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The Beatles In Three Chords: Twist & Shout

Posted on: November 9th, 2011 by dville
In this installment of The Beatles In Three Chords we trace the evolution of one of the group’s signature songs, Twist & Shout.

Phil Spector produced the original version of this three-chord classic in 1961 with the Top Notes (although his version has a vi minor bridge).  It was covered again in 1962 by the Isley Brothers, then in ’63 by two different British rock and roll groups, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and The Beatles.  The Mamas & The Papas also recorded an odd version of the song in 1967.

The chord progression (in all but the Spector version) is your basic I-IV-V in order with a V7 tension chord thrown in for good measure during the Ahhhh-Ahhhh-Ahhhh-Ahhhh part.  All four versions posted below are in different keys.  If you are not used to playing, say in F#, here is your chance!

Try your hand also at playing the signature lick of the song.  Here it is in the keys of C and D with the solfege syllables.

The Top Notes  1961 Key C

The Isley Brothers  1962  Key of F

The Beatles  1963  Key of D

Brian Poole & The Tremeloes  1963  Key of C

The Mamas & The Papas 1967  Key of F#

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