When was it recorded? Sept. 29-30, 1964
When was it first released, and on which album? Dec. 4, 1964 on “Beatles for Sale”
Who wrote it? McCartney
Have I heard this song before? Not that I’m aware of
What my research dug up:
Paul wrote “Every Little Thing” hoping it could be the Beatles’ next single after “A Hard Day’s Night.” Spoiler alert – it wasn’t. Quoth Paul, “it was something I thought was quite good but it became an album filler rather than the great almighty single. It didn’t have quite what was required.” Wikipedia claims he wrote it at Jane Asher’s parents’ home, but the Beatles Bible claims he wrote it in Atlantic City during the Beatles’ first US tour, so pick which source you trust more.
Unlike most Beatles songs, the primary writer is not the lead vocalist on the track. John actually sings lead (and also plays lead guitar).
The group recorded four takes of “Every Little Thing” on Sept. 29, then five takes on Sept. 30. According to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, the entire affair was notably lighthearted.
“Take six was aborted when Paul burped a vocal instead of singing it, take seven was complete but ended in uproarious laughter. And Ringo was having fun with an instrument new to Beatles recordings – timpani. This appeared for the first time on take nine, along with the guitar intro and piano piece.” — Mark Lewisohn (The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions)
This song gets a solid shrug from me. It’s not the worst, but it’s not remarkable. I would definitely agree it didn’t have what it took to be a single. I dig the timpani, though!