Beatles – Got To Get You Into My Life

This song still sounds fresh today. Got To Get You Into My Life was on Revolver released in 1966. It was not released as a single at the time. Any other band would have released it as a single.

In 1976 it was released as a single and peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100…not bad for a song that was 10 years old. It was released off of the horribly packaged compilation album Rock and Roll Music. Capital Records seemed to forget The Beatles represented the 60s, not the 50s that the album cover represented. They probably wanted to capitalize on the 50s revival that was going on at the time… Bad Choice.

I owned this album and Hey Jude Again for my first exposure to the Beatles.

Image result for beatles rock and roll music gate fold albumRelated image

There is a 5 piece horn section on this recording that sounds great. Paul McCartney has said the song was about pot…

“’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.  It didn’t seem to have too many side effects like alcohol or some of the other stuff, like pills, which I pretty much kept off.  I kind of liked marijuana.  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.  It wouldn’t be the first time in history someone’s done it, but in my case it was the first flush of pot.”

From Songfacts

This beatific love song is actually about marijuana. Paul McCartney cleared this up in his 1998 book Many Years From Now when he explained that it was not about a particular person, but his desire to smoke 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,” he said.

There are no obvious drug references in the song, so it appears to be about a guy who is blissfully in love:

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

A British rock group called Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers released this song as a single around the same time it appeared on the The Beatles Revolver album. Bennett & The Rebel Rousers were an opening act for The Beatles on their European tour in early 1966; since there were no plans to release “Got To Get You Into My Life” as a single, Paul McCartney encouraged them to record it and produced the session.

Revolver appeared on August 5, 1966 and the Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers version of this song showed up on the UK chart for the first time on August 17, rising to #6 on September 21. It ended up being the biggest hit for the group, which made #9 in 1964 with “One Way Love.”

Session musicians played trumpets and sax. It was the first time horns were used in a Beatles song.

Earth, Wind & Fire recorded a funky new version for the 1978 movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Beatles producer George Martin was in charge of the music, and the soundtrack was a success, but the movie, which starred Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees and Aerosmith, was a huge flop. Earth, Wind & Fire’s version of this hit #9 in the US.

The first group to chart with this song was Blood, Sweat & Tears, whose horn-heavy version made #62 in the summer of 1975. The Beatles version wasn’t issued as a single until 1976, when Capitol Records issued it in America backed with “Helter Skelter.”

This version went to #7 in July that year, becoming the first Beatles song to chart in the US since 1970. Later in 1976, Capitol issued “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” which made #49.

John Lennon thought this was some of McCartney’s best work.

In the ’60s, Joe Pesci was an aspiring singer known as Joe Ritchie. He recorded a version of this that can be found on Rhino’s “Golden Throat” Series. His version merits the “Stick to Acting” award. >>

This song rarely licensed for movies or TV. The only time the Beatles rendition was used in a film is the 2015 movie Minions, where it plays under the end credits. In 2009, a version by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs appeared in the Eddie Murphy movie Imagine That, and in 2013 Kurt Hummel and Chris Colfer sang it on the “Love, Love, Love” episode of the TV series Glee.

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

You didn’t run, you didn’t hide
And had you gone, you knew in time
We’d meet again for I had told you
Ooh, you were meant to be near me
Ooh, 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
Ooh, then I suddenly see you
Ooh, did I tell you I need you
Every single day of my life
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
Ooh, then I suddenly see you
Ooh, did I tell you I need you
Every single day

Beatles – She Said, She Said

Love the guitar sound and the brilliant bridge to this song. The song was inspired by the actor Peter Fonda, who was on an acid trip along with George Harrison and John Lennon while they were together in a mansion in California. Accounts vary as to how events unfolded, but there is a consensus that Fonda kept saying “I know what it’s like to be dead,” which ended up being a key line in the lyric.

George said: “I don’t know how, but Peter Fonda was there.  He kept saying, ‘I know what it’s like to be dead, because I shot myself.’  He’d accidentally shot himself at some time and he was showing us his bullet wound.  He was very uncool.”

