The soundtrack album to Paul McCartney’s ill-conceived film of the same name, Give My Regards To Broad Street contained a mix of new compositions and re-recorded Beatles, Wings and solo songs.
The film was made over 28 non-consecutive weeks. As with The Beatles’ Get Back/Let It Be project, it was initially conceived as containing several live performances for a television special. Willy Russell wrote an initial script which was rejected; Tom Stoppard was then drafted in to assist with a plot based on the Tug Of War album, before McCartney scrapped the idea and wrote the screenplay himself.
Give My Regards To Broad Street starred Paul and Linda McCartney, Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach, and Bryan Brown, Ralph Richardson and Tracey Ullman. The plot was slight, but involved the master tapes for McCartney’s new album going missing and eventually being recovered. It became a box office flop, although the soundtrack was more successful.
McCartney worked on the project between November 1982 and June 1984. The dramatic scenes were filmed during the first seven weeks, followed by 13 more on the musical sequences. Each of the musical sections represented a dream, roughly following the distinct stages of McCartney’s career.
Although his muse deserted him when it came to script writing, Paul McCartney came up with a set of strong new songs for the soundtrack. Chief among these was ‘No More Lonely Nights’, which was released as a single ahead of the album and became a transatlantic hit.
‘No More Lonely Nights’ was recorded live in a three-hour session at Elstree Film Studios with McCartney on piano and vocals, David Gilmour on guitar, Anne Dudley on synthesizer, Herbie Flowers on bass, Stuart Elliot on drums, and Eric Stewart and Linda McCartney on backing vocals.
I found it quite amazing doing ‘No More Lonely Nights’ with Paul McCartney. In one three-hour session with a band we learnt it and put it down, and Paul played piano and sang the lead vocal live, and I put the guitar solo down, bang.
The song appeared in two versions on the album. An alternative ‘Playout’ recording was made at the request of 20th Century Fox to use over the film’s closing credits. George Martin created a mix lasting 8’10”, while Arthur Baker made one lasting 6’55” which was also edited to 3’56”. These were used on various editions of the single.
Other new songs included ‘Corridor Music’, an instrumental piece of incidental music based on Wings’ Wild Life track ‘Mumbo’. However, another piece used in the film, ‘Glorina’, did not make it to the soundtrack.
‘Not Such A Bad Boy’ and ‘No Values’ were also new compositions, and showed that McCartney’s muse hadn’t deserted him. The latter song reportedly came to him in a dream, and was first recorded in Montserrat while working on Tug Of War, but was reworked for the soundtrack.
I dreamt this song. I dreamt that I was with The Rolling Stones. They were all there, Mick, Bill, Charlie, Keith, and Mick was up front. I woke up and said to myself, ‘I really like that song that they do.’ Then I thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute, there is no Rolling Stones song called ‘No Value’. They don’t do that song.’ My brain just created it. So I thought, ‘Well, there it is. I’ve got this new song called ‘No Value’.’ But I won’t be telling Mick; he’ll probably claim the copyright.
The big band-style ‘Good Night Princess’ was a bonus track on the compact disc edition. It was recorded the day after a remake of ‘The Long And Winding Road’ at AIR Studios in November 1983; McCartney provides a spoken word contribution, but does not otherwise appear on the song.
Of the other songs, six were reworkings of Beatles songs: ‘Good Day Sunshine’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘Here, There And Everywhere’, ‘For No One’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’, and ‘The Long And Winding Road’. Another album track, ‘Eleanor’s Dream’, was an orchestral instrumental based on melodies from ‘Eleanor Rigby’.
‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Ballroom Dancing’ were re-recordings of Tug Of War songs, while ‘So Bad’ had originally appeared on Pipes Of Peace. ‘Silly Love Songs’ was older still, dating from 1976’s Wings At The Speed Of Sound.
i really enjoyed the no more lonely nights and the mull of Kintyre videos ,I found the no more lonely nights video very sad and I am a guitarist and plan to learn both on my guitar kind regards nikki higgs
“unfortunately extended to adding a lengthy saxophone introduction.”
Oh dear, my dad who played that wouldnt much have enjoyed that sentence.