Though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney, McCartney was primarily responsible for the writing of the song, to which he also contributed lead vocals. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between 7 April and 17 June 1966 and evolved considerably between the first takes and the final version released on album. The song seems to have been hard to arrange until the soul-style horns, strongly reminiscent of the Stax' Memphis soul and Motown sound, were introduced. The brass was close-miked in the bells of the instruments then put through a limiter. The percussion instrument most predominant is the overdubbed tambourine.
The song starts with a blaring brass fanfare, McCartney's vocals entering at 0:07. The chorus of the song appears at 1:04, with the song's title sung. The song then switches between a verse and the refrain. A short electric guitar solo that is reminiscent of the riff from "Paperback Writer" appears at 1:53 and at 2:10 the horn fanfare re-enters. The song closes with fading vocals of McCartney, much akin to the soul records of the time. The mono and stereo mixes of the recording feature different ad libs in the fade-out - the presence of a second vocal track is also more subtle for most of the mono version. Backing vocals were recorded early but later eliminated.
In Barry Miles' 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, McCartney disclosed that the song was about marijuana. "'Got to Get You into My Life' was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot ... So [it's] really a song about that, it's not to a person." Many lyrics from the song suggest this: "I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there / Another road where maybe I could see some other kind of mind there.",'"What can I do? What can I be? When I'm with you, I want to stay there / If I am true, I will never leave and if I do, I'll know the way there." "It's actually an ode to pot," McCartney explained, "like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret."
Thomas Ward of Allmusic said, "McCartney's always been a great vocalist, and this is perhaps the best example of his singing on Revolver. One of the overlooked gems on the album." When asked about the song in his 1980 Playboy interview, John Lennon said, "Paul's again. I think that was one of his best songs, too."