Within You Without You

Highly Appreciated

"Within You Without You"  is a song written by George Harrison and released on the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  It was Harrison's second composition in the Indian classical style, after "Love You To", and was inspired by his six-week stay in India with his mentor and sitar teacher, Ravi Shankar, over September–October 1966.  Recorded in London without the other Beatles, the song features Indian instrumentation such as sitar, dilruba and tabla, and was performed by Harrison and members of the Asian Music Circle.  The recording marked a significant departure from the Beatles' previous work; musically, it evokes the Indian devotional tradition, while the overtly spiritual quality of the lyrics reflects Harrison's absorption in Hindu philosophy and the teachings of the Vedas.  (More from Wikipedia)
Following the Beatles' lead, many rock musicians began incorporating sitar into their recordings, including the Byrds and Stone Poneys; the Beatles song "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", included on their 1965 album Rubber Soul, was the first rock song to include sitar music, which was played by George Harrison on the song.  One of my favorite songs on the Sgt. Pepper album, "Within You Without You", was composed by George Harrison, who plays sitar and another Indian instrument, the tambura; several Indian musicians were also on hand.  

(September 2014)


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Lennon/McCartney appears by most of the Beatles' songs, but starting at least with Revolver, I began to notice that George Harrison was writing many of my favorite Beatles songs.  His contribution to Sgt. Pepper was "Within You Without You"; that song and "A Day in the Life" quickly became my favorite songs on that mammoth album. 
(June 2015)
Last edited: March 22, 2021