Every Night

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the McCartney LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1970
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1969 (Paul McCartney was 27 years old)

Master release


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Song facts

Every Night” is a track from Paul McCartney’s debut solo album, “McCartney“, released in April 1970.

This came from the first two lines, which I’ve had for years. They were added to in 1969 in Greece (Benitses) on holiday. This was recorded at EMI with:

1. vocal and
2. acoustic guitar
3. drums
4. bass
5. lead guitar (acoustic)
6. harmony to the lead guitar
7. double-tracked vocal in parts
8. electric guitar (not used)
9. track.

Paul McCartney, from the press release of “McCartney”, April 1970

Paul premiered “Every Night” during the “Get Back” sessions with The Beatles: they messed around with it on January 21 and January 24, 1969. He then completed the lyrics in May/June 1969 while on holiday in Corfu.

From Wikipedia:

[…] The lyrics of “Every Night” reflect the difficult situation McCartney was dealing with at the time the song was written, which was in light of the imminent breakup of the Beatles; the words do, however, convey some optimism for the future. According to James McGrath, the last line, “But tonight I just wanna stay in / And be with you,” is the key to the song, in that it “quietly challenges the uneasy relationship between rock and domesticity.” McGrath points out that Bob Dylan’s song from the previous year, “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You,” ended on a similar note.

The vocalized bridge begins with the same melody that begins McCartney’s Beatles song, “You Never Give Me Your Money“.

The structure of ‘Every Night’ is different from many McCartney songs [as rather than] a true chorus, the vocal refrain of ‘every night’ occurs at the beginning of each verse. The repeated section, which could be nominally classed as [the] chorus, [comprises] ‘oo’ vocalisations.” (from “Paul McCartney After The Beatles: a musical appreciation” by Adrian Allan, 2019)

Paul McCartney and Wings performed “Every Night” during their last UK tour in 1979, as well as at the Concert For The People of Kampuchea, a charity concert organized on December 29, 1979.

Paul also recorded a version of “Every Night” for his MTV Unplugged concert in 1991 and performed it during the short 1991 summer tour. He brought back it for his 2002 / 2003 concerts and regularly played it during soundcheck since 2010.


Going back to earlier songs, ‘Every Night’ could stand up to being remade. Other people have made good recordings of it, and I remember that when I played the McCartney album to Ringo he said that he preferred my original solo version, when I had first sung it to him.

Paul McCartney – From interview with Club Sandwich, Winter 1994

I didn’t think it was going to be an album. It was just me recording for the sake of it. Then I started trying to put a few songs in it, alongside the instrumentals. I got things like ‘Every Night’, and ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, so it started to have validity as a collection.

Paul McCartney – From “Conversations with McCartney” by Paul du Noyer

From PopMatters:

Every Night” is one of Paul McCartney’s greatest solo accomplishments. For the life of me, I don’t understand why it (or any songs from the McCartney album) wasn’t ever released as a single. It is rare to find a song that paints such a perfect view of romantic love while staying unique, personal, and cliché-free. […] A lot changed for Paul McCartney in the year 1969, and he reportedly didn’t handle it well. The band that his entire life revolved around—the biggest band in the world, the Beatles—was falling apart, and the resulting tangled mess of hurt feelings and legal matters left him sorely depressed. Getting him through this difficult time was his wife, Linda, who suggested that he should start working on his own music apart from the group. “Every Night” became the resulting tribute to his inspiring spouse.

The album on which it appears has a reputation of being quickly put together, but “Every Night” started out as a possible track for the Beatles’ final album, Let It Be. Though he has stated that he “had the first two lines for a few years” before its recording, Paul finished writing the song later on in 1969 while on vacation in Greece. In the final completed version, acoustic and bass guitars mix together with drums and some background vocals from Linda, who would go on to duet with Paul on many more songs.

Rumor has it that he may have recorded an electric guitar part for this song that was never used and that it may or may not appear on the first take, an alternate version that could be released in the future. […]


From the press release of “McCartney”, April 1970

Last updated on April 13, 2022

Lyrics

Every night I just want to go out
get out of my head.
Every day I don't want to get up
get out of my bed.
Every night I want to play out
& every day I want to do…
But tonight I just want to stay in
and be with you… and be with you.

Chorus. oo…

Every day I lean on a lamppost
I'm wasting my time.
Every night I lay on a pillow
I'm resting my mind.
Every morning brings a new day
& every night that day is through
But tonight I just want to stay in
and be with you…and be with you.

Chorus. oo…

Variations


A Stereo version • From "McCartney"


A1993 1993 remaster • From "McCartney (1993)"

A2001 2001 remaster • From "Wingspan Hits And History"

A2011 2011 remaster • From "McCartney - Archive Collection"

A2020 2020 half-speed mastering • From "McCartney (50th Anniversary)"

L1 Live version • "Concert For The People of Kampuchea" • Dec 29, 1979

L2 Live version • "MTV Unplugged" • Jan 25, 1991 • From "Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)"

L3 Live version • Dallas • Reunion Arena • USA • May 09, 2002 • From "Back In The U.S."

L4 Live version • Glasgow • Apollo Centre • United Kingdom • Dec 17, 1979 • From "McCartney - Archive Collection"

Officially appears on


McCartney

LP • Released in 1970

2:40 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Vocals
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 23, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 24, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon




Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)

Official live • Released in 1991

3:25 • LiveL2

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh :
Acoustic guitar, Vocal harmonies
Hamish Stuart :
Acoustic bass, Vocal harmonies
Paul Wickens :
Piano
Blair Cunningham :
Drums
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer
Gary Stewart :
Assistant engineer
Peter Craigie :
Assistant engineer
Gary Bradshaw :
Monitor engineer

Concert From "MTV Unplugged" in Wembley, United Kingdom on Jan 25, 1991


McCartney (by DCC Compact Classics)

CD • Released in 1992

2:40 • Studio versionA1992 • Stereo • 1992 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Vocals
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Hoffman :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Feb 23, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 24, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


McCartney (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

2:40 • Studio versionA1993 • Stereo • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Vocals
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Peter Mew :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Feb 23, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 24, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Wingspan Hits And History

Official album • Released in 2001

2:35 • Studio versionA2001 • 2001 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Vocals
Geoff Emerick :
Remastering
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Peter Mew :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Feb 23, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 24, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Wingspan Hits And History (US version)

Official album • Released in 2001

2:35 • Studio versionA2001 • 2001 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Vocals
Geoff Emerick :
Remastering
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Peter Mew :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Feb 23, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 24, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Wingspan Hits And History (Japanese version)

Official album • Released in 2001

2:35 • Studio versionA2001 • 2001 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Vocals
Geoff Emerick :
Remastering
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Peter Mew :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Feb 23, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 24, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Back In The U.S.

Official live • Released in 2002

2:51 • LiveL3

Paul McCartney :
Executive producer
Performed by :
Paul McCartneyRusty AndersonAbe Laboriel Jr.Paul WickensBrian Ray
David Kahne :
Producer
Michael Brauer :
Recording engineer
Ricardo Chavarria :
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Dallas, USA on May 09, 2002


Bootlegs


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 21st, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:13 • Rehearsal • Jan.21 - D1-24 - Every Night 21.19

Performed by :
Paul McCartney

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 24th, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:50 • Rehearsal • Jan.24 - D3-17 - Every Night 24.60

Session Recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 1

Unofficial album

1:16 • Demo

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 1

Unofficial album

6:08 • Demo

Session Recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.14

Unofficial album

4:22 • Studio version


Films


Every Night (Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea)

2011 • For Wings • Directed by Keith McMillan

Live performances

“Every Night” has been played in 136 concerts and 88 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where Every Night has been played


Paul McCartney in Casual Conversation from LIPA

Jul 25, 2018 • United Kingdom • Liverpool • Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts



BBC Radio 4 Mastertapes

May 28, 2016 • United Kingdom • London • BBC Maida Vale Studios • Radio show


Special Valentine’s Day Concert

Feb 14, 2015 • USA • New York • Irving Plaza



Going further


If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible

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