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Every Little Thing

The history of this classic Beatles song

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The UK sheet music for

The UK sheet music for "Every Little Thing"

source: rarebeatles.com

Every Little Thing

Written by: Paul McCartney (100%)
(credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: September 30, 1964 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: October 27, 1964
Length: 2:01
Takes: 9
Musicians:
John Lennon: lead vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar (1964 Gibson J160E)
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: lead guitar (1964 Rickenbacker "Fire-glo" 360-12)
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig), timpani
George Martin: piano (1905 Steinway Vertegrand "Mrs. Mills")
Available on: (CDs in bold)
Beatles For Sale, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1240, PCS 3062; Parlophone CDP 7 46438 2)
Beatles VI, (US: Capitol (S)T 2358, Capitol CDP 0946 3 57499 2 2)

History:

  • An attempt by Paul at writing a followup single to "A Hard Day's Night," this was auditioned for manager Brian Epstein backstage at a show on their '64 tour and rejected for use as a single. Written by Paul for then-girlfriend Jane Asher while living in her Wimpole Street home in London, it was resurrected for Beatles For Sale when new material was needed.
  • This song is one of the first precursors of the group's famed "middle period," featuring all of that period's stylistic hallmarks: folk-rock guitars, a fadeout instead of an ending, and unusual instrumentation -- in this case tympani drums, which Ringo added to take 8 to make the finished take 9.
  • The first four takes of "Every Little Thing" were an abortive attempt to nail down the song on September 29, 1964; the next day, four more takes were done, and after take 7 dissolved in laughter, 8 proved to be the keeper. The tympani and an edit piece (the guitar intro) were added on take 9, just before work began on "What You're Doing."
Trivia:
  • "Every Little Thing" is one of only a handful of songs in the Beatles canon sung by John but written by Paul. Although John claimed in an interview that he may have contributed slightly, that contribution was likely limited to the high notes in the third line of each verse, which are not typically McCartneyesque. In fact, both John and Paul sing a close harmony all the way through, but since John's vocal line is higher and more prominent, his is often the only vocal which registers with listeners.
  • Some sources claim that John plays lead on this song, due to the style of the solo, and also because George did not arrive at the studio until two hours after the backing track was laid down. However, the guitar being played is indeed George's, although John may have merely borrowed it. The argument has never been resolved.
  • This song was revisited briefly during the stressful rehearsals that were recorded for the Get Back / Let It Be project, with George playing the lick and Paul joining in. Oddly, it was remembered as one of their better songs at that time.
Covered by: The Richard Carpenter Trio, Lou Ann Barton, Yes, Peter Lipa, Les Sauterelles

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