Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: July 30, 1963
Released: January 20, 1964
not released as a single
"It was the first song I'd ever written the words first," said McCartney of "All My Loving," one of the Beatles' most irresistible early rockers. He sketched out the lyrics one day on the bus while the band was touring with Roy Orbison. When they reached the venue, he didn't have his guitar, so he found a piano backstage and set the words to music. "I had in my mind a little country & western song," McCartney later said.
The sweet tale of yearning does have a bit of Nashville flair, especially evident in Harrison's twangy, Carl Perkins-flavored guitar solo. Harrison was such a fan of the man who wrote "Blue Suede Shoes" that on one early Beatles tour, he took the stage name "Carl Harrison." The band covered more Perkins songs than those of any other writer.
"All My Loving" became a staple of the Beatles' live set and the first song they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. "It's a damn good piece of work," Lennon once said in admiration of McCartney's songwriting, "but I play a pretty mean guitar in back."
Appears On: With the Beatles
• The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 'With the Beatles'
• Paul McCartney Revisits Beatles Classics, Solo Gems at Hollywood Bowl Marathon
• Fifty Years Ago Today: The Beatles First Played Liverpool's Cavern Club