With the end of Wings, his Marijuana arrest, and John Lennon being murdered in 1980. It was clear that McCartney needed a fresh start. He was alone for the first time since his 1971 album “Ram On” and the Ex Beatle had released his underwhelming self produced “McCartney II” to lackluster views and minimal sales.
Needing some direction and a bright idea to return to the root of your success, McCartney recruited legendary producer George Martin. Martin as we know was the key man in helping the Beatles crank out hit album after hit album. With Martin on board and overseeing the process, McCartney would be able to do what he does best. Write the lyrics and make the music. So, work began on the album toward the end of 1980 but was paused when John Lennon was shot and killed. Work was temporarily paused and decided a future return date to complete work when they were emotionally prepared.
Work resumed in Feb 1981 and concluded the following December. The Album would be a back to basic approach for McCartney. He would bring in old friends such as Ringo, Eric Stewart from 10cc, Stanley Clarke and Stevie Wonder for the hit single (Ebony and Ivory).
The sessions proved be a productive period for McCartney as about 30 songs were recorded. The rest not on the album were added to the follow up album “Pipe’s for Peace” which we will cover as well but at a later date.
The first single released was Ebony and Ivory (A duet with Stevie Wonder) and was instant hit. Making the Number 1 spot in several countries including the US Single’s Chart for 7 weeks.
The Single was followed up with another hit “Take it Away” which was accompanied with a video with the late John Hurt in a role as the band’s manager. The video will be loaded below for viewing.
Other songs that were on here that are good are “Somebody who cares”, “Here Today” (A song Paul wrote about John Lennon)
Track list for the rest
- “Tug of War” – 4:22
- “Take It Away” – 4:14
- “Somebody Who Cares” – 3:19
- “What’s That You’re Doing?” (Duet with Stevie Wonder) – 6:19
- “Here Today” – 2:27
- “Ballroom Dancing” – 4:07
- “The Pound Is Sinking” – 2:54
- “Wanderlust” – 3:49
- “Get It” (Duet with Carl Perkins) – 2:29
- “Be What You See (Link)” – 0:34
- “Dress Me Up as a Robber” – 2:41
- “Ebony and Ivory” (Duet with Stevie Wonder) – 3:46
An obviously great album that allowed McCartney to cruise on into the 80s in appropriate style. I highly recommend this to anyone who is fan of his work. Personally I think it is some of his best solo work.
Below is the 1982 video “Take it Away” cute little video.