What You're Doing
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|"What You're Doing"|
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album Beatles for Sale|
|Released||4 December 1964|
29–30 September and 26 October 1964|
EMI Studios, London
"What You're Doing" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their album Beatles for Sale, released in December 1964. It was written by Paul McCartney, although credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song was one of eight original compositions on Beatles for Sale. In North America, where Capitol Records typically altered the content of the band's albums, "What You're Doing" instead appeared on the 1965 US release Beatles VI.
Throughout the song, McCartney adds to the rhyme scheme by combining a single, two-syllable word with two one-syllable words (i.e. "Look what you're doing, I'm feeling blue and lonely … You got me runnin', and there's no fun in it …"). He used the same technique on "She's a Woman", which was also recorded during the Beatles for Sale sessions.
The track features a guitar riff played by George Harrison on his Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar. The sound was influential on the Byrds, who crafted their sound partly on the Beatles' use of the Rickenbacker, and Harrison in turn adopted influences from the Byrds in his 1965 song "If I Needed Someone".
The Beatles recording was sampled to create a medley, along with "Drive My Car" and "The Word", on the band's 2006 remix album Love. "What You're Doing" shares a number of characteristics with (the also predominantly McCartney-written) "Drive My Car", particularly the home key (D major), meter (4/4), and chord progression (alternating between B minor and G major).
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocal, bass
- John Lennon – harmony vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, twelve-string lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums
- George Martin – piano
- LaBate, Steve (December 18, 2009). "Jangle Bell Rock: A Chronological (Non-Holiday) Anthology … from The Beatles and Byrds to R.E.M. and Beyond". Paste. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
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- MacDonald, Ian (1998). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties. London: Pimlico. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7126-6697-8.