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"I Need You" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1965 album Help! It is the second George Harrison song the band released[2] after two albums without any songwriting contribution from Harrison. It was performed in their second film, Help! (1965), and is the second video produced showing George Harrison singing lead vocal (after "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" from A Hard Day's Night).

"I Need You"
I need you sheet music.jpg
Cover of the song's sheet music
Song by the Beatles
from the album Help!
PublishedNorthern Songs
Released6 August 1965
Recorded15–16 February 1965,
EMI Studios, London
GenrePop rock[1]
Songwriter(s)George Harrison
Producer(s)George Martin



The song was recorded on 15 and 16 February 1965.[3] This was the first recording session for the group in 1965 and included two others, "Ticket to Ride" and "Another Girl", both of which were also included on the Help! album. The song is often assumed to be addressing Harrison's relationship with Pattie Boyd, whom he had met in March 1964 while filming A Hard Day's Night[2] (they married in January 1966).[4]

Some Beatles biographers have claimed that Harrison wrote it in the Bahamas while separated from Boyd (during the filming of Help!), but the Bahamas scenes in the film weren't shot until the week after the song was recorded.[5]

Musical characteristics and recordingEdit

The song is in A major (actually a little less than half a semitone below A, as were "Ticket to Ride" and "Another Girl", also recorded that day). The recording's distinctive lead guitar cadences were achieved through Harrison's first recorded use of a volume pedal[2][3] (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.[1]

An interesting feature is the use of an imperfect cadence (resolving on A Major) in the climax of the bridge (on "I just can't go on anymore") which uses II (B7) and V (E7) chords.[6] Many such aspects of the song are developed in Harrison's song "If I Needed Someone" on the group's next album, Rubber Soul.


George Martin kept notes during the session that documented the unusual arrangement, which was:

Personnel per George Martin, quoted in Ryan and Kehew [7]

Cover versionsEdit


  1. ^ a b Pollack 1992.
  2. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, pp. 145–146.
  3. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 54.
  4. ^ Harry 2000, p. 199.
  5. ^ Steve Turner & "The Beatles A Hard Days Write" (The Stories Behind Every Song), p. 119.
  6. ^ Dominic Pedler. Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. Omnibus Press, London 2003 p 95.
  7. ^ Ryan & Kehew 2006, p. 389.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Concert for George". Retrieved 3 January 2015.


External linksEdit