What You're Doing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"What You're Doing"
Song by the Beatles
from the album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964
Recorded 29–30 September and 26 October 1964
EMI Studios, London
Genre Jangle pop[1]
Length 2:30
Label Parlophone
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin

"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".[2]


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).


According to Ian MacDonald:[3]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "The Beatles Songs: 'If I Needed Someone' – The history of this classic Beatles song". oldies.about.com. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  3. ^ MacDonald, Ian (1998). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties. London: Pimlico. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7126-6697-8. 

External links[edit]