Every Little Thing (Beatles song)

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This article is about the Beatles song. For other songs, see Every Little Thing (disambiguation).
"Every Little Thing"
Song by the Beatles from the album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964 (1964-12-04)
Recorded 29–30 September 1964,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 2:01
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
Beatles for Sale track listing

"Every Little Thing" is a song written by Paul McCartney[1] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by the Beatles on their 1964 British album Beatles for Sale. In North America, Capitol released it as the last track on Beatles VI.


McCartney wrote the song in a music room at the home of Jane Asher, where he was living at the time.[2] He hoped that it would be released as a single, but it "didn't have quite what was required", and was released on Beatles for Sale instead.[1]

"Every Little Thing" is a rare example of a Lennon/McCartney tune in which one member of the partnership was primary composer (here McCartney) but the other sang lead vocal (here John Lennon).[3][4] McCartney sings harmony, although one can hear him better in the refrain. The song's composer is not in question: McCartney claimed the song as described above,[1] and Lennon said in an interview with Playboy that McCartney wrote it.[5]


The released version was recorded by the Beatles in four takes at EMI Studios on 29 September 1964, and then five more on 30 September.[6] They were enjoying themselves on the second night; take six was aborted due to McCartney burping his vocals, and take seven was finished but ended in loud laughter.[6] It is one of few early Beatles tracks to feature "exotic" instrumentation: Ringo Starr plays the timpani on the track to add punctuating one-two flourishes to the refrains. This appeared for the first time on the ninth take, along with a guitar intro and piano piece.[6]


Music critic Ian MacDonald praised the song's "emotional depth" and used this song and others as counter-arguments to the caricature of McCartney as an emotional lightweight.[3] Richie Unterberger of Allmusic also praised the song and its "infectious chorus".[7] This song was revisited briefly during the stressful rehearsals that were recorded for the Get Back/Let It Be project- Harrison describes it as "a good one" before starting to play the lick, McCartney joining in on vocals.


The Beatles

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1969, Yes covered this song on their self-titled debut album.[7] Their cover turned the song into a grungy wall of sound with several tempo and key changes and an extended jam opening that also references the Beatles' "Day Tripper". They have played their version of the song live many times.
  • In 1986, Lou Ann Barton did a version on her EP Forbidden Tones.
  • In 2003, Peter Lipa included this song and 15 other Lennon–McCartney songs on his album Beatles in Blue(s).
  • In 2004, Martin Gordon released a cover on The Joy of More Hogwash.