This commercially-leaning single was written by Small Faces band members Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane. It was a compromise between the band and their manager Don Arden as Arden wanted a very radio-friendly song. Keyboardist Ian McLagan recalled to Uncut magazine: "Just a little pop song. Steve and Ronnie were being shrewd. After that, they were the writers. I was music musically frustrated in the studio at this point, but live we were raw and raucous."
Released on May 6, 1966 with the B-side "Almost Grown," the song peaked at #10 on the UK singles chart.
McLagan remembered to Uncut: "In those early days, the bridge of 'Hey Girl,' which goes to a minor key became a pattern. Steve would ask me to play a solo on piano and organ for a new song and I'll be thinking, 'hang on haven't played this bridge before?' They were writing very fast."
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.