Pipes Of Peace (1983)

Album Cover

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Many songs recorded by Paul in 1981 at George Martin's studio in Montserrat remained unreleased after the Tug Of War issue in 1982.
The fantastic success of his latest album leads Paul to dig into the
Tug Of War recording sessions for gathering some of the unreleased songs on a second album.

The title of this new album, Pipes Of Peace, clearly refers to the one of Tug Of War, as Yin refers to Yang. This new production is built around Paul's love and peace concept, as illustrated by the album's cover stating that in love all of life's contradictions dissolve and disappear (a quote from the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore).

Pipes Of Peace is a very well mastered and refined production, once again thanks to the profitable Martin/McCartney partnership.

As for Tug Of War, many songs are performed by Paul with the help of some famous guest musicians. Among them, Michael Jackson who writes two duets on this album in collaboration with Paul.

Paul and George Martin at work...
  Paul and George Martin at work...

Pipes Of Peace is released in October 1983. Despite its quality, this album is less welcomed by the public than Tug Of War and the fans remain relatively unconcerned about this issue. The reason is probably the lack of strong rock songs in this production. The album reaches #15 in the US charts.

Pipes Of Peace video   A promotional video clip is released about two armies who face each other and who finally desobey orders and fraternize with each other.

It will get the 'British Rap and Pop' best video award.

Pipes Of Peace video.    

Pipes Of Peace opens the first side of the album. It's a nice ballad responding to the Tug Of War introduction from the previous album. The lyrics straightaway settle the theme of love and peace solving our human problems... that will be recurrent all along the album. Paul is playing at the piano and the whole song is backed up by perfect harmonies and by a good orchestration. This song provide the album with a strong introduction. One of the best songs ever released by Paul.

Say Say Say follows next as the first duet co-written by Paul and Michael Jackson on this album. Paul had already worked with Jackson when singing on Michael's composition The Girl Is Mine.
Say Say Say
is a catchy pop song that will be issued as the main single pulled from the Pipes Of Peace album. This title will be promoted through a frequently broadcasted video and will be rather successful in many european charts.

Next comes The Other Me, a nice orchestrated ballad from Paul once again at the piano. Some electric guitar backs up the song during the middle-eight whose tempo is speeded up.

A rock song follows with Keep Under Cover which is one of the best titles on this album. It starts slowly at the piano like a ballad, but the tempo progressively speeds up as time goes by.
An efficient orchestration mixing violins and electric guitar sustain the whole song whose style reminds of Electric Light Orchestra ( ! )

  Paul at the piano
    Paul at the piano.

So Bad finishes the first side of the album. Paul performs a beautiful love song with nice harmonies, a good bass line and brother Ringo playing the drums. The best song on this album with Pipes Of Peace. And George Martin still there for the orchestration... This song will be promoted by a video clip (the third one for this album) that will be rewarded in Japan as the best video of the year. So Bad will get some special success in UK.
Paul will cover this song in an alternate version on
Give My Regards To Broad Street, one of his next masterpieces.

Paul and Jacko in studio   The second 'McCartney/Jackson' collaboration kicks off the second side of the album with The Man, co-written by Paul and Michael.

A catchy melody with good harmonies and some efficient orchestration.

Sweetest Little Show comes next. A joyful performance with an acoustic guitar instrumental in the second part of the song.

Average Person follows directly without any break between the titles. A good pop song played with spirit and with a strong beat.

Paul and Jacko in studio.    

An instrumental title follows with Hey Hey which gives the two best bass players in the world, Paul McCartney and Stanley Clarke, an opportunity of playing together. The song is co-written by McCartney and Clarke.

Afterwards comes Tug Of Peace which is a kind of hybrid medley mixing Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace. This strange song is somehow experimental and makes think of future techno/rap techniques.

The album finishes with a nice love song, Through Our Love. It's a peaceful and optimistic song with a beautiful melody powerfully orchestrated by George Martin.

The CD remastered release in 1993 includes 3 bonus tracks:

  • Twice In A Lifetime, a ballad written by Paul as the theme song for the same-name film of 1985.
  • We All Stand Together, Paul's main theme song for Ruppert And The Frog, the animated short-feature for children that Paul produces in 1984. 
    This song is recorded with George Martin in late 1980 during the
    Tug Of War sessions and it is kept under wraps until 1984 to be finally released as a single.

    Ruppert And The Frog, as a
    video, and
    We All Stand Together, as a single, are both big successes in UK. The single notably reaches #3 in the charts.
    This wonderful song written for the children is built upon a strong and beautiful orchestration (thanks George!).
  Paul in 1984 for the Ruppert issue
    Paul in 1984 for the Ruppert issue.
  • Simple As That is previously released in November 1986 on a various artists charity album called The Anti-Heroin Project. This title among others shows Paul's ability to write strong and efficient reggae songs.

Two singles are pulled from the
Pipes Of Peace album and released in 1983:
  • Say Say Say / Ode To A Koala Bear is issued in October and reaches #1 in many European charts (#2 in UK).
  • So Bad / Pipes Of Peace is released in December in the US and reaches #23 in the charts.
  • Pipes Of Peace / So Bad is released in December in the UK and reaches #1 in the charts.

Credits: Thanks to Francisco Soza from Brazil for providing me with pictures and the Portuguese translation !

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