I Need You (2:27)

Cover of Help!

From Help! and 15 other releases

“I Need You” is a Beatles song on the album Help!. It is the second George Harrison song the band released after two albums without any songwriting contribution from Harrison. The song was performed in their second film, Help!.

The song, simple in arrangement, was recorded on 15 and 16 February 1965. It is commonly thought to address Harrison’s relationship with Pattie Boyd, whom he had met in March 1964 while filming A Hard Day’s Night. (They married in January 1966.)

The recording’s distinctive lead guitar cadences, achieved by Harrison’s first recorded use of a volume pedal, are based on common guitar suspended chords in the key of A, forming the introduction and most of the verse of the song and giving a quasi-modal effect that is relieved in the verse by a line in the relative minor (with a simple backing harmony from Lennon and McCartney), the whole making a fourteen-bar ternary verse-structure. This, after a repeat, segues easily into a second, bridge melody that introduces a cowbell for contrast and is based on a simple IV-V-I chord progression that passes through the dominant key to resolve back on the verse. Many such aspects of the song are developed in Harrison’s song “If I Needed Someone” on the group’s next album, Rubber Soul.

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