‘Sing The Changes’ is the third song on Electric Arguments, the third album credited to The Fireman.

We had a ball making this album, and it was a great departure because it seemed more like improv theater. In the improv spirit, there are William Burroughs-type cut-ups in the lyrics. I came to ‘Sing The Changes’, as well as all the other songs in the album, with absolutely no concept of what the melody or lyrics would be about. So it was like writing on the spot, which I think lent an electricity to the whole sound.

It’s kind of what happens when you write a song… but on speed. You’ve just got to think of the idea there and then: “First thought, best thought,” as Allen Ginsberg said. Instead of spending the next two hours molding it, I would just step up to the mike and go [singing] “Ooohhhawowahhasingthechanges,” like throwing paint at the wall, and then you just stand back and take a look at it and see whether some of it looks good.

Paul McCartney
Rolling Stone, 22 January 2009

The Fireman was Paul McCartney and producer Youth. Electric Arguments was the first of their albums to be directly acknowledged by McCartney, and the duo’s most conventional album to date. Indeed, ‘Sing The Changes’ and ‘Highway’ were added to McCartney’s live set after its release.

The release

Electric Arguments was released in the UK on 24 November 2008, and 25 November 2008 in the USA.

‘Sing The Changes’ was released as a download single on 17 November 2008.

An instrumental remix, ‘Sing The Changes’ (Morning Mist Instrumental Dub), was also included on a seven-track bonus CD in the deluxe edition of the album, released on 31 January 2009. The deluxe edition also included a DVD which included the video of ‘Sing The Changes’.

‘Sing The Changes’ was the only Fireman song included on the 2016 compilation Pure McCartney.

Live performances

Paul McCartney first performed ‘Sing The Changes’ live at the Coachella Festival on 17 April 2009. Thereafter it was played throughout his Summer Live 09 Tour.

A live recording of the song, recorded at New York’s Citi Field on 21 July 2009, was released later that year on Good Evening New York City.

That performance, along with live versions of ‘Jet’ and ‘Band On The Run’ from the album, were were released as a digital download for the Rock Band video game on 5 January 2010.

‘Sing The Changes’ was retained in McCartney’s set during 2009’s Good Evening Europe Tour and 2010-11’s Up And Coming Tour.

It was also performed frequently during the On The Run Tour in 2011-12. McCartney’s final concert performance of ‘Sing The Changes’ was on 29 November 2012, although it was played during soundchecks as late as 2017.

Previous song: ‘Two Magpies’
Next song: ‘Travelling Light’
Published: |