Tuesday, September 28, 2010


From Wikipedia:

"Got to Get You into My Life" is a song by The Beatles, first released in 1966 on the album Revolver
. Written by Paul McCartney, it made prominent use of a brass section. A cover version by Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers peaked at number six in 1966.

The Beatles' version was released in the US as a single in 1976, a decade after its initial release and six years after the Beatles split up, as a promo for the
Rock 'n' Roll Music compilation album. It reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, The Beatles' last top ten hit there until their 1995 release "Free as a Bird".


And it is a great song, one I've loved since I first heard it when I was eight years old back in 1976: that's right, I first knew "Got to Get You into My Life" during its second incarnation as a top ten single, kind of part of my soundtrack for the 70s, right along with Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs," and hundreds of other singles that I continue to love to this day.

Here, check it out:

But, you know, two years after the Beatles hit the top ten with it, Earth, Wind, and Fire covered the song...and...I actually prefer it:

The guys in the Sergeant Pepper suits are the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton. Why they appear in this Earth, Wind, and Fire performance
I will not explain. But I will say this. Paul McCartney was consciously trying to get a sort of soul feel for the Beatles' original recording of the song, hence the groovy horns. And it worked really well within the overall Beatles context. But the four lads from Liverpool were, well, from Liverpool, which means that soul, as a music form, was something that was happening across the Atlantic. Conversely, Earth, Wind, and Fire was a soul band. What the Beatles were trying to do with "Got to Get You into My Life" was what EW and F did every day. And their cover of the song isn't great simply because they were able to be truer to the Beatles' intent than John, Paul, George, and Ringo were: it is great because Earth, Wind, and Fire was great. They found music inside the song at which its composers only hinted.

Indeed, I think it is safe to say that EW and F's cover is the fully realized version, with the Beatles' recording amounting to only a rough draft--I mean, what a fucking great rough draft, but I'm sure you get my drift.

In my opinion, this is the only cover of a Beatles song that improves on the original.