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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I wish he would release red rose speedway. It’s my favorite one. But if he did I would want him to put it out as he originally wanted it. Because it was supposed to be a double album. I myself reconstructed it. But they are bootlegs and would enjoy polished versions of them.

Tom Olszewski

Vinnie, I’d love to see your song list for your RRS double album.


This months (May 2015) issue of Q has a long interview with Paul and several times they refer to the fact that he’s supervising the remastering of Tug Of War. So ….it must be next. Who knows when though …

Morten Aastad

Lennie? Isn’t that huge Ram box set Super Deluxe? I thought it was really super (my favorite Macca album, it was released when I was “released” to this World.

Stan Butler

Looking forward to these (2CD versions) as they were the first McCartney solo albums I bought, 30+ years ago. Hopefully the release schedule is accelerated. The Venus and Mars & Wings at the Speed of Sound releases were announced as coming soon in the Band on the Run set from 2010. I cant wait until 2018 for Tug of War. Another vote for Broad Street as well.


43-year-old lifelong Beatles/ McCartney fan chiming in. And I think it makes sense for Paul to dip into his better 80s records at this stage. (Though I wouldn’t count the album Pipes of Peace as a great album, save the tracks Paul S. mentioned).

And I say that having not heard the album Tug Of War (beyond its singles) until the mid-1990s. But coming to appreciate his vast discography as an adult, I’d place Tug Of War right up there with his best LPs: Ram, Band On The Run, Flowers in the Dirt, Chaos and the first half of Memory Almost Full. Tug of War is just a stunning collection; the title song is one of his best-ever compositions, and it’s backed up by some great tracks – Take It Away, Ballroom Dancing, Wanderlust and the quirky The Pound is Sinking. (I hope the single version of Tug of War with the cold ending makes its way into the bonus audio section).

That said, the set I am most looking forward to is Flowers In The Dirt; due to the various singles there should be a *lot* of bonus audio, not to mention the rehearsal documentary that was made. Additionally, a remaster would help those tracks quite a bit; the original CD is rather tinny. Once I heard the remastering on the McCartney Years music video DVD set, I was stunned by how superior tracks like My Brave Face and This One sounded compared to the originals.


a great deluxe would be broad street ..you get the full album bonus stuff of diff mix of no more lonely nights etc and the dvd of the whole film with no more lonely nites various promos and the excellent south bank show on the making off and official club sandwich fanzine issued at the time in replica form ..


Forgot to include Ram in the group that deserved Super Deluxe editions.


The only albums warranting super deluxe editions were Band on the Run, Venus & Mars, Wings Over America, and Tug of War. The rest only deserved 2 disc version, except for butt-munch albums like McCartney 2 which should have been discontinued and melted down.


I just had a vision of the accounting department sitting down with Paul…

“Y’know Sir Paul, while releasing the rest of the Wings catalog right now makes some sense, the people begging for deluxe editions of, say, Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway number in the dozens. And ‘begging’ is a bad choice of words… ‘mildly curious’ is probably a better way to put it. Instead, let’s go with some albums that sold a lot and had cross-over appeal because of Michael and Stevie. You’ll make more money that way, and you’ll get extra promotion through Michael’s and Stevie’s fan bases. Frankly, at the rate you’re releasing these deluxe editions, you won’t even be alive by the time we’re all done. Nor will some of your fans. So better to cash-in now on the bigger hits and save the other stuff for later.”


Couldn’t have said it better ;-)

Mike the Fish

I like Red Rose Speedway, and would be intrigued by Wild Life in principle. That said, I bought the Mc II deluxe and barely listened to it before selling it for a huge loss. Good bonuses for the album, but I just didn’t enjoy it enough. Maybe I’ll pick up the 2CD version someday if dirt cheap.

adam shaw

I think all the Wings albums should have been dealt with before these two.
Wild Life and Red Rose were big albums and sold huge amounts world wide when they came out and Im sure there are a lot of older fans (like myself) who would like a good overview of these .


It’s weird that there isn’t much mention of Flowers in the Dirt. That album was brilliant, and leagues above butt-munch albums like Mc2, Pipes, Press, Flaming, Chaos, Driving, or Off the Ground. My Brave Face is an incredible song.


I’m not a huge fan, by any stretch, but what album would regular and extended versions of “Spies Like Us” find themselves on, hypothetically?


It makes perfect sense to re-issue Tug Of War/Pipes Of Peace. They’re both brilliant albums and each one of them contained a US/UK No.1 single. It might have been better if Paul issued a massive boxset of all his 80s albums all at once . That way all would be happy.


Red Rose Speedway is my least favourite Paul album and I’m still sort of ‘getting it’ after thirty odd years of trying, but each time there is more I like. The main reason I’d like to see it come out soon is that it would be great if Henry Mcullough got samo revenue from it as he now needs full time care follwoing his last heart attack. He is a great guy and I was fortunate enough to see him a couple of times in the noughties and on the first occasion saw Denny Laine the night after at the same venue!

James Kelly

What happened to RedRose Speedway?

Paul Soper

Much as I love the deluxe packages, I wish now they would just release 2 CD versions of the remaining albums, just to get everything out there.

By the time this project finishes, it will be time to remaster Band On The Run again!!


Can’t wait for Venus & Mars and Speed of Sound to appear under the Christmas tree, and it’d be nice if Tug of War and Pipes of Peace each got here before their 35th anniversaries.
We All Stand Together (both versions), the Tug of War/Pipes of Peace singles mixes and b-sides, Twice In A Lifetime, demos for Paul’s songs on Ringo’s Smell The Roses Lp, On The Wings of A Nightingale and Theme From The Honorary Consul, and a healthy serving of some of the outtakes recorded over the three year period he took to record these two albums would be nice.
I bought my first Beatles record in 1967 (Penny Lane) and think that Flaming Pie and Chaos and Creation are among Paul’s finest solo albums.


> More chance of Mr. MAc acting on this straw pole…

It would be interesting to know what’s driving the release order. Obviously Paul had success in the 80s, but are those the years that the target audience for these archives releases are begging for first?

Plus, I read the other day that, despite the cards in the new reissues pointing to Tug and Pipes, there’s been no final decision on what’s next. So maybe those won’t be it after all, although it would seem odd to mention them in next week’s reissues, the schedule other albums instead.


Mr Tim

More chance of Mr. MAc acting on this straw pole than there is of him being caught eating a meat pie whilst sporting a leather jacket but….. another vote here for back to the egg and london town.
Just ‘woke up to’ his solo career recently really, partly from reading stuff on this blog. McCartney II arrived yesterday, loving it… weird but in a good way..


Mu vote is for “Press To Play” which I believe is a very underrated album. “Stranglehold”, “Angry” and “Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun” are favourites for me. After that I wouldn’t mind seeing what could be done with “Wild Life” seeing it got a general panning on release although I think there are a couple of great tracks on it in “Mumbo” and “Wild Life”. Finally “Give My Regards To Broadstreet” – a terrible film but a great rocker “Not Such A Bad Boy” on the soundtrack.


I don’t know. All you guys who prefer McCartney’s work after 1990 to the classic 70’s Wings period must have all been born after 1985. @Paul Sinclair, I’m curious as to your approximate age.


We will all wish you a happy 45th next month Paul!

Kev Moore

Back to the Egg special edition! Yes please- fabulous album.

Marshall Gooch

Another SDE reader for London Town and Back To The Egg to be next. But if it’s not to be, okay. I’ll probably only get the 2CD versions of Tug and Pipes–they’re not up in my top McCartney releases. And yes, it would be great to see him wrap up the ’70s and do Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway before entering the ’80s. (If he’s gonna stay in the ’80s then the Russian album and Flowers In The Dirt should be next!)


For me, while I wouldn’t say anything McCartney did in the late 80s or after was “better” than some of the classic albums that came before, I’m beginning to believe that Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is an under-rated gem.

I’ve been listening to the soundbytes on iTunes and I think I’ll grab this one when I get the Wings reissues next week. It’s a little laid back, but does away with the bigger production of albums that came before it. It has more of a feel of his early solo releases, at least to my ears.


Paul, I’ve met like a billion McCartney fans, but never heard anyone ever say that. Are you really suggesting that bunch of albums were superior to Band on the Run, Venus & Mars, etc? Wow!

Paul Soper

Well, I love everything McCartney has done but I’ve never been one of those who has considered Band On The Run to be a McCartney stand out, great album though it is.

My favourite McCartney/Wings albums are (in no particular order)
Wild Life
Back To The Egg
Driving Rain

I listen to all of those far more than Band On The Run.

I do feel that his albums over the last 20 years have been some of his strongest, and I prefer most of them over the 80s albums. It kind of amused me when so many people were raving about how great NEW was on it’s release last year, because to me it was just another in a line of strong albums.


Paul should only do remasters up to and including Flowers in the Dirt. That’s what most collectors and even casual fans are interested in getting. After FITD, the mainstream lost interest in purchasing McCartney albums, and were really only interested in his concerts.

Paul Soper

Some of McCartneys best albums were post Flowers In The Dirt, IMO, but I don’t expect to see deluxe editions of these any time soon.

Off The Ground, Run Devil Run, Driving Rain and Chaos have all been quietly reissued on CD under the Concord/Universal label; just straight reissues of their EMI counterparts.

Steven C

For “Pipes of Peace”, I’d want to ensure the 12″ extended single of ” Say Say Say” and the music video. While most McCartney releases have been a big deal, McCartney working with MJ was a massive deal at the time. I’d like to see the 12″ replicated in a card sleeve CD package slipped in the Super Deluxe Box.

Ken Moore

Back To The Egg is my favorite album of the not-yet-released volumes of the Archive Collection. Getting Closer, Old Siam Sir, Arrow Through Me and the Rockestra stuff are all classics. Flowers In The Dirt is another title that I will be anxiously awaiting.


