(Video: Coming Up, Paul McCartney & Wings, Recorded live At Glasgow 1979))
If you don’t know who Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is, then you are probably from Mars. Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool on 18 June 1942 and met John Lennon in 1957. The two began playing music together and by 1960, with a few additions and name changes, the Beatles were formed. The rest, as they say, is history.
After the Beatles broke up in 1970 McCartney continued his solo career and in 1971 he and his wife Linda, together with Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell, formed the group Wings. Active till 1981, Wings produced nine albums, five of which topped the US charts. Wings had 12 top 10 singles in the UK (with one number 1) and 14 top 10 singles in the US )of which 6 were number 1′s).
In early 1979 McCartney had been recording for his “McCartney II” album, his first solo album since the formation of Wings. One of the 20 songs he recorded was “Coming Up”. During the Wings tour in late 1979, McCartney unveiled “Coming Up” and a live version of the song was recorded in Glasgow, Scotland on 17 December 1979. This version had a much fuller sound than the version recorded by McCartney for the album. As a precursor to the release of his album, McCartney released “Coming Up” as a single on 11 April 1980 (the album released 16 May in the UK). On the B-side of the single were two Wings songs, “Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)”, and the piano laden instrumental “Lunch Box/Odd Sox”.
The song became an immediate UK number 2 hit. On release in the US, “Coming Up” was flipped over with the live Wings version being the A-track, and it became number 1 on the Billboard Hot 10 on 28 June, staying there for 3 weeks.
McCartney was unhappy about the change, made by the executives at Columbia records, but since the single was credited to him as a solo artist (even though the B-side was credited “Paul McCartney and Wings”) there was no further issues.
The live Wings version of “Coming Up” was issued as a white labeled, one-sided 7″ bonus record in many copies of “McCartney II” in the US and Canada.
John Lennon had liked the song, crediting it for driving him out of retirement to resume recording.
The live Wings version has since appeared on various McCartney compilations. For example, on the McCartney and Wings greatest hits album “Wingspan”, the live Wings version is included on the US/Canada releases, while the McCartney solo studio version is included on the UK release.
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