The Paul McCartney Project

I Need You

Written by George Harrison

Album This song officially appears on the Help! (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1965
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Early George Harrison songs

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

I Need You” is a song by the Beatles and appears on the album Help!. It is the second George Harrison song the band released after two albums without any songwriting contribution from Harrison. The song was performed in their second film, Help! and 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).

Composition

The song was recorded on 15 and 16 February 1965. This was the first recording session for the group in 1965 and included two other songs, Ticket to Ride and Another Girl, both of which were also included on the Help! album. The song is often considered to address Harrison’s relationship with Pattie Boyd, whom he had met in March 1964 while filming A Hard Day’s Night (they married in January 1966).

Musical characteristics and recording

The song is in A major (actually a little less than half a semitone below A, like the two other songs recorded on 15 February: “Ticket to Ride” and “Another Girl“). The recording’s distinctive lead guitar cadences were achieved through Harrison’s first recorded use of a volume pedal, (used again on the Lennon composition “Yes It Is” from the same sessions) and by common guitar suspended chords in the key of A. These form the introduction and most of the verse of the song and give a quasi-modal effect relieved in the verse by a line in the relative minor (with a simple backing harmony from Lennon and McCartney), the whole making a fourteen-bar ternary verse-structure. This, after a repeat, segues easily into a second, bridge melody that introduces a cowbell for contrast and is based on a simple IV-V-I chord progression that passes through the dominant key to resolve back on the verse.

An interesting feature is the use of an imperfect cadence (imperfectly resolving on a tonic A chord) in the climax of the bridge (on “I just can’t go on anymore“) which uses II (Bm7) and V (E7) chords. Many such aspects of the song are developed in Harrison’s song “If I Needed Someone” on the group’s next album, Rubber Soul. […]

FromĀ The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 18 Feb 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1255 Help! 1965.
  • [b] stereo 23 Feb 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3071 Help! 1965.
    US: Capitol SMAS 2386 Help! 1965.
  • [b1] mono made from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol MAS 2386 Help! 1965.
  • [c] stereo 1987.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46439 2 Help! 1987.

Last updated on March 15, 2016

Lyrics

You don't realize how much I need you
Love you all the time and never leave you

Please come on back to me
I'm lonely as can be
I need you

Said you had a thing or two to tell me
How was I to know you would upset me?

I didn't realize
As I looked in your eyes
You told me

Oh, yes you told me
You don't want my lovin' anymore
That's when it hurt me
And feeling like this
I just can't go on anymore

Please remember how I feel about you
I could never really live without you

So come on back and see
Just what you mean to me
I need you

But when you told me
You don't want my lovin' anymore
That's when it hurt me
And feeling like this
I just can't go on anymore

Please remember how I feel about you
I could never really live without you

So come on back and see
Just what you mean to me
I need you
I need you
I need you

Officially appears on


Help! (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:29 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Acoustic guitar percussion, Cowbell
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Harmony vocals, Snare drum
George Harrison:
12-string electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 16, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 18, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Help! (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:31 • Studio versionB1 • Mono • Mono made from [B] by Capitol.

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Acoustic guitar percussion, Cowbell
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Harmony vocals, Snare drum
George Harrison:
12-string electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 16, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 23, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Help! (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:32 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Acoustic guitar percussion, Cowbell
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Harmony vocals, Snare drum
George Harrison:
12-string electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 16, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 23, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Help! (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:29 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Acoustic guitar percussion, Cowbell
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Harmony vocals, Snare drum
George Harrison:
12-string electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 16, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 23, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

2:42 • Studio version • 1


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

2:31 • Studio version • 2


Help! - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:40 • Alternate take • Production Acetate Mono


Help! - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:30 • Alternate take • Rm From Take 5 Original Film Mix Mono


Help! - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:28 • Alternate take • Rs From Take 5 Help! Dvd Stereo


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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