A Cover of The Beatles’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ Was a Bigger Hit Than the Original Song

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney revealed the origin of The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There.”
  • A 1980s pop singer released a cover of “I Saw Her Standing There” with a different title.
  • The cover commercially outperformed the original song.
The Beatles' Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and John Lennon on a fence during the "I Saw Her Standing There"
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and John Lennon | Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer

One of The Beatles‘ most famous early songs is “I Saw Her Standing There.” A 1980s pop singer initially didn’t want to cover the song. Subsequently, she was convinced she could bring something new to the track.

Paul McCartney revealed who had the initial idea for The Beatles’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the origin of “I Saw Her Standing There.” “Sometimes we would just start a song from scratch, but one of us would nearly always have a germ of an idea, a title, or a rough little thing they were thinking about and we’d do it,” he recalled.

Paul said he had the idea for “I Saw Her Standing There” and co-wrote it with John Lennon. “‘I Saw Her Standing There’ was my original, I’d started it and I had the first verse, which therefore gave me the tune, the tempo, and the key,” he said. “It gave you the subject matter, a lot of the information, and then you had to fill in.”

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Why Tiffany didn’t want to cover The Beatles

Tiffany released a gender-swapped cover of the track called “I Saw Him Standing There.” During a 1988 interview with the Chicago Tribune, the singer said she initially hesitated to record the track. “I knew the song,” Tiffany recalled. “But the way we decided to do it is that we were killing time in the studio and someone picked up an old guitar and started playing Beatles songs.

“My manager suggested I could do it, and I said, ‘You’re nuts! No way could I compare to The Beatles,'” Tiffany added. “But he said we could do it in a dance version, so kids who didn’t know it could feel like they were discovering something new.”

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How ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘I Saw Him Standing There’ performed on the charts in the United States

The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. The song appeared on the album Introducing… The Beatles. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the chart for 49 weeks.

Tiffany’s “I Saw Him Standing There” was a considerably bigger hit. It peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks. Tiffany included the cover on her self-titled album. Tiffany reached No. 1 for two of its 69 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Tiffany hesitated to record a Beatles song — but it seems the public loved her cover.

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