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Goodnight Tonight

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"Goodnight Tonight"
Single by Wings
B-side"Daytime Nighttime Suffering"
Released23 March 1979
Recorded6 February 1978[1]
GenreDisco, flamenco rock
Length4:15 (7")
7:14 (12")
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)Paul McCartney
Wings singles chronology
"London Town"
"Goodnight Tonight"
"Old Siam, Sir"
Alternative covers
French 7-Inch single cover

"Goodnight Tonight" is a song by the British–American rock band Wings. Written and produced by Paul McCartney, it was released as a non-album single on 23 March 1979 by Parlophone in the UK and Columbia Records in the US. It was recorded during the sessions for the band's 1979 album Back to the Egg and is notable for its disco-inflected sound and spirited flamenco guitar break.


"Goodnight Tonight" began as an instrumental backing track McCartney had recorded in 1978. Needing a single for Wings to accompany the Back to the Egg album, McCartney took out the track and brought it into the studio, where the full Wings line-up completed it.[2] Denny Laine and Laurence Juber added electric guitars, mirroring Paul's parts and Steve Holley added percussion, while the whole band sang in the chorus.[3] Juber also played Denny Laine's Ovation Adamas acoustic guitar.[4] Since the track was over seven minutes long, an edited version was used as the single, with the full version available as a 12-inch single. A music video was made for the song, showing Wings performing in 1930s costumes; stills from the video were used on the single's sleeve. In the US, the single was the first released under McCartney's new deal with Columbia Records.


The track did not appear on Wings' then-current album Back to the Egg (from which sessions this song was recorded), as McCartney felt it did not fit the theme of the LP; it was later included on the McCartney compilations All the Best! (1987), Wingspan: Hits and History (2001) and Pure McCartney (2016). The 7" version was released as a bonus track on the 1993 remastered CD of McCartney II, as part of The Paul McCartney Collection. The B-side of this single was "Daytime Nighttime Suffering". An extended version of the song appears on a digital iTunes re-issue of Back to the Egg.

Charts and reception[edit]

"Goodnight Tonight" was an international hit, reaching number five on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.[5][6] John Lennon, McCartney's former songwriting partner, later commented that he did not care for the song, but enjoyed McCartney's bass guitar on the single.[2] The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[7]

Cash Box said it was an unusual song for McCartney in that the "percussion undercurrents and muscular bass playing is likely to receive disco play" and said that the "acoustic and electric guitars offer interesting flourishes."[8] Record World called it "a semi-serious disco tune featuring every conceivable studio technique and a hook you can boogie (or sing) along with."[9]

Track listings[edit]

7" single (R 6023)
  1. "Goodnight Tonight" – 4:15
  2. "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" – 3:19
12" single (12 YR 6023)
  1. "Goodnight Tonight" (Long Version) – 7:15
  2. "Daytime Nighttime Suffering" – 3:19


Chart performance[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[19] Gold 75,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References in popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the 2010 film Grown Ups.


  1. ^ "Goodnight Tonight (song)". The Paul McCartney Project.
  2. ^ a b Madinger, Chip; Easter, Mark (2000). Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium. Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions. p. 246.
  3. ^ Luca Perasi, Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969–2013), L.I.L.Y. Publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-88-909122-1-4, pp.169–170.
  4. ^ Perasi, Luca (2023). Paul McCartney Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 (1st ed.). Milan, Italy: L.I.L.Y. Publishing. p. 288. ISBN 978-88-909-122-9-0.
  5. ^ "Paul McCartney singles". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  7. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - September 24, 2015". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  8. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 24 March 1979. p. 18. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. 24 March 1979. p. 1. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  10. ^ a b "Kent Music Report No 288 – 31 December 1979 > National Top 100 Singles for 1979". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via Imgur.com.
  11. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly – Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly – Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  13. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Official Charts". officialcharts.com. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  15. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2015). The Comparison Book. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 333. ISBN 978-0-89820-213-7.
  16. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly – Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1979" (PDF). Record Mirror. London: Spotlight Publications. 5 January 1980. p. 30. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Pop Singles". Billboard. New York: Billboard Publications Inc. 22 December 1979. p. TIA-10.
  19. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Wings – Goodnight Tonight". Music Canada. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Wings – Goodnight Tonight". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Paul Mc Cartney & Wings – Good Night Tonight". Recording Industry Association of America.