"That Means a Lot" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released in 1965 by P.J. Proby. Proby's version reached #24 on the NME chart. Prior to the release by Proby, The Beatles recorded a version that was intended for the Help! film and soundtrack. The Beatles were dissatisfied with the song and their version was not released until the Anthology 2 CD in 1996.
Lennon said at the time, "This song is a ballad which Paul and I wrote for the film but we found we just couldn't sing it. In fact, we made a hash of it, so we thought we'd better give it to someone who could do it well." In an interview with Mark Lewisohn in 1988, McCartney said, "There were a few songs that we were just not as keen on, or we didn't think they were quite finished. This was one of them."
P.J. Proby versionEdit
Brian Epstein, the Beatles' business manager, gave the song to Proby, another of the acts he managed. Proby was introduced to Epstein by Jack Good who had created numerous television shows including Around the Beatles. Proby released "That Means A Lot" in September 1965. His version was produced by Ron Richards, arranged and conducted by George Martin.
The Beatles recorded multiple takes of the song on 20 February and 30 March 1965. The three takes recorded on 30 March were markedly different from the original but not more successful.
The song is credited to Lennon/McCartney, but which of the two wrote the bulk of the song is in debate. In his 1980 interview with Playboy Magazine, Lennon claimed the song was written by McCartney, while Proby has claimed with certainty that the song was purely Lennon's. Music critic Ian MacDonald speculated that "Lennon may have helped with the lyric, the middle eight, and the arrangement."
- Paul McCartney – vocal, bass, piano
- John Lennon – backing vocal, rhythm guitar, maracas
- George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar, maracas
- Ringo Starr – drums