I WANT YOU (SHE’S SO HEAVY)
The first song initiated for Abbey Road but one of the last to be completed, I Want
You (She’s So Heavy) was the longest track The Beatles recorded (except for musique concrète sound collage Revolution 9), longer even than Hey Jude.
I Want You’s composition saw John Lennon not so much smitten with Yoko Ono as completely obsessed, and its 12-word lyric nags undeniably. ‘I want you, I want you so bad, it’s
driving me mad’, an insistent circular repetition asserts, resignation turns to desperation as riffs echo support, before the awestruck admission:
‘She’s so heavy.’ Jaunty bossa nova lightens the mood post-chorus (highlighting Ringo’s casual excellence across an itchy stop-start rhythm bed), prior to an extraordinary three-minute coda of apposite heaviness. In recognition of Yoko’s avant-garde background, Lennon bolstered the song’s extended conclusion (ultimately cut dead into silence) with a synth wash of white noise. The track clearly engaged the dissolute band, providing their final hurrah as an airtight ensemble: Harrison bolstering the circular riff’s might, McCartney playing out of his skin and Starr operating a wind machine over the final mesmerising tumult. With Billy Preston (on organ) ensuring a veneer of in-band courtesy I Want You (She’s So Heavy) captured latter-period Beatles at their best.