Got To Get You Into My Life

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1966

Master release


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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Got to Get You into My Life” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, first released in 1966 on their album Revolver. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is a homage to the Motown Sound, with colourful brass instrumentation and lyrics that suggest a psychedelic experience. “It’s actually an ode to pot,” McCartney explained. A cover version by Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, produced by McCartney, peaked at number six in 1966 in the UK. The song was issued in the United States as a single from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Music compilation album in 1976, six years after the Beatles disbanded. Another cover version by Earth, Wind & Fire from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band film soundtrack peaked at number nine in the US in 1978.

Composition and recording

Though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney, McCartney was primarily responsible for the writing of the song, to which he also contributed lead vocals. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between 7 April and 17 June 1966 and evolved considerably between the first takes and the final version released on album. The song seems to have been hard to arrange until the soul-style horns, strongly reminiscent of the Stax’ Memphis soul and Motown sound, were introduced. The original version of the track, taped on the second day of the Revolver sessions, featured an arrangement that included harmonium and acoustic guitar, and a partly a-cappella section (repeating the words “I need your love”) sung by McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. In the description of author Robert Rodriguez, relative to the “R&B-styled shouter” that the band completed in June, this version was “more Haight-Ashbury than Memphis”. Author Devin McKinney similarly views the early take as “radiat[ing] peace in a hippie vein”, and he recognises the arrangement as a forerunner to the sound adopted by the Beach Boys over 1967–1968 on their albums Smiley Smile and Wild Honey.

The brass was close-miked in the bells of the instruments, then put through a limiter. This session, on 18 May, marked the first time that the Beatles had used a horn section.

The song starts with a blaring brass fanfare, McCartney’s vocals entering at 0:07. The chorus of the song appears at 1:04, with the song’s title sung. The song then switches between a verse and the refrain. A short electric guitar solo appears at 1:53 and at 2:10 the horn fanfare re-enters. The song closes with fading vocals of McCartney.

In Barry Miles’ 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, McCartney disclosed that the song was about marijuana. “‘Got to Get You into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot … So [it’s] really a song about that, it’s not to a person.” Many lyrics from the song suggest this: “I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there / Another road where maybe I could see some other kind of mind there.”,'”What can I do? What can I be? When I’m with you, I want to stay there / If I am true, I will never leave and if I do, I’ll know the way there.” “It’s actually an ode to pot,” McCartney explained, “like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.”

Release and reception

Parlophone released Revolver on 5 August 1966 with “Got to Get You into My Life” sequenced as the penultimate track, between Harrison’s “I Want to Tell You” and Lennon’s “Tomorrow Never Knows“. According to Devin McKinney, while McCartney’s songs can be heard individually as “simple affirmations”, in the context of their placement on Revolver, “each song gains” from the reflected depth of the Lennon and Harrison compositions. McKinney writes that “Got to Get You into My Life” “is notable for being as expressive of a simple livid frustration as any McCartney music to date: its two minutes are a tight mass of constipated fury, an existential annoyance expressing itself as romantic confusion”.

In his review of the song for AllMusic, Thomas Ward writes: “McCartney’s always been a great vocalist, and this is perhaps the best example of his singing on Revolver. One of the overlooked gems on the album.” Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork considers Revolver to be McCartney’s “maturation record” as a songwriter in the same way that Rubber Soul had been for Lennon in 1965. He highlights “Got to Get You into My Life” as one of McCartney’s “most demonstrative songs” on the album and a reflection of his innate “optimism and populism”. Chris Coplan of Consequence of Sound admires the psychedelic tone of Revolver, but says that this experimentalism renders the more standard pop songs, such as “Got to Get You into My Life” and “Here, There and Everywhere“, “seemingly out of place” within the collection.

Musicologist Walter Everett describes “Got to Get You into My Life” as “always … one of the LP’s most popular tracks” due to the success of its cover recordings, the first of which was a 1966 UK top-ten hit by Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, co-produced by McCartney, and the 1976 single release of the Beatles’ original. Music critic Tim Riley says the song is the “most derivative cut” on Revolver but nevertheless identifies it as an authentic rhythm and blues track that shows how well the Beatles had mastered the style. Riley especially praises the song’s closing section, introduced by a Harrison guitar break that he describes as “dazzling” in sound and a combination of “crimped energy” and “tasty ornaments”, followed by McCartney’s vocal interplay with the brass.

