Recording "Baby Face"

Thursday, February 13, 1975 • For Wings

Part of

Venus And Mars sessions at Sea-Saint Studios

January 16th - February 24th, 1975 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Venus and Mars

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Venus And Mars - Archive Collection Official album.
Sea-Saint Recording Studio, New Orleans, USA

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Paul McCartney recorded a cover of the Tin Pan Alley jazz song “Baby Face” as a solo piano and vocal performance during the filming of the 1974 documentary “One Hand Clapping.”

In February 1975, while Wings was in New Orleans to record their new album, “Venus And Mars,” Paul came up with the idea of recording a backing track for “Baby Face” using a local brass band named the Young Tuxedo Jazz Band.

We did this crazy thing with the Tuxedo Jazz Band in New Orleans. It’s a backing track of me playing ‘Baby Face’ on the piano, for a TV video tape. It should be ready in a couple of months. But when we were in New Orleans I took the track and asked these fellows to overdub, and like these guys don’t know what earphones are, they’re a trad band right? A genuine, New Orleans brass band.

They couldn’t get the tempo for a while, but then they started to get it. It’s a terrible sound if you’re looking at it critically, but it’s got a lovely, joyousness about it. It’s great (Paul broke into a fair imitation of a tailgate trombone), it’s like they’re revving up all the time.

They’re brilliant. The drummer plays bass drum with his… melon…and he has a coat hanger in his left hand, and the bottom half of a hi-hat, which he hits with his coat hanger. So it’s boom, chick-a-boom, and his mate’s got the snare drum. They have this ethnic talent-it’s like a Morris dancing act. I’m not really a jazzer you know, I like it, but I’ve never been into it.

Paul McCartney – Interview with Melody Maker, May 31, 1975

Songs recorded


Baby Face

Written by Harry Akst, Benny Davis

Recording • Orchestra overdubs


Musicians on "Baby Face"

Young Tuxedo Brass Band:
Performed by
Frank Naundorf:
Greg Stafford:
Ted Reilly:
Walter Payton:
Herman Sherman:
Alto saxophone
Joe Torregano:
Emile Know:
Bass drum
Laurence Trotter:
Snare drum

Production staff

Paul McCartney:
Alan O'Duffy:
Recording engineer

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

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Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

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