Tug of War

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Reuniting with producer George Martin was a bit of a masterstroke on the part of Paul McCartney, since it guaranteed that Tug of War would receive a large, attentive audience. Martin does help McCartney focus, but it's hard to give all the credit to Tug of War, since McCartney was showing signs of creative rebirth on McCartney II, a homemade collection of synth-based tunes. This lush, ambitious, sprawling album couldn't be further from that record. That was deliberately experimental and intimate, while this is nothing less than a grand gesture, playing as McCartney's attempt to summarize everything he can do on one record. There's majestic balladry, folky ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Reuniting with producer George Martin was a bit of a masterstroke on the part of Paul McCartney, since it guaranteed that Tug of War would receive a large, attentive audience. Martin does help McCartney focus, but it's hard to give all the credit to Tug of War, since McCartney was showing signs of creative rebirth on McCartney II, a homemade collection of synth-based tunes. This lush, ambitious, sprawling album couldn't be further from that record. That was deliberately experimental and intimate, while this is nothing less than a grand gesture, playing as McCartney's attempt to summarize everything he can do on one record. There's majestic balladry, folky guitars, unabashed whimsy, unashamed sentimentality, clever jokes, silliness, hints of reggae, a rockabilly duet with Carl Perkins, two collaborations with Stevie Wonder, and, of course, lots of great tunes. If anything, McCartney's trying a bit too hard here, and there are times that the music sags with its own ambition or slightly dated production, as on the smash single "Ebony and Ivory". But, at its best -- the surging title track, the giddy "Take It Away," the vaudevillian stomp "Ballroom Dancing," the Lennon tribute "Here Today," the wonderful "Wanderlust" -- it's as good as McCartney gets.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/20/1998
  • Label: Emi Europe Generic
  • UPC: 077778926627
  • Catalog Number: 789266

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tug of War (4:22)
  2. 2 Take It Away (4:16)
  3. 3 Somebody Who Cares (3:19)
  4. 4 What's That You're Doing? (6:22)
  5. 5 Here Today (2:29)
  6. 6 Ballroom Dancing (4:08)
  7. 7 The Pound Is Sinking (2:55)
  8. 8 Wanderlust (3:49)
  9. 9 Get It (2:28)
  10. 10 Be What You See (0:34)
  11. 11 Dress Me up as a Robber (2:42)
  12. 12 Ebony and Ivory (3:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul McCartney Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Drums, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Vocoder, spanish guitar
Carl Perkins Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr Drums
Denny Laine Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Synthesizer Guitar
Eric Stewart Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
George Martin Piano, Electric Piano
Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Overdubs
Peter Marshall Narrator
Adrian Brett Pipe, Pan Flute/Pan Pipes, Pan Pipes
Jack Brymer Clarinet
Stanley Clarke Bass
Steve Gadd Percussion, Drums
Keith Harvey Cello
Ian Jewell Viola
Andy Mackay Lyricon
Campbell Maloney Drums, Snare Drums
Dave Mattacks Percussion, Drums
Linda McCartney Background Vocals
Bernard Partridge Violin
Jack Rothstein Violin
Adrian Shepard Percussion, Drums
Kenneth Sillito Leader
Stevie Wonder Synthesizer, Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Paul McCartney Arranger
George Martin Arranger, Producer
Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Contributor
Jack Brymer Contributor
Geoff Emerick Engineer
Keith Harvey Contributor
John Kelly Engineer
Andy Mackay Contributor
Campbell Maloney Contributor
Terry Reed Engineer
Kenneth Sillito Orchestra Leader
Mike Stavrou Engineer
Eddie Klein Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    masterpiece

    There are times in a recording artist's career when he/she rises to the occasion to make something special. Tug of War represents such a time for Paul McCartney. The immensely talented multi-instrumentalist collaborates with producer George Martin and a standout group of musicians and produces what some have called a "melancholy masterpiece". The title track, which is probably one of McCartney's most underrated songs, opens with a vocal set to acoustic guitar and gradually builds to anthemic heights as he sings about trying to make sense out the chaos ans conflict of life and it's unanswered questions. From the reflective and pensive 'Here Today' to the rollicking 'Take it Away', McCartney serves up a solid set of songs that reveal an artist who is on top of his game. Surely, there are gems to be found on every one of Paul's albums, but if you can only buy one, this is as good as it gets. Great cover painting by Brian Clarke is an added bonus.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best McCartney solo album

    This is far and away Paul's best solo album. It's a grown-up work. Lyrics on this album are among Paul's strongest and for once keep pace with the melodies. Edges out Band on the Run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best of the '80s

    Savour the delights of Tug of War, as they will more than make up for the musical void that is Pipes of Peace. Tug of War is one of the more brilliant pieces of work of McCartney's solo career. Kudos to Paul for this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Who would believe Paul could be that great?

    There is no bad song anywhere on Tug Of War. There are many things to consider that this is Paul's best work without The Beatles or Wings: brilliant production by George Martin, collaborations with Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Carl Perkins and Eric Stewart, Paul playing more than one instrument on every track, the heavenly keyboards - it's so good, I can't name anymore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Paul's Best Solo Work

    ''Tug of War'' is simply the best solo record, Paul McCartney ever released (considering ''Band on the Run'' to be a Paul McCartney & Wings effort). It displays Paul's range; with the orchestral ''Tug of War'', the acoustic ballad ''Here Today'', the the pop duet with Stevie Wonder, ''Ebony & Ivory.'' Extremely well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Paul's best post-Beatles work!

    And I include Band on the Run in that statement, much as I love it. There is not a song on this CD that I skip, ever. I love every song on it that much. How funky is What's That You're Doing? It's one of two duets with Stevie Wonder on the album, both of them fantastic, as is the duet with Carl Perkins. I can't recommend this album enough; if you're a McCartney fan, stop reading and go buy!

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews