Day 233: “Tell Me What You See”

When was it recorded?   Feb. 18, 1965

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

Who wrote it?   McCartney

Have I heard this song before?   No

What my research dug up:

Paul remembers “Tell Me What You See” as mostly his but with some help from John. John remembers the song as being completely Paul’s. I’ve decided to take John’s side with the credit above.

Of “Tell Me What You See,” Paul said in Many Years From Now it was, “Not awfully memorable. Not one of the better songs but they did a job, they were very handy for albums or B-sides.” He reportedly offered it to Richard Lester for the “Help!” film but it was rejected.

Quoth Wikipedia, “Evident in the song’s structure and instrumentation are the Beatles’ then growing folk influence, with lyrics more mature and reflective than was standard in their earlier output. Nevertheless, the line ‘trying to get to you’ (the title of an early Elvis Presley song… which served as inspiration for McCartney & Harrison’s first composition, ‘In Spite of All the Danger’) is a clear reminder of both songwriters’ love for early rock and roll.”

Alan Pollack was similarly complimentary of the song structure. Pollack also noted how “Tell Me What You See” resembles several other Beatles songs. Lyrically, the tune seems to reflect the phrasing and imagery of “And I Love Her.” Texturally, Pollack wrote, the song is “most strongly Latin-flavored of any Beatles’ original since the days of ‘Ask Me Why’ and ‘P.S. I Love You.’” He also cited their covers of “Besame Mucho” and “Mister Moonlight.”

The Beatles recorded four takes of “Tell Me What You See” on Feb. 18, 1965. The song features a Hohner Pianet electric piano (heard previously on other “Help!” tracks “The Night Before” and “You Like Me Too Much”), the guiro (a Latin American instrument played by striking a wooden stick across a series of notches that I remember having to play to pass third grade Music), and the claves.



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