‘Peace In The Neighbourhood’ is the seventh song on Off The Ground, Paul McCartney’s ninth solo studio album.

‘Peace In The Neighbourhood’ is a rehearsal take. We were just kicking numbers around, so that the band would get to know how they went, and we just got a really nice casual take of ‘Peace In The Neighbourhood’. We thought later that we could make it a little bit more professional and did try a couple of times but never got the same vibe again. It was getting a little bit too stiff so we listened again to the rehearsal take and it was fine. I really love the drum sound on it.
Paul McCartney
Club Sandwich, Spring 1993

It was recorded on 25 November 1991, the first day of sessions for Off The Ground. Although the band returned to it later in the sessions, it was decided that the rehearsal take was good enough to release, and overdubs were added onto that version.

We went into the studio the day we were supposed to record it ‘properly’ and [producer] Julian Mendelsohn said to us, I don’t think you need to bother. He played the original rehearsal tape and it was all there. It had a nice looseness, little imperfections that actually feel good.

I kind of feel that from the ’60s on as the recording process evolved people started trying to make records perfect. And now the technology is there to make absolutely perfect. But I listen to that kind of music and it just goes right by me, I don’t hear any humanity in there, only machines, no character. I’d rather hear some string noise, mistakes, human beings sparking. We all love to play. Why should we give it up to technology?

Hamish Stuart
New World Tour programme

McCartney performed ‘Peace In The Neighbourhood’ throughout his New World Tour in 1993. A recording from Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado, on 26 May can be heard on Paul Is Live.

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