Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Got to Get You Into My Life

First released by The Beatles (1966).
First hit version by Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers (UK #6 1966).
Other hit versions by Stitch in Tyme (CAN #9 1967), The Beatles (US #7 1976), Earth Wind & Fire (US #9/R&B #1 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Got to Get You Into My Life’ was written by Paul McCartney (though officially credited to Lennon–McCartney), and first released in 1966 on The Beatles’ album Revolver but was never released then as a promotional single. It was the second song, after ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, to be recorded for the album. John Lennon is said to have particularly admired the lyrics of ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’, interpreting them as being about LSD. In fact, the song was about marijuana, as McCartney later explained:

“‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot. I’d been a rather straight working-class lad but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting … I didn’t have a hard time with it and to me it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.

“‘So Got To Get You Into My Life is really a song about that, it’s not to a person, it’s actually about pot. It’s saying, I’m going to do this. This is not a bad idea. So it’s actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.'”

“The song took some time to get right in the studio – the Anthology 2 album has a version from the first day’s recording, 7 April, played on a harmonium and sounding quite different to the final arrangement heard on Revolver. The next day The Beatles tried a different arrangement, ending up with the rhythm track they settled on. On 11 April they overdubbed a guitar part, but the song remained untouched again until 18 May. On that day they added the song’s distinctive brass and woodwind parts, plus two lead vocal parts, tambourine and organ.

“In early 1966, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers was the opening act for The Beatles on their final European tour. Bennett got the opportunity to hear the song during the tour and ask McCartney if his group could record it. McCartney was producer for the session. The Rebel Rousers’ single, backed by Bennett’s own composition, ‘Baby Each Day’, reached #6 on the UK Singles chart.

“Maritime Halifax, Nova Scotia, band Stitch in Tyme also recorded ‘Got to Get You Back Into My Life’ in 1966 (released in 1967), for Yorkville Records. (The band originally went by the name ‘The Golden Earring’ until they learned a group from The Netherlands was already using the same name.) In order to fulfill at least part of their recording agreement with Yorkville Records, who was footing the bill for a full-length album in progress, the group hastily slapped together a cover version, adding vocals (and some audio psychedelica) to a music track their manager Bill Gilliland had received from England. The record became a national Canadian hit. For the next year or so Stitch in Tyme toured throughout eastern Canada, making a few stops, too, along the way in the US, but mostly gigged at a Toronto club, The Flick, of which they were part-owners. Stitch in Tyme also performed at the official opening of Expo ’67, in Montreal.

“In 1976 The Beatles’ original version was belatedly released in the United States as a promotional single to support the release of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Music compilation album, a decade after the song’s initial release and six years after the Beatles split up.

“Earth, Wind & Fire covered ‘Got to Get You Into My Life’ for the 1978 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie soundtrack. EW&F released it as a single and also included it on their album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1. Their recording won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) and also garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.”

The Beatles, “Got to Get You Into My Life” alternate take (1966):

Stitch in Tyme, “Got to Get You Into My Life” (1967):

The Beatles, “Got to Get You Into My Life” re-released 1976 (1966):

Earth, Wind & Fire, “Got to Get You Into My Life” (1978):

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