‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’ was the b-side of ‘Goodnight Tonight’, Wings’ standalone single released in March 1979.
That’s a pro-women song. “What does she get” for all of this? “Daytime nighttime suffering.” It’s like the plight of women. You were saying about the Beatles stuff and my stuff being very humanistic. And I say that’s what I would be most proud of – as would any artist.
Billboard, 17 March 2001
The song began as a challenge Paul McCartney set the other members of Wings. Each was to write a song, and the best would be issued as the band’s next single. McCartney’s own offering was ‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’.
In the studio
The song was recorded on 16 January 1979 at Replica Studio, in the basement of the MPL offices on Soho Square, London.
There weren’t too many times when Paul gave me specific things to play. There’s a little guitar lick on ‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’ that he had me play because he wrote the song with that lick. But most of the time I was free to do my own thing.
Goldmine, 2 November 2001
The recording features a cameo appearance from baby James McCartney, who can be heard crying just after the two-minute mark.
It was the real thing, not an instrument or a ‘sample’, and was caught on tape as Linda walked through the room carrying James.
Guitar With Wings
‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’ was initially intended to be the a-side of Wings’ standalone single, but ‘Goodnight Tonight’ was eventually chosen.
We had a meeting and decided that it would be nice to have a single while the TV show, Wings Over The World, was out, because it had been something like seven months since we’d put a record out. ‘Goodnight Tonight’ was going to be the b-side and ‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’ was going to be the a-side. So we sat around for years, well it seemed like years, discussing it, you know, the normal soul-searching you go through, and we decided, ‘No, it isn’t all right. We won’t put it out.’ So we scrapped the whole thing and about a week later, I played the record again and I thought, ‘That’s crazy! We’ve made it. It’s stupid, why not put it out? Just because people are going to pan it.’ I liked it and other people had taken it home and played it to people at parties. So we decided to do it.
The Beatles: The Dream Is Over – Off The Record 2, Keith Badman
‘Goodnight Tonight’ was released on 23 March 1979 on 7″ and 12″ singles. The latter contained ‘Goodnight Tonight’ (Long Version), which was the full length 7:15 version; the 7″ contained an edit. The b-side in both instances was ‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’.
‘Goodnight Tonight’ reached number five on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.
Wings’ final album Back To The Egg was first released on compact disc in July 1989, and had three bonus tracks: ‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’, ‘Wonderful Christmastime’, and its original b-side ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reggae’. The album was remastered and reissued in 1993 with the same bonus tracks.
‘Daytime Nighttime Suffering’ was also included on the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.
I’m a son and I’m a parent, so it comes from both ends. And I loved my parents. I was very lucky, unlike some people who’ve had lots of problems. I didn’t have too many problems with them, except me mum died, which was a major problem. But I didn’t have any problems in my relationship with them, and then my kids, similarly.
We always thought we made a good record there with ‘Daytime’. That was one where the critics could say whatever they wanted; we thought that was good. So when I was compiling my list of favourite Wings tracks that weren’t necessarily million-sellers, that had to be on it.
Billboard, 17 March 2001