Words Into A Paper Cup logo

"Think For Yourself"

Categories: Beatles songs

Paul's buzzin' 'Fuzz Bass' launches us headlong into the song and drives us through it, though "Think For Yourself" is a hundred per cent Harrison composition.

I've got a word or two
To say about the things that you do...

With his lysergically liberated consciousness, The Quiet One was evidently more than ready to eloquently expound upon the state of society as he saw it, and to point an accusing finger at its deceits and false standards. Directed specifically at "probably the government", it's a scathing attack:

Although your mind's opaque,
Try thinking more,
If just for your own sake!

The times are changin' faster — though there is still some hope of redemption:

The future still looks good,
And you've got time to rectify
All the things that you should.

But if you don't, then don't count on me anymore...

Like "The Word" of Lennon which follows it (on the UK version of Rubber Soul, at least), "Think For Yourself" is an exemplary early draft of that whole sixties counterculture philosophy. Having 'turned on' (to acid) and 'tuned in' (to what goes on within you and without you) the only possible conclusion to be drawn is — if not to 'drop out' — then at least to distance yourself from all the bullshit, "lies" and "misery" of the old establishment.

I left you far behind
The ruins of the life that you had in mind!

Musically, it's every bit as caustic. I've never been quite sure what the definition of acid rock actually is, but this toon is as trippy as hell, and man does it rock!

A great thing about all George vocal tracks is the added scope they gave John and Paul in the harmonies department, and they really stretched themselves for him on this one, if just for their own sake! Just an acapella interlude would be all it took to deMeanify Pepperland in the Yellow Sub movie.

The aforementioned 'Fuzz Bass' sound was achieved by running Paul's habitual Hofner through a then newly-invented gadget called a fuzzbox. It's counterpointed by an un-effected parallel bassline — another studio stunt which would clearly be impossible to reproduce in a live context. George's fiery guitar, mind you, gives both of 'em a run for their money: and Ringo's percussion, switching between tambourine and maracas, coupled with his killer drum-fills, heighten the insistency of the ultimatum.

Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to,
Think for yourself
'Cos I won't be there with you!
Right now on eBay: Beatles vinyl

See more for sale...

You might also like...

Buy from Amazon: Beatles vinyl