Label from Philippine single, released in 1968 with "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" as the A-side
|Song by the Beatles from the album The Beatles|
|Released||22 November 1968|
|Recorded||16 September 1968|
"I Will" was one of the songs worked on by the Beatles and their associates while in Rishikesh, India. Although the music came together fairly easily, the words were worked on in India, and remained unfinished even as recording began back in London.
This quiet song required 67 takes, and George Harrison did not play (during The Beatles sessions, the Beatles often recorded in separate studios). However, the reason for Harrison's absence from the session has never been clarified.
During take 19 of "I Will", McCartney ad-libbed an untitled and uncopyrighted song (referred to as "Can you take me back?" by author Ian MacDonald), a 28-second segment of which ended up on side 4 of the album The Beatles as what MacDonald described as “a sinister introduction to "Revolution 9"”. Also ad-libbed by McCartney was "Los Paranoias", released, together with take 1 of "I Will", in 1996 on Anthology 3.
The picture shown above features Apple Records' 45 rpm record. It was manufactured by Dyna Products Inc (today's Dyna Music Entertainment Corporation) of the Philippines, 1968.
In the televised documentary The Beatles Anthology, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr are shown relaxing on a blanket outside. Starr asks McCartney what he wrote in India and McCartney answers, "I Will." Then Harrison begins playing this on his ukulele while he and McCartney harmonize with it.
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, acoustic guitars, "vocal bass"
- John Lennon – percussion, cymbals, maracas
- Ringo Starr – bongos
- Personnel per Ian MacDonald.
Cover versions and appearances in other media
- Hugh Masekela included the song in his 1970 album Reconstruction.
- A reggae cover was done by John Holt and released on his 1976 album 2000 Volts of Holt.
- The song was sung in the 1994 romantic movie Love Affair, starring Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.
- In 1995, Alison Krauss recorded a cover of the song for her album Now That I've Found You: A Collection.
- Diana Ross covered the song for her 2007 album I Love You.
- Garrison Keillor sang the song in an episode of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion.
- James Taylor & Carly Simon's son Ben Taylor recorded the song for the 1995 movie Bye Bye Love and his recording is also on the original soundtrack album.
- Jonathan Coulton covered the song in his album Thing a Week Two.
- Tim Curry did a reggae version of the song on his first album, Read My Lips.
- Art Garfunkel covered the song on his 1997 album Songs from a Parent to a Child.
- Al Di Meola covered the song on his 2013 CD All Your Life.
- Tuck & Patti covered the song on their 1998 CD Paradise Found.
- Kathy Mattea covered the song with Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas for Transatlantic Sessions series 1, 1995.
- Daniel Johnston covered the song on his 1983 self-released cassette-tape album More Songs of Pain.
- Lewis, Michael. 100 Best Beatles Songs: A Passionate Fan's Guide. p. 163. ISBN 1603762655.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 155.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 315.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (2nd revised ed.). London: Pimlico. ISBN 1-84413-828-3.