Beatles – If I Needed Someone

Mid-Sixties pop classic. If I Needed Someone is a George Harrison song that was on the album Rubber Soul. In America this was one of the four songs left off of Capital’s version of Rubber Soul…it was included on Yesterday and Today…an album that Capital put together for the American market.  It was originally issued only in the United States and Canada

George Harrison said the song was influenced by the Byrds:  “It was based on the twelve-string figure from ‘The Bells Of Rhymney’ by The Byrds.”

McCartney called the song the first “landmark” song written by George for the Beatles.

George Harrison:  “It was like a million other songs written around one chord, a D chord actually.”  “If you move your fingers about you get various little melodies.  That guitar line, or variations on it, is found in many a song, and it amazes me that people still find new permutations of the same notes.”

As a guitarist,  there are many songs that have been written around the D chord by moving your fingers in different positions. Here Comes The Sun, Woman by Lennon, Free Falling, Sweet Home Alabama, and like George said…a million others.

On January 24th, 1996, “If I Needed Someone” got its first and only release on a single.  The Capitol series of “For Jukebox Only” singles paired the song as the b-side to “Norwegian Wood” and was printed on both black and green vinyl.

The Hollies received an early version of the song and then quickly recorded their own version of the song and released it as their next single at the end of 1965.  It reached #20 in the UK, making it the first George Harrison composition to make the charts.

George made it known he didn’t like their version…but to me, the Hollies did a good job.

From Songfacts

This was written by George Harrison, who got the idea from a few of The Byrds’ songs including “The Bells of Rhymney” and “She Don’t Care About Time.” It was not Ravi Shankar that introduced George to the wonderment of sitar, but Byrd traveler David Crosby shortly after Shawn Phillips had shown him the basic steps. In 1965 The Beatles toured the US and visited Ravi at World Pacific Studios where The Byrds had permanent residency. It was also here that Roger McGuinn’s Rickenbacker jingle jangle influenced Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone.” In turn, The Byrds were influenced by Harrison’s 12-string guitar work. >>

Former Byrds guitarist Roger McGuinn recalled to Christianity Today magazine: “George Harrison wrote that song after hearing the Byrds’ recording of “Bells of Rhymney.” He gave a copy of his new recording to Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ former press officer, who flew to Los Angeles and brought it to my house. He said George wanted me to know that he had written the song based on the rising and falling notes of my electric Rickenbacker 12-string guitar introduction. It was a great honor to have in some small way influenced our heroes the Beatles.”

 

If I Needed Someone

If I needed someone to love
You’re the one that I’d be thinking of
If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah, ah, ah

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

21 thoughts on “Beatles – If I Needed Someone”

  1. I agree with you Max- The Hollies version is solid. I think George at that point should have been thrilled that a popular group like The Hollies were covering one of his songs- and not one of John/ Paul’s.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know if he made the remarks after it charted or not… maybe if it didn’t go high enough for him lol… you said it… he should have been thrilled.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Another good Beatles song. Man, imagine if John and Paul had really realized early on how good a writer George was too… I mean, they were amazing obviously but perhaps would’ve even been better if Harrison had more opportunity to be featured in the mid-’60s.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Listened to part of a Casey Kasem rerun this morning , from ’79, they had “Blow away” on it and it just hit me again how good his solo stuff was, even those which were considered “lesser” works of his.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Just a great song. Both versions are very strong. To me this Rickenbacker guitar sound, kind of like a keyboard, really defines the mid 60s rock era. It also kind of defines the divide in The Beatles or The Stones debate. I don’t know, I’m not a musician, but Brian Jones probably played around with a Rickenbacker from time to time, but The Stones were Fender guitar group.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the difference was there… If Jones would have had more control he would have probably crossed them over a little more. For a couple of years during the Ruby Tuesday years they were closer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess why the Beatles appealed to me more between the two was they had a bigger variety. From Blackbird to Helter Skelter to Yer Blues.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. The Beatles are my favorite too, but they are so different. Of course The Beatles went out on top and that’s huge. Let’s face it, The Stones have harmed their legacy by touring so long. Rock n Roll is a young persons game–especially the harder stuff. Old men look absolutely ridiculous gyrating and striking poses.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yea I agree…They have toured way pass the point where they should have stopped. They have nothing to gain from touring…except more money in Mick’s account.

        I am happy The Beatles didn’t regroup…it would have ruined it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Although I have always thought of The Hollies harmonizing as flawless, when I compare these two versions of the song, The Beatles’ version is superior. Maybe George was touchy about having someone else cover his tune when one of his tunes hit and didn’t want to share the limelight of it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the Beatles version better don’t get me wrong…I guess he didn’t want that since the Beatles didn’t release it as a single.
      He didn’t like something about it. Maybe he wanted a “cooler” group cover it? I love the Hollies but they were more of a teeny band at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Beatles version is MUCH better. I like The Hollies but, that Eastern-influence twang to the guitars, I don’t like. And, the Beatles voices were a better blend for this. Paul is a better bassist on this, too. I also like the tambourine touch the Beatles added.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I like it much better but George shouldn’t have been so cranky about it. He should have been happy someone covered it.

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      1. That may have been a product of his struggles to be *acknowledged* in his own band. Always labled *the quiet one*, wasn’t there an internal struggle with him trying to step out of the Lennon-McCartney shadow? At 22, he probably felt like he had been robbed. I can see it…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When he got confidence he started to press but was only allowed two per album at the most. The double white album he had 4 of course.
        His songs that were rejected by the Beatles? All Things Must Pass and Isn’t It A Pity…thats just two of them…but there were many more.
        When you have Lennon and McCartney…it’s hard to pass them up.

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  6. We are very familiar with The Hollies version. Coming from England, we heard it before The Beatles original and we agree with you – it’s very good.

    Liked by 1 person

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