Perhaps the most joyous song ever penned by The Beatles, “Got To Get You Into My Life” was a “pastiche of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s recent hits for The Supremes” according to Ian MacDonald in Revolution in the Head.
Slightly out of his neighbourhood in this idiom, McCartney seems to have had no firm idea of how he wanted the song done, and it took two days of trial and error to record the basic track, using a harmonium ‘pad’. He wisely chose to leave the result for a month before hiring the brass and working up a ‘chart’ with George Martin while Lennon co-ordinated affairs from the control-room. Following a month’s further cogitation, more guitar, a new vocal, and a desynchronised copy of the brass track were overdubbed. By this time, the production had become messy, with raggedly matched lead vocals and leakage from the brass onto one of the guitar tracks.
Holding a one-note bass line for its first eight bars, GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE is a taut design that relieves its tension only in the climactic shout of its chorus. Closely miked and limited for a punchy sound, the brass maintains the mood, driving the track to the release of a screaming fade. Starr’s drum fills are slightly stiff, as if inhibited by the metronomic beat, but Harrison’s guitar crescendo precisely captures the wound-up urgency of the music.
Here is the original mono mix:
In 1980, Lennon observed that he thought the lyric, which he particularly liked, referred to McCartney’s belated experience of LSD. According to McCartney, the song is ‘an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret’.
No wonder it’s so joyous. 🤪
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