Harrison's guitar fades in to introduce "I Want To Tell You", his last song on Revolver
, joined by Paul's pounding piano and the drums: with Ringo sounding like he'd exchanged his sticks for a pair of sledgehammers. While Macca's overdubbed bass provides some of his most solid work on the entire LP, John's only instrumental contribution was the insistent tambourine.
The lyric is about George's frustration at his inability to adequately express his ideas:All those words they seem to slip away...
Mind you, given his input on the album and his growing influence both within and without the group, all things Indian coming to the fore, it does seem like he was starting to get it together. Perhaps it was the importance of what he was wanting to communicate which was making the right words so difficult to find, amidst the hang-ups and head games that drag all of us down. His frustration at not always being able to live up to his high ideals also rings out:If I seem to act unkind,
It's only me, it's not my mind
That is confusing things.
Dear George: how the world misses your open honesty and humility.
While there's little Eastern spice in its rocky pop flavour (John and Paul actually come closest with their final, spiralling "I've got time"), inevitable traces of his new-found fascination with Hindu philosophy do filter through, ideas of eternity and reincarnation which prevailed through his lifetime:I'll make you, maybe, next time around...I could wait forever, I've got time...
While Ted Nugent's cover most certainly picked up on the song's heavy qualities, I'm not sure quite how much he grasped its lyrical subtleties. Harri later played it live — with a little help from his friends — and The Grateful Dead also incorporated it into their sets.