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17 May 2018
Pineapple Records
Shea Stadium
Forum Posts: 842
Member Since:
15 May 2015
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Just some random things I like about this song:

1) the bass at the beginning, juicy and deep, wide spacings of notes

2) the drum style, particularly during the main parts (e.g., “lonely driver, out on the road, with a hundred miles to go” etc) — the snare sound is nicely a mix of snare and tight tom-tom, and the pattern is hitting every quarter note, instead of the usual of every other quarter note, and it has a bouncy feel, almost as though Paul was hitting two drum heads on either side set up sideways.

3) the way he has structured the rhythm of the lyrics where the “Take” of “Take it away” comes right on the downbeat, creating the illusion of an unusual time signature or an extra beat in some measures (but it’s really just 4/4 or perhaps 2/4)

4) the chorus, tinged with female voices (Linda recorded over with 2 or more of her?), harks back in a nicely retro way to that winsomely 60s song by Petula Clark, “Downtown”

5) the chords of the main parts, led into by D to — Gma7 — A/B — B7 — Em/A — D. There’s something deeply satisfying about playing bass to them, navigating around them as touchstones; and at the end, Paul’s use of a wall-of-sound mass of voices singing “ahhhhh” around those chords really brings it out well.

6) the superlatively slick & intricate scoring of the saxophone-heavy brass section at the end, further enhancing those chords in #5 — as good as anything Chicago or Tower of Power ever did (I wonder if Paul told George Martin precisely what he wanted and George Martin then wrote out the score for the brass? Or did Paul just say, “write me something cool & slick”? Knowing Paul’s perfectionistic streak, I’d guess the former)

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8 June 2023
Forum Posts: 5695
Member Since:
31 March 2008
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Paul McCartney – Take It Away single cover

Written by: Paul McCartney
Recorded: 16 February; 23 March; July 1981
Producer: George Martin

Released: 26 April 1982

Available on:
Tug Of War
Wingspan: Hits And History


Paul McCartney: vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, piano
George Martin: electric piano
Linda McCartney, Eric Stewart: vocals
Ringo Starr, Steve Gadd: drums
Unknown: trumpets, saxophones

‘Take It Away’ is the second song on Tug Of War, Paul McCartney ‘s third solo album. See more…

The song was originally intended for Ringo Starr’s Stop And Smell The Roses, but McCartney soon decided it would be better for himself.

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…

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8 June 2023
United Kingdom
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 1409
Member Since:
17 June 2021
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The song is one of my favourites on Tug Of War .

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13 June 2023
sir walter raleigh
In our yellow (IN OUR YELLOW) submarine (SUBMARINE AHA!)
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 5789
Member Since:
26 January 2017
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I love the shift into double time, with really cool fast piano line and horns added in later on. The bass line is also great in this one, as are the harmonies during the middle eight. Harmonically its not too complicated but manages to sound elegant during the middle eight and breakdown sections, probably thanks to the major 7th chord extensions played by the horns and sung by the background vocalists. Overall its probably my favorite on Tug Of War , at the very least top 3 (can’t forget about Wanderlust).

I’ve been getting into the glossy pop of the 80s more and more (particularly Michael Jackson) and its nice to revisit Paul’s catalog as something familiar to check in on. The last time I was really listening to 80s Paul consistently it was in the context of his entire catalog, not really exploring the era from which he was writing and releasing music. Hes like an old friend sitting there ready to hang out and catch up on old times. 

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18 June 2023
Von Bontee
496 km NW of the '69 Toronto Rock n Roll Revival
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 5486
Member Since:
14 December 2009
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Certain aspects about this one reminds me of another favourite Paul single of mine, “Jet ” – they both turn reggaeish at points, and alternate those bits with more forceful rocky parts; plus the horns and electronic textures in both. 

I couldn’t, and didn’t, hear it often enough on ’82 radio, compared to Paul’s previous single which was far overplayed…

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