Love You To

Revolver album artworkWritten by: Harrison
Recorded: 11, 13 April 1966
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

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

George Harrison: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass
Ringo Starr: tambourine
Anil Bhagwat: tabla
Other musicians: sitar, tambura

Available on:
Yellow Submarine Songtrack

Following the sitar motif on Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), Love You To was The Beatles' first full attempt at recording a piece of music in the classical Indian style.

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At the time George Harrison was learning the sitar from Ravi Shankar, who inspired him to learn more about Indian music and Eastern religion.

I wrote Love You To on the sitar, because the sitar sounded so nice and my interest was getting deeper all the time. I wanted to write a tune that was specifically for the sitar. Also it had a tabla part, and that was the first time we used a tabla player.
George Harrison

Recorded under the working title Granny Smith, Love You To shows Harrison's burgeoning interest in philosophy, as well as his love for new wife Pattie whom he married on 21 January 1966).

A short extract from the song was included in the animated film Yellow Submarine, in the scene where Harrison's character first appears.

In the studio

Recording began on 11 April 1966. Take one was George singing while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, and Paul on backing vocals. Take three saw the introduction of the sitar, which appeared again as an overdub onto take six, along with tabla, bass and fuzz guitar.

Love You To was finished on 13 April. George added more vocals, Ringo played tambourine and Paul contributed falsetto harmonies, left out of the final mix.

39 responses on “Love You To

  1. Paul

    “Love You To” is one of those Beatles songs that was tough to determine who played what. Some sources will say that George was the only Beatle on the recording, others will say that Ringo played tambourine, while still some others will say that John and Paul provided backing vocals. I prefer to call this song a George solo song, as I don’t believe that there is real evidence of any other Beatle participating.

      1. Velvet Hand

        Hmmyes, but then there’s the label text on side one of my Revolver LP (from that Beatles Collection box which came out in the 80s) which reads “Love You Too”. I’ve always thought that this made more sense and have always called the song that… 🙂

  2. vonbontee

    I can’t detect any bass either, but I’m pretty sure that’s an acoustic guitar being strummed throughout, often in tandem with the tambourine. It’s most prominent in the right stereo channel during the instrumental section in the middle.

  3. mjb

    From the first day’s sessions we hear an Indian group on the centre channel, George electric rhythm guitar on the right and a dub in the centre that sounds like a volume-pedal-controlled fuzz guitar.

    The Indian instruments included a svaramandal, a Punjabi table harp with between ten and thirty brass and steel strings, a tabla, a pair of hand-played drums, sitar and tamboura.

    This was all reduced when vocals from George and Paul were added along with a tambourine.

    In mixing ADT was applied to both vocals.

  4. Paul M

    But did Harrison play the “lead” sitar? Some question as to whether he was accomplished enough to have handled that, or in fact it was more likely one of the uncredited Indian musicians.

    1. Deadman

      ‘Ian McDonald suggests that the sitar part on Revolver’s “Love You To”,
      although not credited, might have been played by [Harrison’s] anonymous tutor, but it is more likely that Harrison played it himself with close supervision, according to Shankara Angadi.’
      Ray Newman, Abracadabra!: The Story of The Beatles’ Revolver (London, 2006), p. 25.

    2. Julio

      There is no way this is Harrison on sitar. He was a rather clumsy guitar player up until this point but he the picks up the sitar and plays so wonderfully! I think not.

          1. Luke

            That is false to say. That was the style of electric guitar that everyone up to the mid sixties played. He could play very well and was improving every year. He was a natural and considered one of the premier guitarist in liverpool in the beginning.

              1. Jay

                George Harrison is very good in “chord melody” guitar soloing, – a style in jazz guitar. He applied it in ‘Till There Was You’ & ‘All My Loving’ & some other Beatles songs. That was an advanced skill at that time especially for a pop and rock & roll band like them.

    3. Julie

      There’s footage of George practicing and learning stuff with Ravi.

      Ravi himself said this was not incredibly difficult stuff. He’s kind of the authority I’d say. lol So I tend to assume it’s George based on that critique.


    George was exercising his sitar playing so much by the time, so he could play it really well for the recording of this song. Eventually there might be other musicians playing different instruments. I don´t think Paul was there for the ocassion. And I don´t think Ringo was needed just to play such a simple instrument as the tambourine.

  6. Bungalow Bob

    When you Google the lyrics to “Love You To,” there is a discrepancy: Some websites show “Love me while you can… or I’ll get a plan…” And other sites list the lyric as “Love me while you can… before I’m a dead old man…” Which is the correct lyric? It’s not as if one makes more sense than the other; It’s just that when it comes to singing along with Beatles’ songs, I’d like to get a plan. At least before I’m a dead old man. Thanks to whoever has the definitive answer.

  7. Rick

    Originally George didn’t have a name for this song, he called it “Granny Smith” during it’s production. When a friend asked him if he think of a name for it, George replied “Love You To”. So it’s not a typo, but very interesting way it got it’s title.

    1. Rono

      I believe the instrument at :58 is a guitar with an orchestra pedal effect so it kind of hums. It comes back later in the song and is at the end of Here There and Everywhere but the effect is more melodic there. I believe it is George on lead sitar. There’s footage of him playing with Ravi and he sounds like he’s got it down. Even take ! on Norwiegian Wood has more sitar on it and George sounds pretty good there as well.

  8. Graham Paterson

    It is a great song. This song has real punch and drive and it is George Harrison who leads the way on sitar. It was he that introduced much of the west to this instrument in late 1965 on John’s “Norwegian Wood”. This then influenced The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones who is brilliant on sitar on their 1966 rock masterpiece “Paint it Black”. This Harrison composition adds much to “Revolver”, one of popular musics greatest albums.also in 1966.

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