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.
Paul McCartney
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’ll hear.
Paul McCartney
Disc, 14 November 1964

A 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.

Previous song: ‘Honey Don’t’
Next song: ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’
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