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"I Need You"

Categories: Beatles songs

And so, out on the the wild and windswept Wiltshire plains, complete with military 'bodyguards', our intrepid heroes prepare to record the record that they have to record: "I Need You". It's young Master H who takes centre field: furthermore, with his first composition since With The Beatles. Mind you, I don't think he was actually addressing the title to the soldier boys — it was, after all, our Ringo who really required the protection. At least he got a little more here than he'd had in Montreal the previous year, where he'd received real death threats. Ringo, of all of 'em, fer cryin' out loud?!!

The wistful romanticism of the lyric was probably a straightforward hymn to Pattie, seemingly aimed to patch up a difference of opinion:

Said you had a thing or two to tell me,
How was I to know you would upset me?
I didn't realize as I looked in your eyes,
I need you.

An oddly prophetic feel to those words, bearing in mind the way their marriage would wind up... The pleas are lilted along lovingly by George's wah-wah effect with his volume/tone pedal: conspicuously absent as they mime along in the movie, but far more sensitively applied than in its appearance on "Yes It Is" — pretty well contemporary, and also on Love Songs.

In contrast to that of the the British armed forces, the back-up from his bandmates is rock solid. Ringo's trusty cowbell leaves Paul to come up with some subtle twists in the subplot, also sharing some sweetly solid harmonies with the diligently strumming John. Interesting, too, to see the Stonehenge Circle in the background, destined to become an authentic Hippie shrine...

This little gem of a song should really have been 'the record that they had to record' — as the flipside for "Ticket To Ride", in place of the aforementioned "Yes It Is". Tom Petty played it at the Concert For George: if anyone can find the footage, please add the vid — "I Need You"!
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