The Paul McCartney Project

Great Day

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1997
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1974 (Paul McCartney was 32 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions





Home recordings

June 1993


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Song facts

I didn’t want to end the album on a big note. It was a trick similar to what we did on the end of Abbey Road with Her Majesty, a surprise to deflate any pomposity.

Paul McCartney, interview by USA Today, May 1997

Great Day” is the fourteenth and final song on Paul’s 1997 album “Flaming Pie“. The song was recorded 5 years earlier, even before “Off The Ground” was published; but it has even older roots, as explained in the album liner notes:

Seeking a short, simple song to close Flaming Pie, Paul McCartney has searched back 25 years to find “Great Day”, an acoustic number that he and Linda used to perform ‘sitting around the kitchen or when the children were dancing’. The candlelit evenings in Long Island, enforced by Hurricane Bob in August 1991, not only led Paul to write “Calico Skies” but also found him plucking this one from the memory vault. So, a year later, in the same session that he recorded his new number with George Martin, Paul also committed “Great Day” to tape for the first time (despite it’s years), not changing a hair of the arrangement or lyric.

It’s just a little upbeat song of hope – to the point and in the spirit of the whole album.

Paul McCartney, from the liner notes of “Flaming Pie”
Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwitch n°82, Summer 1997:

This is here to balance the “big-ness” of the previous track, following on from ‘Beautiful Night’ in the way that ‘Her Majesty’ came after The End’ on Abbey Road. ‘Great Day’ is a song that Linda and I used to sing when the kids were very small, a simple acoustic number with a good feel. I’ve always liked the song but never really had an opportunity to record it, so during the ‘Calico Skies’ session with George Martin, since it had been so easy to record that one little acoustic thing, I told George that I had this song too. The song is identical to how we used to do it 25 years ago.

Great Day” was previously heard as an instrumental in the 1974 Backyard film. Also some are seeing similarities between “Great Day” and the verse melody of 1972 “Big Barn Bed“.

Great Day” was performed live only once during the 2003 Adopt-A-Minefield gala, and was heard on very rare occasions during soundchecks.

Great Day” was remastered in 2016 for inclusion on the “Pure McCartney” compilation, and then in 2020 for the “Flaming Pie Archive Collection“, both times by engineer Alex Wharton. As explained on the Steve Hoffman forum:

It’s interesting that for both ‘Pure McCartney’ in 2016 and the new 2020 remaster the polarity is different. Which means something went wrong in the final mastering stage of the original 1997 issue. Because ‘Pure McCartney’ worked from a compressed and limited 1997 master, and this 2020 remaster from a tape without that compression and limiting.

by forum resident “mindgames”

Last updated on September 25, 2020

Lyrics

When you're wide awake
Say it for goodness sake,
It's gonna be a great day.
While you're standing there
Get up and grab a chair,
It's gonna be a great day.

And it won't be long, oh no
It won't be long, it won't be long, no no
It won't be long, it won't be long, oh no
It won't be long, it won't be long, ooh yeah

Ooh, ooh, yeah
Gonna be a great day

And it won't be long, oh no
It won't be long, it won't be long, no no
It won't be long, it won't be long, oh no
It won't be long, it won't be long, oh.

When you're wide awake
Say it for goodness sake,
It's gonna be a great day.
While you're standing there
Get up and grab a chair
It's gonna be a great day.

Variations


A Album version

A2016 2016 remaster

A2020 2020 remaster

B Home Recording

C Acoustic

D Medley with "I'm Gonna Love You Too". Instrumental version, from the "Backyard Tape"

Officially appears on


Flaming Pie

Official album • Released in 1997

2.06 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Leg slap, Percussion, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocal
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer
Bob Kraushaar :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1992
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pies

Official album • Released in 1997

2.06 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Leg slap, Percussion, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocal
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer
Bob Kraushaar :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1992
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie (White-Label Promo LP)

Official album • Released in 1997

2.06 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Leg slap, Percussion, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocal
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer
Bob Kraushaar :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1992
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Pure McCartney

Official album • Released in 2016

2:09 • Studio versionA2016 • 2016 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Leg slap, Percussion, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocal
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer
Bob Kraushaar :
Recording engineer
Alex Wharton :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1992
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

2:09 • Studio versionA2016 • 2016 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Leg slap, Percussion, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocal
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer
Bob Kraushaar :
Recording engineer
Alex Wharton :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1992
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

2:09 • Studio versionA2020 • 2020 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Leg slap, Percussion, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocal
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer
Bob Kraushaar :
Recording engineer
Alex Wharton :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1992
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

3:30 • DemoB • Home Recording

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Harmonies
Alex Wharton :
Mastering

Session Recording:
June 1993


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

2:17 • Studio versionC • Acoustic

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion
Linda McCartney :
Harmony vocal
Alex Wharton :
Mastering

Session Recording:
Feb 20, 1997
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Bootlegs


Backyard +

Unofficial album

1:25 • Studio rehearsalD • Medley with "I'm Gonna Love You Too". Instrumental version, from the "Backyard Tape"

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar

Session Recording:
Aug 30, 1974
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

1:09 • Studio version


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

1:09 • Alternate take


Together On Stage 2003

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:55 • Live

Concert From "3rd Annual Adopt-A-Minefield Gala" in Los Angeles, USA on Sep 23, 2003


Together On Stage 2003

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:09 • Live • Rehearsal

Concert From "3rd Annual Adopt-A-Minefield Gala" in Los Angeles, USA on Sep 23, 2003


Films


Great Day

2020 • For Paul McCartney

Live performances

“Great Day” has been played in 1 concerts and 4 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where has been played


3rd Annual Adopt-A-Minefield Gala

Sep 23, 2003 • USA • Los Angeles • Beverly Hilton Hotel


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Abraão 2 months ago

In my opinion, this is a clear rereading (reincarnation) of Hey Diddle. Both for the emphasis on the verses "won't be long", and for the fingerstyle on the acoustic guitar.


The PaulMcCartney Project 2 months ago

@Abraão thanks for your comment ! both songs date from the early 70s, so indeed, there is a closeness to those two tracks ! thanks !