The Paul McCartney Project

Girlfriend

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the London Town Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1978

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions



"London Town" sessions #4

October 25 to December 1, 1977

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Girlfriend” is a song written by Paul McCartney. McCartney thought of the song as one that Michael Jackson might like to record, and mentioned this to Jackson at a party in Hollywood. Jackson had stated in interviews with the music press in the 1970s that he was a fan of The Beatles and the chance to record a McCartney original helped to inspire his next project. However, McCartney ended up recording it himself with his band Wings, and it was issued in 1978 on the album London Town. Subsequently, it was suggested by Quincy Jones as a possible track for Jackson to record for his 1979 album Off the Wall. Jones was unaware that the song had been written for Jackson in the first place. Jackson’s recording omitted the middle eight heard in McCartney’s version. It was issued as a single in 1980, in the UK only, as the fifth and final single from the Off the Wall album. This proved to be another huge hit single for Jackson and one of his first recordings of a Paul McCartney song.

McCartney and Jackson subsequently worked together on “The Girl Is Mine” from Thriller and two tracks from McCartney’s Pipes of Peace album, “Say Say Say” and “The Man”. In 1985, Jackson acquired the ATV Music Publishing catalog (which held the rights to nearly every Beatles song) uncontested by McCartney. According to McCartney, they “drifted apart” after he talked to Jackson about getting a “raise” and Jackson didn’t act on it.

In June 1976, during a party in Beverly Hills, Paul McCartney met with Michael JacksonĀ for the second time, and told him he had written Girlfriend for him. Michael Jackson had to say about this event:

We shook hands amid a huge crowd of people, and he said, ‘You know, I’ve written a song for you.’ I was very surprised and thanked him. And he started singing Girlfriend to me at this party. So we exchanged phone numbers and promised to get together soon, but different projects and life just got in the way for both of us and we didn’t talk again for a couple of years. He ended up putting the song on his own album London Town

Michael Jackson

Last updated on May 13, 2020

Lyrics

Girlfriend I'm gonna tell your boyfriend
Tell him exactly what you're doing
Tell him what you do to me
Late at night when the wind is free
Girlfriend

Girlfriend I'm gonna show your boyfriend
Show him the letters I've been saving
Show him how you feel inside
Then our love couldn't be denied
And we're gonna have to tell him
You'll only be a girlfriend of mine

Till the river stops a-flowin'
Till the wind doesn't wanna blow
Till the flowers stop a-growin'
Till my love doesn't want to know

Girlfriend we'd better tell your boyfriend
Tell him exactly what we're doing
Tell him what he needs to know
Or he may never let you go
Yes, we're gonna have to tell him
You'll only be a girlfriend of mine

Till the rivers stops a-flowin'
Till the wind doesn't wanna blow
Till the flowers stop a-growin'
Till the ocean's a sea of snow

Officially appears on


London Town

Official album • Released in 1978

4:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Electric piano, Piano (?), Producer, Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards
Denny Laine :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar, Piano (?)
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Mark Vigars :
Assistant engineer
Pete Henderson :
Assistant engineer
Steve Churchyard :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
October 25 - December 1, 1977
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


London Town (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Electric piano, Piano (?), Producer, Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards
Denny Laine :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar, Piano (?)
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Mark Vigars :
Assistant engineer
Pete Henderson :
Assistant engineer
Steve Churchyard :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
October 25 - December 1, 1977
Studio :
EMI Studios, 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

4:44 • Studio version • 2001 remaster

Geoff Emerick :
Remastering
Peter Mew :
Remastering

Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

4:43 • Studio version

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 6

Unofficial album

2:37 • Studio version


The Piano Tape

Unofficial album • Released in 1992

2:38 • Demo

Session Recording:
Circa 1974
Studio :
Unknown


Water Wings

Unofficial album • Released in 1999

4:50 • Rough mix • From Stereo 1978 Test Pressing Acetate - With Rough Different Mix


The Piano Tape

Unofficial album • Released in 2007

2:38 • Demo

Session Recording:
Circa 1974
Studio :
Unknown


One Hand Clapping - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

2:40 • Demo

Session Recording:
Circa 1974
Studio :
Unknown


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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