|Pipes of Peace|
|Studio album by Paul McCartney|
|Released||17 October 1983|
|Recorded||October-December 1980, February-March 1981, May 1981, August-December 1981, 14-16 April 1982, September-October 1982, February and July 1983|
|Studio||Abbey Road Studios and AIR Studios, London; AIR Studios, Montserrat; Cherokee Studios and Westlake Studios, Los Angeles; Rude Studios, Campbeltown; The Mill Studios, Rye|
|Paul McCartney chronology|
|Singles from Pipes of Peace|
Pipes of Peace is the fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Paul McCartney, released in 1983. As the follow-up to the popular Tug of War, the album came close to matching the commercial success of its predecessor in Britain but peaked only at number 15 on America's Billboard 200 albums chart. While Pipes of Peace was the source of international hit singles such as "Say Say Say" (recorded with Michael Jackson) and the title track, the critical response to the album was less favourable than that afforded to Tug of War.
Many of the songs released on Pipes of Peace were recorded during the 1981 sessions for Tug of War, with "Pipes of Peace", "The Other Me", "So Bad", "Tug of Peace" and "Through Our Love" being recorded afterwards, in September-October 1982. Accordingly, the album has many things in common with its predecessor - it was produced by George Martin, it featured two collaborations with the same artist (this time with Michael Jackson; the Tug of War collaborations being with Stevie Wonder), and continued McCartney's alliance in the studio with Ringo Starr, former 10cc guitarist Eric Stewart and his last session work with Wings guitarist Denny Laine. By November, McCartney would start shooting his self-written motion picture Give My Regards to Broad Street (film), co-starring wife Linda, Ringo Starr and Tracey Ullman, which would take up most of his time throughout 1983. Due to the filming commitments (and to allow a reasonable lapse of time between his new album and Tug of War), Pipes of Peace was delayed until October for release.
However, unlike Tug of War, the album features an electro-tinged sound. On the track "Tug of Peace", McCartney blended the title song to Tug of War with that of the new album. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic describes the mix as "an almost-electro collage that twists the songs into McCartney II territory".
With momentum building for his film project - and the accompanying soundtrack album - McCartney spent much of his energies finishing and preparing Give My Regards to Broad Street for its release in the autumn of 1984.
In 1983 Pipes of Peace made its debut on CD on Columbia Records. In 1993, the album was remastered and reissued on CD as part of "The Paul McCartney Collection" series, with the previously unreleased "Twice in a Lifetime" (the title song for a 1985 film); his 1984 hit from the Rupert Bear project, "We All Stand Together"; and "Simple as That", released in 1986 on the charity album The Anti-Heroin Project - It's A Live-In World - all as bonus tracks. "Ode to a Koala Bear" (the B-side to "Say Say Say") was overlooked for inclusion.
The album was reissued in remastered form in 2015 as part of the ongoing 'Paul McCartney Archive Collection' series of releases. The version with "enhanced packaging" contains three discs: the remastered album itself, a bonus audio disc containing mostly demo versions of the songs found on the first disc, and a disc with a film. The reissue was accompanied by the Record Store Day exclusive single "Say Say Say (2015 Remix)".
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Essential Rock Discography||4/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
"Say Say Say" was released as the album's lead single in October 1983. A duet with Jackson, it reached number 2 in the UK and number 1 in the US, where it remained for six weeks through to early in 1984. Pipes of Peace peaked at number 4 in the UK and number 15 in the US. Following "Say Say Say", the album's title track became a UK number 1, while in the US, the flipside "So Bad" hit number 23.
Critical reaction was less than that which had greeted Tug of War, many feeling that Pipes of Peace was a weaker execution of its predecessor's formula. In addition, according to McCartney biographer Howard Sounes, the album's commercial reception was "slightly disappointing, considering the quality of the work".
Reviewing the album for the NME, Penny Reel described Pipes of Peace as "A dull, tired and empty collection of quasi-funk and gooey rock arrangements ... with McCartney cooing platitudinous sentiments on a set of lyrics seemingly made up on the spur of the moment." Reel opined that the "one decent moment" was the title track, which he found to be "a Beatlish soiree surely destined as a Christmas single", before concluding: "Even here, however, a note of insincerity in the vocal finally defeats the lyric's objective."
Sounes views Pipes of Peace and its predecessor as "abounding with well-crafted tunes" that almost match the standard of McCartney's work with the Beatles; yet, he adds, the two albums "must be marked down for a surfeit of love ballads with lamentable lyrics". Reviewing the 2015 reissue of Pipes of Peace, for Pitchfork Media, Ron Hart notes that, at the time of release, "Some critics derided McCartney for aging gracelessly", yet "a good listen to the album today reveals some ways it was ahead of its time." Hart writes of the song "Tug of Peace": "an early, primitive version of a mash-up that brought together the title cuts of these underappreciated albums. The blend is clunky, but it foreshadows his electronic music work as the Fireman and on Liverpool Sound Collage."
By contrast, Jeff Strowe of PopMatters considers that the album "presents McCartney at his most regrettable", and views "Pipes of Peace" and "Tug of Peace" as, respectively, a "woefully underdeveloped title track" and a "dreadful mashup". Strowe writes more favourably of "Say Say Say", however, describing it as "catchy in that pure '80s manner", and highlights "Sweetest Little Show" and "Average Person" as "a nice one-two punch of refreshing creativity that give the proceedings a much needed spark of interest and vitality".
|The Paul McCartney Collection's 1993 reissue bonus tracks|
|12.||"Twice in a Lifetime" (title song for a 1985 film of the same name)||2:59|
|13.||"We All Stand Together" (non-album single)||4:22|
|14.||"Simple as That" (from The Anti-Heroin Project - It's A Live-In World album)||4:17|
In 2015 the album was re-issued by Hear Music/Concord Music Group as part of the six set of releases, alongside Tug of War, in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. It was released in multiple formats:
Digital Standard: Standard Res - without Ebooklet Standard Res - with Ebooklet Mastered for iTunes - without Ebooklet Hi-Res - 24bit 96 kHz - with Ebooklet -
Deluxe: Standard Res (with or without Ebooklet) Mastered for iTunes (with Ebooklet) Hi-Res - 24bit 96 kHz (with Ebooklet)
The original 11-track album.
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||201,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|url=(help) Available at Rock's Backpages (subscription required).
|url=value (help) (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010.