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"If I Needed Someone"

Categories: Beatles songs

'Songwriting for me', said George Harrison, the composer of "If I Needed Someone", 'Was a bit frightening because John and Paul had been writing since they were three years old. It was hard to come in suddenly and write songs'.

I've always really respected him for sticking to it and doing it his way, when it would have been the easiest thing in the world to've called in one of his 'senior partners' to lend a hand. Credit, too, to Len/Mac for resisting the temptation to muscle in with a few suggestions.

This one comes in flying, and maintains the pace all the way. The ringing Rickenbacker "Bells Of Rhymney" intro was dedicated and credited to The Byrds' McGuinn by sending him an advance recording, though our Georgie probably wasn't sure whether to address it to 'Roger' or 'Jim' at the time. Omitted from Capitol's Rubber Soul release, it was eventually issued in America on "Yesterday"... And Today". It was the only one of his own songs that George ever got to play live with The Beatles (if never too successfully) and it remained a stage fave throughout his solo career.

"If I Needed Someone" is such a bold statement that the 'but I don't' pay-off doesn't even need saying. That double-tracked vocal positively oozes confidence, boosted further by the intertwining harmonies: those exquisitely elongated aaaaaahhhhhs and the final "carve your number" still get me in the gut every time!

"Too much in love", on the verge of tying the knot with Pattie, the message could have been intended as a "Don't Bother Me" to all the girls who had/would have happily hopped into bed with him. Or, perhaps, it was a further warning to those who needed to think for themselves.

Whatever the case, Little George was clearly beginning to demonstrate that he was well grown-up enough to find his own way through life: and if he did need someone to help him to understand its mysteries, he knew whose numbers to call from his wall. Baby Beatle's continually expanding consciousness had him starting to find himself an increasingly influential figure amongst his peers: within and without the band.
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