Tell Me What You See

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"Tell Me What You See"
Song by the Beatles from the album Help!
Released 6 August 1965
Recorded 18 February 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 2:36
Label Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
Help! track listing

"Tell Me What You See" is a song by The Beatles that first appeared in 1965 on their album Help! in the United Kingdom and on Beatles VI in the United States. As with all Beatles compositions by either of the two, the song is credited to Lennon–McCartney. Regarding the song's authorship, Paul McCartney said, "I seem to remember it as mine. I would claim it as a 60-40 but it might have been totally me."[1] Lennon said, in his interviews with Playboy (1980) and Hit Parader (1972), that "Tell Me What You See" was written completely by McCartney.

Composition[edit]

Despite McCartney's later comments—"Not awfully memorable",[1] in an interview with author Barry Miles—"Tell Me What You See" shows the musical growth of the Beatles since Please Please Me, and foreshadows their further exploration on Rubber Soul and Revolver. Following each repetition of the title phrase, there is a brief instrumental break featuring a Hohner Pianet. The instrument is featured on two other tracks on Help!: "You Like Me Too Much" and "The Night Before", both recorded the day before "Tell Me What You See." Starr's drumming on the track is augmented with a trio of percussion instruments; a güiro, a tambourine, and a pair of claves. Although the Beatles had been using additional percussion instruments to flesh out their sound as early as "Don't Bother Me" in 1963, they had rarely been featured this prominently in the mix.

Evident in the song's structure and instrumentation are the Beatles' then growing folk influence, with lyrics more mature and reflective than was standard in their earlier output. Nevertheless, the line "trying to get to you" (the title of an early Elvis Presley song recorded for Sun Records which served as inspiration for McCartney & Harrison's first composition, "In Spite of All the Danger") is a clear reminder of both songwriters' love for early rock and roll. Other songs on Help!, such as Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and the title track, also exhibit compositional growth.

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[3] except where noted.

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by other artists, including Teenage Fanclub and Jacob's Trouble.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Miles 1997, p. 200.
  2. ^ a b Stannard 1984, p. 33.
  3. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 149.

References[edit]

External links[edit]