One Hand Clapping was a live-in-the-studio album and film by Paul McCartney and Wings, made at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, on 26-30 August 1974.

The sessions were filmed by David Litchfield for a documentary. Although parts of it were widely bootlegged, and some material emerged on official McCartney releases, the album remained unreleased until June 2024.

In the studio

One Hand Clapping was mostly recorded at Abbey Road’s Studio Two.

On 26 August 1974 Wings recorded Jet, ‘Let Me Roll It’, Junior’s Farm, ‘My Love’, C Moon/Little Woman Love, and Maybe I’m Amazed. The following day they taped ‘Band On The Run’, Wild Life, Hi, Hi, Hi, ‘Live And Let Die’, Soily, Go Now, ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’, ‘Bluebird’, and a piece known as ‘Wild Drum Track & Jam’. On 28 August 1974 a section called ‘Paul’s Cabaret Sequence’ was filmed, although no band performances were recorded.

The group sessions resumed on 29 August, with overdubs for ‘My Love’, ‘Live And Let Die’, ‘Band On The Run’, ‘Bluebird’, and ‘Jet’. The final day was filmed and recorded in the back yard of EMI. The nine-minute sequence contained versions of ‘Blackpool’, ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, ‘Peggy Sue’, ‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’, and ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’. Some additional performances included ‘Blackbird’, ‘Country Dreamer’, ‘Freight Train’, ‘Cumberland Gap’ and ‘Rock Island Line’.

Additional recording took place, again at Abbey Road, on 1, 8, and 9 October 1974. The final overdubs were at Sea-Saint Studios in New Orleans in January 1975.

One Hand Clapping was mixed for album release by Steve Orchard at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio in 2024, with the exception of ‘All Of You’ and ‘I’ll Give You A Ring’, which had previously been mixed by Geoff Emerick.

The release

Much of One Hand Clapping was included on the 2010 Band On The Run Archive Collection DVD. It included performances of ‘One Hand Clapping’, Jet, Soily, C Moon/Little Woman Love, Maybe I’m Amazed, ‘My Love’, ‘Bluebird’, ‘Let’s Love’, ‘All Of You’, I’ll Give You A Ring, ‘Band On The Run’, ‘Live And Let Die’, ‘Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five’, and ‘Baby Face’. ‘Let Me Roll It’ and ‘Country Dreamer’ were released as bonus audio on other Archive Collection releases.

The album One Hand Clapping was released on 14 June 2024 on 2xCD, 2xLP, and digital editions, plus an online exclusive vinyl version that includes a bonus 7″ EP containing six songs recorded on the final day: ‘Blackpool’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Country Dreamer’, ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, ‘Peggy Sue’, and ‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’.

It was also made available to stream in Dolby Atmos, with a new mix by Giles Martin and Steve Orchard.

2024 liner notes

One Hand Clapping is a video documentary, directed by David Litchfield, concerning five musicians working in a recording studio. The five musicians were Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch, Geoff Britton and form a rock and roll band called Wings. Also in the studio were two other musicians, an orchestra and a dog. One of the musicians was called Howie Casey and played a saxophone. The other was called Del Newman and he conducted the orchestra. The dog was called Poppy and didn’t really do much at all. The studio at number 3 Abbey Road, London is where The Beatles recorded their first album Please Please Me in 1963 and the studio hasn’t been painted since then. Geoff Emerick, the recording engineer, said it would ruin the acoustics.

Paul McCartney

I like working with a gang of people … I like a little team … the fun of all having a cup of tea together and getting your heads down and working on a piece of music … I’ve never been a solo performer so it’s natural for me to find myself in a group …

Linda McCartney

It depends, on some of them Paul shows me what to play … on others I just get the chords … find out what the chords are and pick it up from there … ‘Cos it’s you … if you don’t do it nobody can do it for you …

Denny Laine

After being with The Beatles … the biggest group in the world … for ten years and he suddenly ends up on his own … Man, it’s hard to get confidence back … But don’t you feel a bit like that … you were with The Moody Blues? … Exactly, that’s why I know exactly what he feels …

Jimmy McCulloch

I want to be able to produce a monster album with Paul and the band … and be proud of it … That’s what I want … To be appreciated on record …

Geoff Britton

I was with The Wild Angels … Any band that goes up and down the motorway … that’s a gigging band … You spend all those hours locked up in the back of a truck … you get pent-up emotion … What happened was … we got a duff boarding house … I don’t know how it happened … anyway … Lennie’s bed got nailed to the ceiling …

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