Paul McCartney – The Back Seat Of My Car

This is an overlooked McCartney song on his album Ram. It’s close to pop perfection. He wrote it when he was still with the Beatles. You can hear some of it on Get Back. It sounds like Paul and Brian Wilson merged together.

This song charted in the UK in 1971 at #39. Paul wasn’t the most popular Beatle out of the gate. Much of the public still blamed him for the Beatle’s split because he was the one that officially announced it to the world. The other Beatles weren’t really happy with him either because he was suing them. The critics were after him for being too pop. His first album McCartney and this one, Ram were not well received when released.

After time these albums are favorably reviewed. Ram has been called the first alternative album by some modern critics. The Back Seat Of My Car was McCartney’s second single release in the UK but it wasn’t released as a single the US. Uncle Albert – Admiral Halsey was the first single released from the album and it peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, in Canada, and New Zealand.

There were some lines in this song that John Lennon thought were directed at him and Yoko. Specifically, “We believe that we can’t be wrong.”Paul did get the help of the New York Philharmonic to provide the orchestral accompaniment on this song.

Paul McCartney: “Back Seat of My Car” is the ultimate teenage song, and even though it was a long time since I was a teenager and had to go to a girl’s dad and explain myself, it’s that kind of meet-the-parents song. It’s a good old driving song. [Sings] “We can make it to Mexico City.” I’ve never driven to Mexico City, but it’s imagination. And obviously “back seat” is snogging, making love.

The Back Seat Of My Car

Speed along the highway, honey I want it my way
But listen to her daddy’s song, don’t stay out to long
Were just busy hidin’, sitting in the back seat of my car

The lazy lights are pretty, we end up in Mexico City
But listen to her daddy’s song, makin’ love is wrong
Were just busy ridin’, sitting in the back seat of my car

Oh we was only hidin’, sitting in the back seat of my car
And when we’ve finished drivin’ we can say we were late in arriving
And listen to her daddy’s song, we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong

We can make it to Mexico City, sittin’ in the backseat of my car

Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong
No no no no
Ohhh we believe that we can’t be wrong

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

38 thoughts on “Paul McCartney – The Back Seat Of My Car”

  1. I like this song too. I didn’t know that the album wasn’t well received when it was released. It’s hard to believe. It’s not completely great but most of it is. My favorite ones are Heart of the Country, Too Many People, and Dear Boy and Smile Away. Well, other than Uncle Albert.

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      1. Probably they broke up just cuz they wanted a change. You know how sometimes you just get sick of your job and the people you work with and you just want to do something different? It was probably something like that

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      2. Yea and Allen Klein didn’t help. I never liked Yoko but she didn’t break the Beatles up…Yes they wanted a change and Apple + Klein made it impossible to stay together.

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      3. It’s too bad Paul got the blame. You know I blamed John because of Yoko for them breaking up, but that’s not cool either. The more I learn about The Fab 4 the more I see their coming together and eventual separation as an organic and natural cycle completion. They were all ready to move on by the end and it is nobody’s “fault.”

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      4. It suprised me that Ringo said that. Apple and Klein…they could not overcome those….Paul was not going to be with Klein…a very smart move in hindsight. They would have benefitted being with Lee Eastman but the rest were not going to have Paul’s father in law manage them…. Long story short…yes it was organic also…it had been coming the day Brian Epstein died…if he would have lived…the whole picture would have changed.

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  2. I too really like this song and loved the album, lots of creative stuff. I agree this and BOTR are his best solo efforts. It did so well in Canada I think maybe because we were not deluged with the bad press on Paul as in the UK and even the US so perhaps a bit more objective.

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    1. Yea it was silly painting him as the bad guy but…it continues some because I just read a interview with Ringo recently and he said if Paul wouldn’t have announced it like that…they probably would have stayed together… but with Klein there…I don’t see that.

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      1. A bit of revisionist history on the part of Ringo perhaps? They had all become separate entities by then working on their own stuff. It had already happened and PM became the scapegoat for his press release. Nevertheless Paul could have been a bit more reasonable and circumspect. But as you say with Klein in the mix PM was pissed.

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      2. Yes…I agree that he could have done it in a better way and I agree with John some on this…he used it some to sell his album.
        I just finished a book about an employee Chris O’Dell and she said John, Paul, and Ringo came to George’s house warming party right before that press report came out. So they were getting along ok as people….but Klein destroyed that for a while.

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  3. I don’t remember hearing this one before (even in ‘Get Back’) but it’s good. Nothing too fancy but a good little tune and melody, I could have envisioned it fitting in ‘Let it Be’ or maybe back on the White Album, quite nicely.

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    1. I don’t think it would have been as smooth on those two albums but like you said it would have worked well. You know in some lists this song is in his top 5. I like the song…it has a nice pop feel

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  4. I’m going to be a contrarian and say it feels a bit piecemeal/unfinished. But a lot of Paul’s flourishes to it, especially the end. And Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey remains a grab-bag of blatantly commercial lines and hooks. (No I won’t call it a stinker to draw out a bad pun, because it IS a template for megaselling commercial lite-pop fluff, and Paul is really good at that; especially for the next ten years or so into the 80’s. So many inane yet whistleabley silly love songs.)
    Boy, reading this back, I’m sorry- the Grinch has come early!

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    1. No….lol. I do like this one but oh yea…he had some terrible songs in the 80s. The song “So Bad” I dislike with the intensity of a thousand suns.
      Moving to the 70s…Can you imagine Paul releasing “My Love” with The Beatles? John would have had a cow. Sorry if you like that one but I’m a Grinch with that song. Wo wo wo wo, wo wo wo wo Wo wo wo wo wo wo wo AND wo
      It made Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da look like a work of art.

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      1. He does have some clunkers… what irrates me is some of them have great melodies…My Love has a very good melody but I just can’t take it.

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    2. Off topic Obbverse… I don’t know if you remember but months ago (April) you recommended a book for me to read so I ordered it. I didn’t think about it and all of a sudden Saturday…Amazon delivers the book…it is Puckoon by Spike Milligan. So now I’ll get to read it…it only took 7 months!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m 99% sure I have heard this album but 100% sure I don’t remember this song. Not real crazy about it. I can hear the Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey sound in there which I do like a lot though.

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  6. Well, you can definitely count among those who had overlooked that tune – not bad, though it doesn’t knock my socks off either. I like your description of sounding like Paul and Brian Wilson merging together. That’s a great characterization! I don’t believe I’ve ever listened to the “Ram” album in its entirety.

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    1. Yea it’s different and not there with the Beatles…Paul could write some great songs but to me nothing matched his Beatle songs.

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  7. Wonderful song. Nice review. Ram is very solid. Can’t believe it got bad press back in the day. Jan Wenner was very anti-Macca and VERY pro-Lennon. I believe a lot of the negative press came from Rolling Stone et al and on the coattails of the Beatles breaking up. I think Ram has been revised to the level of a certified classic these days.

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