“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” is a Beatles’ song on their 1969 album, “Abbey Road”. The guitars from the song also feature as part of a medley on their 2006 album, “Love”.
Release Date: 26th September, 1969
Recorded: 22nd February, 18th, 20th April; 8th, 11th August, 1969
Studios: EMI and Trident Studios, London
Genre: Blues rock, hard rock, progressive rock
Track Duration: 7:47
Record Label: Apple
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Barry Sheffield, Jeff Jarratt, Tony Clark, Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald
John Lennon: lead and harmony vocals, multi-tracked lead guitar, Moog synthesizer
Paul McCartney: harmony vocals, bass guitar
George Harrison: harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, multi-tracked lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, congas, wind machine
Billy Preston: Hammond organ
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Written by John Lennon, but credit obviously goes to Lennon-McCartney, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” contains just 14 words in total. It sits at the end of side one on the 1969, “Abbey Road” album after “Octopus’s Garden“. Although it has very few words, and the title makes up six of those, it is one of the longest Beatles’ tracks at almost 8 minutes long!
John Lennon wanted to keep the song simple and he did just that:
“A reviewer wrote of She’s So Heavy: ‘He seems to have lost his talent for lyrics, it’s so simple and boring.’ She’s So Heavy was about Yoko. When it gets down to it, like she said, when you’re drowning you don’t say ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream. And in She’s So Heavy I just sang ‘I want you, I want you so bad, she’s so heavy, I want you,’ like that.”
Rolling Stone Magazine (1970)
While the lyrics are simple by nature, the end guitar chords are similarly simple and are repetitive for around 3 minutes right up until the track comes to an abrupt ending.
The Beatles began recording “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” while it’s working title was simply “I Want You”. This was on the 22nd February, 1969, in the Trident Studios, Trident House, London during a session in which there were 35 takes.
The next day, a composite unnumbered master mix came about through the joining together of takes 9, 20 and 32. Further overdubbing occurred to this composite mix on the 18th and 20th of April.
They didn’t return to it again until the 8th of August when the famous Abbey Road photo-shoot took place. This saw the introduction of the white noise produced by a Moog synthesizer played by Lennon. Further overdubbing occurred on this day to the master copy. They continued the overdubbing on this take on the 11th of August.
Before completion, on the 20th August, the track still had to have yet another mix down from the takes on the 18th April and 8th August. When finished, the original length of the track was 8 minutes and 4 seconds but John Lennon wanted a surprise ending. He told recording engineer Geoff Emerick to “cut it right there”. This was at the 7:44 mark on the tape so this is why the song ends abruptly.
In 2006, The Beatles releases the album, “Love” which features the guitars from “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” as part of a medley. That medley comprises of, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!/I Want You (She’s So Heavy)/Helter Skelter“.