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You're Going To Lose That Girl

The history of this classic Beatles song

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The original US sheet music for

The original US sheet music for "You're Going To Lose That Girl"

source: rarebeatles.com

You're Going To Lose That Girl

Written by: John Lennon (100%)
(credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: February 19, 1965 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: February 20 and 23, April 2, 1965
Length: 2:18
Takes: 3
Musicians:
John Lennon: lead vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar (1964 Gibson J160E)
Paul McCartney: backing vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1), piano (1905 Steinway Vertegrand "Mrs. Mills")
George Harrison: backing vocal, rhythm guitar (1961 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster)
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig), bongos
Available on: (CDs in bold)
Help!, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1255; PCS 3071; Parlophone CDP 7 46439 2)
Help!, (US: Capitol (S)MAS 2386)

History:

  • "You're Going To Lose That Girl" (originally printed on the US version of Help! as "You're Gonna Lose That Girl," and sometimes mistakenly listed as such) is a midtempo ballad written by John and recorded in just under three hours at the fourth session for the Help! movie soundtrack.
  • The lyrics are not personal but rather a reversal of the Lennon-McCartney "third-party" gimmick of "She Loves You": here, the singer warns that the girl in question will leave the subject for him if she's not "treated right," a conceit set off nicely by the backing harmonies of Paul and George ("I'll make a point of taking her away from you..." "...that's what you'll do").
  • The quick recording -- this was the last session before the band flew to the Bahamas to begin filming the movie itself -- led to several unfortunate anomalies. The harmony vocals which lead off the track are off-pitch with the rest of the song (you can hear the trio adjusting when the song itself kicks in), while McCartney's piano, overdubbed the same day, is slightly off-key and seems to hit a few wrong notes in spots.
  • This song moves from its home key of E major to a bridge of G major and then back again, an extremely odd shift, and not just for pop music. It is often studied by musicologists to determine how the flow could be executed so smoothly.
Trivia:
  • A second, replacement guitar solo was recorded for this song by George on March 30, 1965, but never used.
  • This song marks the first use of George's 1961 "Sonic Blue" Fender Strat, one of two Mal Evans had been dispatched to pick up from a shop in Kent, England. (John played the other one, though not on this song.)
  • The scene in Help! which features this song contains a naughty sort of pun: the producer recording the boys hears a "buzzing" sound, which proves to be someone cutting the floor around Ringo. When Ringo falls through the hole, John shouts, "It was you buzzing! You naughty boy!," a reference to getting high (or getting a "buzz") on marijuana.
Covered by: Five Man Electrical Band, Hill-Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo, Stars On 45, The Bloomfields, The Cryan' Shames, Firefall, R. Stevie Moore, The Spiders, Dwight Twilley
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