Paul McCartney "Tug of War"

Posted 16 Sep 2010 in 80s, Albums of 1982, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#140 in the Series) is Paul McCartney, Tug of War.

I had not purchased a new Paul McCartney album in years when Tug of War was released in 1982. I hadn’t even thought about it.  Then my friend Phil Lucafo asked me if I heard the new McCartney album.  He highly recommended it so on his suggestion, I grabbed it.

I’m glad he did.  This was some of the best music that Paul had done in many moons.

It was produced by former George Martin and it appears that he added nice motivation.

I was just looking back.  Rolling Stone gave it 5 starts, Allmusic gave it 4.5.  So it looks like many agreed.

Highlight, well there’s the title cut, “Ballroom Dancing,” “Take It Away” (with Ringo Starr on drums), the great ballad “Someone Who Cares” and of course Paul’s tribute to John Lennon, “Here Today.”  In 2010 Paul performed this track live on the Jimmy Fallon Show. It was a very, very special reading of it since this was on the night of the 30th anniversary of John’s death. It made it even more special when you realized it was just a short distance from The Dakota’s. I don’t think I need to say more…

There’s also a duet with Carl Perkins called “Get It.”

Tug of War featured Denny Laine on guitar, Steve Gadd on drums, Andy MacKay on lyricon and Stanley Clarke on drums. It was #1 on the Billboard Album charts for three weeks and it received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.

Paul McCartney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist in 1999 and as a member of  The Beatles in 1988. What, no Wings?

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Paul McCartney, except “What’s That You’re Doing?” co-written by Stevie Wonder.

  1. “Tug of War” 4:22
  2. “Take It Away” 4:14
  3. “Somebody Who Cares” 3:19
  4. “What’s That You’re Doing?” (with Stevie Wonder) 6:19
  5. “Here Today” 2:27
  6. “Ballroom Dancing” 4:07
  7. “The Pound Is Sinking”  2:54
  8. “Wanderlust” 3:49
  9. “Get It” (with Carl Perkins) 2:29
  10. “Be What You See (Link)” 0:34
  11. “Dress Me Up as a Robber” 2:41
  12. “Ebony and Ivory” (with Stevie Wonder) 3:46


  • 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, vocals
  • Jack Brymer – clarinet
  • Keith Harvey – cello
  • Ian Jewel – viola
  • Bernard Partridge – violin
  • Jack Rothstein – violin
  • Linda McCartney – background vocals
  • Stanley Clarke – bass


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Posted by Larry Carta

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