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The Beatles Wiki
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I Need You is a Beatles song on the album Help!. It is the second George Harrison song the band recorded[1] after two albums without any songwriting contribution from Harrison. The song was performed in their second film, Help!.

Composition and recording[]

The song, simple in arrangement, was recorded on 15 and 16 February 1965.[2] It is commonly thought to address Harrison's relationship with Pattie Boyd, whom he had met in March 1964 while filming A Hard Day's Night.[1] (They married in January 1966.)[3]

The recording's distinctive lead guitar cadences, achieved by Harrison's first recorded use of a volume pedal,[1][2] are based on common guitar suspended chords in the key of A, forming the introduction and most of the verse of the song and giving a quasi-modal effect that is 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.[4] Many such aspects of the song are developed in Harrison's song "If I Needed Someone" on the group's next album, Rubber Soul.


Credits per George Martin's handwritten notes

Other versions[]

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played the song in tribute to Harrison at 2002's Concert for George.[5]

Les Fradkin has an instrumental version on his 2005 release While My Guitar Only Plays.

On their 2009 release The Whirlwind, |Transatlantic released a mashup of Harrison's composition and the song of the same name by the band America.


  • This is the first released song since "Don't Bother Me" to be written and sung by George.
  • John plays drums on this song instead of Ringo


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised Edition ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). pp. 145–146. ISBN 1-844-13828-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions . New York: Harmony Books. p. 54. ISBN 0-517-57066-1. 
  3. Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated . London: Virgin Publishing. p. 199. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2. 
  4. Alan W. Pollack's Notes On "I Need You"
  5. Template:Cite album-notes