Thursday, November 11, 2010

John Lennon: Stand by Me

























Stand By Me is a single from the album, Rock 'n Roll.


















Written by: Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Recorded: 1974
Released: US: March 10, 1975; UK: April 18, 1975
Album: Rock 'n Roll
Label: Apple Records

The song is about love and loyalty, universal human values. (For a view on loyalty, see Is Loyalty Dead?)
Here are some background notes on Stand By Me from Wikipedia:
According to the documentary History of Rock 'n' Roll, Ben E. King had no intention of recording the song himself when he wrote it. King had written the song for The Drifters, who passed on the chance to record it. It was not until after the "Spanish Harlem" recording session that he had some studio time left over. The session's producers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, asked if he had any more songs and King played "Stand by Me" on the piano for them. They liked it and called all the studio musicians back in to record it.

Mike Stoller recalls it differently: "I remember arriving at our office as Jerry and Ben were working on lyrics for a new song. King had the beginnings of a melody that he was singing a capella. I went to the piano and worked up the harmonies, developing a bass pattern that became the signature of the song. Ben and Jerry quickly finished the lyrics…" The fact that arranger Stan Applebaum couldn't possibly have dashed off an entire string chart at the end of a session, much less copied and distributed all the parts, supports this less dramatic version of the events.

Either way, King's record went to number one on the R&B charts and was a Top Ten hit on the U.S. charts twice—in its original release in 1961, when it peaked at  no. 4, and a 1986 rerelease coinciding with its use as the theme song for the movie of the same name following its appearance in the film, when it peaked at no. 9, and also in an advertisement for Levi Jeans. It also reached no. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in 1987 after its re-release, mostly due to the jeans spot, originally reaching no. 27 on its first release.

The song was not released on an album until it had been out as a single for two years. After those two years the song appeared as track seven on King's Don't Play That Song.

"Stand by Me" was ranked number 122 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1999, BMI named it as the fourth most-performed song of the 20th century, with about 7 million performances.

Stand By Me

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won't be afraid
No I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Oh, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darling, darling stand by me
Stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

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