The Paul McCartney Project

Figure Of Eight

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flowers In The Dirt Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1989
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other singles from "Flowers In The Dirt"

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Figure of Eight” is a song from Paul McCartney’s 1989 album, Flowers in the Dirt. After the completion of the album, McCartney recorded a new version for single release, using his newly formed touring band. The single version is unusual in running nearly two minutes longer than the album version, rather than following the typical radio edit pattern of shortening the track for single release. Despite this quirk, the single reached number 42 on the UK singles chart and number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Like other songs from Flowers in the Dirt, despite the song’s modest chart success, to date it has not been included on any McCartney compilation album.

Figure of Eight” was the opening song throughout McCartney’s 1989–1990 world concert tour. A version recorded in Rotterdam on 10 November 1989 appeared on the live album from the tour, Tripping the Live Fantastic.

This song was released as a 7″ single, a 12″ maxi-single, and a CD single.

Paul McCartney in “Club Sandwich 52, Summer 1989“:

Very spontaneous, very rough; another two-day effort with Trevor…The vocal is live, which I like with all that rough-ness… There were certain con-ditions… that I put on them (Trevor and Steve Lipson). And… they made me do stuff that they hadn’t heard me do recently… it was great, I really enjoyed it.

Paul McCartney, in People Music, March 24, 2017:

“I liked the philosophy behind the lyrics of this song. I like the idea of not being caught in a figure of eight. Better to love than give in to hate, which now sounds to me like the U.S. elections.”

Last updated on April 13, 2017

Lyrics

(Well) you've got me dancing
In a figure of eight,
Don't know if I'm coming or going,
I'm early or late.
Round and round the ring I go,
I want to know, I want to know,
Why can't we travel a continuous line?
Make love reliable covenant all the time,
Up and down the hills I go.
I got to know, I got to know.

Is it better to love one another
Than to go for a walk in the dark?
Is it better to love than to give in to hate?
Yeah we'd better take good care of each other
Avoid slipping back off the straight and narrow,
It's better by far than getting stuck
In a figure of eight.

(Well) figure it out for yourself little girl,
It don't go nowhere at all,
It's nothing more than a tape loop
In a big dance hall.
You've got me running in a figure of eight,
Don't know if I'm coming or going,
I'm early or late,
(Well) round and round that little ring I go,
I want to know, I want to know

Is it better to love one another
Than to go for a walk in the dark?
Is it better to love than to give in to hate?
Yeah we'd better take good care of each other
Avoid slipping back off the straight and narrow,
It's better by far than getting stuck
In a figure of eight.

Officially appears on


Flowers In The Dirt

Official album • Released in 1989

3:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Celeste, Electric guitar, Handclaps, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Handclaps, Mini moog
Chris Whitten:
Drums, Handclaps
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Steve Lipson:
Computer programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Handclaps, Keyboards, Producer

Session Recording:
December 21st-24th, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Figure of Eight

CD Single • Released in 1989

5:11 • Studio version


Figure Of Eight

CD Single • Released in 1989

5:13 • Studio version


Tripping The Live Fantastic

Official live • Released in 1990

5:33 • LiveL1

Performed by:
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyRobbie McIntoshHamish StuartPaul WickensChris Whitten
Paul McCartney:
Producer
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Matt Butler:
Assistant engineer
Peter Henderson:
Producer
Bob Clearmountain:
Mixing engineer, Producer
Jeff Cohen:
Recording engineer
Geoff Foster:
Assistant engineer
Scott Hull:
Assistant engineer
George Cowan:
Assistant engineer
Paul Rushbrook:
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Nov 10, 1989


Paul McCartney ROCKS

Official album • Released in 1990

3:59 • Studio version


Flowers In The Dirt - Special Package

Official album • Released in 1990

3:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Celeste, Electric guitar, Handclaps, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Handclaps, Mini moog
Chris Whitten:
Drums, Handclaps
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Steve Lipson:
Computer programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Handclaps, Keyboards, Producer

Session Recording:
December 21st-24th, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Flowers In The Dirt (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Celeste, Electric guitar, Handclaps, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Handclaps, Mini moog
Chris Whitten:
Drums, Handclaps
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Steve Lipson:
Computer programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Handclaps, Keyboards, Producer

Session Recording:
December 21st-24th, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

3:27 • Studio versionA • 2017 remaster


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

5:13 • Studio version • 12” Bob Clearmountain Mix

Live performances

“Figure Of Eight” has been played in 104 concerts and 4 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Figure Of Eight” has been played








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