Day 107: “I Need You”

When was it recorded?  Feb. 15-16, 1965

When was it first released, and on which album?  Aug. 6, 1965 on “Help!”

Who wrote it?  Harrison

Have I heard this song before?  No

What my research dug up:

Another day, another song written by George – his second released by the Beatles in fact. My sources say “I Need You” addressed George’s blossoming relationship with Pattie Boyd, who he met in 1964 and married in 1966. According to Alan Pollack, “We find George at his absolutely most vulnerable in this song.”

Pollack also noted, “The vocal track [on “I Need You”] is pure Middle Period Beatles almost as though it were a recipe-pattern done up ‘by the numbers:’ the composer double-tracked on the lead and the two others… providing an instrumental-like backwash of ‘Ahhhs’ in second half of verse and bridge.”

The Beatles recorded five takes of the rhythm track on Feb. 15, 1965 in the first session for their album “Help!” According to George Martin, George played a Spanish guitar and Paul played his usual Hofner bass. However, John played the snare drum and Ringo “created a percussive rhythm on the back of a Gibson Jumbo acoustic guitar” (Beatles Bible). (Ringo also plays the cowbell here.)

“I Need You” appears in the film “Help!” According to Wikipedia it is “the second video produced showing George Harrison singing lead vocal on a song (after ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ from ‘A Hard Day’s Night’).”

I’ll be honest with you — I didn’t like “I Need You” the first time I heard it.  I wasn’t sure what was going on with the guitar part at the start, and the discordance threw me off.  Once I figured out the pattern (and put on my headphones to hear things better) everything fell into place.  This song is super sweet.




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