Friday, November 23, 2012

"Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)" by Paul McCartney and Wings

 #1 Alert!
 Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  0150
Date:  04/26/1980
Debut:  73
Peak:  1 (3 weeks)
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Wings were in a bit of a holding pattern when McCartney retreated on his own to do some recording. The result became his second fully solo album "McCartney II." It was an immediate hit in the UK shooting to #1 and this first single hitting #2. The album was a bit of a departure as it found McCartney dabbling in synthesized sounds and techniques, almost giving it a new wave feel. "Coming Up" was also a smash in the US becoming McCartney's seventh post-Beatles #1. Unfortunately, it also signaled the end of Wings and McCartney would remain solo after this.

ReduxReview:  Not a lot of songs hit #1 in a live version, so this song is a bit unique - especially since it wasn't on the album it should be promoting (see below). But I clearly remember this being on the radio (and us singing along replacing the title with "throwing up"). I don't think I heard the studio version until years later. I like both, but in the end I think I prefer the studio version. It's a bit closed and claustrophobic and the recording technique reminds me of an old record from the 20s or 30s, along with some of the keyboard licks. I just find it a bit more interesting.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  When the single was released in the US, on the B-side was a live version of the song done in Glasgow on a Wings tour stop. This is the version which got promoted in the US. The album version was considered slight in sound with McCartney's voice in an altered state. The live version sounded fuller and had McCartney's real voice which the record company thought the US would prefer. And we did. The live version received the vast majority of airplay and since it was not included on the album, it boosted sales for the single. In its chart run, the song was initially credited as "Coming Up" by Paul McCartney, but after it peaked at #1 it was then listed as "Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)" by Paul McCartney and Wings. By comparison, here is the original album version:


1 comment:

  1. Chart Run: 73 - 53 - 27 - 19 - 14 - 3 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 - 6 - 7 - 9 - 12 - 34 - 47 - 82 - 93