Pipes of Peace (song)

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"Pipes of Peace"
Single by Paul McCartney
from the album Pipes of Peace
B-side "So Bad"
Released 5 December 1983
Format 7"
Recorded September/October 1982
Genre Pop
Length 3:56
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Paul McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Say Say Say"
"Pipes of Peace"
"No More Lonely Nights"

"Pipes of Peace" is a song written by Paul McCartney, which was first released on his album of the same name on 31 October 1983. It was also released as a single on 5 December 1983 and reached number one on many singles charts for two weeks.[1]


In the United States, "Pipes of Peace" was issued as the B-side, and its British B-side, "So Bad", was issued as the A-side.[2] "So Bad" climbed the US charts and became another hit on the Billboard Hot 100.[3]

McCartney had previously had seventeen UK number one singles as a member of The Beatles, one as a member of Wings ("Mull of Kintyre"), and one with Stevie Wonder ("Ebony and Ivory"), but this was his first and only UK number one as a solo artist. He later appeared on five charity singles that reached number one: Band Aid (1984), Ferry Aid (1987), Ferry Cross the Mersey (1989), Band Aid 20 (2004) and The Justice Collective (2012).


At Chobham Common, Surrey, a video was shot for "Pipes of Peace", depicting the famous 1914 Christmas truce between British, French and German troops. It portrays a British and a German soldier, both played by McCartney, who meet up in No Man's Land and exchange photos of their loved ones while other soldiers fraternise and play football. When a shell blast forces the two armies to retreat to their own trenches both men realise that they still have each other's pictures.[4] The video was produced by Hugh Symonds, featured more than 100 extras, and for added realism McCartney had his hair cut short especially for the shoot.


Argentine singer-songwriter Sergio Denis recorded a Spanish version of the song re-titled Pipas de la paz on his album La Humanidad (1984).

The McCartney recording appeared again on his 1987 compilation, All the Best! (UK/Canada version, but not the US version).

Tabla was played by James Kippen.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  2. ^ "Paul McCartney– So Bad / Pipes Of Peace (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Pipes of Peace > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Daphne Lee (12 July 2009). "Monsters in our minds". Malaysia Star. Retrieved 39 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Claudio Dirani (5 December 2005). "The Stunning Percussion On Pipes Of Peace". Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
Preceded by
"Only You" by The Flying Pickets
UK number-one single
8 January 1984
Succeeded by
"Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood