Paul McCartney – Jet

This song has been played a lot on radio and I try to stay away from posting songs like that but I still love it…and will turn it up when it comes on.

The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, #2 in New Zealand, and #7 in the UK in 1974. The song was on Paul’s best-known album Band On The Run. The album was #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK.

It was a terrific single…I like the B side (Let Me Roll It) as much as the A-side. Tony Visconti, who did a lot of production work for David Bowie and Thin Lizzy, did the orchestration on this song.

From Songfacts

“Jet” was the name of a black Labrador that Paul McCartney and his wife Linda owned; the dog provided the title for the song. The McCartney’s owned a variety of animals, and at the time their brood included a Golden Lab named Poppy, a Dalmatian named Lucky, and the old Sheepdog Martha (from the Beatles song “Martha My Dear”). “Jet” was chosen not because he was Paul’s favorite, but because the name makes a very stadium-ready title, perfect for throwing your fist in the air when it’s performed in an arena. The song is really about freedom; McCartney did something similar when he used an amusement park ride as the title for a song about madness in “Helter Skelter.”

Paul’s wife Linda gave some clues to the thought process behind “Jet” when she said in 1976: “He wanted that one to be totally mad. Paul’s had a lot of practice in the studio. He’s done some very trippy things. Every now and then he remembers how much he loves it.”

Speaking with GQ in 2018, Paul McCartney told the story behind this song: “I was in a songwriting mood and I was up in Scotland. I just thought, OK, I just gotta go somewhere and try and write a song. We happened to have a little pony that was called Jet on the farm. I took my guitar and hiked up this great big hill. I found myself a place which was in the middle of nature, and just sat there and started making up a song.

I don’t know where all the words came from. Well I know where ‘Jet’ came from – I liked the name. The words are probably about me and my father-in-law. The early days of getting married and when your father-in-law is kind of a nuisance. He’s probably the ‘Major’ in it but it’s only a song so you kind of work your things out.

That one was written halfway up a mountain in Scotland, then recorded in Nigeria. I was wondering where to record and I fancied getting out of England, so I asked my record label which is EMI to supply me with a list of all the studios they had around the world – I knew they had a lot. One was in China, one was in Rio de Janeiro and one was in Lagos, Nigeria. So, I went, Yeah Lagos, come on, because I like African music a lot. I love the rhythms of African music so I chose that not realizing that it would be a really basic little studio. We kind of built half the studio. They didn’t have a vocal booth, so we had to explain to them: you take some wood, you get some glass and you put it in like that. So we built the vocal booths. But it was kind of nice, I liked the primitive aspect of it and being in Africa was a pretty interesting experience.”

It’s possible to read a deep meaning into the lyrics, “I thought the Major was a lady suffragette,” but David Bowie’s song Suffragette City was released the previous year, and it’s likely the word “suffragette,” which is a term for a woman fighting for the right to vote, was floating around in McCartney’s mind.

Linda McCartney was an official member of the band, and she was often maligned in the press as being dead weight. Her contributions on stage were rarely pronounced, which was probably the way the audio engineers mixing the shows liked it, but on live performances of this song you can kind of hear her playing the Mellotron if you listen carefully.

The Australian rock band Jet got their name from this song. McCartney and The Beatles were a big influence on them. 

This was released as a single with “Mamunia” as the B-side, but three weeks later “Let Me Roll It” replaced it.

Jet

(Jet, Jet)
(Jet) I can almost remember their funny faces
That time you told them you were going to marrying soon
And Jet I thought the only lonely place was on the moon

(Jet, Jet)

Jet was your father as bold as the sergeant major
How come he told you that you were hardly old enough yet
And Jet I thought the major was a lady suffragette

(Jet, Jet)

Ah mater want Jet to always love me
Ah mater want Jet to always love me
Ah mater, much later

(Jet)

And Jet I thought the major was a lady suffragette
(Jet, Jet)

Ah mater want Jet to always love me
Ah mater want Jet to always love me
Ah mater, much later

Jet with the wind in your hair
Of a thousand laces
Climb on the back and we’ll go for a ride in the sky
And Jet I thought that the major was a little lady suffragette

(Jet, Jet)
And Jet you know I thought you was a little lady suffragette
(Jet)
A little lady
My little lady, yes

Beatles – Nowhere Man

This song’s harmonies are great and so is the incredibly treble solo in the middle. John wrote this song. John wrote this song after he spent all night trying to write a song. He eventually gave up and laid down and then the song came to him. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 in 1966.

