The Paul McCartney Project

Getting Closer

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Back To The Egg Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1979

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


"Back To The Egg" sessions #3

October - December 1978


"Back To The Egg" sessions #5

March - April 1979

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Getting Closer” is a rock song from the Anglo-American rock band Wings, Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles band. The song was released on the album Back to the Egg.

Background

Despite being released in 1979, Paul McCartney wrote “Getting Closer” in 1974, recording a piano demo for the song later that year. Upon being resurrected by the band for Back to the Egg, the song, originally at a slower tempo, was transformed into a “driving rocker.”

“Getting Closer” and the unreleased song “Cage” were off of demos, the latter being one that Paul and Denny did together. There were times when there was a demo aspect to the sessions, and in some cases we created demos to see how the tune was shaping up. — Laurence Juber, Daytrippin’

Like most of the songs off of Back to the Egg, “Getting Closer” bears an influence from punk and new wave music. Author and Mojo contributor Tom Doyle describes Wings’ version as “power-popping” and reminiscent of the English band Squeeze.

Juber said of the guitars used in the song: “I think I played my Martin D28 on the rhythm track and some Les Paul Custom (the one in the video) for the electric.

Release

Getting Closer,” backed with “Spin It On,” was released in the US in June 1979 as the first single from Back to the Egg. The single reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as #20 on Cashbox and #22 on Record World. Despite not being released as the first single in the UK (“Old Siam, Sir” was used instead), the song did see a UK single release in August 1979. Marketed as a Double A-side with “Baby’s Request,” the single was a relative flop, only peaking at #60.

For the release of Back to the Egg, a special was made featuring music videos for multiple songs, including “Getting Closer.” “Old Siam, Sir“, “Spin It On” and “Arrow Through Me” were among the tracks for which videos were made. […]

This is a straight-ahead rock tune with layered crunchy guitars. Paul, who liked to put his rhythmic stamp on a track, spent some time overdubbing a driving part on his Epiphone Casino amped with a Vox AC30 a Beatles’ gear combo for sure, although there was nothing overtly Beatle-esque about the track. The ending section was not completed for some months.

Laurence Juber, in Guitar With Wings, 2014

Getting Closer. Basic guitar was a Fender Stratocaster. To achieve a staccato sound we employed the unusual technique of hitting the guitar strings with a drum stick instead of a plectrum. I also played an Ovation acoustic and Denny a Martin D28 among other things.

Laurence Juber, from Club Sandwich N°14, April / May 1979

Last updated on March 7, 2020

Lyrics

Say you don't love him
My salamander
Why do you need him
* Oh no don't answer
Oh no I'm getting closer
I'm getting closer
To your heart

Keeping ahead
Of the rain
On the road
Watching my windscreen wipers
Radio playing me a danceable ode
Cattle beware of snipers

When will you see me
My salamander
Now don't try to tell me
Repeat*

Hitting the chisel
And making a joint
Glueing my fingers together
Radio play me a song with a point
Sailor beware of weather

l'm getting closer
My salamander
Well when will we be there
Repeat*

I'm getting closer
To your heart
I'm getting closer
To your heart

Closer closer
Closer closer
Closer closer
Closer closer

Officially appears on


Back To The Egg

Official album • Released in 1979

3:23 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Mellotron, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Laurence Juber :
Electric guitar
Steve Holley :
Drums
Mark Vigars :
Assistant engineer
Phil McDonald :
Engineer
Chris Thomas :
Producer

Session Recording:
October 1978
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
March 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


Getting Closer / Baby's Request

7" Single • Released in 1979

Studio versionA1

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Mellotron, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Laurence Juber :
Electric guitar
Steve Holley :
Drums
Mark Vigars :
Assistant engineer
Phil McDonald :
Engineer
Chris Thomas :
Producer

Session Recording:
October 1978
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


Getting Closer / Spin It On

7" Single • Released in 1979

Studio version


Back To The Egg (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:23 • Studio versionA

Session Recording:
October 1978
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
March 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 6

Unofficial album

2:52 • Demo • Piano demo - Early 1974


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.13

Unofficial album

3:22 • Alternate take

Recording :
October 1978


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.14

Unofficial album

3:37 • Studio version


Eggs Up

Unofficial album

3:28 • Outtake


The Piano Tape

Unofficial album • Released in 1992

2:53 • DemoB

Recording :
Jul 14, 1974


Live performances

“Getting Closer” has been played in 18 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played


Concert For The People of Kampuchea

Dec 29, 1979 • United Kingdom • London • Hammersmith Odeon







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