The Beatles Isolated Bass & Drum Track: I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

I Want You (She’s So Heavy), penned by John Lennon, is one of the standout tracks from the Abbey Road album and one of the finest songs The Beatles ever recorded. What we have here is the isolated bass and drums tracks from the song, and the results are fantastic.

Take a listen:

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYrtxR57SoE

For a song that’s so guitar heavy on the album (in a good way) it’s interesting to hear the song isolated with just bass and drums. The stripped back nature of this track opens up the bass in particular to the point where you can hear everything Paul plays which may have been hidden slightly on the final album version. The bass during the outro section in particular is a joy to listen to with Paul playing along to the chord sequence differently every time.

Ringo’s drums are also excellent, as you’d imagine. Ringo gets unwarranted stick about his drumming, mainly from people who have no idea when they are talking about when it comes to anything musical. Here you’re able to listen to Ringo’s drumming at it’s finest, complimenting the bass perfectly. Outstanding.

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12 thoughts on “The Beatles Isolated Bass & Drum Track: I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

  1. Dale Ramirez says:

    I think Mr. Ringo Starr should utilize-love that big word-his all star band and perform I want you she so heavy in all his concerts…you are right…that song should be played on classic rock KGB IN SAN Diego…its helped what made Abbey Road an ingredient of a fond farewell of the Beatles…Maybe the last one George Martin aided in…..maybe Paul could guest…a dream…

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  2. Jack says:

    Ringo is GOAT rock drummer. I mean that with no hyperbole. He really was the best at picking his spots and keeping perfect time and, as showcased here, playing off the bass like a master. Fuck all the Ringo haters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael Conroy (@mgconroy54) says:

      Jack, I suppose one’s opinion of Ringo boils down to how one views the purpose of the instrument. Personally, I feel that drums are the anchor of the rhythm section; thus, keeping time is the most important function of a drummer. Using that criterion, the metronymic Ringo is, indeed, the GOAT. However, a sizable contingent of listeners and musicians view drumming as every bit as worthy of being front and center as guitars, keyboards, etc. These are the proponents of Neil Peart, Bill Bruford, et al., guys who can flash all over the kit but who could not keep consistent time if someone implanted a click track in their brains. As a drummer myself, I am with you on this one, but opinions are like assholes, as you know.

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      • David Snyder says:

        “Muir taught me that you exist to serve the music, the music does not exist to serve you.” — Bill Bruford. If just need to keep time, get a metronome (that said, Bruford kept consistent time, I heard him live many times). While Ringo kept great time, he also had musical sense (“Rain”, oh yeah) — he knew not just when to play but WHAT to play and how to play it.

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  3. Steve Blood says:

    I wouldn’t call it ‘Isolated’ by any stretch, but the bass-playing is FAB. Rock-solid and adventurous. Reminds me of Geddy Lee.

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  4. rob says:

    As a drummer found ringo a bit simple. But now realize that although many drummers can play his rhythms it is his touch and faultless timing that makes him great. Never too busy…maybe a musician more than a drummer.

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  5. Zoran Medved says:

    Great! But also, when one hears this stripped down tracks compared with the final result on the record, has to admire the mastery of mr. George Martin even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rusty says:

    Ringo’s drumming was great from the start. He most often set the perfect rhythm for The Beatles’ songs. Very few exceptions, like Paul coming up with the drum part on “Ticket To Ride”. This will seem obscure to some, but I first heard The Beatles’ “I’ll Get You” in ’64 when I was 8. The rhythm Ringo came up with for the verses is what bowled me over. Outstanding examples of Ringo’s brilliance as a musician/drummer were dealing with many of John Lennon’s originals. John’s songs would often change time signatures going from the verses to the bridge and back. During the early rehearsals of those songs, the group would just try to plow through John’s time changes. Ringo would have to stop the other three, explain to them what was happening, and then come up with rhythms that made sense and would smoothly transition back and forth through John’s timing changes. As far as Ringo fitting Paul’s bass so well in “I Want You” : Since about 1966, or so, Paul always wanted to record his bass lines on the last open tape track, after the backing tracking (and often the vocals) were already recorded. He, alone, would keep the engineer up throughout the night adding his bass, being careful to offer the most without stomping on *any* other part of a given song. I believe Ringo set the entire rhythm on “I Want You” and Paul added his bass to fit in, after everything else was sung and done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ChelseaD says:

    The Bass playing is far out! Yes, the ending is great etc, but it is the early verses that blow me away. The imagination! To do it sparse like that; with those dead stops. Then he starts almost walking it during the last verse after the first bridge; that is also where he starts doing those vicious dive bombs. It’s right around the 4 minute mark.
    When did Paul go back to the Hofner? He went to the Rick around ‘Pepper’ right? But he came back to the Hofner. This here on Abbey Road sounds like all Hofner.

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  8. cobrunstrom says:

    Interesting that Ringo’s best moments seem to be on Lennon tracks – “Rain”, “She Said She Said” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”. He’s also superb on the Plastic Ono Band album.

    Like

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