Spies Like Us (song)

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"Spies Like Us"
Paul McCartney- Spies Like Us.jpg
Single by Paul McCartney
Released18 November 1985
RecordedSeptember 1985
GenreNew wave
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"We All Stand Together"
"Spies Like Us"

"Spies Like Us" is the title song to the 1985 Warner Bros. motion picture of the same name, starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, and Donna Dixon. It was written and performed by Paul McCartney, and reached #7 on the Billboard singles chart in early 1986, making it McCartney's last US top ten hit to date.[1] It also reached #13 in the UK.[2]

Recording and release[edit]

Multiple releases were issued in the UK: a regular 7" single, a 7" shaped picture disc, a regular 12" single featuring extended mixes and the B-side "My Carnival" (a Wings track from the Venus and Mars sessions) and a 12" picture disc.

The minute-long outro is uptempo while the title is being sung repeatedly. When the movie Spies Like Us hit the theaters, producers opted to play the outro first in the closing credits before playing the entire song.

"Spies Like Us" was released on CD in 1993, as part of the release of The Paul McCartney Collection, as a bonus track on the album Press to Play. The B-side, "My Carnival", was released as a bonus track on Venus and Mars, and the 12" single was an exclusive to iTunes.

Music video[edit]

The video for the song, directed by John Landis (who also directed the film), was not aired by the BBC because Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase appeared in it playing instruments. British labour rules at the time prohibited non-musicians from performing in videos, and Aykroyd and Chase did not actually play on the record, though both have worked as professional musicians. The video ends with McCartney, Chase, and Aykroyd walking across Abbey Road, parodying the famous album cover.

The video was however played on the long running BBC show Top Of The Pops on 2 January 1986 having already briefly featured in its Top 40 Breakers section during December 1985.

McCartney, the song, and its associated film were all referenced in the Self song "Out With a Bang".

Track listings[edit]

7" single (R 6118)
  1. "Spies Like Us" – 4:40
  2. "My Carnival" – 3:56
    • Performed by Paul McCartney & Wings
12" single (12R 6118)
  1. "Spies Like Us" (Party Mix) – 7:10
    • Remix by John Potoker
  2. "Spies Like Us" (Alternative Mix – Known To His Friends As "Tom") – 3:56
  3. "Spies Like Us" (DJ Version) – 3:46
  4. "My Carnival (Party Mix)" – 6:00
    • Remix by Gary Langan


Chart (1985) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 55
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[4] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 13
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 7
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[7] 31


Spies Like Us
My Carnival


  1. ^ "Paul McCartney > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Paul McCartney – {{{song}}}". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Paul McCartney – {{{song}}}" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  5. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  6. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Paul McCartney Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.