Written by: McCartney
Recorded: June-July 1979
Producer: Paul McCartney
Released: 16 May 1980 (UK), 26 May 1980 (US)
Paul McCartney: vocals, keyboards, drums, percussion
The shortest song on Paul McCartney’s second solo album, ‘Darkroom’ was an improvised song based around a single-chord groove.
McCartney wished the sessions for McCartney II to be light and full of improvised, with the result that many of the songs were frivolous and lacking hidden depth. ‘Darkroom’ was no exception, and featured a mantra-like chant at its heart.
It wasn’t anything to do with Linda, and the darkroom where she develops her pictures. Actually, somehow I just heard the word ‘darkroom’ and thought it had lots of connotations. It could be a dark room, a photographic darkroom, or just a room which is dark. You know, a fellow saying to a girl, ‘Come to my dark room,’ is a bit like a ‘Come, let me take you to the Casbah,’ kind of thing. So I thought of this double meaning and it’s just a chant that says, ‘Comma, come along to my darkroom.’ And then I added a sort of atmosphere thing in the background and that’s it. It’s supposed to sound like a sort of freaky darkroom or something.
‘Darkroom’ was almost cut from McCartney II prior to its release, when several songs were omitted in order to reduce it from a double album to a single one.
Originally ‘Darkroom’ wasn’t going to be on this album because we had to knock off about eight or nine tracks at the beginning. We had planned a double album, but then it came down to a single album. I was going to lose ‘Darkroom’ because the original version is a very long track and goes on through all sorts of little crazy noises. But I edited it down because I liked it, and now it’s on the album.
The full-length version of ‘Darkroom’ was restored for the album’s 2011 reissue.