Twist and Shout

"Twist and Shout"
Twist and Shout by The Top Notes B-side US vinyl label.jpg
B-side label of the US single "Always Late (Why Lead Me On)"
Single by The Top Notes
A-side"Always Late (Why Lead Me On)"
Format7-inch single
RecordedFebruary 23, 1961
StudioAtlantic Studios, New York City
GenreRock and roll
LabelAtlantic (45-2115)
Songwriter(s)Bert Berns, Phil Medley
Producer(s)Phil Spector
The Top Notes singles chronology
"Hearts of Stone"
"Twist and Shout"
"Wait for Me Baby"

"Twist and Shout" is a 1961 song written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns, later credited as "Bert Russell". It was originally recorded by the Top Notes, but it became a chart hit as a single by the Isley Brothers in 1962. The song has been covered by several artists, including the Beatles on their first album Please Please Me (1963), the Tremeloes in 1962, and the Who in 1970 and 1984.

The Top Notes

In 1961, one year after Phil Spector became a staff producer at Atlantic Records, he was asked to produce a single by an up-and-coming vocal group, The Top Notes. This was before Spector perfected his "Wall of Sound" technique, and the recording, at the Atlantic Studios on February 23, 1961, arranged by Teddy Randazzo with musicians including saxophonist King Curtis, guitarist John Pizzarelli, and drummer Panama Francis, with backing vocals by the Cookies,[1] lacked much of the energy the Top Notes exhibited in their live performances.[2]

The Top Notes included singers Howard "Howie" Guyton (also known as Guy Howard), a cousin of Dave "Baby" Cortez; and Derek Martin, also known as Derek Ray.[3] Guyton provided the lead vocals on "Twist and Shout".[4] Guyton, Martin and Cortez had previously all been members of vocal groups the Pearls (also known as the Five Pearls) in their home city of Detroit, and then of the Sheiks in New York;[3] and Guyton and Martin later recorded as members of Jimmy Ricks & the Raves. Derek Martin later recorded a succession of singles, mostly on the Roulette label, in the 1960s and early 1970s, including a version of Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rollin' Stone", before moving to live in France where he has continued to perform.[5][6][7] Guyton later sang in a touring version of the Platters, and died of a heart attack in 1977, aged 39, while touring in Argentina.[8][9]

Songwriter Bert Berns felt Spector had ruined the song and went out to show Spector how it should be done.[10]

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