Personally, I think all the albums he made while Linda was alive and healthy will get deluxe editions because her photographs are really the big draw of the books. I would love to see everything put out in the deluxe style, but I think that starting with “Run Devil Run” or maybe even “Driving Rain,” there will be a shift to only CD/DVD with less book content. I love these and want to see as many come out as possible.

adam shaw

Some of Pipes of Peace had outtakes remixed from the Back To The Egg sessions with Denny Laine on them so lets see if any more of these appear , hope the extras are better than what was on Speed Of Sound , which for me are very disapointing .


Press to Play and Flowers in the Dirt please!


Hi I agree with Leemer. I would have liked London Town and Back to the Egg as a pairing for the next two deluxe edition release’s and also Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway next up to complete the 70’s editions before moving into ’80s’.
Anyway Tug Of War is worthy of the deluxe treatment, Pipes of Peace not quite as consistent but these two make a good pairing for release. Seriously hope that Paul steps up the frequency on releases though otherwise it will be 2030 before we have the entire collection!


Really looking forward to Tug of War. I understand why he jumped to that one before some of the less popular ’70s Wings albums, but as others have said the completist in me would like to have seen those reissued first. My fear is that the deluxe editions will be winding down after TOW/POP. I was hoping for Flowers in the Dirt/Off the Ground eventually. Like his other simultaneous reissues, they would work well together. Paul seemed so rejuvenated during that period (as he does now). Specifically I would like to hear some outtakes from his sessions with Elvis Costello.


I would have rather seen Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway, London Town, Back To The Egg and Wild Life get the reissue. Nonetheless, these are two fine albums.

If you’ve bought more than one of these deluxe things, you have to buy them all.

I actually look forward to the Back To The Egg reissue. I know there is the Back To The Egg television special plus all the back ground stuff for Rockestra, maybe even the concert for Kampuchea footage. That would be really exciting. Plus maybe video from Paul’s vacation in Tokyo at the time of the Wings 1980 tour.

Also super exciting would be Red Rose Speedway with the James Paul McCartney television special and other singles of the era.

I would rather him close of the seventies and move forward, but he’s already been jumping around his chronology with the reissues.

I guess its a matter of “take my money, please”.


back to the egg would make a great deluxe set ….ive a few cds with other mixes and unreleased stuff ..cage etc and dvd wise the special , rockestra ..diff goodnight tonite promos etc but as we know mccartney doesnt look fondly at this album ..so as with london town both great albums these will be well down the pecking order or even to be deluxed at all ..


Told ya!

Kev Moore

what I’d really like to see is them reissued separately. I think ‘ Tug of War’ is right up there with the very best of Macca’s solo output, but I found Pipes of Peace distinctly underwhelming. I’d buy T.O.W. like a shot, but would think twice if P.O.P. is attached.


Press to Play! Press to Play!

I love that album and can’t wait for it to be released.

I only got into Tug of War recently (mainly due to it being mentioned on here in another context).

I would love to know what is dictating the order of these release…


Looking forward to all of Paul’s 80s output. I have the 1993 remastered versions of all his albums but would love to see a bunch of 12″ mixes. Hope he also hurries the Broad St. and Press To Play albums.


Tug of War was brilliant, Pipes less so, mostly due to the fact the songs were leftovers from the same sessions. Unfortunately the production from a lot of music from the 80’s period sounds pretty bad today. Less organic sounding instruments, way too many synthesizers, too many effects and overdubs, etc. I listened to these 2 albums recently and they seemed to suffer a bit from all that, but of course this reality was less apparent to most people when we listened to them at the time they were released in 1982 and 1983, because everything we were listening to then suffered from the 80’s production. I’d like to see Paul do what Yoko did with Double Fantasy, a stripped down version, removing a lot of the 80’s sounding gloss. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for Paul, considering he already did this with Let it Be…Naked.

James Reeno

Compared to TODAY’S boring and sterile production, I will take the 80’s any day of the week.

Marky Mark

I’d like to see these 2 albums released as ONE deluxe box set (w/ b-sides and alternate tracks) since many are from the same sessions. I’d have a hard time shelling out $80 for a ‘Pipes of Peace’ set on its own.

Chuck Salazar

Tug of War & Pipes Of Peace ‘Coming Soon’…2019!


The OCD in me would love to see them finish off the 70s with the other Wings albums, especially London Town.

From the 80s, I’m kind of indifferent. I liked a few songs from Tug of Pipes, but only a few.

Having said that, I’ll reserve any judgement until I see what they’re actually adding as the bonus tracks.

In one sense, I almost wouldn’t care what comes next if the release schedule wasn’t so scattered. I could live with a couple of releases I didn’t like if I knew some others I do like might be coming down the road three months later.


I’ve been looking forward to these two more than any of the others. I hope they do Broadstreet as well.

Mike the Fisher

I’d like the Oz version of Koala Bear to be on there. Did this era have the original Rupert stuff too?