Venus and Mars/Rock Show
|"Venus and Mars/Rock Show"|
|Single by Wings|
|from the album Venus and Mars|
|B-side||"Magneto and Titanium Man"|
|Released||27 October 1975 (US)
28 November 1975 (UK)
|Recorded||February - March 1975|
|Length||3:46 (single version)
6:51 (album version)
|Songwriter(s)||Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney|
|Wings singles chronology|
|Venus and Mars track listing|
"Venus and Mars/Rock Show" is a medley of two songs written by Paul and Linda McCartney and originally performed by Wings that make up the first two songs of the album Venus and Mars. The single was released in the United States on 27 October 1975 and in the United Kingdom on 28 November 1975. The B-side was "Magneto and Titanium Man", another track from the album. The single version is considerably shorter than the album version of the songs; in the single "Rock Show" is cut by more than 3 minutes and "Venus and Mars" is cut by a few seconds. "Venus and Mars/Rock Show" peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, but did not chart on the UK singles chart. In the book The Rough Guide to the Beatles, Chris Ingham praised both songs, describing "Venus and Mars" as "atmospheric" and "Rock Show" as "barnstorming".
Music and lyrics
"Venus and Mars" is an acoustic, folk-like song representing the perspective of a concertgoer waiting for the show to start. Originally when the song was released fans believed the title referred to Paul and Linda. Paul has denied this, stating that the song "is about an imaginary friend who's got a girlfriend who's the kind of person who asks what your sign is before they say hello. That's it: 'A good friend of mine studies the stars.' In fact, in the first verse it's 'a good friend of mine follows the stars,' so it could be ambiguous: a groupie or an astrologer." The song is in the key of D major.
"Rock Show" is a harder arena rock song. The chorus of "Rock Show" mentions concerts at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, New York's Madison Square Garden, and Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl. The verses include musical references such as "Silly Willy with the Philly band" and Jimmy Page's guitar, and the Rainbow Theatre. In addition to the normal Wings line-up, Allen Toussaint played piano on this song. "Rock Show" is in the key of A major. A major is the dominant key of D major, the key of "Venus and Mars".
"Venus and Mars"
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, finger cymbals
- Linda McCartney – piano
- Denny Laine – moog synthesizer, acoustic guitar, sitar
- Jimmy McCulloch – electric guitar, 12-string guitar
- Joe English – drums
- Tony Dorsey – clarinet
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass guitar, Mellotron M400, synthesizer, hand bells
- Linda McCartney – harmony vocals, Hammond B-3 organ, Moog synthesizer, hand bells
- Denny Laine – electric guitar, harmony vocals, hand bells
- Jimmy McCulloch – acoustic guitar, Moog synthesizer, electric guitar, hand bells
- Joe English – drums
- Kenneth "Afro" Williams – congas
- Allen Toussaint – piano
Hand Bells are only played on the album version (Credits from 2014 Deluxe Venus and Mars Remaster)
"Venus and Mars" also has a reprise that appears on the Venus and Mars album, which serves to open the second side of the LP record. The reprise incorporates some science fiction lyrics and sound effects, reflecting McCartney's reading Isaac Asimov at the time the song was recorded.
The single version of the medley was released on the History disc of the 2-disc compilation Wingspan: Hits and History. Both songs are also included on the live album Wings Over America, combined in a medley with "Jet".
- UK 7" R6010
- "Venus and Mars" / "Rock Show" (single edit) – 3:46
- "Magneto and Titanium Man" – 3:16
- Blaney, J. (2007). Lennon and McCartney: together alone: a critical discography of their solo work. Jawbone Press. pp. 109–111. ISBN 978-1-906002-02-2.
- Madiger, C. & Easter, M. (2000). Eight Arms to Hold You. 44.1 Productions. pp. 203–204. ISBN 0-615-11724-4.
- "Paul McCartney singles". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Ingham, C. (2009). The Rough Guide to the Beatles (3rd ed.). Penguin. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-4053-8445-2.
- Guarisco, D.A. "Venus and Mars/Rock Show". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Erlewine, S.T. "Venus and Mars". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 62–63, 66. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.
- Carr, R. & Tyler, T. (1978). The Beatles: An illustrated record. Harmony Books. p. 110. ISBN 0-517-53367-7.
- "Wingspan: Hits and History". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Erlewine, S.T. "Wings Over America". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "The Art of McCartney". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
- Paul McCartney - Venus and Mars at Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages.