With ‘Say Say Say’, The Man was one of two collaborations between Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson on the Pipes Of Peace album.

If you say ‘The Man’, it can mean God, it can mean ‘Women, listen to your man’, it can mean so many things. Later I did a song with Michael Jackson called ‘The Man’ and again, it’s quite nice leaving things ambiguous: I’m sure for Michael, probably ‘The Man’ meant God.
Paul McCartney
Club Sandwich, Spring 1988

‘The Man’ was originally intended to be the third single taken from Pipes Of Peace, following the title track and ‘Say Say Say’, with the unreleased song ‘Blackpool’ on the b-side.

A release date of 13 February 1984 was cancelled, however, following the McCartneys’ drug busts in Barbados and London in January.

There was also to have been a 12″ single containing the unreleased ‘The Man’ (Extended Version), plus an instrumental version and ‘Blackpool’.

In the studio

Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson recorded an initial demo of ‘The Man’ in London in 1981, most likely at Odyssey Studios. The song was based on an intro written by McCartney.

Jackson then wrote additional lyrics, and recorded a second demo at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles.

More work on ‘The Man’ was recorded in February 1983 during Jackson’s visit to London, and the song was mixed at AIR Studios on 8 June.

The song was remixed at Sigma Sound Studios in New York City on 25 August 1983 for the unreleased 12″ single.

Previous song: ‘So Bad’
Next song: ‘Sweetest Little Show’
Published: |