The Hollies: If I Needed Someone (1965)

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The Hollies: If I Needed Someone (1965)

As we know the Beatles were great borrowers, stealers and adapters. From old rock'n'roll (Run For Your Life, I'm Down) to current Dylan (You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, Norwegian Wood) and Northern soul (Got to Get You Into My Life) they would listen, take an influence and reshape it in their own image.

When you listen to the first version of Rain it was a pure slice of Searchers jangle pop . . . but slowed to half speed and with Lennon's lyrics, and a backward section it became something else. It became a Beatles' classic . . .  on a B-side.


When people first heard George Harrison's If I Needed Someone on Rubber Soul there would be few who didn't think, “Hmmm, the Hollies?”

Certainly the Hollies thought so and, having heard the acetate, happily covered it.

Regrettably for them it failed to make the top reaches of the British charts as their previous songs had.

It appeared on the same day as Rubber Soul was released.

The general public weren't the only ones unmoved by it, Harrison hated the Hollies' version and dismissed it publicly as “rubbish” and sneered that it “sounds like session men who've just got together in the studio without ever seeing each other before”.


And that was a slight the Hollies' singer Graham Nash never forgot and blamed Harrison for the single's lack of success.

In 2013 Nash – who had left the Hollies a few years after that song – was still smarting: “Pardon me if you don't like our fucking record, but keep it to yourself, if you please.”


For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

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Peggy in America - Dec 18, 2023

I love these roots n' offshoots; music ... aaah! The Universal Language. Put me in mine of a tune by Dawes, "If I Needed Someone," møre of late, but - diff vein. They're all arteries that lead back to the heart. Merry Holidays, Mistah Graham! -- Keep rockin'.

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