Lennon and McCartney, you have some explaining to do.
Ok, not so much you, John. You and Paul made a pact to share songwriting credit, so even though you had little to nothing to do with the composition of “And I Love Her,” I get it. You got your 50% of the royalties fair and square. But I gotta look out for George Harrison here, because if I don’t, who the hell else will?
George Harrison is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Beatles. Sure, Ringo is the butt of all the punchlines, but George is the one that gets no respect. Frank Sinatra called Harrison’s “Something” his favorite Lennon/McCartney song…although judging from Paul’s deadpan, “Thanks Frank” reaction in The Beatles Anthology, perhaps that’s a bigger sting to John and Paul.
Sinatra actually did properly credit George at least once, but he also changed the lyrics to “But you hang around, Jack, it might show.” This is not a witty caption making fun of Sinatra’s habit of singing like he was casually talking to a buddy. This really happened.
Let’s put it bluntly: George Harrison made “And I Love Her” what it is. By all rights, this should have been credited to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison. When you think of this track, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t the lyrics or vocal melody. It’s that Spanish-sounding riff that opens and appears throughout the song. And that was all George. He made it up at the session to spice it up a bit and in the process elevated the song to a completely new level. Even Paul McCartney admits that.
Like “All I’ve Got to Do,” “And I Love Her” took a long time to grow on me. Oddly enough, despite my sanctimonious bitching on George’s behalf, I ultimately prefer the alternate version on Anthology 1 (which doesn’t include the riff) just because it’s not at such a slow tempo. The A Hard Day’s Night master is lovely but still feels much longer than its two-and-a-half minutes to me.