Waterfalls (Paul McCartney song)

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Paul McCartney - Waterfalls single cover.jpg
Single by Paul McCartney
from the album McCartney II
B-side"Check My Machine"
Released13 June 1980
RecordedJuly–August 1979
GenreSoft rock
Length4:43 (Album Version)
3:20 (DJ Edit)
LabelParlophone/EMI (UK)
Columbia (US)
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Coming Up"
"Temporary Secretary"
McCartney II track listing
11 tracks
Side one
  1. "Coming Up"
  2. "Temporary Secretary"
  3. "On the Way"
  4. "Waterfalls"
  5. "Nobody Knows"
Side two
  1. "Front Parlour"
  2. "Summer's Day Song"
  3. "Frozen Jap"
  4. "Bogey Music"
  5. "Darkroom"
  6. "One of These Days"

"Waterfalls" is a Paul McCartney ballad from his first solo album after Wings, McCartney II. The song has a minimalist sound, with McCartney only playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano and a synthesizer and singing, and a short solo performed on acoustic guitar.

"Waterfalls" was released as a single with "Check My Machine" as its B-Side and reached chart position No. 9 in the UK.[1][2] In the US, however, it was his first single ever to miss the Billboard Hot 100 chart, only reaching No. 106 despite being the follow-up to the No. 1 hit "Coming Up".[3] In 2013, Rolling Stone rated it the No. 25 all-time Paul McCartney post-Beatles song, describing how it contrasted with Wings' prior single.[4]

When questioned on singles he wished were more successful, McCartney stated, "There's quite a few, actually. ... 'Waterfalls', I think is nice." He also commented that TLC's single "Waterfalls" carries elements of his song.[4][5]


Chart (1980) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[6] 31
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 55
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 15
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 9



"Check My Machine"

  • Paul McCartney - vocals, banjo, bass, electric guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, shaker, percussion

Other versions[edit]

Sloan recorded a more uptempo version of the song on the McCartney tribute album Listen To What The Man Said.[11]


  1. ^ "Waterfalls". Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  2. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  3. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium (Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions, 2000), 250.
  4. ^ a b "Paul's 40 Greatest Solo Songs". Special Collector's Edition: Paul McCartney. Rolling Stone. 2013. p. 89. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Paul McCartney". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-08-29.
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Paul McCartney – {{{song}}}". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ "Musicline.de – Paul McCartney Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  8. ^ "Charts.nz – Paul McCartney – {{{song}}}". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Paul McCartney – {{{song}}}". VG-lista.
  10. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ Patrick Berkery (Oct 10, 2001). "Various Artists (reviews)". Philadelphia Weekly. Retrieved 4 April 2010.