The Paul McCartney Project

Smile Away

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Ram Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1971
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1970 (Paul McCartney was 28 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions









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Song facts

Smile Away” is the second song of Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album “Ram“. From Beatles Bible:

[…] The words have been interpreted by some as a commentary on the other Beatles and Allen Klein. And while it is tempting to dismiss Smile Away as meaningless nonsense, there could indeed be a degree of autobiography in the words.

McCartney was known to be depressed following the break-up of The Beatles, and found solace in music and the love of Linda. The chorus – a repetition of the title – was McCartney with his head held high, finding positivity in spite of the insults of his various friends.

Musically, Smile Away harked back to the rock ‘n’ roll years of the late 1950s and early 60s, featuring a swing beat, overdriven guitars and harmony vocals. Ram was intended to be a step away from the underproduced homemade sound of 1970’s McCartney, yet Smile Away was a live-sounding ensemble performance, a step away from the intricate production elsewhere on the album. […]

From mixing engineering Eirik Wangberg:

To tell you the truth, there were eight bass tracks recorded for this song! When we started to record Smile Away, I thought the bass track didn’t sound good at all. Then I told Paul: “Should it really be like this?” He answered “Can you give me more of it?” We then both did our best to distort the heck out of the sound by different means, but the sound had to be “streamlined”. In the mix I push them like crazy.

This is the first time since “I Saw Her Standing There” (Beatles) Paul inserted the 1, 2, 3, 4 counting into a song. Of course, I left the bit in, and it’s so great to hear that kind of thing, I must admit.

Engineer Eirik Wangberg, interviewed by Claudio Dirani, 2005

In several countries, with the notable exclusion of UK and US, “Eat At Home” was released as a single, with “Smile Away” as the B-side. The single version was edited to remove the cross-face from “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey“.

Last updated on June 5, 2020

Lyrics

Smile away, smile away, yeah smile away,
Smile away, smile away, smile away, yeah smile away.

I was walking down the street the other day,
‘Ah, who did you meet?'
‘I met a friend of mine and he did say'
‘Man I can smell your feet a mile away!'

Smile away, smile away,
‘Man I can smell your breath a mile away'
Smile away, smile away, smile away, yeah smile away,
Smile away

‘Oh smile away sweetly now'
‘Come on now – ooh, sweetly, smile away.'
‘Yes sir – smile away'
‘Now smile away quietly now'
‘Smile away, horribly now'

Smile away,
‘Man I can smell your teeth a mile away'
Smile away

Officially appears on


Ram

Official album • Released in 1971

3:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram (Mono - promotional)

Official album • Released in 1971

3:57 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Eat At Home / Smile Away

7" Single • Released in 1971

3:53 • Studio versionA1 • Single edit

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Thrillington

Official album • Released in 1977

4:41 • Studio versionC • Instrumental version

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington :
Producer
Richard Hewson :
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark :
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick :
Guitar
Clem Cattini :
Drums
Herbie Flowers :
Bass
Steve Gray :
Piano
Roger Coulan :
Organ
Jim Lawless :
Percussion
Alan Parsons :
Second engineer
Unknown musician(s) :
Saxophone
Chris Karen :
Guica

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Ram (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:57 • Studio versionA1993 • Stereo • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Peter Mew :
Remastering
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


RAM (by DCC Compact Classics)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:57 • Studio versionA1993.1 • 1993 remaster by Steve Hoffman

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer
Steve Hoffman :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

3:53 • Studio versionA2012 • Stereo • 2012 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

3:56 • Studio versionB2012 • Mono • 2012 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell :
Drums
Hugh McCracken :
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Jim Guercio :
Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio :
CBS Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio :
A&R Studios, New York City

Session Overdubs:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

Session Mixing:
March-April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

4:41 • Studio versionC2012 • Thrillington: 2012 remaster

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington :
Producer
Richard Hewson :
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark :
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick :
Guitar
Clem Cattini :
Drums
Herbie Flowers :
Bass
Steve Gray :
Piano
Roger Coulan :
Organ
Jim Lawless :
Percussion
Alan Parsons :
Second engineer
Unknown musician(s) :
Saxophone
Chris Karen :
Guica

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


2012 exclusive downloads

Official album • Released in 2012

3:47 • LiveL1

Concert From the concert in Groningen, Netherlands on Aug 19, 1972


Bootlegs




First Live Show

Unofficial live

3:44 • Live



Arles'72

Unofficial live • Released in 2001

4:04 • Live

Concert From the concert in Arles, France on Jul 13, 1972


Live performances

“Smile Away” has been played in 28 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played








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Andrew Lynch 5 months ago

Hi, Smile Away was also the b-side to Eat At Home in several countries.


The PaulMcCartney Project 5 months ago

Thanks @andrew ! Will look into this.