The Paul McCartney Project

Beautiful Night

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1997
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Beautiful Night” is a song by Paul McCartney and is the 13th track on his 1997 album Flaming Pie. In December 1997, it was released as the third and final single from that album, peaking at number 25 in the UK Singles Chart (see 1997 in British music).

The song was originally recorded in August 1986 in New York. That version can be heard on the CD single as part of the “Oobu Joobu” section.

The song features the first of two collaborations McCartney performed with Ringo Starr on Flaming Pie (the second being “Really Love You“) as well as an orchestration by George Martin, recorded at Abbey Road Studios.

Music video

The video accompanying the single was directed by Julien Temple and had to be re-edited as a brief glimpse of a woman skinnydipping caused a minor controversy. Also appearing in the video were Ringo Starr, Linda McCartney (her final appearance in a music video) and the band Spud (although they are shown performing with McCartney, they did not contribute to the recording of the track). The video debuted during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

From the album liner notes:

Working on the Anthology prompted Paul to suggest that he and ringo renew a collaboration not experienced for ten years. “Beautiful Night” was a decade old itself, and a recording made in New York had been on the shelf, unused, since 1986. With Paul at the piano and Ringo on drums (playing, incidentally, a replica arrangement of his own kit, which Paul had bought and modeled on Ringo’s set up after the “Real Love” session) the song came together comfortably. Wanting to play some guitar on the end, Paul also introduced a new element to his composition, the uptempo finale. Finally, the recording was enhanced by an orchestral arrangement scored by George Martin and overdubbed at Abbey Road on St. Valentine’s Day 1997.

“I unearthed this old song for when Ringo was coming, changed a few lyrics and it was really like the old days, I realized that we hadn’t done this for so long, but it was very comfortable. And it was still there.”

Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwitch n°82, Summer 1997:

I wrote ‘Beautiful Night’ quite a few years ago, and I’ve always liked it, and people who heard an early recording that I made in New York, with some of Billy Joel’s players, have said that they liked it too. But I always felt that we hadn’t quite “pulled it off’ – you know? We had a good evening and a great time but I just didn’t feel that it was the one. Also, I was still changing a few lyrics. So I did it with Ringo instead – I’ve been saying to him for years that we should do some more work together. He’s great. 

I sat at the piano and Ringo sat at the drums. It was so comfortable and lovely to work with him again. Jeff Lynne and I produced. Ringo was very happy with it and we tagged on the fast bit at the end, which wasn’t on the original recording. 

Ringo came here, to the studio, to do ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, and brought his kit with him. It sounds great when it’s recorded, the snare, the bass. He then left his kit here, in storage, so I phoned up and ordered exactly the same pieces, and set up my new kit in exactly the same way. In fact, Ringo used my model of his kit for ‘Beautiful Night’.

Mark Lewisohn, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

[…] With Paul at the piano and Ringo on drums, the song came together comfortably. Wanting to play some guitar on the end, Paul introduced a new element to his composition, the uptempo finale, and the microphone caught some characteristic ad-libbing by Ringo and Paul as they prepared to leave the studio. The recording then remained the same for nine months before Paul decided to have it enhanced by an orchestral arrangement, scored by George Martin and recorded in Studio One at Abbey Road on 14 February 1997.

Last updated on May 15, 2018

Lyrics

Someone's gone out fishing
Someone's high and dry
Someone's on a mission, to the lonely Lorelei
Some folks got a vision of a castle in the sky
And I'm left stranded, wondering why

You and me together
Nothing feels so good
Even if I get a medal from my local neighbourhood
I won't need a castle, they've got castles in Versailles
And I'm still stranded, wondering why

Make it a beautiful night for me
It's a beautiful night for love
A wonderful sight for lovers of love to behold
Make it a beautiful night for me
It's a beautiful night for love
A wonderful sight for lovers of love to behold

Some boat's on the ocean
We're here in this room
Seems to me the perfect way to spend an afternoon
We can look for castles, pretty castles in the sky
No more wondering, wondering why

Things can go wrong, things can go right
Things can go bump in the dead of the night
So let me be there, let me be there
Let me be there with you in the dead of the night

Make it a beautiful night for me
It's a beautiful night for love
A wonderful sight for lovers of love to behold
Make it a beautiful night for me
Such a beautiful night for love
Such a wonderful sight for lovers of love to behold

Yeah, it's a beautiful night
Yeah, it's a beautiful night

Yeah, beautiful night, beautiful night
It's such a beautiful night, beautiful night.

Officially appears on


Flaming Pie

Official album • Released in 1997

5:03 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer, Wurlitzer piano
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocal
Ringo Starr:
Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Drums
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 13-14, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Overdubs:
Feb 14, 1997
Studio:
Abbey Road Studios


Beautiful Night #2

EP • Released in 1997

5.03 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer, Wurlitzer piano
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocal
Ringo Starr:
Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Drums
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 13-14, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Overdubs:
Feb 14, 1997
Studio:
Abbey Road Studios


Beautiful Night #1

EP • Released in 1997

5:03 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer, Wurlitzer piano
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocal
Ringo Starr:
Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Drums
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 13-14, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Overdubs:
Feb 14, 1997
Studio:
Abbey Road Studios


Beautiful Night #1

EP • Released in 1997

4:02 • Studio versionB • 1986 original version


Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Hammond organ, Lead vocal, Piano, Producer, Wurlitzer piano
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocal
Ringo Starr:
Additional percussion, Backing vocal, Drums
Jeff Lynne:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Electric guitar, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
Keith Smith:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 13-14, 1996
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Overdubs:
Feb 14, 1997
Studio:
Abbey Road Studios

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.20

Unofficial album

6:12 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

2:00 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

1:23 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

0:45 • Studio version


Now Hear This

Unofficial album

5:55 • Studio version


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.