This is one Beatle song that Paul did not play on. He got in an argument with the rest of them and walked out the door before they recorded it so George Harrison is playing bass. The song was on Revolver which is considered by many the best album the Beatles produced…and by some the best by anyone.

From Songfacts

At this time, Harrison, Lennon and Starr were just starting to experiment with LSD. While The Beatles were on tour in Los Angeles, they rented a house and threw the party. By Fonda’s account, Harrison was having a bad trip, so he tried to settle the guitarist by telling him that he had nothing do be afraid of, and that he know what it’s like to be dead because he shot himself in the stomach when he was 10 years old and nearly died.

In his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said that he was trying to take in the beauty of the girls and the atmosphere, and Fonda kept coming over and whispering, “I know what it’s like to be dead, man.” Lennon found this creepy and annoying, but the incident stuck with him and inspired one of the most psychedelic Beatles songs.

John Lennon originally wrote the song as “He Said He Said” because the line came from Peter Fonda, but it didn’t sound right, so he changed it to “She.”

This song marks an interesting spot on the Beatles timeline, as it was the first time and LSD experience directly influenced a song. They could be wildly creative on acid, but it caused a rift in the band as McCartney initially abstained. It also led many fans to listen with an ear for drug references, leading to some misguided interpretations of their songs.

Paul McCartney didn’t play on this track, as during the recording he found himself at odds with his bandmates. George Harrison played the bass part.

The Beatles recorded this in nine hours during the last session for Revolver.

She Said She Said

She said “I know what it’s like to be dead
I know what it is to be sad.”
And she’s making me feel like I’ve never been born

I said “Who put all those things in your hair
Things that make me feel that I’m mad
And you’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.”

She said “You don’t understand what I said.”
I said “No, no, no, you’re wrong
When I was a boy everything was right
Everything was right.”

I said “Even though you know what you know
I know that I’m ready to leave
‘Cause you’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.”

She said “You don’t understand what I said.”
I said “No, no, no, you’re wrong
When I was a boy everything was right
Everything was right.”

I said “Even though you know what you know
I know that I’m ready to leave
‘Cause you’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.”

She said “I know what it’s like to be dead
I know what it is to be sad
I know what it’s like to be dead…”

Beatles – The Night Before

This is a hidden gem that was never released as a single in America. I first heard this on the Rock and Roll Music compilation album. Paul wrote this song (John and Paul both confirmed this) and his voice and melody are strong. He wrote it in the family home of his current girlfriend Jane Asher where Paul was living.

The song was originally on the “Help!” soundtrack and the album showed the growth the band was making. It’s not among the masterpieces of the Beatles but a very good pop/rock song. John Lennon is playing the electric keyboard (Hohner Pianet) on this song. The Beatles performed this on the Salisbury Plain in their second film, Help!. The album was released in 1965.

Lennon said that Paul and George played the same solo together but in different octaves.

The Night Before

We said our goodbyes, ah, the night before.
Love was in your eyes, ah, the night before.
Now today I find you have changed your mind.
Treat me like you did the night before. 

Were you telling lies, ah, the night before?
Was I so unwise, ah, the night before?
When I held you near you were so sincere.
Treat me like you did the night before. 

Last night is a night I will remember you by.
When I think of things we did it makes me want to cry. 

We said our goodbye, ah, the night before.
Love was in your eyes, ah, the night before.
Now today I find you have changed your mind.
Treat me like you did the night before. 

When I held you near you were so sincere.
Treat me like you did the night before. 

Last night is a night I will remember you by.
When I think of things we did it makes me want to cry. 

Were you telling lies, ah, the night before?
Was I so unwise, ah, the night before?
When I held you near you were so sincere.
Treat me like you did the night before,
Like the night before.

 

 

Beatles – And Your Bird Can Sing

Some songs I have to listen to a few times to like and some the first time. This one was love at first listen. It’s not a masterpiece by the Beatles but if you like catchy guitar riff driven songs then you can’t go wrong with this one. The song was written primarily by John. He described it as “a horror” and “throwaway.” I disagree with John…

The song was released on the UK version of Revolver and the “Yesterday and Today” compilation in America in 1966.

