Got To Get You Into My Life

Revolver album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 7, 8, 11 April; 18 May; 17 June 1966
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Released: 5 August 1966 (UK), 8 August 1966 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass
John Lennon: rhythm guitar
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine
George Martin: organ
Eddie Thornton, Ian Hamer, Les Condon: trumpet
Alan Branscombe, Peter Coe: tenor saxophone

Available on:
Revolver
Anthology 2

The second song, after Tomorrow Never Knows, to be recorded for Revolver, Got To Get You Into My Life was a Motown-influenced pop number written by Paul McCartney.

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John Lennon particularly admired the lyrics of Got To Get You Into My Life, interpreting them as being about LSD.

Paul’s again. I think that was one of his best songs, too, because the lyrics are good and I didn’t write them. You see? When I say that he could write lyrics if he took the effort, here’s an example. It actually describes the experience taking acid. I think that’s what he’s talking about. I couldn’t swear to it, but I think that it was a result of that.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

In fact, the song was about marijuana, as McCartney later explained.

Got To Get You Into My Life was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot. I’d been a rather straight working-class lad but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting… I didn’t have a hard time with it and to me it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.

So Got To Get You Into My Life is really a song about that, it’s not to a person, it’s actually about pot. It’s saying, I’m going to do this. This is not a bad idea. So it’s actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

In the studio

The song took some time to get right in the studio – the Anthology 2 album has a version from the first day’s recording, 7 April, played on a harmonium and sounding quite different to the final arrangement heard on Revolver.

The next day The Beatles tried a different arrangement, ending up with the rhythm track they settled on. On 11 April they overdubbed a guitar part, but the song remained untouched again until 18 May.

On that day they added Got To Get You Into My Life’s distinctive brass and woodwind parts, plus two lead vocal parts, tambourine and organ.

The Beatles hired two members of Georgie Fame’s group The Blue Flames, who Lennon and McCartney knew from the London club scene. Eddie Thornton and Peter Coe performed along with other freelance jazz musicians.

The Beatles wanted a definite jazz feel. Paul and George Martin were in charge. There was nothing written down but Paul sat at the piano and showed us what he wanted and we played with the rhythm track in our headphones. I remember that we tried it a few times to get the feel right and then John Lennon, who was in the control room, suddenly rushed out, stuck his thumb aloft and shouted ‘Got it!’ George Harrison got a little bit involved too but Ringo sat playing draughts in the corner.
Peter Coe
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

A final guitar overdub was recorded on 17 June 1966, and mono mixes were made on the same day.

9 responses on “Got To Get You Into My Life

  1. Von Bontee

    Excellent track but not my favourite recording – I’m always wishing the guitars were a little louder throughout, and not so much buried by the horns

  2. mjb

    Everett’s take:

    Track one features Paul’s bass, Ringo’s heavily limited drums and a rhythm guitar (John?) which is heard to be often edited out. Track two has a tambourine and organ.

    Track three contained three trumpets, two tenor saxes with mikes right in the bells and the signal heavily limited. The trumpets doubled their parts in an additional take for the ending in a tape reduction that also allows Paul to add a lead vocal, superimposed on the organ / tambourine track.

    The fourth track features Paul’s double-tracked vocal, a quiet fuzz guitar that is most edited out and – necessitating a further reduction – George’s loudly ringing Leslie-treated guitar solo.

  3. BeatleMark

    Supposedly there is a better mix of this song with louder drums on the 70′s era U.S. Apple pressings of this album. The guys who wrote “Fab 4 FAQ” state this in their book. Matrix should read ST 1-2576, ST 2-2576 (No “X” in matrix numbers)

    1. BeatleMark

      Here’e the quote from the book, “Fab Four FAQ” regarding the rare mix. “The song’s more lamentable distinction is that the stereo mix on every commonly available version (the U.K. and Capitol albums, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Music compilation, and its accompanying 1976 single release, and even the Revolver CD) is far inferior to Apple’s mid-’70s mix.
      At some point in the decade, albums originally released on Capitol were reissued on the Apple label. Coinciding with this cosmetic move was a more substantive one: stereo mixes were tweaked to rein in the awful wide-panning done the previous decade, bringing the instrumentation closer to the center.
      This updating provided a fringe benefit to this track in particular. Ringo’s drum fills, coming at the end of each verse and heretofore somewhat buried, suddenly leapt from the speakers, giving the song some percussive pop to match the brass. The difference on the Apple release of Revolver is truly striking, making all other releases sound anemic by comparison.”

      I have recently found a copy of this lp release and have listened to verify the claim….100% true. One day I will make a video on YouTube and post the link.

  4. John S. Janecek

    ^BeatleMark^ Thanks for tracking this “lost” mix down… a bit is used in the Anthology DVD (used as bkgrd music around the Philippines documentation. I want to hear Ringo’s drums the way they should have been… not so far back in the mix they dissappear! Again Thanks.

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