#577: The Beatles – I Need You

It was the sixteenth anniversary of George Harrison’s passing this last week, so it’s very fitting that today’s song is one by the singer/guitarist/overall cool guy that he wrote during those hectic years when he was in The Beatles. ‘I Need You’ was the second Harrison-written composition to make its way onto a Beatles album, appearing on the group’s fifth album, Help!, in 1965.

His first try ‘Don’t Bother Me‘ made its way onto With the Beatles, which Harrison more or less described as an exercise to test whether he could actually write a song. It wasn’t too bad. But of course with John Lennon and Paul McCartney writing their stuff, it was always hard to get a word in. Another song of his entitled ‘You Know What to Do’ was worked on in 1964, though no one seemingly liked it….. It would be two years until Harrison would get his own song on a Beatles album. On Help! he got two, along with ‘You Like Me Too Much’. Because Apple are a bunch o’tight poops I can’t link those songs for ya, but you can find ’em yourselves.

I like ‘I Need You’. Simply another love song that The Beatles were so good at doing in that Beatlemania phase. It’s a track of thoughts and feelings when a relationship ends and you’re just left with the weight of the world on your shoulders. It’s not emotionally heavy at all. It’s all upbeat. Has a simple melody that doesn’t take too long to remember. That volume pedal guitar is possibly the musical highlight of it all as it echoes Harrison’s lines. It feels like a brisk bike ride in a park. It’s very easygoing. It’s always good to here George’s voice once in a while.

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My iPod #28: Test Icicles – All You Need Is Blood

All You Need Is Blood! Get it? It’s almost like that Beatles song.

Test Icicles certainly weren’t the band who sounded like they were influenced by The Beatles. Again, they were a band, but unfortunately the music that made was not the music that they were particularly interested in. They formed in 2004, and later split two years later in 2006.

The album this track was released on ‘For Screening Purposes Only’, was released to positive praise on Halloween 2005. Test Icicles were the next biggest thing in dance-punk indie rock terms. Considered to be ‘bigger than The Beatles’ by NME and ‘all cobra’ by Pitchfork Media, the album indeed is very eccentric and filled to the brim with bursting energy, backed up with crazy guitars and a booming, yet pre-recorded, rhythm section.

My sister went through a period around 2005/06 when she started borrowing various albums from her friends. She borrowed this one.

Test Icicles had three main vocalists who all brought their own sound to the table. The main vocalist on this song is Devonte Hynes, though you may know him better as Lightspeed Champion. In fact, Hynes only sings this song and the mindfuck that is ‘Catch It!‘ Sam Mehran sings part of the chorus and pre-chorus too.

I don’t know what this song is about to be honest. You would have to listen to it for yourself to try and get something, but you don’t have to understand a song to enjoy it.

Look out for the backwards rap at the end of the song, also done by Sam Mehran.

If you want to know how the rap sounds like forwards, click here. That’s my video 😀

The song ends. Then, out of nowhere, a bass riff starts. Reminds you of Jaws doesn’t it? It hypnotises you, sets you in a real mysterious, foreboding mood. It leads right into the next song. That’s for another post.

Until next time.

Jamie.

My iPod #16: Radiohead – All I Need

‘In Rainbows’ was the long awaited Radiohead album that was released as a download, pay-as-much-as-you-want in 2007.

I’m not a great fan of the band, in comparison to other crazy Radiohead fans, I am nothing – I might have already said this in my ‘Airbag‘ blog.

So when ‘In Rainbows’ way back when, I didn’t really see the fuss about it. I thought it was cool that people could pay whatever they wanted like 1p or £100, most fans paid nothing anyway, which resulted in many complaints about how companies don’t get enough money for their stuff being released or whatever. Apparently, pre-release sales were more profitable than the total money from sales of ‘Hail to the Thief.’ So they must have done something right from changing their selling tactics.

I have to admit too that as an album, I still haven’t given ‘In Rainbows’ a chance. I’ve never sat down and fully listened to the whole package. I should do. I really should. Most fans like it more than ‘Hail to the Thief’ and I think that ‘HTTT’ is a very good album, so what could go wrong?

The songs on my iPod from this album are not those I liked upon listening to the album once I received it for Christmas 2007. ‘Jigsaw Falling into Place’ played repeatedly on MTV2 and I liked that song and the video too, no matter how weird the cameras were. The song would be the first I would hear from ‘In Rainbows’.

I first properly paid attention to ‘All I Need’ when MTV2, again, dedicated five minutes of its schedule to advertise its EXIT campaign. The ‘advert’ was basically a music video for ‘All I Need’, which you can watch by clicking these two words.

Still, I didn’t think much of it.

Listening to it many times after though, I realised that the song is great. Quite calming actually. You’re provided with a smooth, soothing vocal by Thom Yorke with a steady backbeat by Phil Selway and a strong bassline by Colin Greenwood. The lyrics come off kinda stalkerish, ‘I am all the days, that you choose to ignore’, ‘You are all I need. You’re alll I neeeeeeeed.’ You probably wouldn’t recognise this, because the instrumentation is very calming. It’s like slowly sinking into a beanbag when you begin to sleep in it. But then, the song picks up and there are thrashing cymbal crashes, a chorus of piano and, overall, a real build in tension of atmosphere with Thom singing ‘It’s all right, it’s allll riiiiiiiight!’ And just when you think the song is going to climax, it ends.

It’s a magical song. I really need to listen to ‘In Rainbows’. Fully though, not just the singles.

Until next time.

Jamie.