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Tug Of War

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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It is the eternal question for an artist of Paul McCartney’s stature: what next? What next when you have… well, that list of achievements, with even the long-touted standards album now ticked off with last year’s ‘Kisses On The Bottom’, hardly needs re-iterating. On one level, you might reasonably think that in terms of awards, honours, sales figures, shows and ... Read more in Amazon's Paul McCartney Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00000DQSE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Tug Of War
2. Take It Away
3. Somebody Who Cares
4. What's That You're Doing
5. Here Today
6. Ballroom Dancing
7. The Pound Is Sinking
8. Wanderlust
9. Get It
10. Be What You See (Link)
11. Dress Me Up As A Robber
12. Ebony And Ivory

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This CD is an out of print collectible! It is the original Parlophone release. Manufactured by Capitol Records. Catalog CDP 7 46057 2. The top right corner of the booklet has been sliced off.

Jolted by John Lennon's murder in 1980, McCartney mostly kept mum on the subject until 1982's Tug of War, which contained "Here Today," a belated admission of love for his old chum, who McCartney says would have probably laughed it off were he still alive. George Martin's production makes this McCartney's most unabashedly Beatlesque effort. Rockabilly legend Carl Perkins stops by for a cameo, while Stevie Wonder appears on two songs, the funky "What's That You're Doing" and the simplistic (but massively successful) hit single "Ebony and Ivory." --Daniel Durchholz

Customer Reviews

Very sophisticated without being one bit pretentious sounding.
Carlisle Wheeling
The greatness of an album can be gauged by how often you enjoy listening to it without you getting tired of it.
Herman VB
Tug Of War was the best album that Paul McCartney released in the 80's and one of the best he's ever released.
P Magnum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those album's that gets played over and over in my CD player. The reason is great songs and great production. Here's a song by song account:
1. Tug of War - great melody, lots of different parts, and great production by George Martin, great way to start the album. 5 stars
2. Take it Away - Another great song. Irrisistably catchy and upbeat. One to sing along with at the top or your lungs. 5 stars
3. Somebody Who Cares - Very nice melody, but Paul's already been there. 4 stars
4. What's that You're Doing - I never really got into this song. Probably Paul at his funkiest, but it still isn't one of my favorites. 2 stars
5. Here Today - Gorgeous, I definetely think this is the most effective of the Lennon tribute songs. This is one of the two or three best songs on the album. 5 stars
6. Ballroom Dancing - Entertaining. Kind of jazzy, daft lyrics. 3 stars
7. The Pound is Sinking - Fabulous, three different sections in this song. One of the best. 5 stars
8. Wanderlust - Without a doubt my favorite song on the album. Fantastic melody, great piano and horns. 5 stars
9. Get It - Fun, not the best song, but a tad rockabilly and nice to listen to. 3 stars
10. Be What You See - Not really a full song, but I really like it for what it is. 4 stars
11. Dress Me up as a Robber - Maybe the only real "rocker" on the CD. It really grew on me. 4 stars
12. Ebony and Ivory - It's not really as bad as everyone says it is. It think we've all just heard it too many times. 4 stars
Definetely recommended. Paul fan or otherwise.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on July 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Tug of War" is the best album that Paul McCartney has produced since the mid-1970s heyday of Wings. It contains two massively successful first rate hit singles in "Take it Away" and the Stevie Wonder duet "Ebony and Ivory." Both feature McCartney's melodic songwriting sensibilities at their best. Other highlights include the fine title track, the John Lennon tribute "Here Today" and another hummable winner in "Ballroom Dancing." The rest of the material also holds its own. McCartney's post Beatles career has been an up and down affair. "Tug of War" most definately is one of the ups.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marc Kloszewski on November 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
There's more than the usual amount of good stuff on this album--what helps to make this one a keeper are the contributions of outside people cameoing on the record, so Paul gets out of his hothouse and is charged up by some really good collaborators, in this case, Stevie Wonder with the funky "What's That You're Doing?" (which wouldn't be out of place on one of Stevie's classic 70's albums) and the ubiquitous "Ebony and Ivory" which may be appreciated more now that you don't hear it every hour on the radio. Carl Perkins drops in for "Get It," a very Perkins-like ditty, unassuming and amused with its own laid-back virtuosity--Carl likes it; you can hear him guffawing at the end (R.I.P., Carl--you were great). Some of Paul's best melodies are here--I think "Tug of War" is just beautiful, with George Martin's production wonderfully suited to this ballad--and whose idea was the extended orchestral coda? Just brilliant. That leads into "Take it Away," a picturesque life-on-the-road story--the music builds very nicely as the tale progresses. "Ballroom Dancing" is a lot of fun, even a seeming throwaway like "Dress Me Up As A Robber" attracts with its new-wavy-type instrumentation. Old wine in new bottles. Paul's lyrics don't get in the way for once--he keeps it simple--this especially works on the Lennon tribute "Here Today"; he doesn't belabor the point, and it ends up very affecting. This deserves a lot of spins on your player--one of Paul's most enjoyable. Well done!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hernan G. Colberg Guerra on December 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It might not be Paul's best album, nor necessarily Paul's most enjoyable, but it is one of his bests. First and foremost, it is incredibly well crafted. The reason for this is evident: Paul is now almost forty, with plenty of experience under his belt and because it's his first true album after Wings, he still wants to show he is the best pound per pound Rock musician. Tug of War, Take It Away, Wanderlust, Ballroom Dancing and the Pound is Sinking not only feature Paul playing many different instruments very well, but most important, show a mature, diverse and professional musicianship that surpasses most of his earlier work as a soloist. Tug of War sets the tone for the album. As is any good McCartney song, it constantly changes tempo, is well played, and McCartney's singing is super (especially in the bridge "in years to come..."). The same can be said for the moody Pound is Sinking and piano rock'n roller Ballroom Dancing. In Sinking, the electric guitars and bridge are the most catching parts. In Dancing, the extended solo is very enjoyable. Similarly, Take it Way is superbly well crafted throughout, especially the horns, which add to what is otherwise a very catchy and enjoyable rockabilly. Wanderlust is a wonderful piano ballad with a great melody and lovely intertwining choruses at the end. In all of these songs, McCartney is reaching for perfection in complex sound arrangements and achieves it to a great extent. This is something he tried to do earlier in Red Rose Speedway and later in Flowers in the Dirt with less success and taste. Other songs are also very good, namely, Get It (Carl Perkings is great in this one), Here Today (beautiful tribute to John Lennon that other reviewers focus a lot on) and to a lesser extent, Somebody Who Cares.Read more ›
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