Silly Love Songs
|"Silly Love Songs"|
|Single by Wings|
|from the album Wings at the Speed of Sound|
|B-side||"Cook of the House"|
|Released||1 April 1976|
|Recorded||16 January 1976|
|Wings singles chronology|
|Wings at the Speed of Sound track listing|
"Silly Love Songs" is a song written by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney and performed by Wings. The song first appeared in March 1976 on the album Wings at the Speed of Sound, then it was released as a single backed with "Cook of the House" on 1 April in the US, and 30 April in the UK. The song, written in response to John Lennon and music critics accusing McCartney of predominantly writing "silly love songs" and "sentimental slush", also features disco overtones.
The song was McCartney's 27th number one as a songwriter; the all-time record for the most number one hits achieved by a songwriter.[n 1] With this song, McCartney became the first person to have a year-end No. 1 song as a member of two distinct acts. McCartney previously hit No. 1 in the year-end Billboard chart as a member of the Beatles with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 and "Hey Jude" in 1968.
"Silly Love Songs" has since appeared on multiple McCartney greatest hits compilations, including Wings Greatest and All the Best!. The song has also appeared on the "Hits" section of the compilation album Wingspan: Hits and History. Despite its popularity, McCartney has not performed the song live since the dissolution of Wings.
"Silly Love Songs" was written as a rebuttal to music critics (as well as John Lennon) who had criticized McCartney for writing lightweight love songs. Author Tim Riley suggests that in the song, McCartney is inviting "his audience to have a laugh on him," as Elvis Presley had sometimes done.
But over the years people have said, "Aw, he sings love songs, he writes love songs, he's so soppy at times." I thought, Well, I know what they mean, but, people have been doing love songs forever. I like 'em, other people like 'em, and there's a lot of people I love -- I'm lucky enough to have that in my life. So the idea was that "you" may call them silly, but what's wrong with that?
The song was, in a way, to answer people who just accuse me of being soppy. The nice payoff now is that a lot of the people I meet who are at the age where they've just got a couple of kids and have grown up a bit, settling down, they'll say to me, "I thought you were really soppy for years, but I get it now! I see what you were doing!"
By the way, "Silly Love Songs" also had a good bass line and worked well live.— Paul McCartney, Billboard 
The song includes a build-up of multiple vocal parts sung in counterpoint, similar to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows", a song that McCartney cited as his favourite of all time. McCartney allowed the horn section to create their own parts for the song.
"Silly Love Songs" was released in the US on 1 April 1976 and spent five non-consecutive weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was the number 1 pop song in Billboard's Year-End Charts of 1976; it was also the group's second of three number ones on the Easy Listening chart. The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies. Billboard listed "Silly Love Songs" as Paul McCartney's all-time biggest Hot 100 single.
Upon release, "Silly Love Songs" generally received positive reviews from music critics, despite a common criticism of the song lacking substance. AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the song, as well as its follow-up single, "Let 'Em In", as "so lightweight that their lack of substance seems nearly defiant." Music critic Robert Christgau called the two tracks "charming if lightweight singles", while Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden said "Silly Love Songs" was "a clever retort whose point is well taken." John Bergstrom of PopMatters called the song "an exemplary piece of mid-‘70s pop production and a pure pleasure."
In 2008, "Silly Love Songs" was listed at No. 31 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 1976, Wings recorded "Silly Love Songs" live for their triple live album Wings Over America. In 1984, three years after the dissolution of Wings, Paul McCartney re-recorded "Silly Love Songs" for the soundtrack to the motion picture Give My Regards to Broad Street.
Personnel per The Paul McCartney Project
- Paul McCartney – lead and backing vocals, bass, Mellotron, piano, string conductor, percussion
- Linda McCartney – backing vocals, tambourine
- Denny Laine – backing vocals, piano
- Joe English – drums
- Tony Dorsey – trombone
- Thaddeus Richard – saxophone
- Steve Howard – trumpet
- Howie Casey – saxophone
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
|"Silly Love Songs"|
|Single by Ardijah|
|from the album Time|
|Ardijah singles chronology|
In 1999, New Zealand hip hop/funk group Ardijah released an R&B version of the song. It debuted at number 22 on New Zealand's RIANZ Singles Chart on 17 January 1999, then reached the top 10 the next week at number nine. It then moved up to number three, where it stayed for two weeks, then reached number one on 14 February, taking over the top position from "Have You Ever?" by Brandy and becoming the band's highest-charting single in their home country, as well as their first top 10 hit since "Watching U" in 1988.
"Silly Love Songs" subsequently returned to number three for another two weeks, then slowly began its descent from the chart, spending four more weeks in the top 10. It last charted at number 45 on 9 May, totaling 17 weeks on the chart altogether. Despite its success, it did not appear on New Zealand's year-end chart for 1999, nor did it receive any certifications.
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||1|
- In 1977, Welsh singer Shirley Bassey covered the song on her album You Take My Heart Away.
- In 1995, American rock band The Replicants covered the song on their self-titled album, with Maynard James Keenan on vocals.
- In 1996, rock group Red House Painters performed the song on their album Songs for a Blue Guitar.
- Wings band member Denny Laine covered "Silly Love Songs" on his album Wings at the Speed of Denny Laine.
- In 1998, American singer Stevie B recorded a version for his album Right Here, Right Now.
- In 2011, the song is featured in the Valentine's Day episode of Glee, which is also titled after the song. The song was performed by Darren Criss (who plays Blaine Anderson), while all-male a cappella group Beelzebubs sang the background vocals.
- In 2015, John Pizzarelli recorded the song on his album Midnight McCartney.
- In 2019 American band Tool featured a cover in their Immunity to Reason EP
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1976 (U.S.)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1976 (U.S.)
- List of number-one singles from the 1990s (New Zealand)
- See the List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones for full clarification
- McCartney: Songwriter ISBN 0-491-03325-7 p. 152
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1964
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1968
- Billboard 2009. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBillboard2009 (help)
- Riley, T. (2002). Tell Me Why: The Beatles: Album By Album, Song By Song, The Sixties And After. Da Capo. p. 359. ISBN 9780306811203.
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- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Silly Love Songs". Irish Singles Chart.
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- "Glee Season 2 Episode 12: Silly Love Songs | The Official Music for Glee Site". Gleethemusic.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Erica Futterman (2011-02-09). "'Glee' Recap: 'Silly Love Songs' Hits the Right Note | Culture News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Midnight McCartney". www.paulmccartney.com. paulmccartney.com. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2019.