When The Beatles recorded "Twist and Shout" on Feb 11, 1963, for their debut album, Please, Please Me, producer George Martin had the presence of mind to save that screaming vocal track for the end of the day. He knew it would likely fry Lennon's voice. It did.
We may think of "Twist and Shout" as a great 60s rock dance floor classic and an example of early Beatles brilliance, but it took Lennon years to not hear the strain and imperfections in his singing. Or, as this piece on UCR puts it: "a raw snapshot of a singer wrestling a rock song in real time."
"['Twist and Shout'] nearly killed me," Lennon recalled in an interview republished in Anthology. "My voice wasn't the same for a long time after; every time I swallowed, it was like sandpaper. I was always bitterly ashamed of it, because I could sing it better than that, but now it doesn't bother me. You can hear that I'm just a frantic guy doing his best. We sang for 12 hours, almost nonstop. We had colds, and we were concerned how it would affect the record. At the end of the day, all we wanted to do was drink pints of milk."
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