WCBS 101.1 FM in New York City is the most listened to radio station in the U.S., with its transmitter located on the top of the Empire State Building. Every Wedensday when I am in my office I listen to WCBS via internet radio because they have their famous “Beatles Wednesday” which entails more playing of Beatles songs along with interesting factoids and trivia, both on the air and on the WCBS-FM website (www.cbsfm.com). It was from a Beatles Wednesday not too long ago that I got the idea for a post about the classic song “Got to Get You into My Life”.
The last Beatles hit released was “The Long and Winding Road”, which stayed at # 1 for two weeks in June 1970. However, some of you may remember that in the summer of 1976, strangely enough the song “Got to Get You Into My Life” was released as a single, received major airplay and reached # 7 on the Top 40! “Helter Skelter” was on the B-side. This marked the first time that the song was released as a single, as it was not released as a single when Revolver was released in 1966. The song was released as a single in 1976 as a promo to bring attention to the Rock N Roll Music compilation album of Beatles works.
What received much attention years later in 1997 was Barry Miles’ book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, in which McCartney disclosed that the song was actually about marijuana. He said,”‘Got to Get You into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot … So [it’s] really a song about that, it’s not to a person. It’s actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.”
“Got to Get You into My Life” also has the distinction of being the first ever Beatles song to use horns. Three trumpet players were brought in for the sessions as well as two tenor saxophonists. Also, John Lennon claimed it was one if his favorite Beatles songs written primarily by Paul, and also liked the fact that it was a song about marijuana.
The fact that it reached # 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1976, some ten years after its original release, is eye-opening. Early on, it was competing with Wings’ “Silly Love Songs”, which held the top slot on the charts for five weeks in the early part of the summer of 1976.
Similarly, ten years later, in 1986, “Twist and Shout” was released again as a single and reached # 23. It had attracted a new following after being featured in the hit summer movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, helping to form a new generation of Beatles fans.
I recommend checking out “Beatles Wednesday” on WCBS-FM because it is always chock full of cool surprises. WCBS-FM has faithful daily listeners from all over the world who tune in on the internet to make it the soundtrack to their workday. I have the station on constantly in my office via internet.