When asked about the song in his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said, “Paul’s again. I think that was one of his best songs, too.” […]

Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:

Got To Get You Into My Life was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot. I’d been a rather straight working-class lad but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting… I didn’t have a hard time with it and to me it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.
So Got To Get You Into My Life is really a song about that, it’s not to a person, it’s actually about pot. It’s saying, I’m going to do this. This is not a bad idea. So it’s actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[a] mono 17,20 Jun 1966.
UK: Parlophone PMC 7009 Revolver 1966.
US: Capitol T 2576 Revolver 1966.

[b] stereo 22 Jun 1966.
UK: Parlophone PCS 7009 Revolver 1966.
US: Capitol ST 2576 Revolver 1966.
CD: EMI CDP 7 46441 2 Revolver 1987.

Mono [a] has a noticeably longer fade (8 seconds) that helps, and louder bass and percussion. The brass sound on mono [a] was augmented on June 20 by lifting brass sound from the master and overdubbing onto the mix done on June 17. This overdub, being on the mix tape, was not done in stereo [b]. [a] and [b] have different vocals at the fade, the line “every single day of my life”, which may be the use of different vocal tracks of the doubletracking.

What we had to get into our lives, it seemed, was marijuana. Until we happened upon marijuana, we’d been drinking men. We were introduced to grass when we were in the US, and it blew our tiny little minds.

What happened is that we were in a hotel suite, maybe in New York around the summer of 1964, and Bob Dylan turned up with his roadie. He’d just released Another Side of Bob Dylan. We were just drinking, as usual, having a little party. We’d ordered drinks from room service — scotch and Coke and French wine were our thing back then — and Bob had disappeared into a back room. We thought maybe he’d gone to the toilet, but then Ringo came out of that back room, looking a bit strange. He said, “I’ve just been with Bob, and he’s got some pot,” or whatever you called it then. And we said, “Oh, what’s it like?” and he said, “Well, the ceiling is kind of moving; it’s sort of coming down.” And that was enough.

After Ringo said that, the other three of us all leapt into the back room where Dylan was, and he gave us a puff on the joint. And you know how a lot of people take a puff and think it’s not working? We expected something instantaneous, so we kept puffing away and saying, “It’s not working, is it?” And suddenly it was working. And we were giggling, laughing at each other. I remember George trying to get away, and I was sort of running after him. It was hilarious, like a cartoon chase. We thought, “Wow, this is pretty amazing, this stuff.” And so it became part of our repertoire from then on. How did we get our pot? To tell you the truth, it just showed up. There were certain people you could get it from. You just had to know who had some.

Paul McCartney – From Paul McCartney reveals the stories behind his greatest hits | The Sunday Times Magazine | The Sunday Times (thetimes.co.uk) – From “The Lyrics” book, 2021

‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot. I’d been a rather straight working-class lad, but, when we started to get into pot, it seemed to me to be quite uplifting. ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ is really a song about that, it’s not a person, it’s actually about pot. It’s saying, ‘I’m going to do this. This is not a bad idea,’ so, it’s actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or good claret.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

We put trumpets on because it sounded like a trumpet number. None of the others did, so we haven’t used them on any other tracks, so it’s a nice novelty.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

Last updated on September 23, 2022

The book "The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present", published in 2021, covers Paul McCartney's early Liverpool days, the Beatles, Wings, and solo careers, by pairing the lyrics of 154 of his songs with first-person commentaries of the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.

"Got To Get You Into My Life" is one of the 154 songs covered.

Lyrics

I was alone, I took a ride
I didn't know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I
Could see another kind of mind there

Ooo, then I suddenly see you
Ooo, did I tell you I need you?
Every single day of my life

You didn't run, you didn't lie
You know I wanted just to hold you
And had you gone, you knew in time
We'd meet again for I had told you

Ooo, you were meant to be near me
Ooo, and I want you to hear me
Say we'll be together every day
Got to get you into my life

What can I do, what can I be?
When I'm with you I want to stay there
If I'm true I'll never leave
And if I do I know the way there

Ooo, then I suddenly see you
Ooo, did I tell you I need you?
Every single day of my life
Got to get you into my life
I got to get you into my life

I was alone, I took a ride
I didn't know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I
Could see another kind of mind there

