Tug of War (Paul McCartney album)

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Tug of War
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 26 April 1982 (1982-04-26)
Recorded June, October–December 1980, February–March, August–December 1981
Genre Rock
Length 41:10
Label Parlophone (worldwide)
Columbia/CBS (US)
Producer George Martin
Paul McCartney chronology
McCartney II
(1980)
Tug of War
(1982)
Pipes of Peace
(1983)
Singles from Tug of War
  1. "Ebony and Ivory"
    Released: 29 March 1982
  2. "Take It Away"
    Released: 21 June 1982
  3. "Tug of War"
    Released: 6 September 1982

Tug of War is the fourth solo studio album by English rock musician Paul McCartney, released in 1982. It is the follow-up to the 1980 album McCartney II, and his first official solo album after the dissolution of Wings in April 1981. The recording sessions for the album reunited McCartney with producer George Martin. Tug of War was also McCartney's first album after the death of his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon.

Recording[edit]

Following McCartney II's release, Wings regrouped in October 1980 to begin what would be their final recording sessions, whereby several songs later to appear on Tug of War and Pipes of Peace were rehearsed and recorded. Feeling the need for direction, McCartney called upon his old producer, George Martin, to begin recording a song written for the animated Rupert Bear character (to which McCartney owned the rights), entitled "We All Stand Together", among others. The productive sessions continued until 9 December, the morning McCartney woke up to discover his old songwriting partner and fellow ex-Beatle, John Lennon, had been shot and killed the night before in New York City. Abandoning that day's session part-way through (where he and Denny Laine were recording future B-Side "Rainclouds"), both Martin and McCartney felt it was best to leave the project for the time being and start anew once they were ready.

In February 1981, two months after Lennon's death, Paul McCartney resumed his sessions, recording that month with Stevie Wonder, Stanley Clarke, Carl Perkins and Ringo Starr and laying down several songs in the process. The recordings were held at AIR Studios in Montserrat, in the Caribbean and lasted from 3 February to 2 March, ending with Ebony and Ivory and What's That You're Doing, two songs featuring Stevie Wonder.[1] 10cc guitarist Eric Stewart also became a frequent collaborator of McCartney's during this era. Further sessions that summer were also undertaken at George Martin's AIR studios at Oxford Street, London – with the producer manning the controls and giving McCartney's music the benefit of 1980s technology. The sessions were so productive that several of its tracks would be held over for the next album, Pipes of Peace, which followed in 1983. The rest of 1981 would be spent in a quiet fashion, with McCartney and Martin touching up the album and perfecting it.

Release, critical reception and aftermath[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[4]
The Great Rock Discography 5/10[5]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[7]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Stephen Holden hailed Tug of War as "the masterpiece everyone has always known Paul McCartney could make", particularly because of its vivid music and consistent songwriting.[6] Robert Palmer was less enthusiastic in his review for The New York Times and found the album "exquisitely crafted though lyrically flawed", as he thought McCartney's lyrics were banal and mawkishly sentimental.[8]

In March 1982, McCartney's duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory", was released to broad acclaim. It reached number 1 in many countries and did much to restore McCartney's critical reputation after what was viewed as a lean period for him. Consequently, when Tug of War appeared in April, it was an immediate worldwide number 1, selling several million copies and was received strongly by the public, even being nominated for the "Album of the Year" Grammy in 1983. The follow-up single "Take It Away" was a US Top 10 entry as well.

The album, along with McCartney's Ram and Wings over America albums, was issued in the US on compact disc on 18 January 1988.[9] In 1993, Tug of War was remastered and reissued on CD as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series. There were no bonus tracks: "Rainclouds" and "I'll Give You a Ring", B-sides of "Ebony and Ivory" and "Take It Away", respectively, were omitted. In 2007, Tug of War was remastered and re-released on the iTunes Store adding a solo version of "Ebony and Ivory".

