The Beatles: Love You To (1966)

 |   |  1 min read

The Beatles: Love You To (1966)

After having listened through to all George Harrison's solo albums and writing about them, one conclusion is paramount. That for all that his lyrics could sometimes be sermonising, trite, worthy or schoolteacherish, Harrison also wrote some very beautiful melodies.

This was an especially interesting development in his solo career because his earliest songs in the Beatles -- Don't Bother Me, I Need You, You Like Me Too Much and If I Needed Someone -- were so monochromatic and melodically narrow. Great songs, but written for the constraints of his limited vocal range.

Once he discovered Indian music in '65 he blossomed because here was a style in which the drone held down the core of the song. I guess someone somewhere has done Indo-versions of Don't Bother Me at al with tamboura and tabla. They would still make sense.

When Harrison brought his passion for all things Indian (mostly musical and philosophical) to the Beatles, he wrote some stunning pieces: notably Within You Without You, I Want to Tell You and The Inner Light.

But this piece -- which appeared on Revolver -- is a classic for another reason.

It is the first song in the Beatles' catalogue -- and argaubly the first in Western pop, even considering the Indian influences in Kinks' See My Friends and the Byrds' Eight Miles High -- which owes nothing to pop music traditions.

It is an Indian song in its structure and execution.

To call it a "Beatles' song" is perhaps as much a misnomer as saying the same of Yesterday, on which only McCartney played. The other Beatles' input here is negligable: McCartney on harmony vocals and Ringo banging the tambourine. Lennon absent.

Harrison hooked in members from the North London Asian Music Circle for the session who followed his instructions for this cryptically named piece.

A unique entry into the Beatles' catalogue, and in Western pop music.

For more unusual music or songs with a back-story see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Phil Garland: Banks of the Waikato (recorded 1972)

Phil Garland: Banks of the Waikato (recorded 1972)

Some years ago we posted a song From the Vaults by the great New Zealand folklorist and singer Neil Colquhoun, a modest, quiet and slight man I had the pleasure of knowing when he taught music at... > Read more

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee: Screamin' and Cryin' Blues (1964)

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee: Screamin' and Cryin' Blues (1964)

Although this song didn't appear in wide circulation until the Terry/McGhee 1964 compilation Pawnshop Blues, it seems to date back to the Thirties. Blind Boy Fuller recorded a version late in that... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

U2: Achtung Baby (1991); Zooropa (1993)

U2: Achtung Baby (1991); Zooropa (1993)

Bono from U2 tells a good story. In fact Bono has a lot of good stories but this one is revealing . . . It seems that backstage at some gig in the mid Eighties Bob Dylan was playing an acoustic... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN ADAM McGRATH OF THE EASTERN on what drives their new album, The Territory

GUEST MUSICIAN ADAM McGRATH OF THE EASTERN on what drives their new album, The Territory

It'd be good to know exactly where it's at. I mean the what it is, the what it was and what it shall be, are hard enough but the elusive “where it's at” creates all kinds of... > Read more