‘Crossroads’ is the closing track on Wings’ fourth studio album Venus And Mars.
Written by Tony Hatch, it was the theme of the low-budget British soap opera that initially ran from 1964 to 1988.
It’s a joke! It’s after ‘Lonely Old People’, you see. They are sitting there in the park, saying, ‘Nobody asked us to play’. It’s a poignant moment. Then there’s a little break and then ‘Crossroads’ starts up. It’s lonely old people. It’s just the kind of thing that lonely old people watch. It could just as easily have been Coronation Street, but we knew the chords to ‘Crossroads’. I just thought that it would be nice to do it.
New Orleans press conference, 1975
Although Wings intended ‘Crossroads’ as a moment of levity at the end of Venus And Mars, the makers of the show used it in some episodes in the mid to late 1970s, normally to mark a dramatic ending.
It is a bit of a British joke that I thought might be too much of a British joke, but I’d still like to put it out. If you don’t get the joke on it, it sounds like a closing theme. Sort of like ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Diana Ross! and Diana walks off with the orchestra going (sings a triumphant exit song)… But if you see the joke, it comes after ‘Lonely Old People’, nobody asked us to play, they’re wondering what’s going on, spending time, nobody gets involved with lonely old people. One of the big things for lonely old people in England is to watch Crossroads. That was it, just a joke at the end. Funnily enough, they’re going to use it at the end of the program now, use our tune on it, which is great.
Paul McCartney In His Own Words, Paul Gambaccini
In the studio
Wings mostly recorded ‘Crossroads’ at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans. The basic track was recorded on 31 January 1975. In the studio it was titled on the track sheet as ‘Theme for End of Album’ by engineer Alan O’Duffy.
The 23-piece orchestra was overdubbed on 10 March at Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles. The song was completed later in the month at Wally Heider Studios in LA.