Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers

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.