For You Blue

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"For You Blue"
Single by the Beatles
from the album Let It Be
A-side "The Long and Winding Road"
Released 8 May 1970
Recorded 25 January 1969
Apple Studios
8 January 1970
Olympic Studios
Genre Blues
Length 2:32
Label Apple
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) Phil Spector
Let It Be track listing

"For You Blue" is a song by the Beatles. Written by George Harrison, it was the B-side to "The Long and Winding Road" (in the US) and the eleventh track on the Beatles' final LP release, Let It Be. "For You Blue" was listed with "The Long and Winding Road" as a double-sided hit when the single reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 but peaked at number 71 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart.

Musical characteristics[edit]

The song is in the key of D and is one of the few original Beatles songs in which every section follows a classic twelve bar blues (I-IV-V) pattern.[1] Indeed, in his vocal at 1:18 into the song Harrison states this is "them old twelve bar blues." The 'bluesy' feel to the song is accentuated by the addition to the blues-based minor pentatonic scale (I-flat3-4-5-flat7) of a flat7 on each of the I (D7), IV (G7) and V (A7) chords.[2]

Recording[edit]

The song features John Lennon playing lap steel guitar[3] using a lighter as a bottleneck.[4] Paul McCartney plays the piano with paper intertwined between the strings, but does not contribute bass to the song. When Phil Spector remixed the song for inclusion on the Let It Be album, he added an introduction by Lennon, "Queen says no to pot-smoking FBI members." This comment was edited in from dialogue recorded at Twickenham Studios in early January 1969, long before "For You Blue" was recorded.[5]

Song name[edit]

The song's working title was "George's Blues (Because You're Sweet and Lovely)" when it was recorded on 25 January 1969.[6] It was renamed sometime between 10 March and 28 May when it was listed as "For You Blue" on the final mix for the unreleased Get Back album.[7] Lennon can be heard on the session tapes reading this title off a list of songs the Beatles had been working on, and dialogue suggests that the title was originally "For You Blues".[8] Harrison's original handwritten lyrics show the title as "For You Blues".[9]

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[3]

Live performances[edit]

This song was part of the set during Harrison's Dark Horse Tour of North America in 1974.

On 29 November 2002, McCartney sang this song at the Concert for George, a memorial concert for Harrison held on the first anniversary of his death.

Cover versions[edit]

When Mojo released Let It Be Revisited in 2010, Pete Molinari covered the track.[10]

See also[edit]

Preceded by
"Everything is Beautiful" by Ray Stevens
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
13 June 1970 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Love You Save" by The Jackson 5

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alan Pollack. Notes on For You Blue http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/fyb.shtml Retrieved 12 Feb 2012
  2. ^ Dominic Pedler. Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. Omnibus Press, London 2003 p 24.
  3. ^ a b MacDonald 2005, p. 337.
  4. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "For You Blue: The history of this classic Beatles song". Oldies.about.com. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 198.
  6. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 166.
  7. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 176.
  8. ^ The Beatles - A/B Road: The Complete Get Back Sessions, 24 January
  9. ^ Harrison, George. I Me Mine (1980) p.157
  10. ^ "Let It Be Revisited - Track Listing". Mojo Cover CDs. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]