And suddenly I see you
Did I tell you I need you?
Every single day

Officially appears on


Revolver (US Mono)

Official album • Released in 1966

2:39 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Organ, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Eddie Thornton :
Trumpet
Ian Hamer :
Trumpet
Les Condon :
Trumpet
Alan Branscombe :
Tenor saxophone
Peter Coe :
Tenor saxophone

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Apr 08, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 11, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 17 & Jun 20, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Revolver (US Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1966

2:30 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Organ, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Eddie Thornton :
Trumpet
Ian Hamer :
Trumpet
Les Condon :
Trumpet
Alan Branscombe :
Tenor saxophone
Peter Coe :
Tenor saxophone

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Apr 08, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 11, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Revolver (UK Mono)

LP • Released in 1966

2:29 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Organ, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Eddie Thornton :
Trumpet
Ian Hamer :
Trumpet
Les Condon :
Trumpet
Alan Branscombe :
Tenor saxophone
Peter Coe :
Tenor saxophone

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Apr 08, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 11, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 17 & Jun 20, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Revolver (UK Stereo)

LP • Released in 1966

2:29 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Organ, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Eddie Thornton :
Trumpet
Ian Hamer :
Trumpet
Les Condon :
Trumpet
Alan Branscombe :
Tenor saxophone
Peter Coe :
Tenor saxophone

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Apr 08, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 11, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road



Tripping The Live Fantastic

Official live • Released in 1990

3:22 • LiveL2

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyRobbie McIntoshHamish StuartPaul WickensChris Whitten
Paul McCartney :
Producer
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer
Peter Henderson :
Producer
Bob Clearmountain :
Mixing engineer, Producer
Jeff Cohen :
Recording engineer
Geoff Foster :
Assistant engineer
Scott Hull :
Assistant engineer
George Cowan :
Assistant engineer
Paul Rushbrook :
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Dortmund, Germany on Oct 17, 1989


Tripping the Live Fantastic: Highlights!

Official live • Released in 1990

3:15 • LiveL2

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyRobbie McIntoshHamish StuartPaul WickensChris Whitten
Paul McCartney :
Producer
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer
Peter Henderson :
Producer
Bob Clearmountain :
Mixing engineer, Producer
Jeff Cohen :
Recording engineer
Geoff Foster :
Assistant engineer
Scott Hull :
Assistant engineer
George Cowan :
Assistant engineer
Paul Rushbrook :
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Dortmund, Germany on Oct 17, 1989


Anthology 2

Official album • Released in 1996

2:54 • OuttakeC • Take 5. The arrangement of Paul's Got To Get You Into My Life altered significantly from first studio outing to last, the released version (Take 9) being layered with vocals and brass in addition to the group's own rhythm tracks. When the song was first aired in the studio, on 7 April, the Beatles recorded Takes 1 to 5, marking the last of these "best" (temporarily, as it turned out) and overdubbing vocals for the first time. The result is a piece of work scarcely comparable to the released version, with its different musical structure and some alternative lyrics. By the end of this session two of the tracks on the four-track tape had been filled, and doubtless the vacant ones would also have been completed had the Beatles decided to press on. Instead, returning to Abbey Road the next day, they shelved Take 5 and moved on the song in a different direction.

George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Revolver (Mono - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

2:29 • Studio versionA2009 • Mono • 2009 mono remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Organ, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Eddie Thornton :
Trumpet
Ian Hamer :
Trumpet
Les Condon :
Trumpet
Alan Branscombe :
Tenor saxophone
Peter Coe :
Tenor saxophone
Paul Hicks :
Remastering
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Sean Magee :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Apr 08, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 11, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 17 & Jun 20, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Revolver (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

2:29 • Studio versionB2009 • Stereo • 2009 stereo remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Organ, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Eddie Thornton :
Trumpet
Ian Hamer :
Trumpet
Les Condon :
Trumpet
Alan Branscombe :
Tenor saxophone
Peter Coe :
Tenor saxophone
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Steve Rooke :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator

Session Recording:
Apr 07, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Apr 08, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 11, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Live performances

“Got To Get You Into My Life” has been played in 302 concerts and 11 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where Got To Get You Into My Life has been played


Glastonbury Festival

Jun 25, 2022 • United Kingdom • Pilton, Somerset • Worthy Farm


Live In Frome

Jun 24, 2022 • United Kingdom • Frome • Cheese & Grain





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