The Paul McCartney Project

Album This song officially appears on the Flowers In The Dirt Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1989

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions



"Flowers In The Dirt" session #3

January - March 1988


"Flowers In The Dirt" session #5

September - November 1988

Some other McCartney / Costello songs appearing on Flowers In The Dirt



That Day Is Done

Officially appears on Flowers In The Dirt

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Song facts

You Want Her Too” is one of the four songs co-written by Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello, and released on Paul McCartney’s 1989 album “Flowers In The Dirt(the other ones being “My Brave Face“, “Don’t Be Careless Love” and “That Day Is Done“). By its theme (competing for a woman), the song is a reminiscence of another collaboration of Paul – “The Girl Is Mine” with Michael Jackson.

From Vigotone.com:

“You Want Her Too” is another great pop song that smacks of Beatles influence. This is the song that the composers [Paul McCartney & Elvis Costello] cite as worrying them that Elvis was unconsciously assuming Lennon’s old role a bit too much, in placing a hard edge opposite Paul’s softness and contrasting his point of view. It was initially recorded with Paul doing both vocal parts, but it was decided quite rightly that the duet approach made more sense. Lyrically, it is fun to hear anyone, especially Elvis, give McCartney a tongue lashing, and Elvis uses his most sneering vocal for it. The lyrics are rather simple, and this allows for some acting by the singers. Musically, we have some great drums and organ in the background reminiscent of the one in “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite“. Listen to the 60’s style guitars in the right channel and the elongated “predictable and nice” singing.

Paul McCartney in “Club Sandwich 52, Summer 1989“:

I said to Elvis, ‘Look, this is really getting a bit me and John!…I’m going ‘I’ve loved her so long’ and he’s going ‘I know you did, you stupid git!”… The intro and the fade we decided to have a… strange carousel thing we’d worked up. It was a silly little idea of mine that I think works…I’d had this idea about a little guitar thing that Hamish had played in the instrumental bit: I’d always been hearing it like a big brass band. So we actually got a big band in one morning, and it’s the ultimate tease, because…as soon as you’re into them they fade!

From “In Their Own Words: The Producers discuss McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt“, by Super Deluxe Edition blog:

Mitchell Froom: Elvis Costello sang on it when they originally did it, but then came the notion of like “well, what if Paul does both parts, but we treat it in such a way where it’s like the voice in his head?” But when we tried it, it didn’t sound as good, so I think he finally just said “Let’s just get Elvis to do it, it sounds better”.

Elvis wasn’t around at all [during my work on the album] except for that day he did the vocal on You Want Her Too. But it was very friendly. There was no strangeness. Elvis understands as well as anybody that you make your record, you want to be happy with what you do.

Paul McCartney, in People Music, March 24, 2017:

“That was from the Elvis batch. He’s a great guy to work with, very focused. When you’re working with someone—instead of just sitting around and thinking, ‘Oh, what are we going to do?’—it’s nice when someone comes up with something and you get a kickstart. Elvis was good at that. He would come up and we’d talk stories about his Auntie Irene and various relatives of his and mine growing up in Liverpool. This song came out of that. It’s got sort of a sea-shanty feel. We didn’t take long to write them, they just kind of fell out.”

The only duet on the album, Costello echoes McCartney’s lyrics with acidic barbs. 

“That’s a good old trick. We both love the art of songwriting, we’re still intrigued by it. Little things like having a cynical answer to a line—that’s the kind of thing I did a long time ago, like in [the 1967 Beatles song] ‘Getting Better’ where I sing, ‘It’s getting better all the time,’ and John sings, ‘It couldn’t get much worse.’ Otherwise you’re just writing a song straightforward. That’s good too, but it’s kind of nice to have little things that bounce off each other, that yin-yang thing.”

Last updated on April 13, 2017

Lyrics

She makes me go so wrong
(Yeah you kept me awake you know you did)
I’ve loved her oh so long
(So why don’t you come right out and say it, stupid?)
She makes me do things I don’t want to do
I don’t know why I should be telling you
I know that you want her too

My intentions are quite sincere
(That’s not what you said the other night)
And all you can do is sneer
(So go ahead and kid yourself you’re right)
She makes me do things I don’t want to do
I don’t know why I should be telling you
I know that you want her too

I’ve got a better chance than you do
I know that you want her too
You’re such a hopeless romantic
She told me you’re so predictable and nice
She only did you a favour once or twice
Once or twice

She makes me go so wrong
(So why don’t you lie back and enjoy it?)
Oh, my conscience is clear and strong
(Yes, she says I’m just the boy for it)

She makes me do things I don’t want to do
I don’t know why I should be telling you
I know that you want her too
I know that you want her too
I know that you want her too

Officially appears on


Flowers In The Dirt

Official album • Released in 1989

3:13 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh :
Guitar
Hamish Stuart :
Guitars, Harmonies
Elvis Costello :
Intro keyboards, Producer, Second vocal
Mitchell Froom :
Keyboards, Producer
Chris Davis :
Saxophone
Neil Dorfsman :
Engineer, Producer
Chris Witten :
Drums, Percussion
Robert Niles :
End orchestration
Richard Niles :
End orchestration
Noel Harris :
Assistant mixing engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 01, 1988
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1988
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Jan 16, 1989
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London

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


Flowers In The Dirt - Special Package

Official album • Released in 1990

3:13 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh :
Guitar
Hamish Stuart :
Guitars, Harmonies
Elvis Costello :
Intro keyboards, Producer, Second vocal
Mitchell Froom :
Keyboards, Producer
Chris Davis :
Saxophone
Neil Dorfsman :
Engineer, Producer
Chris Witten :
Drums, Percussion
Robert Niles :
End orchestration
Richard Niles :
End orchestration

Session Recording:
January - February 1988
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
September 1988
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Overdubs:
Oct 31, 1988
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

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


Flowers In The Dirt (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:13 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh :
Guitar
Hamish Stuart :
Guitars, Harmonies
Elvis Costello :
Intro keyboards, Producer, Second vocal
Mitchell Froom :
Keyboards, Producer
Chris Davis :
Saxophone
Neil Dorfsman :
Engineer, Producer
Chris Witten :
Drums, Percussion
Robert Niles :
End orchestration
Richard Niles :
End orchestration

Session Recording:
January - February 1988
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
September 1988
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Overdubs:
Oct 31, 1988
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

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


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

3:15 • Studio versionA • 2017 remaster


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

2:40 • DemoB • Original Demo

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyElvis Costello
Paul McCartney :
Producer
Eddie Klein :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Sep 03, 1987
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

3:19 • DemoC • 1988 Demo

Paul McCartney :
12 string guitar, Bass, Harmony vocal, Lead vocal, Producer
Hamish Stuart :
Guitar, Harmony vocal
Chris Whitten :
Drums
Elvis Costello :
Acoustic guitar, Lead vocal, Producer
Peter Henderson :
Recording engineer
Kevin Armstrong :
Electric guitar
Richard Moakes :
Assistant recording engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 01, 1988
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.21

Unofficial album

2:36 • Studio version


The McCartney - MacManus Collaboration

Unofficial album • Released in 1998

2:35 • Demo


The McCartney - MacManus Collaboration

Unofficial album • Released in 1998

2:28 • Live


Collaborators

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

2:38 • Demo • McCartney & Costello demo

Recording :
Spring-Summer '87


Collaborators

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

3:14 • Studio version


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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