Released: 21 May 1971 (UK), 17 May 1971 (US)
The finale to Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album Ram, The Back Seat Of My Car was originally offered to The Beatles.
McCartney performed the song on 14 January 1969. Still a work in progress with unfinished lyrics, he sang it at the piano for several minutes but failed to take it any further.
The Back Seat Of My Car was a homage to the teenage dreams sung about by American acts such as The Beach Boys. McCartney’s grand production featured Brian Wilson-style vocal harmonies, and a multi-part mini-epic featuring lush instrumentation including an orchestral backing.
Back Seat Of My Car is very romantic: ‘We can make it to Mexico City.’ That’s a really teenage song, with the stereotypical parent who doesn’t agree, and the two lovers are going to take on the world: ‘We believe that we can’t be wrong.’ I always like the underdog.
Mojo magazine, July 2001
The Back Seat Of My Car was issued as a single in the United Kingdom on 13 August 1971, as Apple R5914, with ‘Heart Of The Country’ on the b-side. It was not a commercial success, peaking at number 39 in the charts.
The Back Seat Of My Car is the ultimate teenage song, and even though it was a long time since I was aa teenager and had to go to a girl’s dad and explain myself, it’s that kind of meet-the-parents song. It’s a good old driving song. And obviously ‘back seat’ is snogging, making love.
Like several of the songs on Ram, John Lennon interpreted it as an attack on him and Yoko Ono, most notably in the refrain “We believe that we can’t be wrong”. “Well,” he responded, “I believe that you could just be wrong.”