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Music Geek Track of the Week: The Beatles, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ Live in 1964

Everyone tired of the cloying sweetness of generic hallmark cards and heart-shaped chocolates? Us neither! Since we already posted our comprehensive Valentines Day playlists to soundtrack your happy or solitary v-days, I thought I would use Track of the Week to celebrate a band that have made millions of people fall unconditionally in love with music.

As I was reading about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ North American arrival, I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering (GET IT?) back in time and imagining what it must have been like to have seen them early in their career, and then knowing without a doubt that the landscape of music was going to change before my eyes. Everyone I have spoken with who is old enough to remember seeing the Fab 4 perform on the Ed Sullivan Show attests to that clairvoyant feeling after witnessing their magnetism for the first time.

I chose this live version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” because as with any great love, the initial seduction is the most exhilarating part. Everything — from the initial out-of-key guitar plunk, to Ringo’s rickety-ass drum platform, to John’s awkward urging to “clap your hands!” — exudes the nerves, charm and vibrancy of an unassuming pop band that would soon become a historical fixture. I know I am totally gushing, but I don’t care. They had that something, and I love them for that.

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