The Beatles Song John Lennon Shredded His Vocal Cords To Sing


No matter how talented a vocalist is, some songs might cause them to struggle and even cause health issues. Especially when you need to scream at the top of your lungs, which is mostly the case with heavy metal bands, it becomes inevitable to hurt your throat or vocal cords after some time.

However, sometimes an artist doesn’t need to be a heavy metal singer to shred their vocal cords. John Lennon, the frontman of one of the bands that provide their audience with a relatively calm and joyous feeling with their songs, also hurt his vocal cords once while trying to sing a Beatles song.

Which Was The Beatles Song Damaged John Lennon’s Vocal Cords?


With a raspy singing voice that expressed a wide range of feelings, John Lennon became one of the most unforgettable voices in music history. Although insecure about his voice, Lennon was ranked number 5 among the 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time by Rolling Stone. Apart from using his voice to communicate sincere feelings, Lennon also screamed his emotions in some songs.

These screams made John Lennon shred his vocal cords in one of the band’s songs. Titled ‘Twist And Shout,’ this song was featured in the 1963 Beatles album ‘Please Please Me.’ The band used the Isley Brothers’ version of the song as a template, and Lennon had difficulty singing it. According to the British music critic Nik Cohn, Lennon was rupturing himself while singing ‘Twist And Shout.’

Here is what Nik Cohn said about John Lennon’s singing in ‘The Beatles: Paperback Writer’:

“On ‘Twist And Shout,’ he’d rant his way into total incoherence, half rupture himself.

Moreover, the biographer Barry Miles argued that Lennon shredded his vocal cords while singing ‘Twist And Shout’ for the sake of rock and roll. Lennon had also revealed his thoughts on singing the song, saying he couldn’t sing it but could only scream it. This was because when the Beatles recorded ‘Twist And Shout,’ John Lennon had a cold and almost gave up. In the end, he thought he could’ve sung it better and admitted that he sounds like a ‘frantic guy doing his best.’

In his ‘The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years,’ Barry Miles said the following:

“Lennon simply shredded his vocal cords in the interests of rock ‘n’ roll.”

John Lennon also admitted not being able to sing the song:

“I couldn’t sing the damn thing; I was just screaming.

Ashamed of his performance, Lennon also stated:

“I could sing better than that, but it doesn’t bother me now. You can hear that I’m just a frantic guy doing his best.

You can listen to the Beatles’ rendition of ‘Twist And Shout’ below.