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"Got to Get You into My Life" is a song by The Beatles, first released in 1966 on the album Revolver. Written by Paul McCartney (though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney), it made prominent use of a brass section. A cover version by Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers peaked at number six in 1966.
The Beatles' version was released in the United States as a single from the Rock 'n' Roll Music compilation album in 1976, a decade after its initial release and six years after The Beatles split up. It reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, The Beatles' last top ten hit there until their 1995 release "Free as a Bird".
Composition and recording[edit | edit source]
Though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney, McCartney was primarily responsible for the writing of the song, to which he also contributed lead vocals. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between 7 April and 17 June 1966 and evolved considerably between the first takes and the final version released on album. The song seems to have been hard to arrange until the soul-style horns, strongly reminiscent of the Stax Records' Memphis soul and Motown sound, were introduced. The brass was close-miked in the bells of the instruments then put through a limiter. The percussion instrument most predominant is the overdubbed tambourine.
The song starts with a blaring brass fanfare, McCartney's vocals entering at 0:07. The chorus of the song appears at 1:04, with the song's title sung. The song then switches between a verse and the refrain. A short electric guitar solo that is nearly identical to the riff from Paperback Writer appears at 1:53 and at 2:10 the horn fanfare re-enters. The song closes with fading vocals of McCartney, much akin to the soul records of the time. The mono and stereo mixes of the recording feature completely different ad libs in the fade-out - the presence of a second vocal track is also far more subtle for most of the mono version. Backing vocals were recorded early but later eliminated.
In Barry Miles' 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, McCartney disclosed that the song was about marijuana."'Got to Get You into My Life' was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot... So it's really a song about that, it's not to a person." Many lyrics from the song suggest this: "I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there / Another road where maybe I could see some other kind of mind there.",'"What can I do? What can I be? When I'm with you, I want to stay there / If I am true, I will never leave and if I do, I'll know the way there." "It's actually an ode to pot," McCartney explained, "like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret."
Reception[edit | edit source]
Thomas Ward of Allmusic said, "McCartney’s always been a great vocalist, and this is perhaps the best example of his singing on Revolver. One of the overlooked gems on the album." When asked about the song in his 1980 Playboy interview, John Lennon said, "Paul's again. I think that was one of his best songs, too."
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Paul McCartney – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar (Epiphone 230TD Casino), Bass Guitar (Rickenbacker 4001S)
- John Lennon – Rhythm Guitar (Epiphone 230TD Casino), Hammond Organ
- George Harrison – Lead Guitar (1961 Fender Stratocaster)
- Ringo Starr – Drums, Tambourine
- Eddie Thornton – Trumpet
- Ian Hamer – Trumpet
- Les Condon – Trumpet
- Alan Branscombe – Tenor Saxophone
- Peter Coe – Tenor Saxophone
- Personnel per Ian MacDonald; MacDonald was unsure if Lennon played the rhythm guitar part.
Earth, Wind & Fire version[edit | edit source]
Earth, Wind & Fire remade the song for the 1978 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band soundtrack. They released it as a single and included it on their album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1. Their version reached number 1 on the Soul singles chart and number nine on the Hot 100 singles chart. It has since been included on Come Together.
The song won a Grammy Award for Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist and also garnered a Grammy nomination for Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Reception[edit | edit source]
"Got to Get You into My Life" sold over one million copies, enough for the Recording Industry Association of America to certify it gold.
Cover versions[edit | edit source]
- The Earth, Wind & Fire version mentioned above.
- Chicago performed this song live on tour in the 1970s as an encore with Peter Cetera on vocals.
- Ali Campbell covered the song on his 2010 album Great British Songs.
- Australian rock band Koritni covered the song on their debut album Lady Luck, released in 2007.
Other versions[edit | edit source]
- Johnny Hallyday with a stunning French version "Je veux te graver dans ma vie" (1966).
- Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers
- The Four Tops on the album "Soul Spin"
- Blood, Sweat & Tears
- Diana Ross & The Supremes
- Thelma Houston with Pressure Cooker
- Syesha Mercado of American Idol
- Courtney Murphy of Australian Idol
- Matt Corby of Australian Idol
- Daniel Johnston
- BUCK Enterprises
- Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs from the soundtrack of the movie Imagine That
- Ella Fitzgerald
- Jazz Detectives
- Joe Pesci on the album "Vegas Goodfellas"
- The Baby Dolls (Hollywood Records 1111) US 7" single
- Chris Clark (Motown Records)