The Night Before (song)

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"The Night Before"
The Night Before - The Beatles.jpg
The Japanese single release of the song, backed with "Another Girl"
Song by the Beatles from the album Help!
Released 6 August 1965
Recorded 17 February 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 2:33
Label Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
Help! track listing

"The Night Before" is a song by the Beatles from the album and film Help!. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Composition and recording[edit]

Lennon plays a Hohner Pianet electric piano throughout the song accompanied by McCartney's ascending and descending bass lines. The song's verse has a call and response structure, McCartney's lead vocal alternating with Lennon and George Harrison's harmony, singing the chorus "Aaah, the night before . . .", the whole being alternated with a second melody. McCartney plays a guitar solo[2] on the third verse that is recapitulated in part as the coda of the song. However, Lennon said in a 1965 interview that it was Harrison and McCartney playing the guitar solo together, albeit in different octaves.

Film performance[edit]

The song is performed on Salisbury Plain in the second Beatles film, Help! and, just as it finishes, a bomb explodes. In the movie, the Beatles perform the song in the shadow of Stonehenge. Harrison mimes the terse, stabbing guitar solo — even though both he and McCartney played it on the record, according to Lennon.[3]

Live performances[edit]

McCartney played the song on 15 July 2011 at Yankee Stadium, stating from the stage that it was the first time he had performed the song in concert.[4] The only time the Beatles performed it outside of EMI Studios was for their final BBC radio session (The Beatles Invite you to Take a Ticket To Ride) on 26 May 1965, broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 7 June 1965.


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[5]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ "The Night Before review". 
  2. ^ Miles 1997, p. 195.
  3. ^ "49 - 'The Night Before'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Mapes, J. (18 July 2011). "Paul McCartney at Yankee Stadium: 'Derek Jeter's Got More Hits Than Me'". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  5. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 147.


External links[edit]