12. Hold Me Tight - With The Beatles
Around the release of 1968 hit Lady Madonna, Ringo Starr gave an interview in which he claimed The Beatles had never really nailed rock ’n’ roll.
As Starr put it, “We’ve been trying to make a rock ’n’ roll record ever since we started and, as far as I know, we haven’t done a decent one yet.”
He must have forgotten about this early gem from the band’s second album. You’d be forgiven for thinking this one was a cover of some obscure American hit. Hold Me Tight is such a perfect imitation of the rock ’n’ roll template that Phil Spector, architect of the Wall Of Sound, borrowed the song for his group The Treasures to record.
It's not surprising this one gets overlooked though, as both Lennon and McCartney have spoken dismissively of it in interviews. McCartney even recorded another song with the same title for his Red Rose Speedway album, having presumably forgotten his earlier effort.
Don’t let that put you off. The Beatles are rightly praised for taking their influences and using them to push music forward, rather than just replicating what had come before. Nonetheless there’s a charm to that 1950s rock ’n’ roll sound captured with a particular verve and energy here.