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.

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

‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ 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 the song’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, whom John Lennon and Paul 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.

A final guitar overdub was added to ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ on 17 June 1966, and mono mixes were made on the same day.

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Next song: ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’
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