The Night Before (song)
|"The Night Before"|
Cover of the song's sheet music
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album Help!|
|Released||6 August 1965|
|Recorded||17 February 1965,|
EMI Studios, London
Composition and recording
John Lennon plays a Hohner Pianet electric piano throughout the song. The verses have a call and response structure. McCartney's lead vocal alternates with Lennon and George Harrison's harmony, singing the chorus "Ahhh, the night before …", the whole being alternated with a second melody. In the opinion of musicologist Walter Everett, had the Beatles recorded "The Night Before" at a slower tempo, it "could have been a Kinks or Animals song".
The Beatles recorded the song at EMI Studios (now Abbey Road Studios) in London on 17 February 1965. The band achieved a satisfactory rhythm track after two takes, and then overdubbed the vocals, lead guitar parts and maracas. The guitar solo over the third verse is repeated in part over the coda. Among Beatles biographers, Ian MacDonald considers that the playing is more in McCartney's style, while Kenneth Womack credits only McCartney as the soloist and lists Harrison on rhythm guitar, playing his Gretsch Tennessean. However, the solos were performed by Harrison and McCartney together. Lennon later recalled that Harrison and McCartney played "the same break exactly, both playing but in different octaves".
The Beatles performed "The Night Before" during their final BBC radio session, on 26 May 1965. Titled The Beatles Invite You to Take a Ticket to Ride, this performance was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 7 June that year.
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocals, bass, lead guitar
- John Lennon – electric piano, harmony vocals
- George Harrison – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, harmony vocals
- Ringo Starr – drums, maracas
- Restless Heart released a cover version on their 2004 album Still Restless.
- Bulgarian pop star Lili Ivanova sang a cover version in the 1960s.
- "The Night Before review". Allmusic.com.
- Everett 2001, p. 286.
- Womack 2014, p. 665.
- Everett 2001, pp. 286–87.
- Lewisohn 2005, p. 54.
- Winn 2008, p. 298.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 147.
- Womack 2014, pp. 665–66.
- O'Toole, Kit (14 March 2014). "Deep Beatles: 'The Night Before' from Help (1965)". Something New!. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- Womack 2014, p. 666.
- "49 - 'The Night Before'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Winn 2008, p. 321.
- Mapes, J. (18 July 2011). "Paul McCartney at Yankee Stadium: 'Derek Jeter's Got More Hits Than Me'". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Everett, Walter (2001). The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-514105-9.
- Lewisohn, Mark (2005) . The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962–1970. London: Bounty Books. ISBN 978-0-7537-2545-0.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Winn, John C. (2008). Way Beyond Compare: The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume One, 1962–1965. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-3074-5239-9.
- Womack, Kenneth (2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-39171-2.
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