Got to Get You into My Life

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"Got to Get You into My Life"
Got to Get You into My Life sheet music cover.jpg
Cover of the Northern Songs sheet music (licensed to Sonora Musikförlag)
Song by the Beatles
from the album Revolver
PublishedNorthern Songs
Released5 August 1966
Recorded7 April and 17 June 1966
EMI Studios, London
Length2:27 (stereo version)
2:35 (mono version)
Producer(s)George Martin
Audio sample
"Got to Get You into My Life"
"Got to Get You into My Life"
US picture sleeve
Single by the Beatles
from the album Rock 'n' Roll Music
B-side"Helter Skelter"
Released31 May 1976
Format7-inch record
The Beatles US singles chronology
"The Long and Winding Road"
"Got to Get You into My Life"
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"

"Got to Get You into My Life" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, first released in 1966 on their album Revolver. It was written by Paul McCartney, though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney.[4][5] The song is an homage to the Motown Sound, with colourful brass instrumentation,[6] and lyrics that suggest a psychedelic experience.[1] "It's actually an ode to pot," McCartney explained. A cover version by Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers peaked at number six in 1966 in the UK.[7] The song was issued in the United States as a single from the Rock 'n' Roll Music compilation album in 1976, six years after the Beatles disbanded. It reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[8] the Beatles' last top ten US hit until their 1995 release "Free as a Bird".

Composition and recording[edit]

Though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney, McCartney was primarily responsible for the writing of the song,[4][5] to which he also contributed lead vocals.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] The original version of the track, taped on the second day of the Revolver sessions, featured an arrangement that included harmonium and acoustic guitar, and a partly a-cappella section (repeating the words "I need your love") sung by McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison.[12] In the description of author Robert Rodriguez, relative to the "R&B-styled shouter" that the band completed in June, this version was "more Haight-Ashbury than Memphis".[13] Author Devin McKinney similarly views the early take as "radiat[ing] peace in a hippie vein", and he recognises the arrangement as a forerunner to the sound adopted by the Beach Boys over 1967–68 on their albums Smiley Smile and Wild Honey.[14]

The brass was close-miked in the bells of the instruments, then put through a limiter.[15] This session, on 18 May,[16] marked the first time that the Beatles had used a horn section.[17][18] 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.[4] "'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."[4] 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."[19]

Release and reception[edit]

Parlophone released Revolver on 5 August 1966 with "Got to Get You into My Life" sequenced as the penultimate track,[20] between Harrison's "I Want to Tell You" and Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows".[21] According to Devin McKinney, while McCartney's songs can be heard individually as "simple affirmations", in the context of their placement on Revolver, "each song gains" from the reflected depth of the Lennon and Harrison compositions. McKinney writes that "Got to Get You into My Life" "is notable for being as expressive of a simple livid frustration as any McCartney music to date: its two minutes are a tight mass of constipated fury, an existential annoyance expressing itself as romantic confusion".[22]

In his review of the song for AllMusic, Thomas Ward writes: "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."[23] Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork considers Revolver to be McCartney's "maturation record" as a songwriter in the same way that Rubber Soul had been for Lennon in 1965. He highlights "Got to Get You into My Life" as one of McCartney's "most demonstrative songs" on the album and a reflection of his innate "optimism and populism".[24] Chris Coplan of Consequence of Sound admires the psychedelic tone of Revolver, but says that this experimentalism renders the more standard pop songs, such as "Got to Get You into My Life" and "Here, There and Everywhere", "seemingly out of place" within the collection.[25]

Musicologist Walter Everett describes "Got to Get You into My Life" as "always ... one of the LP's most popular tracks" due to the success of its cover recordings, the first of which was a 1966 UK top-ten hit by Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, co-produced by McCartney, and the 1976 single release of the Beatles' original.[16] Music critic Tim Riley says the song is the "most derivative cut" on Revolver but nevertheless identifies it as an authentic rhythm and blues track that shows how well the Beatles had mastered the style.[26] Riley especially praises the song's closing section, introduced by a Harrison guitar break that he describes as "dazzling" in sound and a combination of "crimped energy" and "tasty ornaments", followed by McCartney's vocal interplay with the brass.[27]

When asked about the song in his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said, "Paul's again. I think that was one of his best songs, too."[5] The song can be heard over the end credits of the 2015 film Minions.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[37] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


According to Ian MacDonald (who was unsure if Lennon played the rhythm guitar part):[9]

The Beatles

Additional musicians

Earth, Wind & Fire version[edit]

