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Every Little Thing
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11 November 2014
2.56pm
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Joe
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Beatles For Sale album artwork

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 29, 30 September 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 4 December 1964 (UK), 14 June 1965 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: vocals, bass, piano
George Harrison: acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, timpani

Available on:
Beatles For Sale

Written mostly by Paul McCartney , Every Little Thing

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26 May 2016
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Beatlebug
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heart this song; it's so groovy and infectious, and that guitar lick is particularly tasty. 

One thing I always found amusing was that, in the chorus, the line is 'And you know the things she does, she does for me', but when the plural S is said back-to-back with the S in 'she', they merge, and it becomes 'And you know the thing she does, she does for me', which could possibly have, ah, somewhat less domestic connotations... 

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26 May 2016
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sigh butterfly
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So true SG, the playing really comes together in this song. I always thought it was George Martin on piano but instead this is a true group effort. John sounds so sincere in his love. When I was 10 or 11 the innocent imagery is what struck me (especially I remember the first time, I was lonely without her). But I think you're right and John had a little more in mind then just holding hands a-hard-days-night-john-6.

In the late 60s I used to enjoy a cover of this by the prog rock group Yes. I'll see if I can find it and put it in the proper thread.

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26 May 2016
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Beatlebug
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sigh butterfly said
So true SG, the playing really comes together in this song. I always thought it was George Martin on piano but instead this is a true group effort. John sounds so sincere in his love. 

Its funny that John should sing lead on a Paul song-- and what a Pauly song it is. Such lines as 'for I know love will never die' recall like half the ballads he ever wrote. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

When I was 10 or 11 the innocent imagery is what struck me (especially I remember the first time, I was lonely without her). But I think you're right and John had a little more in mind then just holding hands a-hard-days-night-john-6.

The Liverpool lads usually did a-hard-days-night-paul-10

I didn't know until today that John did the lead guitar-- he did a great job but you can hear him get a bum note as it fades out a-hard-days-night-john-6

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26 May 2016
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Ahhh Girl
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Everything I love about The Beatles is rolled up in one song. The lyrics, the music, the voices.

Beatley. Perfection.

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31 January 2017
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Ahhh Girl
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@ewe2, would you tell us your thoughts and insights into this song?

I figured if you could put a uke in The Man's hands and tell him to get busy, then I could ask for your take on this song. ahdn_ringo_09

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31 January 2017
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ewe2
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Ok, *rolls up feathers*,

The song is all about the excitement of new love, feeling proud and lucky and more than a little bragging and promises of undying affection, the usual stuff! If you think of it in that way, that's fine, that's what they want to get across. But what are they really doing...

What gets your attention at first is the lovely Rickenbacker jangle intro by John, introducing the verse melody, which has to a modern ear, quite a chorusy tone to it (of course, because it's a 12-string!). And then the melody seems very Paul, but the rhythm and lead vocal is thoroughly John. Paul joins in on the choruses which gets quite a dramatic lift by Ringo adding timpani (and I have to admit, I find this musically funny but that's just me), but also some dramatic octave chording along with it from John. And just to be different, George is holding down the acoustic rhythm! So this song gets all hands on deck, everyone contributes. I've said elsewhere that one of the important things about the Beatles For Sale album is how they explored dynamics, particularly on John compositions and their choice of covers. This song is another study in that vein.

The jangly intro pauses into a quiet acoustic guitar-led verse of double-tracked John, you can barely hear Ringo's kick and then that interesting rhythmic tacet yes I know I'm a lucky guy strengthened by piano notes, then Ringo brings in snare rim taps and just before we hit the first chorus a little roll, so there's a continuing gradient into the timpani, the octaves and Paul's high notes.  The album is full of this intricate work, it's only a shame the production is second-rate, it would sound lush with a better job.  I detect George Martin's guiding hand on the structure of the solo, repeating the intro motif; and because it's difficult to do anything much crazy with a 12-string, a deft little riff around the tacet melody that brings things neatly back into the chorus, and then the song goes out playing around the first half of the verse melody again and counterpointing against the 12-string rather prettily.

