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"If I Needed Someone"
Song by The Beatles

from the album Rubber Soul

Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 16 October 1965
Abbey Road Studios
Genre Rock
Length 2:23
Label Parlophone
Writer George Harrison
Producer George Martin
Rubber Soul track listing
"If I Needed Someone"
Single by The Hollies
B-side "I've Got a Way of My Own"
Released December 1965
Format 7" single
Genre Pop music, Beat music
Label Parlophone
The Hollies singles chronology
"Look Through Any Window"
"If I Needed Someone"
"I Can't Let Go"

"If I Needed Someone" is a song written by George Harrison. Versions by The Beatles and by The Hollies appeared simultaneously, both being released in the UK on 3 December 1965. The Hollies version appeared on a single. Most of the Hollies previous singles had been big top ten hits. When their version of "If I Needed Someone" only reached the lower half of the top 20 in the UK, they were quite critical and said had they had made a mistake recording it. The Beatles recording of the song first appeared in the UK on the 1965 album Rubber Soul and was later included in the 1966 U.S. release "Yesterday and Today".

The Beatles version was recorded on 16 October and 18 October 1965, the basic track being recorded right after sessions for "Day Tripper".



The song was heavily influenced by the music of The Byrds. In a 2004 radio interview with the BBC in London, Roger McGuinn confirmed that Harrison had sent a tape recording of the song to him in Los Angeles before it was released on record. Harrison did this to show McGuinn that the guitar riff he had used in "If I Needed Someone" was based on McGuinn's own riff in "The Bells of Rhymney."[1] The song's introduction and coda are also very similar to those of The Byrds' song. Appropriately, The Byrds' own use of electric 12-string guitar was influenced by George Harrison's use of the instrument in the film A Hard Day's Night.

The song as recorded by the Beatles is in the key of A mixolydian, switching to B minor during the breaks. The verses are heavily harmonised, with George Harrison taking the lead line on the first two lines, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney singing above him throughout on each subsequent verse. Harrison sings the break solo, but double tracked in the studio with himself as was customary during the period the Beatles recorded "Rubber Soul".

"If I Needed Someone" was the only Harrison composition played during any of the Beatles' tours; The Quiet Beatle otherwise only sang covers onstage. "If I Needed Someone" is included in the Beatles' Tokyo concerts in July 1966; the documentary The Compleat Beatles used a clip from the Beatles' haggard performance of the song on stage in Tokyo as illustration of how the band was growing tired of touring. The song was also performed on the Beatles' very last concert in Candlestick Park on 29 August 1966. It is suspected, but not confirmed, that "If I Needed Someone" was performed at every Beatles concert in 1966.


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[2]

Hollies version

"If I Needed Someone" was the first George Harrison composition to be a UK chart hit, as a result of The Hollies' cover. Their version reached No. 20 in January 1966, but by their standards it was one of their least successful singles. Dismissive comments about The Hollies' track by Harrison (as reported in the music press) allegedly led to angry exchanges between the groups.

Other versions


  1. ^ Rogan 1998, p. 142.
  2. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 168.


  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-844-13828-3.  
  • Rogan, Johnny (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited. Rogan House. ISBN 0-95295-401-X.  

External links



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