Rolling Stones songs: If You Need Me
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
People always told me, darling/ That you didn’t mean me no good/ But I know deep down in my heart/ I done the best I could…
Written by: Pickett/Bateman/Sanders
Recorded: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA, June 10-11 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This was Pickett’s first single after leaving The Falcons in 1962. He wrote the song with Robert Bateman and Sonny Sanders, who were members of a group called The Satintones. Bateman, who had produced The Falcons, was one of the first staff songwriters at Motown Records, and one of the first to leave. At Motown, he co-wrote and produced the Marvelettes hits “Please Mr. Postman” and “Playboy,” but didn’t feel he was fairly compensated. Along with Pickett, he joined Lloyd Price’s startup label, Double-L Records, for which they wrote and recorded “If You Need Me.”
Pickett didn’t last long at Double-L; he released two more singles, “It’s Too Late” and “I’m Down To My Last Heartbreak,” before heading to Atlantic, where he recorded his most famous songs.
Soul singer Solomon Burke recorded this soon after Pickett’s version was released. On June 1, 1963, both versions reached their peak chart positions, with Pickett at #64 and Burke besting him at #37. Burke’s version got the attention of The Rolling Stones, who recorded it on their 1964 album 12×5. Tom Jones recorded the song the following year.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“If You Need Me” is a song written in 1963 by Wilson Pickett, the producer
Robert Bateman (co-writer of the Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman”), and
Sonny Sanders. After recording a demo, Pickett sent it to Jerry Wexler, the
charismatic producer at Atlantic Records. Wexler instantly fell for the
melody and characteristic rhythm of the soul ballad and asked Solomon
Burke to record it. The “King of Rock ’n’ Soul,” as he was later nicknamed,
transformed it into one of the biggest hits of his career, taking it to number
2 on the R&B charts. There was nothing Wilson Pickett could do but weep.
Or almost nothing… what he actually did was record his own version of the
song, which was the first release by Lloyd Price’s label, Double L Records,
although he was not able to progress beyond number 30 on the R&B charts
with his own song!
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