“If I Needed Someone” is a song on The Beatles’ album, “Rubber Soul”, from 1965. It was also a successful single by The Hollies as well.
Release Date: 3rd December, 1965
Recorded: 16th and 18th October, 1965
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Folk rock, pop rock, power pop
Track Duration: 2:23
Record Label: Parlophone
Songwriter: George Harrison
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
John Lennon: harmony vocal, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal, bass guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine
George Martin: harmonium
If I Needed Someone
Written and sung by lead guitarist George Harrison, this song was for Pattie Boyd, the British model whom he married on the 21st January, 1966. The song is the only Harrison composition to play a part in The Beatles live performances. In fact, they played it in every concert throughout 1966.
Harrison’s guitar riff has a striking similarity to that on the Byrds’ song, “The Bells Of Rhymney”. But the rhythm closely resembles that on another Byrd’s song, “She Don’t Care About Time”. So, we can safely say that musically, the influence come from the American group, even if his future wife was influential for the lyrics.
Of course, this was more or less a reciprocal influence. This is because The Byrds’ influence was that of The Beatles after the American band saw the 1964 film, “A Hard Day’s Night”. So, what we see is an exchange of influences between the bands. Both bands also formed a bond when The Byrds came to London in August 1965.
The Beatles began recording “If I Needed Someone” on the 16th October, 1965, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 7.00pm-12.00pm session. In essence, the band only needed one take to grab the basic rhythm track.
The song was complete on the 18th of October when overdubbing of Harrison’s lead vocals and instrumentation from the other band members.
The Hollies Version
Apart from bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, 1960s gave us other great bands. Indeed, The Hollies were one of those iconic bands too. They gave us some memorable songs of their own as well as releasing “If I Needed Someone” as a single.
This was The Hollies follow-up to their recent hit “Look Through Any Window”, which reached number 4 in the UK charts. However, “If I Needed Someone” only managed to reach number 20 in the charts for them. Be that as it may, it gave Harrison his first chart hit as a songwriter.
The Hollies’ Graham Nash claims that the lowly position of the single was because of comments made by Harrison. In this case, Harrison allegedly said that The Hollies’ version was “rubbish”. Obviously this caused some friction between the two bands.