Paul McCartney – Listen To What The Man Said

This was one of those songs that sounded so good over AM radio…and I guess still does if you can catch it on AM. It’s a song I forget about from time to time. I was reminded when I saw Paul in 2010 and 2014. He just keeps playing songs you remember and you think…did this guy write every hit of the 20th century?

It takes me back to when my sister would skip school (she is eight years older) and take me with her…maybe that is the reason I can’t spell worth a dam. Mom never found out about those days or my sister would have been grounded forever.

It’s far from his best song but it’s a good pop hit.  It was recorded for the album Venus and Mars. It was a song which McCartney had high hopes for, but early recordings did not live up to the song’s potential. The missing indgredient was Jazz musician Tom Scott’s sax solo. They ended up keeping the first take.

Listen To What The Man Said peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #6 in the UK, and #8 in New Zealand in 1975. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada, #1 in the UK, and #1 in New Zealand.

Paul’s impression of Leo Nocentelli, the guitarist for The Meters…many people thought he was imitating Wolfman Jack.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon were talking seriously about getting together during the Venu and Mars sessions in New Orleans but John reunited with Yoko and didn’t come. This was after John’s “lost weekend” when he was separated from Yoko. May Pang (his girlfriend at the time) verified this.

Paul McCartney:It was one of the songs we’d gone in with high hopes for. Whenever I would play it on the piano, people would say ‘Oh, I like that one.’ But when we did the backing track, we thought we didn’t really get it together at all.

Someone said [famous jazz musician] ‘Tom Scott lives near here.’ We said, yeah, give him a ring, see if he turns up, and he turned up within half an hour! There he was, with his sax, and he sat down in the studio playing through. The engineer was recording it. We kept all the notes he was playing casually. He came in and I said ‘I think that’s it.’ He said ‘Did you record that?’ I said yes, and we listened to it back. No one could believe it, so he went out and tried a few more, but they weren’t as good. He’d had all the feel on this early take, the first take.

My stuff is never ‘a comment from within’. Basically I’m saying: ‘Listen to the basic rules, don’t goof off too much’. But if you say ‘The Man’, it can mean God, it can mean ‘Women, listen to your man’, it can mean so many things. Later I did a song with Michael Jackson called ‘The Man’ and again, it’s quite nice leaving things ambiguous: I’m sure for Michael, probably ‘The Man’ meant God.

Listen To What The Man Said

Alright, okay
Very good to see you down in New Orleans, man
Yeah here it is
Yeah, yeah

Any time, any day
You can hear the people say
That love is blind
Well, I don’t know but I say love is kind

Soldier boy kisses girl
Leaves behind a tragic world
But he won’t mind, he’s in love
And he says love is fine

Oh yes, indeed we know
That people will find a way to go
No matter what the man said

And love is fine for all we know
For all we know, our love will grow
That’s what the man said

So won’t you listen to what the man said
He said

Ah, take it away

Oh yes, indeed we know
That people will find a way to go
No matter what the man said

And love is fine for all we know
For all we know, our love will grow
That’s what the man said

So won’t you listen to what the man said
He said

Oh yes, indeed we know
That people will find a way to go
No matter what the man said

And love is fine for all we know
For all we know, our love will grow
That’s what the man said

So won’t you listen to what the man said
He said

The wonder of it all, baby
The wonder of it all, baby
The wonder of it all, baby, yeah yeah yeah

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

39 thoughts on “Paul McCartney – Listen To What The Man Said”

  1. When people look at me funny when I tell them that The Who’s Face Dances is my favourite album I sometimes get that look when I tell em I prefer Macca and Wings over the Beatles. Wings Over America is one of the best live albums as that album is filled with hit after hit. I could go on but I’ll stop lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea…I LOOK at you funny on this one lol…but I get it dude. You grew up with Wings. I like Wings a lot also. My cousin is the same way. as you.
      With me I’ve always preferred the rawer Lennon but that is why they made a perfect writing combination. One raw and one polished.

      I do think the Band on the Run album is up there with his Beatle work…. Wings over America was the first live album I owned.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually think this is right up there with the best of any Wings songs. Like it a lot. V&M was one of the first few LPs I owned, loved the whole album back then, now when I come across many of the songs, they sound pretty iffy, but this one holds up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With Paul my favorite probably is Band on the Run….as far as first song to last. I like this one but it does get lost in the shuffle for some reason…a lot of good memories though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. right… like I said, looking back at the V&M album, as an entity it really was rather weak…but this song & one or two others hold up nicely. Band on the Run is better as a complete album. So too probably At The speed of Sound, I would guess w/o reviewing the track list.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do Paul an injustice because I can’t help but compare his stuff with the Beatles…it’s not fair because hell…it was the same person but in a different environment…and he was younger with more ideas coming in.

        Like

  3. I’ve known that tune since I got “Wings Over America” in the late ’70s/early ’80s but never paid a lot of attention to it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a bad tune.

    Frankly, I had no idea what a huge hit it was for Paul! I’m a bit surprised it wasn’t included on the 1978 sampler “Wings Greatest Hits,” which was the first Wings album I owned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That surprised me also that it wasn’t included on the greatest hits…I owned that one also. I look at it as a well crafted pop song…and it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would have traded My Love for anything but My Love. I have a serious problem with that song.
        I don’t understand why he didn’t include this one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do like some of his soft ones but that one never did it for me as much as his others.
        I’m happy they included Juniors Farm on the greatest hits… that was a great single with Sally G on the B side

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is right! It did chart in the country charts at the time here…in the top 20. When I saw him in Nashville I thought he would play it but he has never played it live.

        Like

      1. I can’t believe your sister took you with her when she skipped school! Not cool. I remember when my kids’ dad told them they didn’t have to go to school. At the time I dropped them at his house, which was a few blocks from the middle school, on my way to work. At the same time, the school’s attendance notification system was down, so I didn’t find out until their report cards came out. Oh boy, did fireworks fly!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If my mom would have found out! I do remember days in the park in another county. Listening to AM radio and playing on the playground. She never made a big habit of it but I would guess…around 4-5 times a year.
        I made good grades…she didn’t needless to say lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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