|"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"|
Cover of the song's sheet music
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album Abbey Road|
|Released||26 September 1969|
|Recorded||22 February–11 August 1969,|
EMI and Trident Studios, London
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon(credited to Lennon–McCartney). The song closes side one on the Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road . This song is an unusual Beatles composition for a variety of reasons, namely its length (nearly eight minutes), few lyrics (the title makes up most of the lyrics, aside from two more phrases; only 14 different words are sung), a three-minute descent through repeated guitar chords (a similar arpeggiated figure appears in another Lennon contribution to the album, "Because"), and abrupt ending. It was the first song recorded for the Abbey Road album but one of the last songs to be finished, on 20 August 1969, the last time all four Beatles were together in the studio.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated classical elements, older pop forms and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and later experimented with several musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As the members continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they were seen as an embodiment of the era's sociocultural movements.
John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter, and peace activist who co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He and fellow member Paul McCartney formed a much-celebrated songwriting partnership. Along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group would ascend to worldwide fame during the 1960s. After the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon pursued a solo career and started the band Plastic Ono Band with his second wife Yoko Ono.
Lennon–McCartney was the songwriting partnership between English musicians John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles. It is one of the best known and most successful musical collaborations in history, with the Beatles selling over 600 million records, tapes and CDs as of 2004. Between 5 October 1962 and 8 May 1970, the partnership published approximately 180 jointly credited songs, of which the vast majority were recorded by The Beatles, forming the bulk of their catalogue.
Lennon wrote the song about his love for Yoko Ono. 6
8 time, with an arpeggio guitar theme in D minor, progressing through E7(♭9) and B♭7 before cadencing on an A augmented chord. In this chord sequence, the F note is a drone. The bass and lead guitar ascend and descend with a riff derived from the D minor scale. As the last chord fades, a verse begins in 4
4 time, based on the A and D blues scales, with Lennon singing "I want you / I want you so bad . . ." The two blues verses alternate, before the reappearance of the E7(♭9) chord, and McCartney playing a notably aggressive bass riff. This would function, throughout the song, as a transition to the main theme. The main theme repeats with Lennon singing "She's so heavy", with a long sustain on the last word. The second set of verses are rendered instrumentally with lead guitar. Another repeat of the "She's So Heavy" theme (this time featuring harmonies) is followed by Lennon singing a livelier repeat of the "I Want You" verse. During the next E7(♭9) transition, Lennon lets loose a primal scream of "Yeah", until his voice breaks. The song's coda consists of a three-minute repetition of the "She's So Heavy" theme, with the arpeggios double tracked, intensifying with "white noise" fading in as the theme continues; this consists of multi-tracked guitars from Lennon and Harrison, Moog white-noise from Lennon, and drums and bass from Starr and McCartney respectively until an abrupt ending.
Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese and filmmaking. Singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles was her third husband.
The time signature is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats (pulses) are contained in each measure (bar), and which note value is equivalent to a beat.
A broken chord is a chord broken into a sequence of notes. A broken chord may repeat some of the notes from the chord and span one or more octaves.
Josh Hart and Damian Fanelli, writing for Guitar World , placed the song 34th in their list of the 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath, and called the song a "bluesy rocker" that "might have inadvertently started doom metal."Similarly, Jo Kendall of Classic Rock magazine commented that the song pre-dated "Black Sabbath's creation of doom rock by several months" and noted the "Santana-like Latin blues section" in the song. James Manning, of Time Out London, describe the song as the foundation for stoner rock.
Guitar World is a monthly music magazine devoted to guitarists, published since July 1980. It contains original interviews, album and gear reviews, and guitar and bass tablature of approximately five songs each month. The magazine is published 13 times per year. Formerly owned by Harris Publications, Future US bought the magazine in 2003. In 2012, NewBay Media bought the Music division of Future US. The latter company also published a spin-off title, Guitar Legends, each issue of which typically combined past articles from Guitar World under a specific theme. The first Guitar Legends was on Eddie Van Halen. In 2018, Future acquired NewBay Media, returning Guitar World to Future US.
Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.
Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Children of the Grave", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England, the United States and Sweden defined doom metal as a distinct genre.
The song was rehearsed several times during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions; the basic track and Lennon's guide vocal (which is used in the master) were recorded at Trident Studios on 22 February 1969, shortly after shooting for the Let It Be film ended. Lennon played the lead guitar, as George Harrison stated:
Let It Be is a 1970 British documentary film starring the Beatles and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. The film documents the group rehearsing and recording songs for their twelfth and final studio album Let It Be, in January 1969. The film includes an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last public performance. Released just after the album in May 1970, Let It Be is the final original Beatles release.
George Harrison was an English musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles' work. Although the majority of the band's songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something".
It's very heavy. John plays lead guitar and sings the same as he plays. It's really basically a bit like a blues. The riff that he sings and plays is really a very basic blues-type thing. But again, it's very original sort of John-type song.
Lennon and Harrison overdubbed multi-tracked heavy guitars on 18 April 1969. Billy Preston's Hammond organ and Ringo Starr's congas were added on 20 April 1969. "I Want You" received the "She's So Heavy" vocals on 11 August, and thus the title became "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"."'She's So Heavy' was about Yoko," Lennon told Rolling Stone . "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."
William Everett Preston was an American musician whose work encompassed R&B, rock, soul, funk, and gospel. Preston was a top session keyboardist in the 1960s, during which he backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Rev. James Cleveland and the Beatles. He went on to achieve fame as a solo artist, with hit singles such as "That's the Way God Planned It", "Outa-Space", "Will It Go Round in Circles", "Space Race", "Nothing from Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again". Additionally, Preston co-wrote "You Are So Beautiful", which became a number 5 hit for Joe Cocker.
The Hammond organ is an electric organ, invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Various models have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to specify a variety of sounds. Until 1975, Hammond organs generated sound by creating an electric current from rotating a metal tonewheel near an electromagnetic pickup, and then strengthening the signal with an amplifier so it can drive a speaker cabinet. Around two million Hammond organs have been manufactured. The organ is commonly used with, and associated with, the Leslie speaker.
Sir Richard Starkey, known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. He occasionally sang lead vocals, usually for one song on an album, including "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine", "Good Night", and their cover of "Act Naturally". He also wrote the Beatles' songs "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden", and is credited as a co-writer of others, including "What Goes On" and "Flying".
Three takes from 22 February were edited into a master (second generation), which was overdubbed, mixed down on 18 April (third generation), and overdubbed on 18 April, 20 April, 8 August and 11 August. Different overdubs were made to the second generation tape on 8 August. The mix is the third generation for 4:37 and then the second generation tape, which has white noise produced by the Moog synthesizer played by Lennon and additional drums added on 8 August. The final overdub session for "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", which included the final mixing and editing, was the last time all four Beatles worked in the studio together.
The final master lasted 8:04, but Lennon decided on a surprise ending. During the final edit with the guitars, drums and white noise climaxing endlessly, he told recording engineer Geoff Emerick to "cut it right there" at the 7:44 mark, bringing the song (and Side 1 of Abbey Road) to an abrupt end.
On George Martin's Beatles remix album Love , the three-minute guitar code from "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is attached to "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", and snippets of that song and "Helter Skelter" are mixed in with the repeated guitar riff. The abrupt ending of the original is retained, but it cuts to wind-like white noise, not to silence as on the original.
