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What You're Doing

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"What You're Doing"
Song by The Beatles
Album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964 (mono and stereo)
Recorded 29–30 September and 26 October 1964
Abbey Road Studios
Genre Rock
Length 2:30
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Beatles for Sale track listing


We wrote this one in Atlantic City like 'Every Little Thing'. It's not that Atlantic City is particularly inspiring, it's just that we happened to have a day off the tour there. Ringo does a nice bit of drumming decoration in the introduction, and I double-track on the vocal as well as playing some piano.

—Paul McCartney, The Beatles Off The Record, p.135-36 (2000), 1964

His [Paul's] song... I might have done something.

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, 1980

'What You're Doing' was a bit of filler. I think it was a little more mine than John's, but I don't have a very clear recollection so to be on the safe side I'd put it as 50-50. It doesn't sound like an idea that I remember John offering, so it sounds like a way to get a song started, some of them are just that. 'Hey, what'cha doing?' You sometimes start a song and hope the best will arrive by the time you get to the chorus, but sometimes that's all you get, and I suspect this was one of them. Maybe it's a better recording than it is a song, some of them are. Sometimes a good recording would enhance a song.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, p.175-76, 1997


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