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig), chocalho
First released: November 23, 1964 (US), November 27, 1964 (UK) (b-side to "I Feel Fine")
Available on: (CDs in bold)
- Beatles 65, (US: Capitol (S)T 2228, Capitol CDP 7243 8 66874 2 5)
- Past Masters Volume 1, (UK: Parlophone CDP 7 90043 2, US: Capitol CDP 7 90043 2)
Live versions: April 11, 1965 (N.M.E. Poll Winners' Concert 1965, Empire Pool, Wembley), June 20, 1965 (Palais De Sports, Paris, France), June 22, 1965 (Palais d'Hiver, Lyon, France), June 24, 1965 (Velodromo, Milan, Italy), June 25, 1965 (Palazzo dello Sport, Genoa, Italy), June 27-28, 1965 (June Teatro Adriano, Rome, Italy), June 30, 1965 (Palais des Fetes, Nice, France), July 2, 1965 (Plaza de Toros de Madrid, Madrid, Spain), July 3, 1965 (Plaza de Toros Monumental, Barcelona, Spain), August 1, 1965 (Blackpool Night Out, ABC Theatre, Blackpool, England), August 14, 1965 (Ed Sullivan Show, CBS Theatre, New York, NY), August 15, 1965 (Shea Stadium, New York, NY), August 17, 1965 (Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada), August 18, 1965 (Atlanta Stadium, Atlanta, GA), August 19, 1965 (Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX), August 20, 1965 (White Sox Park, Chicago, IL), August 21, 1965 (Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis, MN), August 22, 1965 (Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR), August 28, 1965 (Balboa Stadium, San Diego, CA), August 29-30, 1965 (Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA), December 3, 1965 (Odeon Cinema, Glasgow, Scotland), December 4, 1965 (City Hall, Newcastle, England), December 5, 1965 (Empire Theatre, Liverpool, England), December 7, 1965 (Apollo Cinema, Ardwick, Manchester, England), December 8, 1965 (City Hall, Sheffield, England), December 9, 1965 (Odeon Cinema, Birmingham, England), December 10, 1965 (Odeon Cinema, Hammersmith, England), December 11, 1965 (Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, England), December 12, 1965 (Capitol Cinema, Cardiff, England), December 24-26, December 28-31, 1965 (Another Beatles Christmas Show, Odeon Cinema, London, England), May 1, 1966 (N.M.E. Poll Winners' Concert 1966, Empire Pool, Wembley), June 24, 1966 (Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich, Germany), June 25, 1966 (Grugahalle, Essen, Germany), June 26, 1966 (Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg, Germany), June 30 - July 2, 1966 (Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan), July 4, 1966 (Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, Manila, Philippines), August 12, 1966 (International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL), August 13, 1966 (Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI), August 14, 1966 (Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH), August 15, 1966 (Washington Stadium, Washington, DC), August 16, 1966 (Philadelphia Stadium, Philadelphia, PA), August 17, 1966 (Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada), August 18, 1966 (Suffolk Downs Racecourse, Boston, MA), August 19, 1966 (Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN), August 21, 1966 (Crosley Field, Cincinnati, OH), August 21, 1966 (Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO), August 23, 1966 (Shea Stadium, New York, NY), August 25, 1966 (Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, WA), August 28, 1966 (Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA), August 30, 1966 (Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA)
- Written by Paul on October 8, 1964, and recorded by the group the same day, this simple three-chord rocker was designed to fulfill the Beatles' need for a new original uptempo rocker to play live, as well as a b-side for the single "I Feel Fine." It was a clear homage by Paul to Little Richard, which explains his abnormally high singing range here. Some fans actually thought the song was in the wrong key!
- This is the first example of a Beatles lyric containing a direct reference to marijuana (according to John). On August 28, 1964, the group met Bob Dylan for the first time at New York City's Delmonico Hotel, and he introduced the Beatles to the substance for the first time. (Ironically, Dylan had been sure the group were already stoners, having mistaken the line "I can't hide" in "I Want To Hold Your Hand" for "I get high"!) The line "Turns me on when I get lonely" is a direct reference to the woman in the title, who apparently gets the singer high on marijuana.
- Some consider "She's A Woman" an important early ska song, due to its heavy accented backbeat, or a rare Beatles stab at "garage rock," due to its rough nature and three-chord structure, or an important step in the evolution of Tex-Mex rock, since the band uses an instrument called a chocalho, a rhythmic shaker native to samba music.
- This song contains what is generally considered the worst rhyme in the Beatles' lyrical catalog: "My love don't give me presents / I know that she's no peasant."
BBC radio versions: 2 (for the BBC radio programs Top Gear, Saturday Club, and The Beatles (Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride))
Covered by: Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Frank Chacksfield, The Charles River Valley Boys, Jose Feliciano, The Move, Omar and the Howlers, Scritti Politti, Brian Setzer, The Surfaris
- A legendary Tex-Mex band, the Sir Douglas Quintet, had a 1965 hit with "She's About A Mover," a song which clearly apes the style of "She's A Woman." Legend has it that Houston producer Huey P. Meaux heard the Beatles song while drunk and realized it had a lot in common with Cajun music, so he formed the Quintet around that musical crossbreeding.