Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Paul McCartney 'Pipes Of Peace'

Chart Peak: 1 (2 weeks)


And in keeping with the flow of this side, the longest-established star on the whole album, although people who enjoy feeling old might like to reflect that this is longer ago now than 'Love Me Do' was then...

Give or take the odd session musician, Paul McCartney has more UK Number One singles under his belt than anyone else: and yet this is the only one to bear his name alone. The album with which it shares its name consists largely of offcuts from the previous Tug Of War and a couple of collaborations with some guy called Michael Jackson (you never hear anything about him nowadays do you?). This one song seems like the saving grace of the whole project, a slice of typical latterday "can't we all get along?" McCartneyism which is hardly breaking new ground but gains from the man's melodic abilities. In theory, teaming up again with George Martin on production ought to be an advantage, but they do seem to have fallen slightly into the trap of trying to do too much; you can get an idea from this clip of them pretending to mix the track for Russell Harty... it kind of gives the game away that they've already made the video. For example, there's some interesting tabla playing under the third verse, but it's not properly fitted into the arrangement.

Perhaps all this is the reason why, even though the single was released in time for Christmas, and with a suitably themed video, it didn't make it to Number One until early in the New Year. It's still a record I can't help liking though, and a neat finale to this compilation.

Also appearing on: Now 4, 15, 24, 37, 67
Available on: Wingspan: Hits and History

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