The Beatles: Who Played the Piano Parts on ‘You Like Me Too Much” From ‘Help’?
If you were a George Harrison fan, you would have gotten excited for The Beatles’ first LP of 1965: Help! That album, the soundtrack to the film of the same name, featured two tracks by “the quiet Beatle.” It was a big step for Harrison after he got only one original song on the band’s first four albums.
“I Need You,” the first by Harrison, made it into the Help! film and side 1 of the soundtrack. As for the second, “You Like Me Too Much,” that track didn’t make it into the picture. In fact, by the time Help! premiered, “You Like Me Too Much” had already gone out in the U.S. as part of the Beatles VI release on Capitol.
Two months later (August ’65), it turned up in the U.K. on side 2 of Help! “You Like Me Too Much” presented a bit of a puzzle when it came to instrumentation. Along with two parts on an acoustic piano, the Harrison track also features an electric piano player.
The Beatles’ ‘You Like Me Too Much’ features 3 piano parts
“You Like Me Too Much” kicks off with a bluesy feel courtesy of barroom-style piano parts. The sounds come from a Steinway grand in the studio. Behind it, you hear a low-pitch hum that is the second keyboard on the song: a Hohner electric piano. (U.K. listeners would already have heard the Hohner on “The Night Before” on side of 1 of Help!)
Once Harrison starts singing the first verse, you hear the electric piano as part of the backing track. It’s joined by acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, and tambourine. When The Beatles get to the chorus, the Steinway returns to the mix to answer the lead guitar phrases.
That pattern repeats itself, with the electric piano backing Harrison during the verses and the Steinway coming back for the chorus and coda. In the notes from the recording session (cited in Beatles E-Books), it’s clear there were three piano players altogether.
Four of those six hands were on the Steinway. Though producer George Martin usually handled piano leads of this sort, he had some assistance on “You Like Me Too Much.”
Paul McCartney, George Martin, and John Lennon all play piano on ‘You Like Me Too Much’
At this point in the Beatles’ run, the group was very much a band with all hands on deck. John Lennon took the electric piano part and played some tambourine as well on “You Like Me Too Much.” Meanwhile, Martin and Paul McCartney (the latter of whom did backing vocals) both played parts on the Steinway.
While some sources guess it was McCartney playing the rolling piano parts in the beginning and coda, it’s equally likely they were performed by Martin, who was the best piano player at Beatles sessions.
If it were Martin playing the lead on the Steinway, it wouldn’t have been the first time. Martin played the solos on “Lovely Rita” and “Good Day Sunshine,” both of which have piano parts that are similar to “You Like Me Too Much.”