‘No More Lonely Nights’ was the main theme song of Paul McCartney’s 1984 film Give My Regards To Broad Street.
I wrote this song specifically for a film that I also wrote: Give My Regards To Broad Street. The song did better than the film. Originally, the opening of the film was me walking around Broad Street station with some sound effects playing over the top. But I wanted to do a film tune, so I wrote this song to go with the music. I then later rearranged it as an up-tempo version so that when it played out at the end there was a dance version.
McCartney initially struggled to write a theme song, until he gave up on the idea of fitting the film’s title into a song.
‘Word dancing’ I call it. You begin with a thought, and then you start word dancing and then it’s step, step, step. This was a straightforward love song, really, about a lonely person saying, ‘Can’t wait till we’re together.’ There are a few more lines to reinforce that idea: ‘Cause I know what I feel to be right’ and ‘You’re my guiding light’. It’s about the heartache of being apart from your loved one and, when you’re back together, not wishing to be apart from them again – ‘May I never miss the thrill/Of being near you’.
In the studio
David Gilmour plays the solo on the record. I’ve known him since the early days of Pink Floyd. Dave is a genius of sorts, so I was pulling out all the stops. I admire his playing so much, and I’d seen him around; I think he’d just done his solo About Face album. So I rang him up and said, ‘Would you play on this?’ It sounded like his kind of thing…
Gilmour really goes to town on that solo, especially on the album version, which is longer and gives him more space to play. It’s a really nice solo, with that signature Fender Stratocaster sound of his.
The song featured three venerable guest musicians: Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on guitar, Art Of Noise’s Anne Dudley on synthesizer, and Herbie Flowers on bass guitar.
I found it quite amazing doing ‘No More Lonely Nights’ with Paul McCartney. In one three-hour session with a band we learnt it and put it down, and Paul played piano and sang the lead vocal live, and I put the guitar solo down, bang.
Two additional versions of the song were recorded: a brief instrumental featuring just strings, titled ‘No More Lonely Nights’ (Ballad Reprise); and ‘No More Lonely Nights’ (Playout Version). The standard version is sometimes known as ‘No More Lonely Nights’ (Ballad).
Twentieth Century Fox asked for an upbeat play-out as people leave the cinema, so I was happy rearrange it in an up-tempo version as the play-out; that’s more of a dance version.
Give My Regards To Broad Street book
The Playout Version was recorded in the summer of 1984, and featured McCartney on acoustic and electric guitar, bass, electric piano, synthesizer, drums and percussion. Linda McCartney and Eric Stewart again sang backing vocals; John Barclay and Derek Watkins played trumpet; Chris Pyne was on trombone; and Stan Sulzmann played saxophone.
Five other versions of ‘No More Lonely Nights’ were made: an Extended Version lasting 8:07; a 6:55 Special Dance Mix; a separate 4:20 remix known, confusingly, as ‘Dance Mix Edit; Mole Mix, an 8:43 remix by Arthur Baker; and an Extended Edit, a 7:17 promo remix by Warren Sanford sent to DJs.
‘No More Lonely Nights’ was released on 24 September 1984. It peaked at number two on the UK singles chart, and six on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Two 7″ singles were issued in the US and UK, the first containing ‘No More Lonely Nights’ and the Playout Version. The second 7″, released later, featured the Special Dance Mix on the b-side.
Two 12″ single were also issued. The first contained ‘No More Lonely Nights’ (Extended Version), a remake of ‘Silly Love Songs’, and ‘No More Lonely Nights’ (Ballad) – which was the standard version. The other contained the Special Dance Mix on one side, and the Special Dance Edit on the other.
A promotional video for ‘No More Lonely Nights’ was filmed on 10 April 1984 at the Old Justice Pub in Bermondsey, London.
The shoot continued late into the night, and fireworks used on the set led to complaints from local residents.
A second video was compiled, featuring scenes from Give My Regards To Broad Street.
This was getting into the days of the big music video, and we did two for this song. One was shot in the train station at night, and the other was a bit of a clip reel with highlights from the film. The single did really well but just missed being number one, which I think was Wham!’s ‘Freedom’.