George Harrison said  “I think it was Paul and me, or maybe John and me, playing in harmony,” it’s “quite a complicated little line that goes through the middle-eight.” Most people agree that it is George and Paul playing the riff together.

The song was never released as a single. I think it perfectly encapsulates the mid-sixties sound.

John or Paul never said what the song was really about or what inspired it. Fans have speculated that the “bird” was Mick Jagger’s then-girlfriend Mariane Faithful…but unless Paul opens up about it…even if he knows… we will never know.

I’ve always remembered the Joe Walsh story about this song…He said he worked for weeks to master this solo by himself. Only to find out later that it was two guitars playing the riff, not one after Ringo told him.

The dual guitar solo rates in at #69 on the “100 Greatest Guitar Solos” list done by Rolling Stone magazine.

And Can Your Bird Can See

You say you’ve got everything you want
And your bird can sing
But you don’t get me
You don’t get me

You say you’ve seen the seven wonders
And you bird is green
But you can’t see me
You can’t see me

When your prized possessions
Start to weigh you down
Look in my direction
I’ll be round, I’ll be round

When your bird is broken
Will it bring you down
You may be awoken
I’ll be round, I’ll be round

You tell me that you’ve heard every sound there is
And your bird can swing
But you can’t hear me
You can’t hear me

 

Helter Skelter

Bono once said before playing the song  “This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles, well we’re stealin’ it back.” Charles Manson did, in fact, hijack the song from the Beatles. The song is about an amusement park attraction (not a coded message to Charlie). A “Helter Skelter” is an amusement ride popularized mostly in the U.K. with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower. Paul McCartney read an interview with Pete Townshend saying that the Who just recorded the loudest, rawest and dirtiest song ever…well it was “I Can See For Miles.” A great song… but not what Townshend described it as exactly…

Paul then started to write a song that fit that description and went above it. Helter Skelter was recorded with all four Beatles in studio two with their amps on 11. It’s a great brutal hard rock song. It is one of the rawest songs ever released by a well-known band at that time. If I hear someone call the Beatles only a pop band…I just point them to this song. Covers of this song range from Motley Crue who despite their image their version sounds like a light pop song compared to this, Pat Benatar version is not up to this one…U2’s version tries but no version gets close to the Beatles version in rawness. Some credit this song as one of the inspirations of Heavy Metal…

This song fits great on the White Album. The album is the most diverse the Beatles ever made. On the same album, you have Helter Skelter, Rocky Racoon, Sexy Sadie, Honey Pie, Back In The USSR, Blackbird, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Revolution Nine and many more.

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again

Yeah, yeah, yeah, heh, heh, heh, heh
But do you, don’t you want me to love you?
I’m (Ahhh) coming down fast but I’m miles above you
(Ahhh) Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer

Well, you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer
Now
Helter skelter

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Yeah!
Woo!, hoo!

A Will you, won’t you want me to make you?
(Ahhh)
I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you
(Ahhh)

Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer

Look out!
Helter skelter
Helter skelter

 

Beatles – Hey Bulldog

The Beatles recorded this while they were filming the promotional video for “Lady Madonna.” Since they had to be in a studio while filming, Paul McCartney thought they should record a song. This is a nice rocking song written by Lennon. The original name was “Hey Bullfrog” but Paul barked at the end and made John Lennon laugh. They kept in the barking and changed the title, even though there is no mention of a bulldog in the verses or chorus.

John said Hey Bulldog was “a good sounding record that means nothing.” This song would not be out of place today. It is one of the few Beatle songs that gets overlooked and underplayed.

Geoff Emerick, the engineer describes the events of this session. “Even though it was destined to be given to the ‘Yellow Submarine’ film, ‘Hey Bulldog’ was a really strong song. The vibe that day was great… all four Beatles were in an exceptionally good mood because they knew they would be heading to India in a matter of days.  Despite the fact that there was a film crew underfoot, it was a Sunday session, so things were quite relaxed – the Abbey Road complex was largely deserted, and The Beatles could wander around the corridors if they wanted to.”

