Too Many People

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Not to be confused with Too Many People (Wet Wet Wet song).
"Too Many People"
Single by Paul and Linda McCartney
from the album Ram
A-side "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"
Released 2 August 1971
Format 7"
Recorded 10 November 1970
Genre Rock
Length 4:10
Label Apple
Writer(s) Paul McCartney
Producer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology
"Another Day"
(1971)
"Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"
(1971)
"The Back Seat of My Car"
(1971)
Ram track listing

"Too Many People" is a song by Paul McCartney from his and his wife Linda McCartney's 1971 album Ram as well as the B-side of the "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" single.

Background[edit]

"Too Many People" was written as a dig at McCartney's former bandmate and songwriting partner John Lennon, as well as his wife Yoko Ono.

I was looking at my second solo album, Ram, the other day and I remember there was one tiny little reference to John in the whole thing. He'd been doing a lot of preaching, and it got up my nose a little bit. In one song, I wrote, "Too many people preaching practices," I think is the line. I mean, that was a little dig at John and Yoko. There wasn't anything else on it that was about them. Oh, there was "You took your lucky break and broke it in two.

—Paul McCartney, Playboy, 1984[1]

The song also begins with the line "piss off," later revealed to be a direct attack on Lennon.

Piss off, cake. Like, a piece of cake becomes piss off cake, And it’s nothing, it’s so harmless really, just little digs. But the first line is about “too many people preaching practices.” I felt John and Yoko were telling everyone what to do. And I felt we didn’t need to be told what to do. The whole tenor of the Beatles thing had been, like, each to his own. Freedom. Suddenly it was “You should do this.” It was just a bit the wagging finger, and I was pissed off with it. So that one got to be a thing about them.

—Paul McCartney, Mojo, 2001[2]

Recording[edit]

McCartney sang falsetto during parts of the bridge. Hugh McCracken's guitar solo between the second bridge and third chorus is played in one piece. The second solo after the final bridge is accompanied by a drum stick on the side of a floor tom.

Aftermath[edit]

Following the release of Ram, John Lennon pointed out multiple songs that he claimed were attacks at him, among them being "Too Many People."

There were all the bits at the beginning of Ram like 'Too many people going underground'. Well that was us, Yoko Ono and me. And 'You took your lucky break', that was considering we had a lucky break to be with him.

—John Lennon[2]

In response, Lennon wrote "How Do You Sleep?" for his album Imagine, an attack at McCartney featuring musical contributions from George Harrison. McCartney later wrote "Dear Friend," a truce offering to Lennon, and released it on the album Wild Life with his band, Wings.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul McCartney 1984 Playboy Interview". The Trustees of Indiana University. Retrieved 6 May 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Too Many People". The Beatles Bible. 

External links[edit]