I Need You

Songfacts®:

  • George Harrison wrote this for his girlfriend Pattie Boyd. They eventually got married.
  • Pattie Boyd has inspired a lot of songs. Harrison also wrote "Something" about her, and Eric Clapton wrote "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight" for her. She and Harrison officially divorced in 1977. She and Clapton were married from 1979-1988.
  • The strange guitar sound is Harrison playing with a tone pedal.
  • Since this was the only song of his in the movie Help!, Harrison made a point of saying "I Need You by George Harrison," twice during the end credits. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • This is the second song written by Harrison that the band recorded. "Don't Bother Me" was the first. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Former Journey lead singer Steve Perry covered this on his 2018 album Traces, which marked his return to music after a decades-long hiatus. It's the only cover song he included on the set.

Comments: 32

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDoug, never knew how he did it, but made the song what it is for me, one of my fav tunes from the movie.
  • Doug from MaineThe "tone pedal" mentioned above was actually volume swells, as noted below by Sal from NY. (Thanks for the reminder about "Yes It Is," Sal. Loved that song when I was in my teens.) I read somewhere that before they acquired a volume pedal to do the swells, it was accomplished by John kneeling or seated next to George so that John could operate the volume control on George's guitar in all the right places. I still think that's a pretty cool sound.
  • Allyson from Waverly, NyThis is suuuuuuuuuuch a cute song!
  • Jennifer from Long Beach, CaThe other very curious thing about this song is I Need You is not listed in George Harrison's autobiography, "I, Me, Mine." In the book he lists all the songs he ever wrote. Strangely this song, and You Like Me too Much are the only songs not listed. I wonder why two songs George poured out his heart and soul for he would not include in his book. Was he still aching over unfullfilled love that he couldn't bring himself to publish? Or was it just a mistake not to include a song that was featured in the movie Help? If he was able to forgive and forget Clapton and moved easily from Pattie. George Harrison was known for carrying grudges, but did not begrudge Eric or Pattie. He was happy they got together. He seemingly still had a grudge
  • Jennifer from Long Beach, CaThe thing with I Need You that people don't realize is, George was also dating Joey Heatherton at the same time. The relationship seemed to begin during their 1964 tour and they maintained a long distance relationship via phone for months. (While George was dating Pattie). The thing to remember, guys do not carry on transatlantic relationships with girls they do not like. And they don't pursue long distance relationships if they are also dating their true love. George must have felt pretty strongly about Joey to pursue her like that, while seemingly stringing Pattie along. The song is a break up song - the loss of love. For as much as we know, George and Pattie never broke up, but the relationship ended with Joey. So who is this song about, Pattie or Joey. Did Pattie find out about Joey and threaten to leave? Did Joey find out about Pattie and end it? Who really broke George's heart - Pattie or Joey?
  • Jennifer from Long Beach, CaSomething - A reporter asked George Harrison in 1969 if wrote Something for Pattie. George said, "Probably Pattie, Maybe." Not a definitive yes. Guy translation: I wrote it about someone else and I'm married and can't say. Years later George stated many times in interviews, Something was NOT written for Pattie. George had many, many lovers...it could have been about anyone, but people assume it was about Pattie.
  • Julia from Milton, Pai don't know how he and clapton stayed friends after clapton married patti.
  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdTom Petty did a brilliant job singing I Need You to his good friend George. Harrison was a Rocker who dared to dream of a better world. Beatles Forever! Rock On George!
  • Happy from Sydney, AustraliaSomething is about Patti Boyd! Everyone knows that
  • Alison from Queens, NyGeorge didn't write 'Something' about Patti
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniabeautifull. classic george.
  • Helbs from Liverpool, AustriaThis song is so cute, I love this part in the movie, when they're in the field. George always makes me smile.
  • Ken from Louisville, KySome trivia: I Need You and Hold Me Tight were titles of songs produced by George Martin for both the Beatles and the 70's group America. Although the Beatles' and America's songs were totally different.
  • Rosario from Naples, FlThis song was about Pattie but "Something" was not. I love this song.
  • Kayla from Nashville, TnI love this song i love the way George sings!
  • Charles from Bronxville, NyThis is one of my favorite songs of all time. Goerge loved to take a chord and work around with it till he found a melody. If I Needed Someone was built around the D. This around the A. (Sally - whadda ya mean he didn't sing If I Needed Someone? Of course he did!) If you haven't seen the tribute to George with Eric, Ringo, Paul, Tom, Jeff etc, it is one of the best concerts ever. No ego's, just a wonderful moving expression of their love for someone they all loved deeply. Seeing Dahni, his son perform brings such melancholy because of his AMAZING relemblance to George.
    I never appreciated George's contribution to The Beatles sound until I became a musician. He was as crtiical as any of them. I miss him so much.
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song has a haunting faraway sound to it and the lyrics tell a story I'm sure many people can relate to.This is a very good song with a strong melody and showed that Harrison started to develop into a formidable songwriter himself.
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyOne of the first uses of the volume pedal and the technique of volume swells the first song he uses the volume pedal was Yes It Is the B side to Ticket To Ride and he used harmonics to make it like a cross between a violin and a horn. On this song it sounds like a organ and it's an ok song but it helps the popularity of another instrumnet.
    Sal,Bardonia, NY
  • Tom from Newark, DeSarah, in answer to your question, James Taylor wrote a song called "Something in the Way She Moves" prior to "Something", and George took that linb and wrote a whole new song. As for his insipiration, I quote the man himself:

