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You Won't See Me

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"You Won't See Me"
Song by The Beatles
Album Rubber Soul
Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 11 November 1965,
EMI Studios
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 3:22 (stereo version)
3:25 (mono version)
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Rubber Soul track listing


—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, p.165, 1980

Normally I write on guitar and have full chords, or on the piano and have full chords, but (“You won’t see me”) was written around two little notes, a very slim phrase, a two-note progression that I had very high on the first two strings of the guitar: the E and the B strings. I had it up on the high E position, and I just let the note on the B string descend a semitone at a time, and kept the top note the same, and against that I was playing a descending chromatic scale. Then I wrote the tune for “You won’t see me” against it. I changed it but it was still a two-note thing but instead of it going down I pushed it up and then came down again; just a slight variation. It was 100 per cent me as I recall, but I am always quite happy to give John a credit because there’s always a chance that on the session he might have said, 'That’d be better.' To me, it was very Motown-flavored. It’s got a James Jamerson feel. He was the Motown bass player, he was fabulous, the guy who did all those great melodic bass lines. It was him, me, and Brian Wilson who were doing melodic bass lines at the time, all from completely different angles, LA, Detroit and London, all picking up on what each other did.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, 1994

'You Won't See Me', Paul's song, was recorded in two takes, with various overdubs. According to the record sleeve it featured the Beatles' assistant Mal Evans on Hammond organ, but no such sound is detectable on the tape or disc. There is however a piano, played by Paul.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p.68, 1988

Additional Resources


  1. Olivier Julien, "Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles: it was forty years ago today", (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd, 2008), ISBN 0754667081, p.27.
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