Register / Create an Account

Within You Without You

From Beatles Wiki - Interviews, Music, Beatles Quotes

Jump to: navigation, search
"Within You Without You"
Song by The Beatles
Album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 15 March 1967

22 March 1967
3 April 1967

Genre Raga Rock
Length 5:05
Label Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Writer George Harrison
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing
There are so many people who don't understand the sentiment of 'Within You Without You.' They can't see outside themselves, they're too self-important and can't see how small we all are. 'Within You Without You' was just my way of trying to make a Western pop song using some of those instruments and some of those sounds.

—George Harrison

'Within You Without You' was written after I had got into meditation. We had entered into the All You Need Is Love consciousness after the LSD period. The song was written at Klaus Voormann's house in Hampstead, London, one night after dinner. I was playing a pedal harmonium in the house, when the song came to me. The tune came first, then the first sentence ... we were talking ... I finished the words later.

This was during the Sargeant Pepper period, and after I had been taking sitar lessons with Ravi Shankar for some time, so I was getting a bit better on the instrument. I was continually playing Indian music lessons the melodies of which are called Sargams, which are the bases of the different Ragas. That's why around this time I couldn't help writing tunes like this which were based upon unusual scales.

The best part of it for me is the instrumental solo in the middle which is in five/four time — the first of the strange rhythm cycles that I caught on to — one-two, one-two-three; one-two-one-two-three.

—George Harrison, I Me Mine, 1980

I think that this is George's best song, one of my favorites. I like the arrangement, the sound and the words. He is clear on that song. You can hear his mind is clear and his music is clear. It's his innate talent that comes through on that song. George is responsible for Indian music getting over here. That song is a good example.

—John Lennon

George has done a great indian one. We came along one night and he had about 400 indian fellas playing, and it was a great swinging event, as they say.

—John Lennon, 1967

Klaus (Voorman) had a harmonium in his house, which I hadn't played before. I was doodling on it, playing to amuse myself, when 'Within You' started to come. The tune came first, and then I got the first sentence. It came out of what we'd been doing that evening.

—George Harrison

I'm writing more songs now that we're not touring. The words are always a bit of a hangup for me. I'm not very poetic. 'Within You Without You' was written after dinner one night at Klaus Voorman's house. He had a harmonium, which I hadn't played before. I was doodling on it when the tune started to come. The first sentence came out of what we'd been doing that evening... 'We were talking.' That's as far as I got that night. I finished the rest of the words later at home.

—George Harrison, 1967

There are some Indian musicians who worked on Sgt. Pepperwho still haven't been paid simply because George doesn't know their names.

—George Martin

My job was to add Western strings to the song — that is, to find classically trained European fiddle players (frequently of Jewish stock) and get them to mimic their Indian counterparts. This intrigued me no end. I couldn't wait to see the titanic clash of cultures in the studio! When it came to it, the European string players min gled well with the Indian players, but musically the Europeans were sliding around all over the place. This was especially true in the second, or middle section of 'Within You Without You,' where the tabla changes rhythm from a 4/4 to a much more Indian-feeling 5/4 tempo; here, too, the song gets quite fast and tricky. We had a lot of fun getting that right.

—George Martin, Summer of Love, 1994

George, as usual, set joss sticks smouldering in the corners. He looked a bit like the Lone Ranger with his Indian friends. Although the other Beatles were there, they stuck around for the fun of it. None of them played or sang a note. In order to get them to play what he wanted, George would simply sing to the Indian musicians, or occasionally pick a few notes on the sitar.

—George Martin, Summer of Love, 1994


Trippy video with Love mashup of Within You Without You and Tomorrow Never Knows

Personal tools