Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Stop and Smell the Roses Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1981
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1980 (Paul McCartney was 38 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

Related songs

Related interviews

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Song facts

Attention” is a song written by Paul McCartney, and given to Ringo Starr, for inclusion on his 1981 album “Stop And Smell The Roses“. Paul also produced the song, and played on it, during the recording in the south of France, in 1980.

A MPL-produced promotional film, named “The Cooler”, was made in January 1982 to promote it as well as two other tracks from “Stop And Smell The Roses”. Paul and Linda McCartney have a cameo appearance on it.

In April 2022, a demo with Paul McCartney on piano and vocals was auctioned.


A Maxell C-60 audio cassette with handwritten labels, contents including a demo version of ‘Attention’, which was written by Paul McCartney and recorded by Ringo Starr on the 1981 album ‘Stop and Smell The Roses’. This version here is four minutes and two seconds and is simply Paul McCartney recording with piano and vocal percussion accompaniment – both by McCartney. The audio quality is excellent and it is an incredible listen from start to finish. See below for a Youtube video of the track.

Provenance: the tape was given to Howie Casey, who played saxophone on the Ringo Starr album as a reference for the track in preparation for recording sessions. Howie’s wife Sheila Casey would perform backing vocals on the track along with Linda McCartney.

This item is sold as an artefact only, without copyright. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Last updated on April 17, 2022


Ev'rybody needs attention,
Ev'rybody wants to smile,
Ev'rybody needs a mention,
Attention, attention, for a while.

Come on, baby, give it all you've got,
Get into the power of the plot.
You know we'll only get it if we try,
Give me your attention for a while.

Feel it, feel it when you tell me,
You've got time to give me,
Time can run away.

See it, see it in the children,
People of tomorrow,
Living for today.

Your love is fine,
Your love can be mine.

Come on, baby, give it all you've got,
Get into the power of the plot.
You know we'll only get it if we try,
Give it your attention for a while.

Ev'rybody needs attention, (ev'rybody needs attention)
Ev'rybody wants to smile, (ev'rybody wants to smile)
Ev'rybody needs a mention, (ev'rybody needs a mention)
Attention, (attention)
Attention, (attention)
For a while.

Give me your attention for a while.

Officially appears on

Stop and Smell the Roses

Official album • Released in 1981

3:20 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Piano, Producer
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Howie Casey :
Laurence Juber :
Lloyd Green :
Pedal steel guitar

Session Recording:
July 11st-21st, 1980
Studio :
Super Bear Studios, Berre-Les-Alpes, France


Alone Together Vol.1

Unofficial album • Released in 2014

2:00 • Studio version • Edited Mix

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

Shop on Amazon


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John Mackintosh 2 years ago

Saw the April 6, 2022 Guardian today that has an article about the Maxell cassette copy of Paul’s demo of this song being auctioned by Omega Auctions and it is expected to fetch about 10,000 pounds, which works out to about $13,000.00 at the current exchange rate. They even provided a short 30 second excerpt of the demo off YouTube. Reportedly, this belonged to saxophonist Howie Casey for his use prior to the recording session. Features Paul on piano and I wish I could hear all of it but suppose they don’t want to put it up in its entirety on YouTube, especially when they hope for a nice price at the auction.

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