All My Loving is a song by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon-McCartney), from the 1963 album With The Beatles. Though it was not released as a single in the United Kingdom or the United States, it drew considerable radio airplay, prompting EMI to issue it as the title track of an EP. The song was released as a single in Canada, where it became a number one hit. The Canadian single was imported into the US in enough quantities to peak at number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1964. It was the first song most Americans ever heard the group sing as it was the opening song on their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.
According to journalist Bill Harry, McCartney thought of the lyrics whilst shaving, though McCartney told biographer Barry Miles that we wrote them while on a tour bus. He also said, "It was the first song I'd ever written the words first. I never wrote words first, it was always some kind of accompaniment. I've hardly ever done it since either." The lyrics follow the "letter song" model as used on "P.S. I Love You", the B-side of their first single. After arriving at the location of the gig, he wrote the music on a piano backstage.
McCartney originally envisioned it as a country & western song, and George Harrison added a Nashville-style guitar solo. John Lennon's rhythm guitar track uses quickly strummed triplets similar to "Da Doo Ron Ron" by The Crystals, a song that was popular at the time. McCartney added a walking bass line.
It has been hypothesized that the piece draws inspiration from the Dave Brubeck Quartet's 1959 song "Kathy's Waltz", about Brubeck's daughter.
They recorded the song on July 30, 1963 in eleven takes and three overdubs. The master take was fourteen overdubbed on take eleven. It was remixed on August 21 (mono) and October 29 (stereo).
A slightly longer stereo edition of the song, featuring a hi-hat percussion introduction not found on the common stereo or mono mixes was released in Germany and the Netherlands in 1965 on a compilation album entitled Beatles' Greatest. This version was later released in the UK, but only was part The Beatles Box.
Releases and performances
"All My Loving" was originally released in the UK on November 22, 1963 on With the Beatles. The first US release was on Meet the Beatles! released on January 20, 1964. The song was the title track of All My Loving EP released in the UK on February 7, 1964. The song was released on another EP, Four by the Beatles in the US, on May 11, 1964.
"All My Loving" was the Beatles' opening number on their debut performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964; the recording was included on Anthology 1. The group also performed "All My Loving" three times for BBC radio, once in 1963 and twice in 1964. The final version, which was recorded on February 28, 1964 was included on Live at the BBC.
The song was used twice in films by the group - it plays in the background at the end of the nightclub scene in A Hard Day's Night (though without the drums opening and the coda), while an instrumental version appears in the movie Magical Mystery Tour.
According to Alan Weiss; a TV producer who happened to be there, "All My Loving" was playing on the sound system at Roosevelt Hospital emergency room when Lennon was pronounced dead after being shot on December 8, 1980.
"All My Loving" has been praised by multiple critics. Ian MacDonald said, "The innocence of early sixties British pop is perfectly distilled in the eloquent simplicity of this number" and described the song as helping McCartney be seen as more of an equal to Lennon. Richie Unterberger of Allmusic said "it was arguably the best LP-only track the Beatles did before 1964" and that if it had been released as a single in America it would have been a huge hit.
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocals, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1), harmony and backing vocals
- John Lennon – backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1958 Rickenbacker 325)
- George Harrison – backing vocals, lead guitar (1962 Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman)
- Ringo Starr – drums
- George Martin — producer
- Norman Smith — engineer