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Paul McCartney, except "What's That You're Doing?" co-written by Stevie Wonder

Side one
  1. "Tug of War" – 4:22
  2. "Take It Away" – 4:14
  3. "Somebody Who Cares" – 3:19
  4. "What's That You're Doing?" – 6:19
  5. "Here Today" – 2:27
Side two
  1. "Ballroom Dancing" – 4:07
  2. "The Pound Is Sinking" – 2:54
  3. "Wanderlust" – 3:49
  4. "Get It" – 2:29
  5. "Be What You See (Link)" – 0:34
  6. "Dress Me Up as a Robber" – 2:41
  7. "Ebony and Ivory" – 3:46
    • Duet with Stevie Wonder
iTunes bonus track
  1. "Ebony and Ivory" (Solo version) – 3:46

Personnel[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1983 Tug of War Album of the Year[10] Nominated
"Ebony and Ivory" (Duet with Stevie Wonder) Song of the Year[10] Nominated
Record of the Year[10] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance – Duo or Group[10] Nominated
"What's That You're Doing?"
(Duet with Stevie Wonder)
Best R&B Vocal Performance – Duo or Group[10] Nominated

American Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1983 Paul McCartney (performer) Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist[11] Nominated
"Ebony and Ivory"
(Duet with Stevie Wonder)
Favorite Pop/Rock Single[11] Nominated

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1983
[12]
Paul McCartney (performer) Best British Male Artist Won
Sony Trophy for Technical Excellence Won
George Martin (producer) Best British Producer Nominated

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[13] Gold 289,800[14]
Japan (Oricon Charts) 237,000[C][15][16]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[17] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

Notes

  • A^ In the United States, Tug of War also entered the R&B chart, peaking at No. 11 there.[35]
  • B^ Until January 1987, Japanese albums chart had been separated into LP, CD, and cassette charts. Tug of War also entered the cassette chart, peaking at No. 12 and entering top 100 for 19 weeks.
  • C^ Combined sales of LP, CD, and audio cassette.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Luca Perasi, Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013), L.I.L.Y. Publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-88-909122-1-4, pp.213-225.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Tug of War (Paul McCartney album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1 June 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9. 
  5. ^ "Paul McCartney Tug of War". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (27 May 1982). "Music Reviews : Tug of War by Paul McCartney". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2008 
  7. ^ Randall, Mac; Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 526. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  8. ^ Palmer, Robert (25 April 1982). "Music View; PAUL MCCARTNEY'S LATEST IS EXQUISITE BUT FLAWED". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Miles, Barry; Badman, Keith, ed. (2001). The Beatles Diary After the Break-Up: 1970–2001 (reprint ed.). London: Music Sales Group. ISBN 9780711983076. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Rock on the Net: 25th Annual Grammy Awards – 1983". Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "10th American Music Awards". Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "The BRITs 1983". brits.co.uk. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "French album certifications – Paul McCartney – Tug of War" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  14. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  16. ^ a b 1982年アルバム年間ヒットチャート "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1982" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. 
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Tug of War". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Tug of War in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Paul McCartney – Tug of War". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  20. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  21. ^ "Paul McCartney – Tug of War – austriancharts.at" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  22. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (12 June 1982). Billboard – 21 June – 1982. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 31 October 2011
  24. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Paul McCartney – Tug of War" (ASP). dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  26. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1982" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  27. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (19 June 1982). Billboard – 19 June – 1982. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "Paul McCartney Japanese Album Chart listings". Original Confidence. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  29. ^ a-ビートルズ "– Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) – Albums Chart Daijiten – The Beatles" (in Japanese). 30 December 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "charts.org.nz Paul McCartney – Tug of War" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Paul McCartney – Tug of War" (ASP). VG-lista. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  32. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (3 July 1982). Billboard – 3 July – 1982. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "swedishcharts.com Paul McCartney – Tug of War" (ASP). Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Chart Stats Paul McCartney – Tug of War" (PHP). The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Tug of War > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney: Tug of War" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  37. ^ "Austriancharts.st – Jahreshitparade 1982". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  38. ^ "Top 100 Albums '82". RPM. 25 December 1982. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  39. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1982 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  40. ^ "UK best albums 1982". Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  41. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (25 December 1982). Billboard.com – Year End Charts – Year-end Albums – The Billboard 200. Retrieved 29 January 2012.