"Got to Get You into My Life"
Got to Get You into My Life by Earth Wind & Fire US 12-inch vinyl (alternative copy).png
Sleeve for the US 12-inch (​33 13-RPM) vinyl single
Single by Earth, Wind & Fire
from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack) and The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1
B-side"I'll Write a Song for You"
Released14 July 1978
Format7", 12"
GenreRhythm and blues
Producer(s)Maurice White
Earth, Wind & Fire singles chronology
"Magic Mind"
"Got to Get You into My Life"

A cover version by Earth, Wind & Fire was issued as a single in July 1978 by Columbia Records.[38] Their rendition reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.[39][40] The song also rose to No. 33 on the UK Singles chart.[41] "Got to Get You into My Life" has also been certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.


Got to Get You into My Life was a part of the soundtrack for the 1978 feature film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The song also came upon EWF's 1978 album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1.

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Daily News described Earth, Wind & Fire's version of Got To Get You Into My Life as "oh-so-cool".[42] Allmusic noted the tune as "a great remake".[43] Cashbox also called EWF's cover of the song an "innovative rendition".[44] Treble website placed this version as number thirty-four of "the top 100 cover songs".[45]

Got to Get You Into My Life won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).[46] The song was also Grammy nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[47]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 9[40]
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1[39]
Canadian Adult Contemporary Songs 29[48]
UK Singles 33[41]
Dutch Single Top 100 33[49]

Other cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kenneth Womack, Todd F. Davis (2006). Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four. SUNY Press. p. 119. ISBN 0-7914-6716-3.
  2. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2 November 2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 53. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  3. ^ Sullivan, James (14 June 2013). "15 Songs You Didn't Know Were About Drugs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Miles 1997, p. 190.
  5. ^ a b c Sheff 2000, p. 181.
  6. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (2003). Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 45. ISBN 0-634-05548-8.
  7. ^ Winn, John C. (2009). That Magic Feeling: The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966–1970. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 38.
  8. ^ Wallgren 1982, p. 106.
  9. ^ a b MacDonald 2005, p. 193.
  10. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 72–83.
  11. ^ The Complete Beatles Chronicle ISBN 978-1-851-52975-9 p. 217
  12. ^ Everett 1999, p. 38.
  13. ^ Rodriguez 2012, p. 111.
  14. ^ McKinney 2003, pp. 139, 378.
  15. ^ Morin 1998.
  16. ^ a b Everett 1999, p. 39.
  17. ^ Sheffield, Rob (5 August 2016). "Celebrating 'Revolver': Beatles' First On-Purpose Masterpiece". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  18. ^ Rodriguez 2012, p. 112.
  19. ^ "50 – 'Got to Get You Into My Life'". 100 Greatest Beatles Song. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  20. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 84.
  21. ^ Miles 2001, pp. 239–40.
  22. ^ McKinney 2003, p. 139.
  23. ^ Ward, Thomas. "The Beatles 'Got to Get You into My Life'". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  24. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (9 September 2009). "The Beatles: Revolver Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  25. ^ Coplan, Chris (20 September 2009). "Album Review: The Beatles – Revolver [Remastered]". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  26. ^ Riley 2002, pp. 197–98.
  27. ^ Riley 2002, pp. 198–99.
  28. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
  29. ^ Canada RPM Top Singles, August 14, 1976
  30. ^ Canada RPM MOR Playlist, August 14, 1976
  31. ^ "The Beatles Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  32. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 25.
  33. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950–1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 32–34.
  34. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 October 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "American single certifications – The Beatles – Got to Get You into My Life". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 May 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  38. ^ Earth, Wind & Fire: Got To Get You Into My Life. Columbia Records. July 1978.
  39. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: Got To Get You into My Life (Hot Soul Singles)".
  40. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire: Got To Get You into My Life (Hot 100)".
  41. ^ a b "Earth, Wind & Fire".
  42. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1". New York Daily News. 10 December 1978. p. 355.
  43. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Got To Get You Into My Life".
  44. ^ Albums. 40. Cashbox Magazine. p. 35.
  45. ^ Pearson, Paul (25 July 2018). "The Top 100 Cover Songs: 34. Earth Wind & Fire, 'Got to Get You Into My Life' (1978)". Treble. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  46. ^ "Maurice White".
  47. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire".
  48. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Got to Get You Into My Life (Canadian Adult Contemporary Songs)". RPM.
  49. ^ "Earth, Wind & Fire: Got to Get You into My Life".
  50. ^ "The Baby Dolls – Got To Get You Into My Life". Discogs. Retrieved 28 April 2016.


External links[edit]