    PC: You're also performing "Something" on the live album. Now, you wrote that about Patti, is that right?

    GH: We'll no, I didn't, I just wrote it and then somebody put together a video and what they did, was they went out and got some footage of me and Patti, Paul and Linda, Ringo and Maureen, it was at that time, and John and Yoko and they just made up a little video to go with it, so then everybody presumed I wrote it about Patti, but actually when I wrote it I was thinking of Ray Charles.

    PC: He's not as good looking, but well, you know....

    GH: Yeah, but he's a better singer (laughs) but that's what I was thinking of, I could hear in my head Ray Charles singing it.

    http://www.undercover.com.au/idol/georgeharrison.html
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaThis sounds like something Paul would have written, rather than George.
  • Sarah from Pittsburgh, PaYou claim George didn't write 'Something' about Patti. And if that's true, would you care to enlighten us with just who he wrote it about? I can see if he and Patti were dating he might do that, but helloooo, they had been married quite a while when he wrote this.
  • Sally from Dublin, IrelandIt wasn't the first song he wrote solo either, Christopher from NY. He actually wrote 'Don't Bother Me' for their second album in 'With The Beatles.'

    'If I Needed Someone' is a Harrison song, not just sung by him.

    I don't recall George ever denying 'Something' was written for Pattie Boyd.

    In other news, I love this song. It's just gorgeous. One of my favorite tracks on the whole of the 'Help!' album, it's so rarely mentioned and picked out for the special praise it deserves. It should have been a single. I only wish he was still with us, or that I had at least been alive for the release of this single. Darn.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoThis is a great song....it ranks with some of the better Lennon/McCartney songs. I wonder why George didn't comment on it in his I Me Mine book.
  • Amanda from New York City, NyGeorge did NOT write "Something" about Patti! Arrrrgghh..
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Sc"You Like Me Too Much" is also on the cd version of Help. If I remember correctly, the British versions of albums were the ones that were made into cd's.
  • Lee from Clearwater, Fl how fitting, the beatles didn't realize how much they needed george.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Sc'If I Needed Someone" is on the cd-version of "robber soul' also.
  • Josh from Plainview, NyActually "If I Needed Someone" is from the British version of Rubber Soul. His other song on the British version of "Help!" is "You Like Me Too Much" Not a great song but it's not terrible.
  • Robert from Lutherville, MdThis may have been the only Harrison tune on the American "Help!" release but on the British version I believe George also sang "If I Needed Someone." Songs from the British albumn were spread across several American albumn such as "Yesterday and Today."
    -Rob, Baltimore, MD
  • Christopher from Greenfield Center, NyThis is one of George's most underrated songs along with his first song he wrote for the Beatles. (In case people don't know, "Don't Bother Me" was the first song he wrote with the boys)
  • Randy from St Marys, OhThis should have been an A side of a single.
  • Tyson from Ruidoso, NmThis song echoes what a lot of people feel after being dumped.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.