Paul McCartney – Beautiful Night 1997-2020

Paul McCartney released the Beautiful Night EP as part of the reissue of his acclaimed 1997 album Flaming Pie.

Paul McCartney - Beautiful Night (Beautiful Night) - 2020

Paul McCartney released the Beautiful Night EP on July 17, 2020 as part of the reissue of his acclaimed 1997 album Flaming Pie. Released on July 31, Burning Pie marks the thirteenth installment in Paul's Grammy-winning archive collection.

The EP recreates the original "Beautiful Night" maxi single from 1997, with a remastered "Flaming Pie" single, "Beautiful Night", a demo of the 1995 song, an alternate recording of "Run Through" and "Oobu Joobu Part 5" - a mix of "Beautiful Night" themed talk night", alternate mixes and recordings of Paul and Ringo Starr talking about the song.

The newly updated music video for "Beautiful Night", filmed in 1997, is also out today.

Paul McCartney – Beautiful Night song history 

Beautiful Night – Paul Mccartney
Beautiful Night – Paul Mccartney

Beautiful Night marks one of the first collaborations between Paul and Ringo Starr since the Beatles. Speaking about his memories of that time, Paul said:

“I've been telling Ringo for years that it would be great to do something because we've never done so much together outside of The Beatles. One night, Jeff Lynn suggested, "Why don't you invite Ringo over?" and I said "OK!" It just happened.

I had this song 'Beautiful Night' that I wrote a few years ago. I've always liked it, but I felt like I didn't have the right version of it. So I pulled that song out when Ringo came over and immediately it was like old times."

Originally released on May 5, 1997, Flaming Pie ended a four-year hiatus between McCartney studio albums. Recorded in large part after Paul's involvement in the creation and production of the Beatles Anthology series, Flaming Pie was shaped and inspired by this experience. Paul remarked at the time that The Beatles Anthology was reminiscent of The Beatles' standards and the standards they had achieved with songs. In a way, it was a refresher course that laid the groundwork for this album.

First video clip of the song

Created by Paul, Jeff Lynne and George Martin and featuring a supporting cast of family and friends including Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, Linda McCartney and son James, "Flaming Pie" is equal parts a masterclass in songwriting and a steady burst of joyful spontaneity. With highlights ranging from inspirational and inspiring opener "The Song We Sang" to the raucous title track (named after a quote from an early John Lennon interview about the origin of the Beatles' name: "It came in a vision - a man appeared on a flaming pie and told them, "From this day on, you're the Beatles with an A.") to the wistful "Calico Skies", featuring the singles "Young Boy", "The World Tonight" and "Beautiful Night", "Flaming Pie" would represent another pinnacle in Paul's solo catalog: released to rave reviews, Paul's became the most commercially successful release of the 90s, reaching the highest chart positions since the 80s and being certified gold in the US, UK, Japan and other countries.

From the memories of musicians ...

From the liner notes album:

The work on the Anthology prompted Paul to invite him and Ringo to renew their collaboration, which had not been for ten years. "Beautiful Night" was already a decade old, and the New York-made recording was on a shelf, unused since 1986. With Paul at the piano and Ringo on drums (he played an exact replica of his own kit, by the way, which Paul had bought based on Ringo's after the True Love session), the song came together comfortably. Wanting to play some guitar, Paul also introduced a new element to his compositions, uptempo finale Finally, the recording was enhanced by an orchestral arrangement dubbed by George Martin and overdubbed at Abbey Road on Valentine's Day 1997.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr

“I dug up this old song when Ringo came, changed a few lyrics and it was very similar to the old days, I realized that we hadn’t done in so long, but it was very convenient. And it was still there.

Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwich No. 82, Summer 1997:

I wrote "Beautiful Night" quite a few years ago and I've always loved it, and people who heard an early recording I made in New York with some of the Billy Joel players said they liked it too. But I always felt like we didn't quite "make it" - you know? We had a good evening and had a great time, but I just didn't feel like it was the one. Also, I was still changing a few texts. So instead I did it with Ringo - I told him for years that we should work together. He's great.

Two great geniuses...
Two great geniuses...

I was at the piano and Ringo was at the drums. It was so comfortable and pleasant to work with him again. Jeff Lynne and I produced. Ringo was very happy with it, and at the end we noted a fast beat that wasn't on the original recording.

ringo starr dzheff linn pol makkartni i dzhordzh harrison 1995
Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynn, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, 1995.

Ringo came here to the studio to play "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" and brought his kit with him. Sounds great when recorded, snare, bass. He then left his set here in storage, so I called and ordered exactly the same items and set up my new set the same way. In fact, Ringo used my model of his Beautiful Night set.

Mark Lewisohn, in Club Sandwich No. 82, Summer 1997:

With Paul at the piano and Ringo on drums, the song came together comfortably. Wanting to play some guitar at the end, Paul introduced a new element to his composition, the uptempo ending, and the mic picked up some kind of distinctive advertisement for Ringo and Paul as they were about to leave the studio. The recording then remained unchanged for nine months before Paul decided to enhance it with an orchestral arrangement dubbed by George Martin and recorded at Studio One on Abbey Road on February 14, 1997.

Ringo Starr, in Club Sandwich #83, Fall 1997:

Tell me how you came to work with Paul again, this time.

He had this song that he wanted me to play. And that's what happened - I went to his studio, and we played on the track. How does is called?

'Beautiful night'!

Yes, sorry! He invited me to play "Beautiful Night" and I said "Sure". I think it's a beautiful track.

You also sing in Beautiful Night.

I sing on my return at the end, yes. He said, “You can sing it,” and I said, “Okay, thanks. What are the notes? and sang them. When we go and do his song, he answers. I mean, I can give him everything I have, but he wrote the song and he has a program for it. If I do something that changes that and he likes it, then we'll do it. But he's Mr. McCartney when we write his song. And I'm Mr. Ringo when we do mine. We're just fellow musicians.

Ringo Starr, at Club Sandwich N° 83, Fall 1997

At the end of A Beautiful Night, we can hear Ringo Starr making fun of it.

I think that everyone who makes a record has the opportunity to leave all the madness at the end. You almost always fade out, but at the end of "Beautiful Night" it was such a good takeoff that Ringo started having fun, acting like a doorman, throwing people out. I love it so much. This is very Beatley. It's a very good Beatley idea, because we did it in a group… “Beautiful Night” actually sounds a little bit “Beatley”… In fact, I swear that at the end of “Beautiful Night” you can almost hear some very John's voice Lennoni. Listen to this. Check this.

Paul McCartney, from The Beatles Monthly, #261 Jan 1998

ringo starr
Ringo Starr

Tracks of the EP "Beautiful Night":

  1. Beautiful Night (Main Album - Remastered)
  2. Beautiful Night (1995 Demo)
  3. Beautiful Night (Run Through)
  4. Oobu Joobu Part 5:
    1. And Now (Jingle)
    2. Oobu Joobu Main Theme
    3. beautiful night chat
    4. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Chat About 'Beautiful Night'
    5. Ringo Starr Chat
    6. Beautiful Night (Flaming Pie Mix)
    7. Beautiful Night (Original Version)
    8. goodbyes
    9. Oobu Joobu Main Theme

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