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

Your Mother Should Know

Happy Mothers Day. I’m thinking of my mom today…

Paul said about this song: “I was basically trying to say your mother might know more than you think she does. Give her credit.” He also said that the family atmosphere and his Aunty Jin being there influenced it and its music-hall idea. 

Your Mother Should Know

Let’s all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born
Though she was born a long long time ago
Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know

Sing it again

Let’s all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born
Though she was born a long long time ago
Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know

Lift up your hearts and sing me a song
That was a hit before your mother was born
Though she was born a long long time ago
Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know

Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know

Sing it again

Da da dada da da da dada dada dada da da
Da dada da da
Though she was born a long long time ago
Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know

Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know

Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know, yeah

 

 

From Songfacts

As detailed in Beatles In They’re Own Words by Barry Miles, Paul McCartney wrote this at his place on Cavendish Avenue in London on the harmonium in the dining room. His Aunty Jin, Uncle Harry, and other relatives were there, and he just sat and wrote it for a few hours with the door opened so they could all listen from another room. 

This was used in the last scene of the movie Magical Mystery Tour, where the four Beatles dance in tuxedos. Paul McCartney wore a black carnation while the others wore red, fueling rumors that Paul was dead.

Every Mother’s Day, this is still a very popular song. There are surprisingly few contemporary songs with the word “Mother” in the title that are actual tributes to mothers.

The vocals are on the left channel for the first verse, move to the right for the second, then back to the left for the third. The song has an old-fashioned sound to fit with the idea that it’s a favorite of a past generation.

 

 

Beatles – Rain

This song would make my personal top ten of Beatle songs… Rain was the B side to Paperback Writer. Personally, I like this song better. First off the sound was different compared to previous songs…the bass comes through like never before and Ringo’s drumming complimented the bass so well.

They experimented with a new way of recording bass.  This technique involved “using a loudspeaker as a microphone,” explains engineer Geoff Emerick.  “We positioned it directly in front of the bass speaker and the moving diaphragm of the second speaker made the electric current.”

The peaked at #23 in the Billboard 100 in 1966.

Ringo on this recording is outstanding and some think it’s his best moment on record. Personally, I like his playing on A Day In The Life but this one is great.

At the end of the song, the vocals are backward. There are different stories on how this happened. One was that a stoned John took the tape home and put it in backward and was astonished at what he heard and wanted the whole song backward. George Martin remembered it differently: “I was always playing around with tapes,” Martin explains, “and I thought it might be fun to do something extra with John’s voice.  So I lifted a bit of his main vocal off the four-track, put it onto another spool, turned it around and then slid it back and forth until it fitted.  John was out at the time but when he came back he was amazed…They all thought it was marvelous.”

Whichever way it was…it fits this song perfectly

Paul McCartney said this about who wrote the song:

I don’t think he brought the original idea, just when we sat down to write, he kicked it off. Songs have traditionally treated rain as a bad thing and what we got on to was that it’s no bad thing. There’s no greater feeling than the rain dripping down your back. The most interesting thing about it wasn’t the writing, which was tilted 70-30 to John, but the recording of it.

From Songfacts

John Lennon wrote most of “Rain.” It was his first song to get really deep, exploring themes of reality and illusion – after all, rain or shine is just a state of mind.

This was the first song to use a tape played backward, which created the strange audio effect. John Lennon discovered the technique when he put the tape for “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the wrong way. He was stoned at the time, and producer George Martin had to convince him that using a backward recording for the entire song was a bad idea. 

Ringo Starr has said this is his best drumming on a Beatles song.

The backward vocal at the end fade out is actually the songs first line: “When the rain comes they run and hide their heads”.

This was one of the first Beatles records to feature loud, booming bass. McCartney’s bassline is extremely recognizable, in contrast to The Beatles’ older records. 

This was released as the B-side of “Paperback Writer.” It was recorded during the Revolver sessions.

As part of the studio manipulation that gave this song such an unusual sound, the rhythm track was played fast and then slowed down on tape.

The Beatles shot a video for this song with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who was tapped because he worked on the UK music show Ready, Steady,Go!. The videos for “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” were shot at the same time, with some footage recorded at Abbey Road studios, but most of it outdoors at the Chiswick House gardens in London.

These videos were done so The Beatles could promote the single without actually performing on the various TV shows that drew huge audiences and drove sales. In doing so, they set a standard for music videos, as other bands followed suit. The “Rain” video uses many elements that would become commonplace, including candid shots from between takes.

Rain

If the rain comes 
They run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes
If the rain comes

When the sun shines 
They slip into the shade
And sip their lemonade
When the sun shines
When the sun shines

Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine

I can show you 
That when it starts to rain
Everything’s the same
I can show you
I can show you

Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine

Can you hear me
That when it rains and shines
It’s just a state of mind
Can you hear me
Can you hear me

Beatles – Cry For A Shadow

I’ve always liked this instrumental because it is a fun listen. Nothing intricate but just a fun song. Its original name was Beatle Bop. This was not released on any Beatle albums during their time. This was before Brian Epstein and fame.

This instrumental is the only Beatles track to be credited to John Lennon and George Harrison alone (who play rhythm and lead respectively). It was intended as a parody of British rock band The Shadows (Hence the name), whose instrumental music was enjoying success. Whilst Harrison imitates Shadow’s guitarist Hank Marvin’s signature lead sound, McCartney can be heard replicating the style of bassist Jet Harris.

This song was recorded in Hamburg in 1961 when they were backing Tony Sheridan by the name of the Beat Brothers.

This song is one of only two officially released Beatles singles to feature Pete Best on drums. The other is “Ain’t She Sweet,” although it is alleged that a studio drummer “sweetened” the drum parts on this recording for American release. The producer Bert Kaempfert would take away Pete’s bass drum at these sessions and kept him only on the snare because of his timing issues.

From Songfacts

In a 1987 interview with Guitar Player magazine, George Harrison said: “In Hamburg we had to play so long, we actually used to play ‘Apache‘… But John and I were just bulls–tting one day, and he had this new little Rickenbacker with with a funny kind of wobble bar on it. And he started playing that off, and I just came in, and we made it up right on the spot.”

This track features the original Beatles drummer Pete Best, who received some royalties from the song when it was included on the 1995 Anthology collection.

This track was recorded in Hamburg whilst the Beatles performed under the moniker “The Beat Brothers” as a backing band for English singer Tony Sheridan. The track was produced by German big band leader and composer Bert Kaempfert.

Released on Polydor Records, the label declined further recordings from The Beatles, who returned to England, whilst Tony Sheridan stayed in Hamburg. At the request of The Beatles new manager Brian Epstein, Kaempfert dissolved his contract with the band in May 1962.

 

 

Beatles – I’m So Tired

Another gem from the White Album. John Lennon loved to sleep…he referenced it in another song on Revolver named “I’m Only Sleeping.” Paul would have a songwriting session planned with Lennon and would arrive at John’s house only to have to wake him up. I’ve always liked this song and fit perfectly with the diverse song styles of the album.

John wrote this at a transcendental meditation camp in India when he couldn’t sleep. He was meditating day and night, and after three weeks of meditation and lectures by the Maharishi, he thought of his future wife Yoko Ono while his current wife Cynthia was there with him.  and came up with the song. He even thought of inviting Yoko with him along with Cynthia… that would have added some spice to the trip. Bringing a date on a trip with your wife…probably a bad idea.

John mumbles something at the end of the song.

Mark Lewisohn’s book “The Beatles Recording Sessions” explains this final bit of Lennon mumbling as “Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?“, insinuating that he was requesting another attempt at the backing vocals.  This final mumbling was the only one that made it onto the finished mix.

In 1969 when the “Paul is dead” rumor went around the world people insisted  when the mumbling at the end of this song was played backward, John was saying “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him!”  This made for yet another clue for the poor departed Paul …but of course was not true and Paul was and is very much alive… but it did ruin a lot of record player needles in the process of trying to find out.

John said this about the song: “One of my favorite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well“.

From Songfacts

The voice at the end sounds like, “Paul is dead man, miss him,” when played backward. This helped fuel rumors that McCartney was dead and replaced by an actor that looked like him.

The line “When I hold you in my arms, and feel my finger on your trigger” from “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” appears in bootlegged, unreleased versions of this song as “When I hold you in your arms, when you show each one of your charms, I wonder should I get up and go to the funny farm.” 

