Anthology 1 album artworkWritten by: Harrison
Recorded: 3 June 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 21 November 1995

George Harrison: vocals, rhythm guitar
John Lennon: tambourine
Paul McCartney: bass

Available on:
Anthology 1

George Harrison’s second solo composition, You Know What To Do was recorded as a demo at Abbey Road on 3 June 1964, but was never properly attempted by The Beatles as a group.

The Beatles had planned to record a 14th and final song for A Hard Day’s Night that afternoon – the identity is unknown – but their plans were changed after Ringo was taken ill with tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Replacement drummer Jimmie Nicol was swiftly brought in for a rehearsal from 3-4pm, ahead of the group’s imminent world tour, and afterwards the group recorded three demos.

At the beginning of a 5.30-9pm session they taped You Know What To Do, followed by two further demos: It’s For You, a McCartney composition written for Cilla Black; and No Reply, which would appear on the Beatles For Sale album.

Although copyrighted the previous day by Jaep Music, a publishing company formed by Brian Epstein and Dick James, You Know What To Do remained unissued until 1995 when it was released on Anthology 1. Its existence was unknown until 1991, when evidence of the session came to light, and the misfiled tape was rediscovered in 1993.

You Know What To Do was George Harrison’s second songwriting effort, after Don’t Bother Me on With The Beatles. The precise line-up on the recording is uncertain; there has been speculation that Harrison recorded it alone, although it is more likely that Lennon and McCartney were also involved.

A somewhat slight composition, its reception by the others in the group, and George Martin, may have discouraged Harrison from offering further songs until Help! in 1965.