Beatles – Think For Yourself

A very good George Harrison song. While I was searching for the song on youtube…I came across a 19-minute studio outtake with the Beatles when they were working on this song. George had a time reeling in John and Paul but…I will say this…Lennon could be hilarious. Actually, all of them could be. When you have 19 minutes to kill…listen to that outtake I will post above the song. It gives an insight into them. One comment was, “they sound like drunk teenagers, ” which is correct. They were young and their sense of humor was flowing.

Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting was improving by leaps and bounds at this time. They had started to write years before and George had only been writing a couple of years. He did have one thing they didn’t have…he witnessed firsthand Lennon and McCartney’s writing and was influenced by them. This was only George’s fifth published song, the lyrical depth, and structure of  Think For Yourself proved that George Harrison was going to improve and catch his bandmates in quality if not quantity.

The music to this one is really cool. Paul plays his bass through a fuzz box to give the song a different sound. The song was on the 1965 album  Rubber Soul. This album was a game changer that started with Help! and would lead up to Sgt Pepper in 1967.

Rubber Soul showed the Beatles growing artistically and venturing out to different styles of music. Since With The Beatles they were trying new things with every album. By this time they were breaking out of the Beatlemania image and started touching on every genre to a more mature sound.  The Beatles were breaking/making the rules as they were going along. Not only in writing superb songs but pushing the limits of the studio as well as doing things that pop stars just didn’t do before them…

Producer George Martin was also developing artistically, experimenting with an eye toward making the album sound good in either stereo or mono.

Rubber Soul peaked at #1 in America, Canada, and The UK in 1965.

George Harrison: “When Phil Spector was making ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ (by Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans), the engineer who’d set up the track overloaded the microphone on the guitar player and it became very distorted. Phil Spector said, ‘Leave it like that, it’s great.’ Some years later everyone started to try to copy that sound and so they invented the fuzz box. We had one and tried the bass through it and it sounded really good.”

Think For Yourself

I’ve got a word or two
To say about the things that you do
You’re telling all those lies
About the good things that we can have
If we close our eyes

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

I left you far behind
The ruins of the life that you had in mind
And though you still can’t see
I know your mind’s made up
You’re gonna cause more misery

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

Although your mind’s opaque
Try thinking more if just for your own sake
The future still looks good
And you’ve got time to rectify
All the things that you should

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you
Think for yourself
‘Cause I won’t be there with you

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

22 thoughts on “Beatles – Think For Yourself”

      1. Interesting. Reading the backstory of an artist’s song (or other creation) is not something I did back in the day. If I enjoyed it, it found a home in me– even if the artist was Richard Harris! 😊 It’s nice to get a bigger picture of music and all the collaboration behind it.

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      2. I don’t know why…but ever since I was a kid I wanted to know the history of whatever I liked. Don’t ask me why. When I was 8 I found the Beatles in 1975 and from then on I listened and read everything about them as was possible.
        Same with baseball…I read books about Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron. So blogging about these things come natural…although I’m not a great writer!

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    1. Yea man…they were rocking the Ganga that day…you can hear Paul say he “lit the torch” they were laughing like mad in some parts…great sense of humor.

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  1. I think ‘Rubber Soul’ was where they really started to improve exponentially… they’d shown bits of brilliance and originality many times before, but this one to me really showed what they were capable of and how wide a range of songs they could pull off. And that it was where George started to come into his own only improves that.

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  2. It’s only ’65 and he’s rhyming ‘opaque/mistake!’ That is leaps ahead of the usual twee ‘Gee, I miss you, so sad we’re through, now I’m blue, oh boo hoo’ derivative crap still trickling out of the basement levels of the Brill Building. Way ahead of its time.

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    1. I totally agree Obbverse. Some of those songs were saved by the music alone and many of the lyrics are cringe worthy….if the audience just knew what two years would bring….I am he as you are he…
      The Beatles in general did a big number on the Brill Building.

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      1. I shudder to think what would have happened musicwise had the Beatles not shaken it up; Would it be 10 years of Brill lite-weight crap, Pat Boone/Bobby Vee/Fabian slick short haired buttoned down goofy grinned disposable teen idols, discarded when the last pimple faded from their rosy red cheeks? 1962 must have been a musical dead end wasteland till they came along.

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      2. After Holly died, Elvis going into the army, and Jerry Lee marrying a 13 year old cousin…music did just what you said.
        Pat Boone gives me the chills… I don’t know if I told you or not but I’m proud to say…my dad and Pat Boone went to the same school. They got into a fight over a girl…from all accounts my dad won the battle lol.
        If his name came up my dad would start saying things that would make a sailor blush.

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  3. That long clip with the studio banter is really something! Parts of it are like standup comedy – just hilarious.

    Undoubtedly, it illustrates The Beatles had a great sense of humor. On the other hand, if you were George Martin, you needed to have a lot of patience and I guess a good sense of humor. Plus, when listening to this, it’s kind of hard to believe how great the tune sounded on the record!

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    1. Yea…I guess at that point Christian they were so successful…what were you going to do? They weren’t fighting and they still were productive so I guess he thought he would just let them have some fun…

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  4. Very enjoyable to listen to their process. As time has gone on, and thanks to you and Hans, I’ve learned to let up on my judgmentalism towards John and Paul when it comes to George and trust the creative process. None of them would have been who they were without the others musically. George’s lyrics go deep, even from the beginning and even when the songs sounded silly (e.g. Wah-Wah and Savoy Truffle.) I love how tentative he sounds in the process video, walking on egg shells around the other two, but still walking ❤

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    1. If you have time one day….listen to that 19 minute “show”….I thought George would get aggravated at them but he joins in after a while…when George Martin couldn’t do something you hear George Harrison say “wonder what Ron Richards” is doing….he was the producer for the Hollies… great sense of humor.

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      1. I listened to the whole thing before making my comment. Couldn’t hear every word, but their cutting sense of humor came through loud and clear. I have come to believe their silliness was the secret ingredient to the way they were able to get down to business and create their body of work.

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      2. Oh ok…I thought that because of your comment…long day Lisa…I love the silliness of it…it sounds like we did when we all recorded…that is why I could relate to it so much.
        I’m about to head out…I will comment when I finally get home!

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      3. Ah, OK. TGIF! It’s been a long week. It’s beautiful here today. Got the rest of the houseplants in the house and cleared out a lot of junk in the carport and put it in the garage. Not many more days like this one. Later!

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