The songs I chose are Got to get you into my life by the Beatles and the covered version is by Earth Wind & Fire. The Beatles version was released in 1966. It was written by Paul McCartney, but it was credited to Lennon-McCartney. What is interesting about this song is that it was written based on McCartney’s psychedelic experience. According to Many Years from Now, Paul McCartney’s biography written by Barry Miles, he says ‘Got to Get You into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot. I’d been a rather straight working-class lad but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting… I didn’t have a hard time with it and to me it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.” In 1978, Earth, Wind & Fire covered Got to Get You into My Life. They originally recorded it to take part in a movie called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the film unfortunately did not gain traction, so the song became popular when “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1,” which was released.
In Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version of “Got to get you into my life”, it is very different from the original version. It is very upbeat and has more of a jazz and soul feeling beat. Considering they released this in 1978 during the disco era, it is understandable of why the version focuses more on a upbeat and fast tempo. What is interesting in their version is that they have a intro that is longer than the Beetles version. In the original, it takes them 7 seconds before they start singing their first verse. In Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version, they have an introduction consisting of percussion, snapping, saxophone, and a bit of guitar. That lasts one minute and 11 seconds and then they sing the first verse. In their introduction, they added “got to get you into my life, into my life” and repeat it multiple times. They did not only change the introduction; they also cut out certain verses from the original. They only sing the first verse, part of the second verse, then jump into the chorus, jump back to the first verse and then repeat their introduction consisting of “got to get you into my life.
The Beetles version is a bit more mellow, which fits with the reason of how the song came to life, and is not as long as Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version. The instruments consist of tambourine, electric rhythm guitar, and percussion. As mentioned before, Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version cut out one of the verses from the original so in the Beetles version, there is one extra verse.
I believe the story being told by both versions is to have a good time, just differently. Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version is to have a good time and provides a beat to dance to and overall get your mood up while the Beetle’s version is a bit more mellow and has a calming tempo, which could correlate to song being about cannabis. In both versions, we can hear that percussion is present and the chorus stays the same.