The word “get” as used in this song is a well-known term as a quite mild insult that is still commonly used on Merseyside. Lennon is cursing Sir Walter Raleigh (who is credited with introducing tobacco to Britain from America in the 16th century) for indirectly getting him hooked on cigarettes.

At the bottom below the lyrics, I found a version of Paul singing the song and having a good time. It possibly is from the Let It Be sessions…I’m not sure.

I’m So Tired

I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink
I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink
No, no, no.

I’m so tired, I don’t know what to do
I’m so tired, my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do

You’d say I’m putting you on
But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm
You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain
You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane
You know I’d give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

I’m so tired, I’m feeling so upset
Although I’m so tired, I’ll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid get.

You’d say I’m putting you on
But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm
You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain
You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane
You know I’d give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

Give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

I’d give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

Beatles – It’s All Too Much

A George Harrison song that was inspired by… Pattie Boyd of course. It was on perhaps the worst Beatle album, the soundtrack to Yellow Submarine. This one I have always liked. The intro is psychedelic with an awesome loud guitar with an organ following. It’s not George’s or the Beatles best song but it fits well on the album and film. Like many Beatle songs…any other band would have featured this song more prominently on an album but the Beatles just stuck it on the soundtrack they didn’t care much about at the time.

Harrison said in 1999 that Paul McCartney played the screaming intro guitar on this song and John Lennon supplied the guitar feedback, allowing George to be free to concentrate only on vocals during the recording of this song.

The Beatles recorded this at De Lane Lea Recording Studios instead of Abbey Road because they were booked at the time.

From Songfacts

A verse was edited out of album version, cutting time from 8 minutes to 6. The full version appears in film Yellow Submarine.

This was by far the longest Beatles song until “Hey Jude” was recorded over a year later. 

The line, “With your long blond hair and your eyes of blue” was taken from the song “Sorrow,” originally recorded by the McCoys but popularly covered by The Merseys in 1966 and David Bowie in 1973.

It’s All Too Much

It’s all too much, it’s all too much

When I look into your eyes, your love is there for me
And the more I go inside, the more there is to see

It’s all too much for me to take
The love that’s shining all around you
Everywhere, it’s what you make
For us to take, it’s all too much

Floating down the stream of time, of life to life with me
Makes no difference where you are or where you’d like to be

It’s all too much for me to take
The love that’s shining all around here
All the world’s a birthday cake
So take a piece but not too much

Set me on a silver sun, for I know that I’m free
Show me that I’m everywhere, and get me home for tea

It’s all to much for me to see
A love that’s shining all around here
The more I am, the less I know
And what I do is all too much

It’s all too much for me to take
The love that’s shining all around you
Everywhere, it’s what you make
For us to take, it’s all too much

It’s too much, it’s too much

Too much, too much, too much

Beatles – All I’ve Got To Do

You won’t find this song on a greatest hits package or hear it on the radio. The Beatles never performed the song live throughout their career and it’s a shame but it was an embarrassment of riches for them. It was one of my first favorite songs from them.

This song was written by John Lennon but of course, credited to Lennon-McCartney. This is where John’s voice cuts through everything and when the harmonies kick in on “All I Got To Do” I’m hooked. The song acted as filler on the album but it is way above a filler song. Any other group would have pushed this song.

 

John Lennon said: “I had the image of walking down the street and seeing her silhouetted in the window and not answering the ‘phone, although I have never called a girl on the ‘phone in my life! Because ‘phones weren’t part of the English child’s life.”

He also said, “That’s me trying to do Smokey Robinson again.”

All I’ve Got To Do

Whenever I want you around, yeah
All I gotta do
Is call you on the phone
And you’ll come running home, yeah
That’s all I gotta do.

And when I, I wanna kiss you, yeah
All I gotta do
Is whisper in your ear
The words you long to hear
And I’ll be kissing you

And the same goes for me
Whenever you want me at all
I’ll be here yes I will
Whenever you call
You just gotta call on me, yeah
You just gotta call on me

And when I, I wanna kiss you, yeah
All I got to do
Is call you on the phone
And you’ll come running home, yeah
That’s all I gotta do.

And the same goes for me
Whenever you want me at all
I’ll be here, yes I will
Whenever you call
You just gotta call on me
You just gotta call on me.

Oh, you just gotta call on me