‘Letting Go’ was the second single released from Wings’ fourth album Venus And Mars.

I think ‘Letting Go’ is one of the better songs on the album. I think it’s a nice track. It’s a nice tune and the kids sing it all the time. I think it works as a track. It’s my favourite track.

In the studio

Paul McCartney wrote and demoed ‘Letting Go’ in 1972/3, recording a solo home demo.

The basic backing track was recorded by Wings at Abbey Road Studios in November 1974. The early versions contained electric guitar, electric piano, organ, bass guitar, and drums.

‘Letting Go’ was one of just three Venus And Mars songs to feature drummer Geoff Britton. The others were ‘Love In Song’ and ‘Medicine Jar’.

Work continued during the main album sessions at Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans in early 1975. ‘Letting Go’ was given a heavier arrangement through electric guitar and horn overdubs.

The song was remixed by Alan Parsons at Abbey Road for release as a single.

The new version shortened the introduction and end, made the organ more prominent, and removed the echo from McCartney’s vocals. It also included a new drum part by Joe English, Geoff Britton’s replacement in Wings.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Magneto And Titanium Man

The release

‘Letting Go’ was first released on Venus And Mars on 30 May 1975 in the UK, and 27 May 1975 in the USA.

The remix was issued as a single on 5 September 1975 in the UK, where it peaked at number 41 on the singles chart.

The single came out on 29 September in the USA. It fared only slightly better, reaching 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. The b-side in both countries was the album track ‘You Gave Me The Answer’.

A previously-unreleased mix of ‘Letting Go’ was made available as a free download to listeners to Lauren Laverne’s BBC Radio 6 Music show on 29 October 2014.

Live performances

Wings performed ‘Letting Go’ during their Wings Over America Tour in 1976.

A recording from 29 May 1976 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, was included on the live album Wings Over America later that year.

Paul McCartney revived the song during his Up And Coming Tour in 2010, and again for 2016’s One On One Tour.

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