John: “I’d spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down.  Then ‘Nowhere Man’ came, words and music, the whole damn thing, as I lay down…So letting it go is what the whole game is.  You put your finger on it, it slips away, right?  You know you turn the lights on and the cockroaches run away.  You can never grasp them.”

The guitar solo was performed by both John and George in unison on their identical Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters. George: “I decided I’d get a Strat, and John decided he’d get one too.  So we sent out our roadie, Mal Evans, said go and get us two Strats.  And he came back with two of them, pale blue ones.  Straight away we used them on the album we were making at the time, which was ‘Rubber Soul.’  I played it a lot on that album, (most noticeably) the solo on ‘Nowhere Man’ which John and I both played in unison.”

The Beatles pushed the engineers to add treble to the solo that John and George were playing. Run it through and put the treble on it again and again. The Engineers said, “We can’t do that”…Paul told them that it was ok…if it is terrible we simply won’t use it…they kept on pushing and it worked perfectly. The engineers were also afraid of getting fined by EMI for doing things against regulations…with the Beatles though it soon became commonplace.

This shows how the Beatles were changing the rules as they were going along. Not only in writing superb songs but pushing the limits of the studio as well as doing things that pop stars just didn’t do before them…

From Songfacts

John Lennon came up with this after struggling to write a song for the album. Said Lennon: “I thought of myself sitting there, doing nothing and getting nowhere.”

This was used in the animated Beatles movie Yellow Submarine. They sing it to Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph.D., who describes himself as an “eminent physicist, polyglot classicist, prize-winning botanist, hard-biting satirist, talented pianist, good dentist too.” The Beatles decide to take him Somewhere, and he eventually helps them to defeat the Blue Meanies. >>

This starts with a three-part harmony sung by Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney.

This is probably the first Beatles song that has nothing to do with love.

Typical of many John Lennon compositions are the “falling” melodies, which can be heard in “Nowhere Man.” Folk music often has falling melodies, indicating melancholy. In Baroque music, a falling melody means sadness. 

There is a very audible feedback 38 seconds into the song after the word “missin’.”

Natalie Merchant performed this at the 2001 special, Come Together: A Night For John Lennon’s Words And Music. She did a mellow version, as the show was also a tribute to victims of the terrorist attacks on America.

In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon recalled the background to this song: “I remember I was just going through this paranoia trying to write something and nothing would come out so I just lay down and tried to not write and then this came out, the whole thing came out in one gulp.”

In 2003, John Lennon’s original handwritten lyrics to this song were auctioned at Christie’s of New York for $455,500. 

One of the many songwriters influenced by The Beatles is Graham Gouldman of 10cc, who toured with Ringo’s All-Starr Band in 2018. According to Gouldman, this song is an example of how they would create a two-part harmony, but leave out third part, which is implied. “That’s screaming out for the third harmony, but they never did it,” he told Songfacts. “And in your head, you sing along, if you’re musical, the third harmony.”

Nowhere Man

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command

He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all till somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command
Ah, la, la, la, la

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Badfinger – Come and Get It

It’s been a while…I thought I would open the joint back up today. This is the only hit of Badfinger I haven’t posted on. It’s a softball to me because it was the first song I noticed by them and probably a song that a lot of people will answer “Beatles” when asked who did it.

Paul McCartney wrote this song and made a demo (below) of it for a movie that Ringo was in called The Magic Christian. He gave the demo to Badfinger and told them not to change a thing. They all tried singing it but it fit bass player Tom Evans the best for the lead.

It must have been an embarrassment of riches to be able to hand a hit off to an unknown Apple band at the time. This song was Badfinger’s first top ten hit in America. It peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1970.

Paul wrote this incredibly catchy song for Badfinger and this set their reputation as “Beatle ish” that they tried to run away from later on.

From Songfacts

Paul McCartney wrote this for the 1969 movie The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.

This was Badfinger’s first hit single. They were one of the first groups to sign with Apple Records, which is The Beatles’ label.

Badfinger had a few other hits in the early ’70s, but in 1974 Warner Brothers Records, which signed them when Apple folded, sued the band and kept them from recording. One member of the group killed himself a year later, and another committed suicide in 1983.

Paul McCartney recorded the demo of this, and he played all the instruments himself. This was done prior to a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road studios. Paul’s demo sounds exactly like Badfinger’s recording, which he produced. In The Beatles Anthology book, Paul mentions that Badfinger wanted to do the song more in their own style, but he insisted they do it the same as on his demo. He told them that he knew this would be a hit song as long as they played it just as he had.

Paul McCartney’s demo of the song

Come and Get It

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Mm mm mm mm, make your mind up fast
If you want it, any time, I can give it

But you’d better hurry ’cause it may not last
Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Mm mm mm mm, make your mind up fast

If you want it, any time, I can give it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it may not last

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?
Sonny!

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Fool and his money
Sonny!

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast.

Paul McCartney – Take It Away

That simple bass guitar riff hooks me when it comes in during the drum intro.

A good pop song from Paul McCartney in the 1980s. This was on an album called Tug of War which peaked at #1 in the Billboard album charts. The highlight to me is another McCartney bass line. The song peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1982.

Paul played bass, Ringo played drums, and George Martin played electric piano. Eric Stewart from 10cc influenced the layered backup vocals.

Paul McCartney:

“Well, there were a couple of songs that we ended up recording which Ringo asked me to write at a certain period. I was writing some songs for Ringo and “Take It Away” was in amongst those songs. I thought it would suit me better the way it went into the chorus and stuff; I didn’t think it was very Ringo.”

“I mean, the chorus I think, was Ringo, the other bits… but that’s how that comes to be that kind of track I think, I was right in that sort of direction with Ringo in mind actually.”

 

Take It Away

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Lonely driver
Out on the road
With a hundred miles to go
Sole survivor
Carrying the load
Switches on his radio

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

In the audience
Watching the show
With a paper in his hand
(In his hand, in his hand)
Some important impresario
Has a message for the band

Oh
Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

You never know who may be
Listening to you
Never know who may be
Listening to you
You never know who may be
Listening to you
Take it away, take it away

After hours
Late in the bar
By a darkened corner seat
Faded flowers wait in the jar
Till the evening is complete

Ah
Ah
Ah
Ah

 

 

 

Paul McCartney – Here Today

This was not a hit but it was a very poignant song about John Lennon after he was murdered. It was on the Tug of War album and it is a very touching song of Paul having an imaginary conversation with John. It’s a very personal side of Paul that he doesn’t show a lot.

The Tug of War album was a very good album. It peaked at #1 in 1982 and it would be his last #1 album until Egypt Station peaked at #1 in 2018.

The song peaked at #46 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts.

Paul on the song: “After John died, there’d been a lot of talk about who did what and who liked who and did the Beatles argue. I was almost buying into this idea that me and John were fighting all the time. But I remembered it wasn’t true, so I wrote the song about how, ‘if you were here, you might say this or those… but I know better.’

I remember well some of the things we did. It was really for me thinking about John. We had a great relationship and like any family, there are always arguments, there’s always disputes, but in the end, we loved each other and I wanted to make a song where I actually said “I love you” to John, so that was that song.

It’s quite emotional because it came from a real feeling about him, and I wanted to correct the record in my mind as much as in any one else’s mind. There were some photos from that period which were really beautiful, and there’s just him and me working and you could see we loved each other. So, once all these rumors go about, you almost buy into them yourself. So that song helped me set the record straight.”

From Songfacts

McCartney wrote this for John Lennon after his tragic death on December 8, 1980. He sings of the years they spent together in much detail.

Paul McCartney: “The truth of the matter is when John died it was so weird for everyone and obviously for those of us that were near to him it was doubly, triply weird and then there was the obvious sort of thing is anyone going to write a song about John because obviously certainly we all felt deeply enough and normally when we felt deeply enough we committed it to song. I was wondering if I was going to do it but I thought I’m not going to sit down and try to do it but if anything comes sometime I’ll do it. I was one day just sitting quietly in this little room with my guitar and these chords started coming out and I started having these thoughts as if I was talking to myself to John about our relationship and stuff and obviously one of the things that had been funny for me was this idea of when the Beatles broke up we became enemies for a time. But I knew we weren’t and I know for a fact he knew we weren’t too because independently of each other we’d talked nicely of each other but there was a pride thing of two men very difficult business and all that.” (Transcribed from this interview.)

McCartney told The London Times December 5, 2009, that in this song, “I’m talking to John in my head. It’s a conversation we didn’t have.” He added that they were reconciled again by the time of the tragedy: “We were mates. God, that was so cool. It was the saving grace. Because it got a bit sticky after the Beatles. No, we were really good mates again – it was lovely, actually. Performing this song, in New York, where he was killed, is a very emotional affair. The last verse, where I sing ‘and if I said I really loved you, and was glad you came along,’ it’s like singing it to your dad who died.”

