Tug of War (Paul McCartney album)
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|Tug of War|
|Studio album by Paul McCartney|
|Released||26 April 1982|
|Recorded||October 1980 – December 1981|
|Paul McCartney chronology|
|Singles from Tug of War|
Tug of War is the third solo studio album by Paul McCartney, released in April 1982. It was McCartney's first album released after the dissolution of Wings in April 1981. The album was produced by former Beatles producer George Martin and was a number #1 in numerous countries.
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Following the release of the solo album McCartney II, Wings regrouped in July and October 1980 to rehearse several songs which later appeared on Tug of War and Pipes of Peace. 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. 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
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Great Rock Discography||5/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
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", and particularly admired its vivid music and consistent songwriting. 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 often "cliched or mawkish", but that the album "at its best, is as finely crafted as his work with the Beatles".
In March 1982, McCartney's duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory", was released to considerable commercial success, reaching number one in many countries. Tug of War followed in April, and similarly became a worldwide number one. The follow-up single, "Take It Away", reached the top ten in the United States. The album went on to sell several million copies and did much to restore McCartney's critical reputation after what was viewed as a lean period for him. Tug of War was nominated for the "Album of the Year" Grammy in 1983.
The album was issued in the US on compact disc on 29 February 1984. In 1993, Tug of War was remastered and re-issued 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".
Another reissue was released on 2 October 2015, as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. This edition included a remixed version of the album, along with the original mix, and a series of videos.
- Side one
- "Tug of War" – 4:22
- "Take It Away" – 4:14
- "Somebody Who Cares" – 3:19
- "What's That You're Doing?" (Duet with Stevie Wonder) – 6:19
- "Here Today" – 2:27
- Side two
- "Ballroom Dancing" – 4:07
- "The Pound Is Sinking" – 2:54
- "Wanderlust" – 3:49
- "Get It" (Duet with Carl Perkins) – 2:29
- "Be What You See (Link)" – 0:34
- "Dress Me Up as a Robber" – 2:41
- "Ebony and Ivory" (Duet with Stevie Wonder) – 3:46
- iTunes bonus track
- "Ebony and Ivory" (Solo version) – 3:46
In 2015 the album was re-issued by Hear Music/Concord Music Group as part of the six set of releases, alongside Pipes Of Peace, in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. It was released in multiple formats:
- Standard Edition 2-CD; remixed version of the original 12-track album on the first disc, plus 11 bonus tracks on a second disc.
- Deluxe Edition 3CD/1DVD Box Set + 112 page essay book and 64 page scrapbook;
- Super Deluxe CD/DVD 3CD/1DVD Box Set + 112 page essay book and 64 page scrapbook + limited edition acrylic slipcase
- Remastered vinyl The albums will also be available on special gatefold vinyl editions (vinyl editions include a download card).
Digital Standard: Standard Res - without Ebooklet Standard Res – with Ebooklet Mastered for iTunes – without Ebooklet Hi-Res - 24-bit/96kHz – with Ebooklet
Deluxe: Standard Res (with or without Ebooklet) Mastered for iTunes (with Ebooklet) Hi-Res - 24-bit/96kHz (with Ebooklet)
- Disc 1 – remixed album
Remixed version of the original 12-track album.
- Disc 2 – original album (deluxe edition only)
The original 12-track album.
- Bonus Audio (disc 2 for standard version, disc 3 for deluxe edition)
- "Stop, You Don't Know Where She Came From" (demo) – 1:44
- "Wanderlust" (demo) – 1:46
- "Ballroom Dancing" (demo) – 2:04
- "Take It Away" (demo) – 5:37
- "The Pound Is Sinking" (demo) – 2:35
- "Something That Didn't Happen" (demo) – 2:17
- "Ebony and Ivory" (demo) – 1:46
- "Dress Me Up as a Robber/Robber Riff" (demo) – 3:42
- "Ebony and Ivory" (Solo version) – 3:50
- "Rainclouds" (Co-written by Denny Laine) – 3:13
- "I'll Give You a Ring" – 3:09
- Additional download tracks available via paulmccartney.com
- "Take It Away" (single edit) - 4:05
- Disc 4 – DVD
- "Tug of War" Music Video (Version 1)
- "Tug of War" Music Video (Version 2)
- "Take It Away" Music Video
- "Ebony and Ivory" Music Video
- "Fly TIA" – Behind The Scenes on Take It Away (new 18 minute documentary using previously unreleased archive footage)
- Paul McCartney – vocals, guitars, piano, synthesizers, drums, bass, vocoder, percussions
- Denny Laine – guitar, guitar synthesizer, bass on "Wanderlust"
- Eric Stewart – guitar, background vocals
- Campbell Maloney – military snares on "Tug of War"
- Ringo Starr – drums on "Take It Away"
- Steve Gadd – drums
- George Martin – electric piano
- Adrian Brett – pan pipes
- Andy Mackay – lyricon
- Adrian Sheppard – drums
- Dave Mattacks – drums
- Carl Perkins – vocals, guitar on "Get It"
- Stevie Wonder – synthesizer, electric piano, drums, vocals
- Jack Brymer – clarinet
- Keith Harvey – cello
- Ian Jewel – viola
- Bernard Partridge – violin
- Jack Rothstein – violin
- Linda McCartney – background vocals
- Stanley Clarke – bass
|1983||Tug of War||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"Ebony and Ivory" (Duet with Stevie Wonder)||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Pop Vocal Performance – Duo or Group||Nominated|
|"What's That You're Doing?"
(Duet with Stevie Wonder)
|Best R&B Vocal Performance – Duo or Group||Nominated|
American Music Awards
|1983||Paul McCartney (performer)||Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist||Nominated|
|"Ebony and Ivory"
(Duet with Stevie Wonder)
|Favorite Pop/Rock Single||Nominated|
|Paul McCartney (performer)||Best British Male Artist||Won|
|Sony Trophy for Technical Excellence||Won|
|George Martin (producer)||Best British Producer||Nominated|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||237,000[C]|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- A^ In the United States, Tug of War also entered the R&B chart, peaking at No. 11 there.
- 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.
- Luca Perasi, Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013), L.I.L.Y. Publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-88-909122-1-4, pp.213-225.
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