After George was placed in the ‘super tax bracket’, he composed Taxman – a song thoroughly ridiculing the dreaded tax system. John later claimed to have (reluctantly) helped with the lyric and was bitter about not receiving credit in any form for it. The theme was later touched on You Never Give Me Your Money from Abbey Road, which George was quoted as describing that it was nearly impossible to see the actual money they were earning, rather they saw notes and “funny paper”.
Taxman is the first Beatles song to specifically name living people: Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Leader of the Opposition Edward Heath.
“‘Taxman’ was when I first realized that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical.” – George Harrison
“I remember the day he [George] called to ask for help on ‘Taxman’, one of his first songs. I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along, because that’s what he asked for. He came to me because he couldn’t go to Paul, because Paul wouldn’t have helped him at that period. I didn’t want to do it…I just sort of bit my tongue and said OK. It had been John and Paul for so long, he’d been left out because he hadn’t been a songwriter up until then.” – John Lennon
- George Harrison – lead vocals, lead guitar
- John Lennon – backing vocals, rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – backing vocals, bass guitar, lead guitar (solo)
- Ringo Starr – drums, cowbell, tambourine
- Stevie Ray Vaughn (from Greatest Hits)