Numerous bands and solo artists have covered "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" in the studio and live, in particular the following:
|Alvin Lee||Nineteen Ninety-Four||1994||Accompanied by George Harrison on slide guitar|
|Beatallica||Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band||2007||Merged with Metallica's "The Call of Ktulu" to create "Ktulu (He's So Heavy)"|
|Bee Gees||–||1978||Performance for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie, with Peter Frampton, Frankie Howerd, Dianne Steiberg and Stargard|
|Blackmail||Science Fiction||1999||Usage of part of the lyrics ("I want you so bad") and part of the tune for the song "3.000.000 Years From Here"[ original research? ]|
|Booker T. and the MGs||McLemore Avenue||1969||Album cover also mimicks the Abbey Road album cover|
|Earth to Andy||Simple Machine||1998||As hidden track at the end of the album that features a "talking guitar" effect|
|Eddie Hazel||Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs||1977||Founding lead guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic. Eddie Hazel's solo debut album|
|Eric Gales Band||Picture of a Thousand Faces||1993|
|The Flaming Lips||-||2011||15-minute performance of the song at NYE Freakout in Oklahoma City, in honour of the special guest performance by The Plastic Ono Band|
|George Benson||The Other Side of Abbey Road||1970|
|George Lynch||Furious George||2004||Cover album|
|Groove Collective||-||1996||Single, which charted in the US|
|Halestorm||ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP||2011|
|Incubus (band)||–||2013||Covered a small snippet of the song multiple times, usually to close their performances during the 2013 and 2014 tour|
|Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs and T.V. Carpio||-||2007||Performance by cast members for Julie Taymor's film Across the Universe'|
|John Legend||Live in Philadelphia||2008|
|The Last Shadow Puppets||-||2008||Performance during the BBC Electric Proms Regularly performed as part of their setlist.|
|Ministry||Cover Up||2008||track only on Japanese issue of the album|
|Noir Désir||Dies Irae||1994||Live album; the title means The Day of Wrath (Lat.)|
|Robyn Hitchcock||CD: Various Artists – Abbey Road Now!||2009||Album of covers of songs from Abbey Road|
|Sarah Vaughan||Songs of the Beatles||1981||Omits any "She's So Heavy" vocals|
|Soda Stereo||-||1990–91||Covered song in several live performances during that time|
|Soulive||Rubber Soulive||2010||Beatles cover album|
|Soundgarden||–||1994–97||Covered the song multiple times, usually to close their performances in their Superunknown and Down on the Upside tours.|
|Steel Train||1969||2004||Cover album|
|Thrice||-||2010||Released as download track for their label Vagrant Records|
|The Dear Hunter||–||2017||Transitioned into "She's so heavy" after performing their song "This Body", as a set closer during live shows|
|Transatlantic||All of the above||2000||Live album, cover appears as last segment of the closing medley|
|Type O Negative||World Coming Down||1999||As part of a medley with "Day Tripper" and "If I Needed Someone"|
|Phillips, Grier & Flinner||Looking Back||2002||Instrumental version, with David Grier on acoustic guitar, Todd Phillips (musician) on acoustic bass, and Matt Flinner on mandolin|
|Umphrey's McGee||The London Session||2015||Recorded at Abbey Road studios in London|
the most convincing exploration of blues and progressive rock the Beatles ever attempted, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
"Get Back" is a song recorded by the Beatles and written by Paul McCartney, originally released as a single on 11 April 1969 and credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston". A different mix of the song later became the closing track of Let It Be (1970), which was the Beatles' last album released just after the group split. The single version was later issued on the compilation albums 1967–1970, 20 Greatest Hits, Past Masters, and 1.
Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 26 September 1969 by Apple Records. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album that the Beatles completed before the band's dissolution in April 1970, most of the album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began. A two-sided hit single from the album, "Something" backed with "Come Together", released in October, topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.
"Think for Yourself" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It was written by George Harrison, the band's lead guitarist, and, together with "If I Needed Someone", marked the start of his emergence as a songwriter beside John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The song's lyrics advocate independent thinking and reflect the Beatles' move towards more sophisticated concepts in their writing at this stage of their career. The song has invited interpretation as both a political statement and a love song, as Harrison dismisses a lover or friend in a tone that some commentators liken to Bob Dylan's 1965 single "Positively 4th Street". Among musicologists, the composition has been recognised as adventurous in the degree of tonal ambiguity it employs across parallel major and minor keys and through its suggestion of multiple musical modes.
