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“You Really Got a Hold on Me”

Listen to “You Really Got a Hold on Me”

About “You Really Got a Hold on Me”

“You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” is a song written by Smokey Robinson, which became a 1962 Top 10 hit single for the Miracles. One of the Miracles’ most covered tunes, this million-selling song received a 1998 Grammy Hall of Fame Award. It has also been selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

“You Really Got A Hold On Me” was the first track recorded for The Beatles second LP With The Beatles, and features John Lennon and George Harrison on lead vocals with Paul McCartney on harmony vocals.

The Beatles recorded the song on July 18, 1963. This session took place while Please Please Me was still at number one in the album charts four months after its release, and in the midst of a rigorous touring schedule that also had to include BBC sessions for radio and television. It was completed in seven takes, four of which were complete. The group then recorded four edit pieces. The final version was an edit of takes 7, 10 and 11.

The Beatles also recorded “You Really Got a Hold on Me” on four occasions for BBC radio in 1963. One of these, from July 30, 1963 was included on the Live at the BBC collection. A live version recorded in Stockholm, Sweden, in October 1963 was released in 1995 on Anthology 1. The song was performed once again in 1969, during the Let It Be recording sessions, and featured in the 1970 documentary film, Let It Be.

Meaning of “You Really Got a Hold on Me”

The lyrics of “You Really Got a Hold on Me” convey a message of emotional vulnerability and the power of love. The singer expresses how deeply he is affected by his romantic partner, acknowledging that this person has a profound and irresistible hold on him. Despite any difficulties or challenges, the singer feels unable to break free from the grip of his love.

“You Really Got a Hold on Me” is about the all-encompassing nature of love and the impact it can have on a person’s emotions and decisions. The Beatles’ version of it adds their own unique touch to this classic love ballad.


  • John Lennon – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, lead vocals
  • Paul McCartney – bass guitar, harmony vocals
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – piano

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