Richard Furnstein: My stock answer to the common question "What's the best Beatles album lead-off track?" Simpletons tend to say "Come Together" or "Taxman," but I come in with "It Won't Be Long" and their world just collapses under the weight of my utter brilliance. Feel free to use that, it's my gift to you.
Robert Bunter: This was the first Beatle track that really crystallized their many strengths. The infectious excitement, innovative composition/arrangement and flawless performance are all present and accounted for. The world was about to fall in love, and songs like this explain why.
The end of this song adds the perfect note of melancholy resignation to an otherwise supernaturally peppy rocker. Leave it to the Fabs to know just when to pull a stunt like that! Did I mention this was a
great band? Why did they have to break up? I tell you one thing: the '70s, '80s and '90s would have been so much better if they'd kept going. It is completely inconceivable to me that they wouldn't be able keep up similarly superhuman levels of achievement for another 30 years. I'm sure they wouldn't have put out any bad songs or albums in years like 1974 or 1981 or 1993.
Richard Furnstein: I've had endless daydreams about that 1993 album. Don Fleming produced it, so it's got that bright grunge sheen. John is still dead in this scenario, but George picks up his slack nicely. Features some ace guest percussion from Porno For Pyros' sticksman Stephen Perkins.
Wait, why am I wasting time on this hair brained fantasy. Leave that filler for our write-ups on "A Taste Of Honey" or "Boys." This song is the real deal. The Beatles distill their rock and girl group roots and write one of their greatest songs. Lennon talks about crying over a girl again, and it doesn't matter if it is his dead mama or some local cutie pie. He's gotta make this happen, and he's excited about the prospects (probably not his dead mama, then).
Hand it to the Beatles on this one. They took their early "yeah yeah yeah yeah" trademark and beat it into the ground in the greatest manner possible. A god damned all time triumph. Dig it out immediately and your brains will explode with delight.