Pipes of Peace

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This article is about the album. For the song, see Pipes of Peace (song).
"The Man (song)" redirects here. For the song by Aloe Blacc, see The Man (Aloe Blacc song). For the song by Ed Sheeran, see The Man (Ed Sheeran song).
Pipes of Peace
PaulMcCartneyalbum - Pipesofpeace.jpg
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 31 October 1983
Recorded October/December 1980, February–March 1981, summer 1981, September–October 1982, February/July 1983
Genre Rock, pop rock
Length 38:58
Label Parlophone (UK)
Columbia (US)
Producer George Martin
Paul McCartney chronology
Tug of War
Pipes of Peace
Give My Regards to Broad Street
Singles from Pipes of Peace
  1. "Say Say Say"
    Released: 3 October 1983
  2. "Pipes of Peace"
    Released: 5 December 1983

Pipes of Peace is the fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Paul McCartney, released in 1983. As the follow-up to the popular Tug of War, the album came close to matching the commercial success of its predecessor in Britain but peaked only at number 15 on America's Billboard 200 albums chart. While Pipes of Peace was the source of international hit singles such as "Say Say Say" (recorded with Michael Jackson) and the title track, the critical response to the album was less favourable than that afforded to Tug of War.

Background and structure[edit]

Upon its release, many were quick to notice that Pipes of Peace mirrored its predecessor in many ways. It was produced by George Martin, it featured two collaborations with the same artist (this time with Michael Jackson; the Tug of War collaborations being with Stevie Wonder), and continued McCartney's alliance in the studio with Ringo Starr, former 10cc guitarist Eric Stewart and his last session work with Wings guitarist Denny Laine. The reason for all of this is that many of the songs released on Pipes of Peace were recorded during the 1981 sessions for Tug of War, with "Pipes of Peace", "The Other Me", "So Bad", "Tug of Peace" and "Through Our Love" being recorded afterwards, in September–October 1982. By November, McCartney would start shooting his self-written motion picture Give My Regards to Broad Street, co-starring wife Linda, Ringo Starr and Tracey Ullman, which would take up most of his time throughout 1983. Due to the filming commitments (and to allow a reasonable lapse of time between his new album and Tug of War), Pipes of Peace was delayed until October for release.

With momentum building for his film project – and the accompanying soundtrack album – McCartney would spend much of his energies finishing and preparing Give My Regards to Broad Street for its release in the autumn of 1984.

In 1983 Pipes of Peace made its debut on CD on Columbia Records. In 1993, the album was remastered and reissued on CD as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series, with the previously unreleased "Twice in a Lifetime" (the title song for a 1985 film); his 1984 hit from the Rupert Bear project, "We All Stand Together"; and "Simple as That", released in 1986 on the charity album The Anti-Heroin Project – It's A Live-In World – all as bonus tracks. "Ode to a Koala Bear" (the B-side to "Say Say Say") was overlooked for inclusion. The album is due to be reissued in remastered form during 2015, as part of the on-going 'Paul McCartney Archive Collection' series of releases.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B–[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 2/5 stars[3]
The Essential Rock Discography 4/10[4]
MusicHound 2/5 stars[5]
NME (unfavourable)[6]
Q 3/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[9]

Critical reaction was less than that which had greeted Tug of War, many feeling that Pipes of Peace was a weaker execution of its predecessor's formula. In addition, author Howard Sounes writes, the album's commercial reception was "slightly disappointing, considering the quality of the work". Sounes views Pipes of Peace and its predecessor as "abounding with well-crafted tunes" that almost match the standard of McCartney's work with the Beatles; yet, he adds, the two albums "must be marked down for a surfeit of love ballads with lamentable lyrics".[10]

Reviewing the album for the NME, Penny Reel described Pipes of Peace as "A dull, tired and empty collection of quasi-funk and gooey rock arrangements … with McCartney cooing platitudinous sentiments on a set of lyrics seemingly made up on the spur of the moment." Reel opined that the "one decent moment" was the title track, which he found to be "a Beatlish soiree surely destined as a Christmas single", before concluding: "Even here, however, a note of insincerity in the vocal finally defeats the lyric's objective."[6]

The album featured the duet between McCartney and Jackson, "Say Say Say", which reached number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the US, where it remained for six weeks through to early in 1984.

Following "Say Say Say", the album's title track became a UK number 1, while in the US, "So Bad" was a top 30 hit. Pipes of Peace peaked at number 4 in the UK and number 15 in the US.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Paul McCartney, except "Say Say Say" and "The Man" co-written by Michael Jackson, "Hey Hey" co-written by Stanley Clarke.

Side one
  1. "Pipes of Peace" – 3:56
  2. "Say Say Say" – 3:55
    • Duet with Michael Jackson
  3. "The Other Me" – 3:58
  4. "Keep Under Cover" – 3:05
  5. "So Bad" – 3:20
Side two
  1. "The Man" – 3:55
    • Duet with Michael Jackson
  2. "Sweetest Little Show" – 2:54
  3. "Average Person" – 4:33
  4. "Hey Hey" – 2:54
  5. "Tug of Peace" – 2:54
  6. "Through Our Love" – 3:28
Bonus tracks

Other songs[edit]

Title Length Notes
"Ode to a Koala Bear (McCartney)" Available on "Say Say Say" single




Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[32] Platinum 100,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 201,000[17][29]
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[34] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Pipes of Peace at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. Pipes of Peace. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9. 
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 696. ISBN 978-184195-827-9. 
  5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 730. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  6. ^ a b Reel, Penny (5 November 1983). "Paul McCartney: Pipes Of Peace (Parlophone)". NME.  Available at Rock's Backpages (subscription required).
  7. ^ Nicol, Jimmy (October 1993). "Re-releases: Paul McCartney The Paul McCartney Collection". Q. p. 119. 
  8. ^ Rolling Stone 19 January 1984
  9. ^ Randall, Mac; Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 526. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ Sounes, Howard (2010). Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. London: HarperCollins. p. 390. ISBN 978-0-00-723705-0. 
  11. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  12. ^ "Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace – austriancharts.at" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 39, No. 15" (PHP). RPM. 10 December 1983. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace" (ASP). dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1983" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  18. ^ "charts.org.nz Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace" (ASP). VG-lista. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  21. ^ "swedishcharts.com Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace" (ASP). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace – hitparade.ch" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Chart Stats Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original (PHP) on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "Allmusic: Pipes of Peace: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1983 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  27. ^ "UK best albums 1983". Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  28. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1984". RPM. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  29. ^ a b 1984年アルバム年間ヒットチャート "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1984" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  30. ^ "UK best albums 1984". Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  31. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. "1984 Billboard Year-End". Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  32. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace". Music Canada. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 7 February 2012.  Enter Pipes of Peace in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  34. ^ "American album certifications – Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 7 February 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Infidels by Bob Dylan
Norwegian VG-lista Chart number-one album
(6 weeks)
Succeeded by
Cheek to Cheek by Jahn Teigen and Anita Skorgan