"Because" is a song written by John Lennon and recorded by the Beatles in 1969. It features a prominent three-part vocal harmony by Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, recorded three times to make nine voices in all. It first appeared on Abbey Road (1969), immediately preceding the extended medley on side two of the record.
"Come Together" is a song by the Beatles written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on the album Abbey Road and was also released as a single coupled with "Something". The song reached the top of the charts in the United States and peaked at No. 4 in the United Kingdom.
"I Me Mine" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1970 album Let It Be. Written by George Harrison, it was the last new track recorded by the band before their split in April 1970. The song originated from the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in January 1969, and its lyrics serve as a comment from Harrison on the fractious situation within the group at that time. The song's musical mood alternates between waltz-time verses, during which Harrison laments the ego problems afflicting the Beatles, and choruses played in the hard rock style.
"She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" is a song written by Paul McCartney and performed by the Beatles on their album Abbey Road as the fifth song of the Abbey Road medley, followed by "Golden Slumbers".
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was written by Paul McCartney, although credited to Lennon–McCartney. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a pop song with dark, eccentric lyrics about a medical student named Maxwell Edison who commits murders with a hammer. The lyrics are disguised by the upbeat, catchy, and rather "childlike" sound of the song. The recording sessions for the track were an acrimonious time for the Beatles, as McCartney pressured his bandmates to work at length on the song. John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were vocal in their dislike of the song. Author Ian MacDonald began his description of the song by saying, "If any single recording shows why The Beatles broke up, it is 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer.'"
"The End" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was composed by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles, and is the final song of the medley that constitutes the majority of side two of the album.
"Drive My Car" is a song by the Beatles, written primarily by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon. It was first released on the British version of the band's 1965 album Rubber Soul; it also appeared in North America on the Yesterday and Today collection. The upbeat, lighthearted "Drive My Car" was used as the opening track for both albums. Over the years the song has been covered by many artists such as former Spice Girls member Melanie C and Lulu, and the US band Breakfast Club, the latter which was featured in the 1988 film License to Drive, that was played over the opening credits.
"Oh! Darling" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, composed by Paul McCartney, and appearing as the fourth song on the 1969 album Abbey Road. Its working title was "Oh! Darling ". Although not issued as a single in either the United Kingdom or the United States, a regional subsidiary of Capitol successfully edited it as a single in Central America, having "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" as its B-side. It was also issued as a single in Portugal. Apple Records released "Oh! Darling" in Japan with "Here Comes the Sun" in June 1970.
"I Feel Fine" is a song written by John Lennon and released in 1964 by the Beatles as the A-side of their eighth British single. The song has one of the first uses of guitar feedback in popular music.
"Sun King" is a song written primarily by John Lennon, but credited to Lennon–McCartney, and recorded by the Beatles for their 1969 album Abbey Road as the second song of its B-side medley.
"Birthday" is a song written by Lennon–McCartney and performed by the Beatles on their double album The Beatles. It is the opening track on the third side of the LP. The song is an example of the Beatles' return to more traditional rock and roll form, although their music had increased in complexity and it had developed more of its own characteristic style by this point. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performed it for Starr's 70th birthday at Radio City Music Hall on 7 July 2010.
"You Can't Do That" is a song written by John Lennon and released by the Beatles as the B-side of their sixth British single "Can't Buy Me Love".
"You Never Give Me Your Money" is a song by the Beatles. It was written by Paul McCartney and documented the financial and personal difficulties facing the band. The song is the first part of the medley on side two of the 1969 album Abbey Road and was recorded in stages between May and August that year.
"I Want to Tell You" is a song by the English rock group the Beatles from their 1966 album Revolver. It was written and sung by George Harrison, the band's lead guitarist. After "Taxman" and "Love You To", it was the third Harrison composition recorded for Revolver. Its inclusion on the LP marked the first time that he was allocated more than two songs on a Beatles album, a reflection of his continued growth as a songwriter beside John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
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