Tuesday, October 2, 2018

"Spies Like Us" by Paul McCartney

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2545
Date:  11/23/1985
Debut:  59
Peak:  7
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Although McCartney's movie Give My Regards to Broad Street was a bit of a box office dud, the soundtrack did well thanks to the #6 hit "No More Lonely Nights." Following that adventure, McCartney was asked by Warner Bros. to write a song for the upcoming John Landis-directed comedy flick Spies Like Us, which was to star Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd. McCartney obliged and penned this title track. It was issued out as a single a couple of weeks prior to the film's opening. The song climbed the chart and made it into the Pop Top 10 while getting to #31 at Rock. It would be McCartney's 22nd US Pop Top 10 hit outside of the Beatles. It also remains his last solo effort to reach the Top 10.

ReduxReview:  Okay. I'll just say it. This song is stupid. As much as I love McCartney, this one was a definite clunker. Yeah, he had a hard task working with a title like "Spies Like Us," but the nonsensical lyrics and odd double-time sections were both goofy at best. This tune did nothing for me then and it still doesn't. I'm not even sure it did anything for McCartney because it has only appeared on one compilation of his that I can find. There could be rights issues around the song that has prevented its use, but you'd think by this time that would all be settled. Yet even if it did appear on one of his compilations, I'd most likely hit the forward button quickly. No matter how good of an artist you are, there will be missteps and this was a doozie for McCartney. Still, he somehow got a Top 10 out of it.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Although Spies Like Us was panned by the majority of critics, the comedy did well at the box office. The original story was co-written by Dan Aykroyd and Dave Thomas and was inspired by the old Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "road" series of pictures (Road to Singapore, etc.). It was supposed to star Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, but after Belushi's death the film was delayed and Chase later stepped in.  2) As mentioned above, this is still McCartney's last solo Pop Top 10 hit (to-date). However, many years later he did wind up in the Top 10 as a guest on a track. Along with Kanye West, McCartney co-wrote, co-produced, and performed on the Rhianna track "FourFiveSeconds." The song would be a double-platinum #4 hit in 2015. With this hit, McCartney set a record for the longest gap between Top 10 hits at 29 years and 2 weeks. He took the record away from Santana who had 28 years, 7 months, and 2 weeks between 1971's "Black Magic Woman" and 1999's "Smooth."



  1. One of my least favorite Sir Paul tunes, I do like it a little better than "Ebony & Ivory" and "We All Stand Together" because this song does make me feel a little goofy.

    1. Goofy is pretty much the right word for it. A rare dud from McCartney.