Thursday, July 12, 2018

The 60th Anniversary of "In Spite of All the Danger" by The Quarrymen

It was sixty years ago today that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, as members of The Quarrymen (the band that would evolve into The Beatles), made their first recordings. One of the songs recorded was a cover of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day". The other song would be the first original song recorded by The Quarrymen (and their only original song at the time). It was "In Spite of All the Danger".  Both songs were recorded at Phillips' Sound Recording Service in Kensington in Liverpool. Phillips' Sound Recording was a small studio in the home of Percy Phillips. Mr. Phillips recorded acetates and tapes for music artists, actors, local businesses, and others. In the case of The Quarrymen, they paid Percy Phillips seventeen shillings and six pence to record the two songs.

"In Spite of All the Danger" is unique in that it is the only composition credited to Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Paul McCartney believes he actually wrote the song and George Harrison simply did the guitar solo. Regardless, it would be the only song on which they shared credit. As to other credits on the song, as leader of the band, John Lennon sang lead vocals and played guitar. Paul McCartney provided backing vocals and guitar, as did George Harrison. John Lowe played piano on the song, while Colin Hanton played drums.

Each member of The Quarrymen kept the acetate for a week, with John Lowe finally keeping it for many years. In 1981 Mr. Lowe tried to sell the recording at auction, but Paul McCartney bought it from him. It would not be released publicly until it appeared on The Beatles' Anthology 1 in 1995.

Without further ado, here are The Quarrymen with "In Spite of All the Danger".

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