The Platinum Years: McCartney's archive series to move into the '80s


Buyers of Paul McCartney‘s latest Archive Collection reissues (Venus and Mars and Wings The Speed Of Sound) will be interested to note that a ‘Coming Soon’ promo card is included that promises that 1982’s Tug Of War and Pipes of Peace from 1983 as the next two releases.

Both albums saw Paul reunited with Beatles producer George Martin for the first time since the pair worked on 1973’s Bond theme Live and Let Die. During this 1982-84 period Paul enjoyed massive commercial success with both records containing US and UK number one hit singles. Tug of War‘s Stevie Wonder collaboration Ebony and Ivory hit the top spot on both sides of the Atlantic (enjoying a massive seven-week run at the peak of the Billboard Hot 100), while Pipes of Peace‘s title track reached number one in the UK in January 1984. That song wasn’t selected as an A-side in The States but American audiences sent the smart pop of Jackson duet Say Say Say to the summit just one place above its number two UK peak.

Many tracks from Pipes of Peace were recorded at the same 1981 sessions that produced Tug Of War and it seems highly likely that these two will be reissued together like McCartney and McCartney II and the new Wings sets.

The single releases from both albums offer plenty of tracks that have never appeared on CD including B-sides Rainclouds (from Ebony and Ivory), I’ll Give You A Ring (Take It Away), and Ode To A Koala Bear the B-side to Say Say Say (which was issued in Australia as an alternative mix). There is also a Wonder-free ‘solo’ version of Ebony and Ivory that will almost certainly be a bonus track (and there’s two videos as well!).

In terms of remixes the 5.40 twelve-inch version of Say Say Say and the seven-minute instrumental (both remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez) have never been issued on CD. A cancelled third single from Pipes of Peace was the other Michael Jackson duet called The Man. This is thought to have been far enough advanced to have had two remixes commissioned and a B-side, Blackpool, selected. Assuming this is correct those tracks would almost certainly appear on a Pipes deluxe.

Finally, Paul’s well-bootlegged ‘Rude Studios’ demos include embryonic versions of some tracks found on these albums including Sweetest Little Show from Pipes of Peace. There is a reasonable chance that these will see the light of day on any reissue.

A word of caution however…Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound were announced as ‘Coming Soon’ back in October 2010 and they are only just about to be released now, four years later!

What would you like to see on Tug of War and Pipes of Peace reissues? Leave a comment and let us know!

Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound will be released on 3 November 2014. You can read about those reissues here.

Other Tug Of War SDE Features:

• Tug of War at 30 / The album remembered

• Reissue Wish-List: Tug of War

Japanese CD of the Day: Tug of War

Venus And Mars Pre-order


Deluxe Book 2CD+DVD edition

Wings At The Speed Of Sound Pre-order


Deluxe Book 2CD+DVD edition

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