The Paul McCartney Project

Must Do Something About It

Album This song officially appears on the Wings At The Speed Of Sound Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1976
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Must Do Something About It” is a song credited to Paul and Linda McCartney that first appeared on the Wings 1976 album Wings at the Speed of Sound.

The lead vocal was sung by Wings drummer Joe English rather than by McCartney, the only Wings song on which English was the lead vocalist. This was part of McCartney’s attempt to democratize the band; each of the five members of Wings had at least one lead vocal on Wings at the Speed of Sound. McCartney decided to have English perform the lead vocal after the backing track had been recorded. A version of the song, recorded with McCartney on lead vocal, remains unreleased.

The song’s lyrics tell of the singer’s loneliness. In each verse, the singer sings about some aspect of his lonely life, including watching a sunset by himself or playing cards alone. In the chorus, the singer sings that he “must do something about” his loneliness, and the phrase “must do something about it” is repeated several times throughout the song. The music reinforces the meaning of the lyrics. The length of the verses is an asymmetric five bars, emphasizing the instability of the singer’s loneliness, while the chorus is a symmetric four bars, emphasizing the hoped for stability when the singer does something about it. The harmony in the chorus is also more stable than that in the verses. Instrumentation for the song includes acoustic guitar and slide guitar. The song is in the key of D major, although the guitar is capoed and tuned to sound more like E-flat major.

Most commentators have remarked on English’s singing. Robert Rodriguez wrote that English’s vocals added “a needed authenticity” to the song and wasn’t sure that McCartney’s vocals would have been as convincing. Allmusic’s Donald Guarisco states that “English sings the song with gusto, moving back and forth between a full-throated belting style and a gentle croon with ease.” Vincent Benitez wrote that English’s singing “conveys a surprisingly sunny disposition.” Chris Ingham claims that English “does a charming job.” John Blaney felt that English “provided the biggest surprise on the album” and that his “performance is on par with anything on the album, and it’s debatable whether anyone could have improved on it.” Blaney argues that the song is a perfect vehicle for English, and that his voice perfectly conveys the feel McCartney was looking for.

Not all the commentators who appreciated English’s performance were as enthusiastic about the song itself. Rodriguez claims that the song was “tossed off simply to fill space on an LP.” Chip Madinger and Mark Easter, while saying English has a “passable voice,” state that “Must Do Something About It” is “an agreeable if not particularly memorable song.” However, Allmusic’s Guarisco calls the song a “nice little ballad whose pop undertones allow it to stick in the listener’s mind.”

Last updated on November 2, 2014

Lyrics

I've just seen another sunset on my own.
All day long I've been alone
And I must do something about it
Yes I must do something about it

Played another losing card game with myself
Lonely joker on a shelf
And I must do something about it
Yes I must do something about it

No one on the party line
No one seems to need a dime
No one even knows that I'm feeling this way

No one seems to need my vote
No one has to change a note
No one here to hold my coat
Oh, what a day

I've just watched another movie on T.V
No one's in the house but me
And I must do something about it
Yes I must do something about it

Oh, oh, something about it

I've just dialled another number on my phone
All day long I've been alone
And I must do something about it
Yes I must do something about it

I've just seen another sunset on my own.
All day long I've been alone
And I must do something about it
Yes I must do something about it
Must do something about it
Yes I must do something about it

Officially appears on


Wings At The Speed Of Sound

Official album • Released in 1976

3:44 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar (?), Backing vocals, Bass, Producer, Shaker (?)
Linda McCartney:
Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine:
Acoustic guitar (?)
Jimmy McCulloch:
Electric guitar
Joe English:
Drums, Percussion (?), Shaker (?), Vocals
Mark Vigars:
Assistant engineer
Pete Henderson:
Engineer

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


Wings At The Speed Of Sound (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:44 • Studio versionA


Wings At The Speed Of Sound - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2014

3:44 • Studio versionA


Wings At The Speed Of Sound - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2014

Outtake • Paul's Version

Performed by:
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny LaineJimmy McCullochJoe English
Paul McCartney:
Producer
Mark Vigars:
Assistant engineer
Pete Henderson:
Engineer

Bootlegs


Let'Em Out Vol. 1 - Wings At The Speed Of Sound Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2010

3:33 • Alternate take • Paul vocal


Wings At The Speed Of Sound - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:43 • Studio versionA


Wings At The Speed Of Sound - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:36 • Studio version • [Paul's version]


Wings At The Speed Of Sound Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:35 • Outtake • Take 1 (Paul on vocals)


Wings At The Speed Of Sound Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:38 • Outtake • Take 2 (Paul on vocals)


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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