The Story and Meaning Behind "I Need You," a Breakthrough Song for George Harrison with

Friday, June 14, 2024

George Harrison was undoubtedly playing catchup in The Beatles’ songwriting race to the more experienced duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. His 1965 song “I Need You” represented a significant leap forward in his writing as he became more established in that realm.

What is “I Need You” about? What instrumental effect helped to set it apart? And why was it an important song in Harrison’s songwriting development? Let’s find out all that there is to know about this somewhat unheralded track by the Fab Four.

Considering he was the youngest Beatle, and that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were already writing songs even before the group had a chance to record them, it’s no surprise George Harrison was at a disadvantage in terms of developing as a songwriter. He immediately found a crucial role as the band’s lead guitarist, and, for the first several years of the group’s success, that was enough.

From 1962 to 1964, a time span which encompassed four Beatles albums, Harrison wrote just one song. “Don’t Bother Me,” which was included on the 1963 album With the Beatles (the group’s second LP) sounded like a somewhat rough first try. Harrison later said the song was important for him if for nothing else than it proved he could do it.

Considering that 1964 contained a plethora of newly released Beatles material, and that none of it was attributed to Harrison, it might have seemed at the time he would never again return to songwriting. But then “I Need You” appeared on the soundtrack for Help! and Beatles fans heard a much more confident songwriting voice emanating from Harrison.

Source: Jim Beviglia/


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