My Brave Face

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"My Brave Face"
My Brave Face.jpg
7" sleeve
Single by Paul McCartney
from the album Flowers in the Dirt
Released8 May 1989 (United Kingdom)
27 May 1989 (United States)
Recorded23 October 1987, 1 February and October 1988
Hog Hill Studio, Rye; Olympic Studios, London
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Once Upon a Long Ago"
"My Brave Face"
"This One"

"My Brave Face" is a single from Paul McCartney's 1989 album, Flowers in the Dirt. Written by McCartney and Elvis Costello, "My Brave Face" is one of the most popular songs from Flowers in the Dirt. It peaked at #18 in the United Kingdom a week after its debut, and #25 in the United States 7 weeks after its debut.[1][2] It was McCartney's last top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 until his 2014 collaboration with Kanye West, "Only One", and as of 2017 is the last Billboard top 40 hit with any former Beatle in the lead credit.

Like other songs from Flowers in the Dirt, despite the song's chart success, to date it has not been included on any McCartney compilation album.


"My Brave Face" was first recorded at sessions overseen by McCartney and Costello in early 1988. Excerpts from this session were eventually used in McCartney's documentary video Put It There, but other than that were not used. The final version of the song was recorded later the same year at Olympic Studios in London, with producer Mitchell Froom joining in on the work.[3] During the overdub sessions, David Rhodes added an "ebow guitar" in a quick one-day session at Olympic Studios.[4] According to the Put It There documentary, Costello requested that McCartney bring his iconic Höfner violin bass, which he had not played in years, to the recording session. To this day, Paul still uses this bass, in addition to the Rickenbacker 4001 and his Wal 5-String Customized.


Track listing[edit]

This song was released on many formats, including the standard 7" single, a 12" maxi-single, a cassette single, and a CD single.

7" single[edit]


  1. "My Brave Face"


  1. "Flying to My Home"

12" single[edit]


  1. "My Brave Face"
  2. "Flying to My Home"


  1. "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday"
  2. "Ain't That a Shame"

CD single[edit]

  1. "My Brave Face"
  2. "Flying to My Home"
  3. "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday"
  4. "Ain't That a Shame"

Music video[edit]

The music video for "My Brave Face" was shot in April 1989, directed by Roger Lunn.[6] It was frequently seen on video channels that year, and was released in 2007 on the three disc collection The McCartney Years. It features a Japanese McCartney-fanatic who acquires McCartney memorabilia, films, and audio by means of robbery, and, allegedly, through Sotheby's.[7] The video was shot in both black-and-white and in colour, and it features rare videos of him with The Beatles as well as with Wings. There is a video of him and the rest of the Beatles doing the Charleston, and him and Linda (as well as a visible Joe English in the background) being greeted by people in New Orleans. In the end, the Japanese fanatic gets arrested, and a clip of McCartney looking in the camera is shown, with 2007 McCartney voicing-over on the audio commentary, "What did you expect?"[7] The video earned a nomination in "Best Video" category on the 1990 Brit Awards.[8]

Live performances and cover versions[edit]

McCartney included the song on his world tour in 1989-1990; a recording of it is included on the live album Tripping the Live Fantastic. It was also included in some of the small shows McCartney played in 1991. He has not performed the song since.

SR-71 recorded the song for the McCartney tribute album Listen To What The Man Said.[9] Star Collector performed it for another tribute album, Love In Song: An Atlanta Tribute To Sir Paul McCartney.[10]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[11] 30
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) [12] 16
Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles[13] 17
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary[14] 29
Dutch Singles Chart[15] 15
French Singles Chart[16] 31
Irish Singles Chart [17] 6
Italian Singles Chart [18] 23
Japanese Singles Chart [19] 1
Norwegian VG-lista Singles Chart[20] 4
Spanish Singles Chart[21] 13
Swedish Singles Chart[22] 19
Swiss Singles Chart[23] 25
UK Singles Chart[1] 18
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 25
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[2] 4
US Billboard Mainstream Rock[2] 12
West German Media Control Singles Chart[24] 29


  1. ^ a b "Paul McCartney > Artists > Official Charts". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Allmusic: Paul McCartney: Charts & Awards". Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium (Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions, 2000), 301-302.
  4. ^ Luca Perasi, Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013), L.I.L.Y. Publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-88-909122-1-4, p.288.
  5. ^ "Flowers In The Dirt". Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  6. ^ Calkin, Graham (2008). "The McCartney Years". Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  7. ^ a b The McCartney Years, 2007
  8. ^ "The BRITs 1990". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  9. ^ "McCartney Tribute Album To Benefit Breast Cancer", Billboard, 20 August 2001
  10. ^ "Love In Song: An Atlanta Tribute To Sir Paul McCartney".
  11. ^ " Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  12. ^ " Paul McCartney – "My Brave Face"" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 50, No. 12". RPM. 17 July 1989. Retrieved 5 May 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 50, No. 15". RPM. 7 August 1989. Retrieved 5 May 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ " Paul McCartney – "My Brave Face"" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Search the Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original (enter "Paul Mc Cartney" into the "Search by Artist" box, then select "Search") on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  19. ^ "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  20. ^ " Paul McCartney – "My Brave Face"" (ASP). VG-lista. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  22. ^ " Paul McCartney – "My Brave Face"" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  23. ^ "Paul McCartney – "My Brave Face" –" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  24. ^ "Single Search: Paul McCartney – "My Brave Face"" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 20 February 2013.

External links[edit]