Did Paul sing
You say Yes, I say NO?
"I Want You" ?

It is told that Paul sang "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" for a test during ABBEY ROAD session, and the track is exist. Despite many opinions saying it's a fake, I suppose it's a real one.
The reason is;

  1. The vocal sounds like Paul's. Although it's quite different from the Paul's brilliant vocals on the legitimate releases, it sounds similar to his relaxed voice that can be heard on many outtakes.
  2. The way of singing. The melody line is different from that of the released version of "I Want You", especially in the line of "She's so heavy ---". I suppose that there's such a difference because the song was unfinished at that time. If it was played to imitate the Beatles, why the melody should be so different from the original?

But some questions are above me;

  1. This track is originally released on a vinyl bootleg titled "ROUGH NOTES", with a track titled "I Need You" (definitely not by the Beatles). At that time both "I Want You" and "I Need You" were new materials. Were these two tracks taken from the same source? (It is also told that the tracks were recorded by The Mortimer, they have covered "Two of Us" in 1970.)
  2. Mark Lewisohn once told that Paul took vocal for once during the rehearsals of this song. But this part has been omitted in his following book (The Complete Beatles Chronicle). The reason of the revision has not been documented, but it's quite possible that the session is not found on official record of EMI Studio.

You can hear the track on the following CDs.


Opinions from all over the world...

  • I don't think that is the Beatles at all. When I first got the CD I was so excited about finally hearing this track that I didn't even consider that it could be fake, but now I find that this recording is distinctly un-Beatly. The quality the Beatles have in their playing, especially when playing informally, is definitely lacking here. The voice is quite unlike Paul's really. You could trick yourself that it is Paul here and there, but it really sounds quite different - none of Paul's distinctive screams. (Doug Holland, Canada)

  • Check out the "She's so..." part of this outtake. I think this part is John. "...heavy..." give it another listen, I'm convinced. And I agree, the main part of the song is Paul! (Beatlesam, USA)

  • The song was finished at this point, as the final version of the song comes from the February 22 '69 Trident session. George and Billy Preston are not playing on this recording, but were present and are featured on the final version (and I assume, all the 35 takes). The Paul vocal is convincing at first, but once it gets to 'She's so h-e-a-v-y!' it's not even close. (Erek Barsczewski, Canada)

  • I support you, it is a game of voices mixed at the studio. (Eduardo, Peru)

  • It sounds like him. People say it's not him because of the quality of the voice and performance. For your information the Beatles did have un-productive recording sessions that produced garbage. No-one is great all the time. To me it sounded like paul was having a go at it because he was bored and was killing time and he maybe was trying the song out to see if he can give John incite or a new idea? (Robert Petro, USA)

  • Yesterday I had a quick listening to Oh, I want you. I think the singer's sound is very near to Paul's but it isn't him. The band plays like the Cream. And I think, although Paul is one of the greatest bass players it's almost impossible to play that line and sing at the same time. This recording shows more that the guitarist is also singing because of the note bending is realy sinchonizing his voice. More on this later. (Misha, Holland)

  • The vocal is false. Is not Paul. Mark Lewisohn omits the vocal information. Is possible this fault? (Jose Renato, Brazil)

  • The vocal is (in my opinion) obviously not Paul, but the cincher is the drumming. Every drummer has a distinct style and Ringo is DEFINITELY NOT playing drums (or Paul for that matter). What we have here is someone trying to imitate Ginger Baker of Cream! Anyways, I thought it was finally found out that this and "I Need You" came from a demo tape of an amateur band and was placed on the Rough Notes LP as a joke by the bootleggers. (Dave, USA)

  • The drums tell the tale. Compare the drumming on the boot with the drumming on the official release. Either Ringo took a radically different approach to the song on two takes during the same session - which seems very unlikely - or it's not Ringo. (Ted Greenwald)

  • The recording is fantastic!!! The voice, I believe is Paul. (Paulo Soares, Brazil)

  • Not to insult anybody but this is a room cassette recording of 3 "musicians" doing a bad version of a great Lennon song. It is also at this point to wish a "outtake" into being a Beatles rarity quite unecessary. ("Peace of Mind" or "Have You Heard The Word" come to mind)
    It has the exact same sound as "I Need You" and is by the same band. But for those who still insist, the real proof is in the drumming. Ringo is not the fanciest drummer of all time but he is steady as a rock. NEVER slows down or speeds up. This guy is all over the place. Mostly speeding up. (Doubleneck)

  • I was listening to "I Want You" and I noticed the recording was too slow (I used Goldwave to speed up the recording 1.09). When I listened to the song it wasn't Paul at all, it was John (Paul sang "I Need You" (not the same version from George)) and since the music is the same as in the offical release of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", I know it's the Beatles (I have a good ears). (David Graves)

  • After reading the comments posted in your site, I took a listen to 3 tracks on the newly released 30 Days Album. It is apparent from that work that:

    John himself sang "I need you ..." on 30 Days 12.11 (GB28.new, possibly 28.29) a new track that has emerged for the first time on the Thirty Days series. Thus, the Beatles themselves actually recorded the "I need you ..." line.
    John also sang "I love you ..." on 30 Days 12.12 (GB28.28). As was John's style, he sang whatever came into his head during these jam sessions because either he couldn't remember the words or he wanted to try something out.
    Paul definitely can be heard singing "I want you ..." on 30 Days 16:1 (GB31.new) another new track to emerge on the Thirty Days series. Also as was the case Paul and John often swapped singing the lead in these jam sessions. John, for example, took the lead on Get Back or sang it as a duet with Paul (e.g., the track recorded on January 10).

    Finally, listening to the 30 days series in sequence, there is no question that track 16:1 (with Paul singing the line and Billy Preston's unique keyboard style) is apart of the 30 Days jam sessions. Hopefully, then, this new track on the Thirty Days series will show that Paul did indeed sing the line. (WORDtripper)
    p.s., if it is so vexing for people, has anyone thought to ask Sir Paul the question? (smile)

  • You can believe that the Beatles were "perfect" if you want, but they played shit, too, just like any self-respecting band does in order to suss out what NOT to play as well. This IS the Beatles at their bootleg best!!! (DogpoopBreath)

  • I believe it was Paul. Why would one Beatle not do a version of another Beatle's song? I was a little surprised to read that Paul actually sang on it and it sounded all right. I have always had my doubts about "I Need You". I wouldn't be surprised to find (at least) "I Need You" would be a put-on. (ftm1963)

  • Well, The songs ; I NEED YOU & I WANT YOU, are NOT sung by any of The Beatles at all! Nevertheless, there's a version of Paul Singing I WANT YOU indeed, this version can be found on 30 DAYS by VIGOTONE. There's also Paul singing : WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS & I'M SO TIRED. We all know how Paul was compelled to give it a go or two on vocals, when It came to John's songs. The Bottom Line is ; The ABBEY ROAD COMPANION album has two outfakes : I WANT YOU & I NEED YOU. The letter being ridiculously different from anything the Beatles ever sung! Period! (Alessandro Marinho, Brazil)

  • That's Paul singing I Want You (She's So Heavy). I always wondered why, but I have a theory: Maybe he wanted to see if he could be The Beatles all by himself? Sort of a 'rehearsal' for the McCartney album? So, in keeping with that theory: Maybe it's him singing and playing all the instruments? Because it surely is his vocal. (Roger, Norway)

(Thank you for comments, folks!)
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