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October 21, 2023


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Jeff Rice

May I point out Feetwood Mac' The Chain.
with covers by The Highwaymen. .


youtube [dot] com/watch?v=EfjbeEhFAok

Ian Holloway

Steve - did you consider the version of Chains by the Beatles? It was George’s first appearance as a lead singer on a record!

Steve L.

Thanks, Ian. Yes, I considered both the Beatles' and the Cookies' tracks of "Chains," but I couldn't find live performances. And you really can't beat Carole King, anyhow.


The Beatles live performance of Chains on the BBC is linked above. Just replace "dot" with a period and remove the spaces.
Aside from the fact that Carol King wrote it, she's a better performer than the Beatles? Really? She noted how thrilled she was they did it.
Although not contemporaneous, here's Cookies:
youtube (dot) com/watch?v=kWOrB_kNfoU


Chains was NOT George's first lead on a record.
Sheik of Araby
youtube [dot] com/watch?v=UolI98Va73s
Three Cool Cats
youtube [dot] com/watch?v=2nOrAJTu3R4
Take Good Care of My Baby
youtube [dot] com/watch?v=wpYYuVONZZk

Red State Kulander

Starting with the obvious, there's the bands Alice in Chains and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Good "chain" songs:

"Rare and Precious Chain" by Jethro Tull
"Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion
"Back on the Chain Gang" by Pretenders

Bad "chain" song:

"Swinging the Chain" by Black Sabbath (Why is the drummer singing?)

Ian Holloway

The Decca auditions weren’t released as a “record” until well after the Please Please Album. So I stand by my claim that Chains was the first Beatles record with George as a lead singer. In March of 1963, when PPM was released by Parlophone, the Decca tapes were just that - tapes that almost no one, except Brian Epstein and the Beatles, and a few record company executives, had heard.


Ahhh, so a "record" means ... something pressed into vinyl and released to the public? I see what you did there! Clever.

Common sense: "record" is a recording.

But, beyond common sense, the sequence of BBC recordings and the Please Please Me sessions is a bit complicated. Perhaps you know what they did in January 63 and in what sequences exactly?

Or, were the BBC recordings not "records" because, although released (as in radio play of vinyl) they weren't purchased in "record stores"?

My my. All to defend a bold statement that George's first lead vocal on a "record" was Chains.

Ian Holloway

Anon - there is a difference between “a record”, which is what I said, and “a recording”. Everyone who remembers records would think of a record as something you could buy in a record store. A live radio performance is not “a record”, in the way that ordinary people would use that word - which is why the release of the BBC recordings in the early 90s was such a big deal. For almost everyone in the world, it was the first time they heard them.

So yes - in the way that normal people used to talk, a record became a record when a recording was pressed in vinyl. That’s why, for example, the Beatles themselves were so thrilled when they were able to hold Love Me Do in their hands; it was their first record. I’ll bet you (whoever you are) that if you asked Paul what their first record was, he wouldn’t say “the Decca audition tapes”.

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