Recording "Somebody Who Cares"

Monday, February 9, 1981 • For Paul McCartney

Part of

"Tug Of War" sessions at AIR Studios, Montserrat

February 2 till March 3, 1981 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Tug Of War

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Tug Of War Official album.
AIR Studios, Montserrat

Master release

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Drummer Steve Gadd and bass player Stanley Clarke arrived in Montserrat on February 8th.

I had a phone call while I was in a restaurant in San Francisco, saying that Paul McCartney wanted to record with me. So I went to Montserrat. I remember flying from Antigua, on a prop plane – it was not a jet for sure! […] The studio was in the middle of the jungle, and I stayed in a cottage with French windows. It was the exact opposite of the industrial area where the studios I normally recorded in at that time were!

I had met Paul at Ronnie Scott’s in London. He had come to see us play in the New Voyages and we had a chat then. We were a new kind of jazz-fusion-funk-latin band. For him to ask me to play with him was quite something, me being another bass player. Paul is great in the studio with all the other musicians, explaining to everyone how he wants to do it. Once you get into the studio, all the egos and all the fame are left behind; you are just musicians, all the same and all together. It was a privilege to record with Paul.

I was there for about a week, and I thought George Martin was the greatest producer ever. I wanted to watch how he and Paul worked together; and even when we were not recording I was pretty much in the control room all the time. It was great to see them work together. There was one moment when they were trying to work out if the tape was running fast or slow. George worked it out mathematically and this was something I had never seen anyone else do in that way. It was so ingenious.

Stanley Clarke, from Tug Of War Archive Collection, 2015

The first day of recording with the two of them was spent on “Somebody Who Cares” which had just been written by Paul the day before.

I wrote it out one Sunday afternoon. In Montserrat we used to take weekends off just to kinda have some holiday as well as recording, and this Sunday afternoon I was anticipating Steve Gadd’s arrival, and Steve and Stanley Clarke were coming in, and I liked the idea of writing something for them coming, you know, so it would be fresh for everyone.

Paul McCartney, From an interview with Club Sandwich, 1982

Last updated on May 13, 2020

Songs recorded


Somebody Who Cares

Written by Paul McCartney




Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Spanish guitar, Vocal
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar, Synthesizer
Stanley Clarke:
Steve Gadd:
Percussion, Drums

Production staff

George Martin:
Geoff Emerick:
Recording engineer
Mike Stavrou:
Assistant 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.

Shop on Amazon

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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