But the song is also odd: it's not a standard pop format. There's no middle-eight, or any modulation like we're used to. Its verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo_as_verse_-chorus-verse_but_chorus_lyrics. And the chorus melody is a harmony in 4ths, the strangeness of which is held in by carefully mixing John's lower harmony so it doesn't sound quite as clashing but it sounds very unyielding, and I've always had a jarring sense of the chorus as musically defiant. There's a medieval sense of correctness about the whole song, and the 12-string is almost lute-like in the harmony it's using. Think of the Rolling Stone's later Lady Jane for what I mean, there's the repeated linking of the tonic chord (A major in this case) from start to finish, and how the melody begins and ends on the 3rd. And more if you keep looking.

Sometimes Beatles albums are like traps, they look simple but are not. Beatles For Sale has its flaws and I blame the production for largely obscuring its gems, like this simple-seeming song that disobeys pop rules and reminds you of older musical traditions.

That'll do penguin, that'll do. ahdn_paul_01

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31 January 2017
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Ahhh Girl
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An A+ review of my favorite Beatles song. Thank you, @ewe2!

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31 January 2017
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Beatlebug
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(I seem to be repeating myself from elsewhere but ohwells...) @ewe2

Marvellous! Masterful! I demand an encore (elsewhere)! *applauds wildly* 

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5 August 2017
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Dark Overlord
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I know this may seem like a nonsensical idea but i think that Paul plays guitar on this song and i don't mean bass.

To start off, we need to discuss the instrumentation of Every Little Thing and more specifically, how many guitar parts there are.

There are 4 guitar parts, John's 12 string Rickenbacker, George's Gibson acoustic, Paul's Hofner bass, and a very simple guitar part that goes E F# G# A using single notes.

Now you could try to argue that George or John did it but i think that it was Paul who did it using John's Rickenbacker.

If this sounds too crazy, hear me out.

Alright, let's begin.

The first thing to remember is that this simple 4 note riff can be played on one string like so E|0-2-4-5| which means that Paul, a lefty, would have no problem playing it on John's Rickenbacker, a right handed guitar.

Secondly, finally, and most importantly though is that there's photographic evidence to confirm this.

original_36.jpgImage Enlarger

Now you may be thinking how do you know that the picture was taken during this session, you might be asking yourself why not She's A Woman as that would make more sense.

However take a look at this picture.

original_35.jpgImage Enlarger

Notice that polka dot dress shirt, it's in both pictures and the latter one is clearly from this song because this is the only song where John used his 12-string Rickenbacker and there's also a timpani present, which Ringo uses in this song.

Also, there's this picture.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

It's John with his 12 string Rickenbacker and Paul with John's normal Rickenbacker.

These photos were clearly taken on 30 September 1964 and i believe that Paul played John's Rickenbacker on Every Little Thing because of these photographs.

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27 January 2019
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I was listening to the isolated left channel of this song (because my life is boring) and I realised that come time for the guitar solo, I heard nothing, not even leakage. Most of the early songs had a guitar solo taped not as an overdub, so you can hear leakage. I presume I'm correct in saying it's an overdub, thus @Dark Overlord's above claim could be correct and Paul helped out on the solo?

My other question is, apart from Can't Buy Me Love , what other pre-Help ! songs did they overdub the guitar solo?a-hard-days-night-george-4

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27 January 2019
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27 January 2019
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Wow that was easy, thank you! Clean forgot about AHDN , but the other ones fascinate me as I'd never have picked any of them, so I'll be doing some close listening in my near future...

Thanks!

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25 November 2020
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The subtle drum alterations in this are fantastic. Somehow Ringo adds as the verses go on and then become the chorus yet it doesn't sound wrong.

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28 November 2020
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I really love this song. I'm glad John sang it instead of Paul, it feels more like a John song anyway. 

So underrated.

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3 December 2020
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castironshore said
I really love this song. I'm glad John sang it instead of Paul, it feels more like a John song anyway. 

So underrated.

  

totally agree with you!

his delivery is perfect, it has this slightly annoyed/sarcastic tone to it that adds some serious subtext

woulda been a brilliant song no matter who sang it though!

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to be fair, a version with Paul singing lead would also be killer, but instead he just sits back and rips the high harmony. 

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7 December 2020
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yessss and also I love how John mucks up the lead guitar slightly as it fades out a-hard-days-night-john-6

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8 December 2020
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Beatlebug said
yessss and also I love how John mucks up the lead guitar slightly as it fades out a-hard-days-night-john-6

  

I'll have to listen to the song again for that part. a-hard-days-night-john-6

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13 December 2020
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I love turning up the volume on songs as they fade out a-hard-days-night-john-6

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