Released: 4 December 1964 (UK), 14 June 1965 (US)
Beatles For Sale
PersonnelJohn Lennon: vocals, lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: vocals, bass, piano
George Harrison: acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, timpani
Written mostly by Paul McCartney, Every Little Thing was sung by him and John Lennon for The Beatles’ fourth album, Beatles For Sale.
McCartney initially hoped it would be the follow-up single to A Hard Day’s Night, although this wasn’t to be. In America, Every Little Thing was released in 1965 on the Beatles VI album.
Every Little Thing, like most of the stuff I did, was my attempt at the next single. I remember playing it for Brian backstage somewhere. He had assembled a few people. It was one of those meetings – ‘Oh, we have to do some recordings, who’s got what?’ and we played a few at Brian. We didn’t often check things with Brian, in fact I just remember it in connection with this because I thought it was very catchy. I played it amongst a few songs; it was something I thought was quite good but it became an album filler rather than the great almighty single. It didn’t have quite what was required.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The song was written in August 1964 during The Beatles’ first full US tour.
John and I got this one written in Atlantic City during our last tour of the States. John does the guitar riff for this one, and George is on acoustic. Ringo bashes some timpani drums for the big noises you hear.
The Beatles Off The Record, Keith Badman
A devotional love song, most likely written with Jane Asher in mind, Every Little Thing is as emotionally revealing as any of Lennon’s songs on Beatles For Sale. Although the music was less successful, the lyrics are among McCartney’s most succinct and tender on the album.
In the studio
The Beatles began recording Every Little Thing on 29 September 1964. They taped four takes, the last of which was temporarily considered the best.
They returned to it the following day, recording a further five attempts. It was a light-hearted session, as recounted by Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn:
Take six was aborted when Paul burped a vocal instead of singing it, take seven was complete but ended in uproarious laughter. And Ringo was having fun with an instrument new to Beatles recordings – timpani. This appeared for the first time on take nine, along with the guitar intro and piano piece.
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions