If you were a rock ‘n’ roller with a bone to pick, you could have taken issue with some tracks The Beatles recorded in the early days. “Mr. Moonlight,” which went out on the forgettable Beatles For Sale (1964), would serve as a worthy target. But you’d have a harder time criticizing the band’s singers.
From the earliest Fab Four records, it was clear the band had the ultimate weapon in the voice of John Lennon. Whether singing a ballad such as “This Boy” or belting out “Twist and Shout,” John could make magic of whatever material he had in front of him. And Paul McCartney wasn’t far behind him.
Though Paul became known for the marvelous ballads he wrote over the years, he could also shout with the best of them. Tracks such as “Oh! Darling” and “Kansas City” / “Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey” make that case easily enough.
But when it came to ballads Paul was difficult to top, and for Revolver (1966) he wrote and sang two of his best. On “Here, There and Everywhere,” Paul said he got his gorgeous sound by doing his impression of one of the bright young singers of the day.
Paul McCartney said he did a ‘Marianne Faithfull impression’ on ‘Here, There and Everywhere’
At times, Paul would have a specific singer in mind when he was writing or singing a song. Looking back on the composition of “The Long and Winding Road,” Paul said his guide was Ray Charles. “Sometimes you get a person in your mind, just for an attitude,” he said in Many Years From Now (1997).
When singing “Here, There and Everywhere,” Paul had a very different voice in mind. For this track, he said he was thinking of Marianne Faithfull, who’d broken through in 1964 with the Mick Jagger-Keith Richards original “As Tears Go By.”
“When I sang it in the studio I remember thinking, ‘I’ll sing it like Marianne Faithfull,'” Paul said in Many Years From Now. “[It’s] something no one would ever know. You get these little things in your mind. You think, ‘I’ll sing it like James Brown,’ but of course it’s always you that sings it.”
Indeed, it’s unlikely anyone in the studio that day guessed Paul was going for Faithfull (who’d covered “Yesterday” not long before). “So that one was a little voice,” Paul said. “I used an almost falsetto voice … my Marianne Faithfull impression.”
John Lennon marveled at Paul’s work on ‘Here, There and Everywhere’
While Paul was writing one great song after another in the mid-’60s, he wasn’t didn’t hear a lot of praise from his bandmate and longtime songwriting partner. The subject came up during his 2018 60 Minutes interview. “Did you compliment each other?” the interviewer asked.
“Once,” Paul replied. “John gave me a compliment [one time].” And it was “Here, There and Everywhere” that broke the streak. “Right when it finished, John said, ‘That’s a really good song, lad. I love that song.'” Fifty-two years later, the moment was fresh in Paul’s mind.
“I remembered it to this day,” Paul said with a laugh. “It’s pathetic, really.” John really did hold that track in high esteem. In his 1980 Playboy interviews with David Sheff, he called it “one of my favorite songs of The Beatles.”