- Published on 1965
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 2 on “Help!“
JOHN 1965: “‘The Night Before’ that Paul does is good.”
PAUL circa-1994: “I would say that’s mainly mine. I don’t think John had a lot to do with that.”
About “The Night Before”
“The Night Before” is a song from 1965 film Help! and accompanying album Help! The song was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.
The Beatles recorded “The Night Before” and George Harrison’s “You Like Me Too Much” on 17 February 1965, during the third session devoted to the soundtrack of their second feature film Help! Recorded in EMI’s Studio Two, George Martin produced the session, assisted by engineers Norman Smith and Ken Scott. The band achieved a satisfactory basic track in two takes, featuring McCartney singing and playing bass, Ringo Starr on drums, Harrison playing rhythm guitar on his Gretsch Tennessean, and Lennon playing a Hohner Pianet electric piano, the first time the instrument was used on a Beatles recording.
Help! premiered in the United Kingdom on 29 July 1965, and EMI’s Parlophone label released the soundtrack LP on 6 August.
“The Night Before” appeared on side one along with the six other tracks used in the film, sequenced between “Help!” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away“. On 13 August, Capitol released the North American version of the album, with the song sequenced between “Help!” and “From Me To You Fantasy”, an orchestral piece from Ken Thorne’s film score. In a contemporary interview, McCartney said that “The Night Before” was one of his favorite songs from the film and that the band struggled deciding whether it or “Ticket to Ride” should have been the lead single.
Meaning of “The Night Before”
The lyrics of the song revolve around themes of love, heartbreak, and the aftermath of a romantic relationship.
In “The Night Before,” the narrator reflects on the events of the previous night, suggesting that it was a significant turning point in their relationship. The lyrics convey a sense of disappointment and sadness, as the narrator realizes that the person they were with may not be as committed or invested in the relationship as they had hoped.
The chorus, which goes “I have got to get it right / I have got to get it right now,” suggests a sense of urgency and a determination to make things work, despite the emotional turmoil.
The song captures a common theme in many love songs: the complexity and sometimes painful nature of romantic relationships. It portrays a moment of self-reflection and a desire for clarity and resolution.
“The Night Before” can be interpreted as a reflection on the challenges and uncertainties that often accompany romantic relationships, and the desire to find a sense of closure and understanding. The emotions expressed in the song are relatable to anyone who has experienced the complexities of love and relationships.
- 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