During the Q&A Mojo Magazine Session in November 2009, McCartney said that this song is his most difficult to perform: “I realize I’m telling this man that I love him, and it’s like, ‘Oh my god’, like I’m publicly declaring it in front of all these people I don’t know! It’s a good thing to do, though.” 

McCartney performed this live on his 2002 release Back In The US.

Here Today

And if I say I really knew you well
What would your answer be?
If you were here today
Ooo ooo ooo, here today

Well, knowing you
You’d probably laugh and say
That we were worlds apart
If you were here today
Ooo ooo ooo, here today

But as for me,
I still remember how it was before
And I am holding back the tears no more
Ooo ooo ooo, I love you, ooo

What about the time we met?
Well, I suppose that you could say
That we were playing hard to get
Didn’t understand a thing
But we could always sing

What about the night we cried?
Because there wasn’t any reason
Left to keep it all inside
Never understood a word
But you were always there with a smile

And if I say I really loved you
And was glad you came along
And you were here today
Ooo ooo ooo, for you were in my song
Ooo ooo ooo, here today

Paul McCartney – Let Me Roll It

This song has always reminded me of a John Lennon type song because of the heavy use of echo. The song was on arguably Paul’s best album Band on the Run. The song was the B side to the song Jet in 1974.

Paul said:  “[“Let Me Roll It”] was a riff, originally, a great riff to play, and whenever we played it live, it goes down great. We’d play it on two guitars, and people saw it later as a kind of John pastiche, as Lennon-ish, Lennon-esque. Which I don’t mind. That could have been a Beatles song. Me and John would have sung that good.”

From Songfacts

Many have interpreted this song as an olive branch offering to John Lennon after all the bitterness arising from his Beatles breakup song, “How Do You Sleep?.” However, in an interview with Clash magazine in 2010 McCartney explained this was more of a drugs song. Said Macca: “‘Let Me Roll It’ wasn’t to John, it was just in the style that we did with The Beatles that John was particularly known for. It was really actually the use of the echo. It was one of those: ‘You’re not going to use echo just cos John used it?’ I don’t think so. To tell you the truth, that was more [about] rolling a joint. That was the double meaning there: ‘let me roll it to you.’ That was more at the back of mind than anything else. ‘Dear Friend,’ that was very much ‘let’s be friends’ to John.”

Let Me Roll It

You gave me something
I understand
You gave me loving in the palm of my hand

I can’t tell you how I feel
My heart is like a wheel
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you

I want to tell you
And now’s the time
I want to tell you that
You’re going to be mine

I can’t tell you how I feel
My heart is like a wheel
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you

I can’t tell you how I feel
My heart is like a wheel
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you

You gave me something
I understand
You gave me loving in the palm of my hand

I can’t tell you how I feel
My heart is like a wheel
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you
Let me roll it
Let me roll it to you

 

Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights

In the eighties when I heard this song, I knew it was better than “So Bad” his last release at that time. This single was a very good pop song by Paul. I also knew when I heard it, that the guitar solo had a familiar sound to it. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd played the guitar solo on this track. He requested that his session fee be given to a charity of Paul’s choice.

The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #11 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1984. The song was recorded for the soundtrack Give My Regards to Broad Street. It’s a very good pop song by Paul. Herbie Flowers plays bass on this track also.

From Songfacts

This was the first single from the soundtrack album to the movie Give My Regards To Broad Street; the music video for it shows clips from the movie mixed in with new footage from the same locations used in the movie. A dance remix of the song appears during the end credits of the movie and on the soundtrack.

The filming of the music video continued unto late hours of the night, the noise from the fireworks reportedly caused locals to complain to the police who said, “I’m sorry, but Mr. McCartney is simply doing some filming.”

No More Lonely Nights

I can wait another day until I call you
You’ve only got my heart on a string and everything a-flutter
But another lonely night might take forever
We’ve only got each other to blame
It’s all the same to me love
‘Cause I know what I feel to be right

No more lonely nights
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there

May I never miss the thrill of being near you
And if takes a couple of years
To turn your tears to laughter
I will do what I feel to be right

No more lonely nights (Never be another)
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there
And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away

Yes, I know (I know) what I feel (I feel) to be right
No more lonely nights (Never be another)
No more lonely nights
You’re my guiding light
Day or night I’m always there

And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away
And I won’t go away until you tell me so
No, I’ll never go away

No more lonely nights, no, no