Dave Grohl played the song with Jeff Lynne in 2014 in a tribute to the Beatles after the Grammys.

From Songfacts

This was the first recording session to which John Lennon brought Yoko.

This was the last song The Beatles recorded before leaving for a retreat in India to study meditation with the Maharishi.

John Lennon called this “a good sounding record that means nothing.” Musically, it has some interesting nuances. The middle part contains an interesting example of Lennon’s polyphonic technique: The piano in the background does not follow the singer. Near the end of the song, Lennon talks while accompanied by the music, which could be considered a forerunner to Rap. In the climax, Lennon starts shouting, and the others follow. They scream like mad while the guitar in the background plays the same notes again and again as if nothing has happened.

Hey Bulldog

Sheepdog, standing in the rain
Bullfrog, doing it again
Some kind of happiness is
Measured out in miles
What makes you think you’re
Something special when you smile

Childlike no one understands
Jackknife in your sweaty hands
Some kind of innocence is
Measured out in years
You don’t know what it’s like
To listen to your fears

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
You can talk to me
If you’re lonely, you can talk to me

Big man (yeah) walking in the park
Wigwam frightened of the dark
Some kind of solitude is
Measured out in you
You think you know me, but you haven’t got a clue

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
You can talk to me
If you’re lonely, you can talk to me

Hey hey

Roar

Hey, bulldog (hey bulldog)

Woof

Hey, bulldog
Hey, bulldog
Hey, bulldog

Hey man

Whats up brother? 

Roof

What do ya say

I say, roof

You know any more? 

Ah ah (you got it, that’s it, you had it)
That’s it man, wo ho, that’s it, you got it 

Woah

Look at me man, I only had ten children

Ah ah ah ah ah ah ha ha ha ha
Quiet, quiet (ok)
Quiet
Hey, bulldog, hey bulldog

Beatles – I Am the Walrus

I first heard this when I was a kid and I tried wrapping my brain around it. It starts with a siren-like sound and dives into chaos…my favorite place. John famously said he wrote the first line on an acid trip on one weekend and the second line on another acid trip the next weekend and filled in the rest after he met Yoko.

This was the first song recorded after Beatle’s manager Brian Epstein’s death in 1967. After John first sang the song to Beatle’s producer George Martin…the did this before they worked on their songs so George could get a feel for it. George  said: “Well, John, to be honest, I have only one question:  What the hell do you expect me to do with that?” John was not happy about it but after being played a song with two notes… and singing about a Walrus and Eggman…you can’t really blame him.

The song was the B side to the Hello, Goodbye. I think…as well as John the A side should have been I Am the Walrus.

I Am the Walrus

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
See how they fly
I’m crying 

Sitting on a cornflake
Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you’ve been a naughty boy
You let your face grow long

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’ joob

Mr. City policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I’m crying
I’m crying, I’m crying, I’m crying

Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog’s eye
Crabalocker fishwife
Pornographic priestess
Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl
You let your knickers down

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’ joob

Sitting in an English garden
Waiting for the sun
If the sun don’t come you get a tan
From standing in the English rain

I am the eggman 
(“How do you do sir”)
They are the eggmen 
(“The man maintains a fortune”)
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’ joob Goo Goo Goo g’ joob

Expert, texpert choking smokers
Don’t you think the joker laughs at you
(Ho ho ho hee hee hee hah hah hah)
See how they smile like pigs in a sty
See how they snide
I’m crying

Semolina Pilchard
Climbing up the Eiffel tower
Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna
Man, you should have seen them kicking
Edgar Allen Poe

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’ joob
Goo goo goo g’ joob
Goo goo g’ joob
Goo goo goo g’ joob 
Goo goo
Juba juba juba
Juba juba juba
Juba juba juba
Juba juba

(Oh I’m tired, servicible villain
Set you down father, rest you)