Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Reply

"No Reply" is a Lennon composition that was released on Parlophone's Beatles for Sale in the UK and on Beatles '65 in the United States.  Lennon wrote "No Reply" for singer Tommy Quickly, who declined to record it.  The Beatles recorded a demo of the song on June 3, 1964 while Ringo was in the hospital to have his tonsils removed, with Jimmy Nicol having been hired to fill in on drums.  An unidentified drummer played on the demo, however.

Lennon said, "That's my song.  It was sort of my version of silhouettes.  I had that image of walking down the street and seeing her silhouetted in the window and not answering the phone."  Indeed, Lennon said that the song was inspired by the song "Silhouettes," a single recorded in 1957 by the doo-wop group The Rays. 

Lennon also said, "I remember Dick James coming to me after we did the song and saying, 'You're getting better now--that was a complete story.'  Apparently before that he thought my songs tended to sort of wander off."  Dick James was a music publisher.

The song has no chorus but rather uses the structure verse-verse-bridge-verse, with "No reply" sung as a refrain.

The final version was recorded at Abbey Road on September 30, 1964.  Lennon sings the double-tracked lead, and McCartney and Harrison sing harmony vocals.  Lennon plays acoustic guitar, McCartney bass, Harrison lead, and Starr drums.  Some sources disagree on Harrison's harmony vocal.   Other sources say George Martin played piano.

The song was covered by Stars on 45.


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