Press (song)

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"Press"
German 7-Inch single cover
Single by Paul McCartney
from the album Press to Play
B-side "It's Not True"
"Hanglide" (12" only)
Released 14 July 1986
Recorded April–May 1985 at McCartney's Sussex studios
Genre Rock, New wave, Electronic, Pop rock, Synthpop
Length 4:43
Label Parlophone/EMI
Writer(s) Paul McCartney
Producer(s) Paul McCartney and Hugh Padgham
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Spies Like Us"
(1985)
"Press"
(1986)
"Pretty Little Head"
(1986)

"Press" is a song by Paul McCartney, the former bass guitarist for The Beatles. It was released as a lead single from his sixth studio solo album, Press to Play, being McCartney's thirty-seventh single. The single features the non-album track, "It's Not True" as the B-side, which was also released as a bonus track on compact disc release of the album.

Background[edit]

Though hitting the Top 30 in both the US (number 21, for 8 weeks[1])[2] and the UK (#25),[3] "Press" marked the beginning of a downturn of McCartney's fortunes on the singles charts, as it was the first time since Back to the Egg in 1979 that a lead single from a McCartney album failed to hit the Top 20 in the US/UK. This may have been because "Press" did not fit neatly into album-oriented rock or adult-contemporary radio formats popular at the time.

Release[edit]

Various issues in the UK include two 7" singles ("Press" and "Press-video edit"), a 10" single in a special fold-out sleeve and two 12" singles. In the UK, a Hugh Padgham mix and edit of "Press" was released on the single, but was quickly withdrawn and replaced with the preferred Bevans/Forward mix.[4][5]

Promotional video[edit]

Female fan kissing McCartney.

The 1986 music video for Press was shot entirely in the London Underground. Paul McCartney sings the song as he takes the Tube from South Kensington to Piccadilly Circus. As he takes the escalator to the platform and boards a Tube train, he begins singing the track. The video continues with scenes from around the Underground. These include shots of various commuters and buskers, featuring an accordionist and a violinist. McCartney interacts with members of the general public aboard the train and in the station, signing autographs, accepting a kiss from a female fan and leaving a tip for the violinist. In the final shot, he is seen riding the escalator up out of the Underground.

Critical reception[edit]

Writing for AllMusic, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that the track "is a terrific mid-'80s drum machine-driven slice of synth-pop, utterly featherweight in the best possible way." and writing for Los Angeles Times, critic Terry Atkinson stated that the track "is a sprightly, sunny delight--one of the most playful, positive pop songs ever written about the joy of sex and its link with love."[6]

Track listings[edit]

7" single (UK Only)
  1. "Press" - 4:20
    • Mixed by Hugh Padgham
    • Actual running length is 3:55, this mix is different from the one on 10" single
  2. "It's Not True" - 4:31
7" single (R 6133)
  1. "Press" (Video Edit) - 3:35
    • Mixed by Bert Bevans and Steve Forward
  2. "It's Not True" - 4:31
12" single (12R 6133)
  1. "Press" (Video Soundtrack) - 4:43
    • Mixed By Hugh Padgham
  2. "It's Not True" (Remix) - 5:50
  3. "Hanglide" - 5:18
  4. "Press" (Dub Mix) - 6:30
    • Remix by Bert Bevans and Steve Forward
10" single (10R 6133)
  1. "Press" - 4:20
    • Mixed by Hugh Padgham
  2. "It's Not True" (Remix) - 5:50
    • Remix by Julian Mendelsohn
  3. "Press" (Video Edit) - 3:35
    • Mixed by Bert Bevans and Steve Forward

Sales chart performance[edit]