The Paul McCartney Project

Motor Of Love

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

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Song facts

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

We made a version I wasn’t too happy with, but I liked the song. It was gonna get dumped off the album…so I said why don’t we give it to some independent people…get some objectivity? I think it’s a good song and it might get back as a contender. I’d liked Chris Hughes and Ross Cullum’s work with Tears For Fears…and they worked up a more modern, hi-tech version…’Heavenly Father’ is like an old trick for me, it’s like ‘Mother Mary’. I have a father who’s no longer with us…but I realised the moment you say ‘Heavenly Father’ or ‘Mother Mary’ there’s also that connotation. I like a bit of God though, nothing wrong with that.

From “In Their Own Words: The Producers discuss McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt“, by Super Deluxe Edition blog:

Chris Hughes: He sent over the tapes of Motor of Love, and back in the day it was two-inch tapes. It was basically “have a little listen to this, and see what you think”. I went to a studio in Fulham, I listened to the track, and I instantly thought, well it’s unfinished as a piece of writing. There’s no middle eight. It was somewhere between a demo and a master. But I made a copy of the tape and basically cut it at a certain point and put 12 bars of just time, just a little drum box in time, and glued it back together.

He came over to the studio, and this is the amazing thing… I said, “forgive me, but I think there is a middle eight missing here, it just feels incomplete. I’ve put a landing strip of 12 bars blank in the track, and wondered if you just wanted to try something out.” This was astounding. We plugged in a little electric keyboard, and he said, “ok, run it down”. We ran down the track, and literally, as it got to the blank bit, he started playing, and humming, and played it and finished it and rounded it off into the track. It was astounding, it was one take. Literally the second take, the second pass, he’d written it with the tune, and ten minutes, quarter of an hour later, he said, these could be the words. Honestly, it was astounding watching him create from absolute scratch and putting it in the track. That was for me, amazing. Anyway, he quite liked the fact it had gone well. Then we went down to his place, the Windmill, and started recording for real. […]

Motor of Love, even in its demo version, was alluding to being quite lush. It was slow and it was this slushy, lush ballad-y thing he was trying to get. We did layers and layers of Linda and samples and God knows what, as one did at that time. I listened to it the other day and I thought, fucking hell it’s so much of its time. That little place where there were string pads and synths and Fairlights and snare drums that went on for days, and snare drums being too loud. I think he was quite enjoying the nature of it sounding a little less like him and sounding a bit like some records that sound like that. The two or three things that are typical of him are the chord progressions [which] are Macca-y and his bass playing, as you’d expect. […]

Last updated on April 1, 2017

Lyrics

I can't get over your love
No matter how hard life seems,
There's a light in my dreams
Thanks to you.

My friends keep asking me why
There's such a smile on my face,
There's a home at my place,
Thanks to you.

I don't want anything from you,
Turn on your motor of love.

Motor of love, motor of love.
Heavenly father look down from above,
I can't get over your powerful
Motor of love.

I can't get over your love
No matter how lost I feel,
I know my love is real,
Thanks to you.

You simply reached out your hand
And touched me deep in my soul,
I came in out of the cold,
Thanks to you.

I won't steal anything from you,
You give me more than enough.
Motor of love, motor of love,
Heavenly father look down from above,
I can't get over your powerful
Motor of love.

There was a time
When I was down and counted out,
Well I remember I felt so bad
I nearly threw away,
Nearly threw away the keys.

Motor of love, motor of love
Heavenly father look down from above,
Motor of love, motor of love,
Heavenly father look down from above,
I can't get over your powerful
Motor of love.

Officially appears on


Flowers In The Dirt

Official album • Released in 1989

6:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Greg Hawkes:
Keyboards
Chris Hughes:
Computer programming, Drums, Producer
Ross Cullum:
Engineer, Producer

Session Recording:
January 1989
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 - Special Package

Official album • Released in 1990

6:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Greg Hawkes:
Keyboards
Chris Hughes:
Computer programming, Drums, Producer
Ross Cullum:
Engineer, Producer

Session Recording:
January 1989
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

6:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Greg Hawkes:
Keyboards
Chris Hughes:
Computer programming, Drums, Producer
Ross Cullum:
Engineer, Producer

Session Recording:
January 1989
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


Motor Of Love

Official album • Released in 2005

6:11 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Greg Hawkes:
Keyboards
Chris Hughes:
Computer programming, Drums, Producer
Ross Cullum:
Engineer, Producer

Session Recording:
January 1989
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

6:28 • Studio versionA • 2017 remaster

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.22

Unofficial album

1:21 • Studio version


Flowers In The Dirt - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

6:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Greg Hawkes:
Keyboards
Chris Hughes:
Computer programming, Drums, Producer
Ross Cullum:
Engineer, Producer

Session Recording:
January 1989
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


Where Footprints Never Go - Unofficial Rarities - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

1:21 • Studio version • [demo]

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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Darren 3 years ago

Phil Keaggy covered 'Motor Of Love' on his 2000 album Inseparable. Phil is also a fan of The Beatles (he's performed a few covers in concert) and met Paul McCartney in person. See story below.

http://www.classicchristianrockzine.com/2015/08/phil-keaggy-and-paul-mccartney-1991.html


The PaulMcCartney Project 3 years ago

Thanks Darren. I didn't know this story ! 1991 is around when I really digged into Paul McCartney - with the release of Unplugged. Still like to see pictures of this era - those are news to me ! Thanks again.