Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five

Album This song officially appears on the Band On The Run (UK version) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1973

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” (sometimes written as “1985”) is a song by the British–American rock band Paul McCartney and Wings, released as the final track on their 1973 album Band on the Run. It has been featured on the 2001 documentary DVD Wingspan and Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1974 TV special One Hand Clapping. A 2016 remix of the song was nominated for a Grammy Award. The song was referenced in Brett Easton Ellis’s novel Glamorama, driving a group of fictional supermodels to extreme terrorist acts.

Lyrics and music

Paul McCartney has said that the song originated with just the first line.

“With a lot of songs I do, the first line is it. It’s all in the first line, and then you have to go on and write the second line. With ‘Eleanor Rigby’ I had ‘picks up the rice in the church where the wedding has been.’ that was the one big line that started me off on it. With this one it was ‘No one ever left alive in nineteen hundred and eighty-five.’ That’s all I had of that song for months. ‘No one ever left alive in nineteen hundred and eighty… six?’ It wouldn’t have worked!”

The tune is the climactic track from the album Band on the Run. It continues the album’s theme of escape by describing the singer achieving artistic freedom through love. Author Andrew Grant Jackson calls the lyrics “gibberish” and mere placeholders for the excitement and “cinematic purpose” of the music.”

The song has a grandiose ending with a full orchestra and the band. Other instrumentation includes mellotron, organ and horns. The album version ends with an excerpt of the opening song’s chorus. This song is featured on several episodes of Trigger Happy TV. In its early life, it was simply titled “Piano Thing”. […]

Live performances

“Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” was never performed live by Wings. McCartney performed the song live for the first time ever during his 2010–2011 Up and Coming Tour. He played the song live again during his 2011–2012 On the Run Tour, his 2013–2015 Out There Tour, his 2016–2017 One on One Tour, his performance on 26 July 2018 in the Liverpool Cavern Club, his 2018–2019 Freshen Up tour and at 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief.

Cover versions

[…] In 2016, German producer Timo Maas and Canadian DJ James Teej released a remix of the track with McCartney’s approval. Their version received a Grammy nomination for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. […]

This was originally a little thing I couldn’t get words to, except for the first phrase. But the words just came to me the day we were due to record, and I think it’s turned out quite well.

Paul McCartney – From interview with Disc Magazine, 1973

Last updated on March 19, 2022

Lyrics

Oh no one ever left alive in 1985, will ever do
She may be right
She may be fine
She may get love but she won't get mine
‘Cos I got you

Oh I Oh I

Well I just can't enough of that sweet stuff
My little lady gets behind

INTERLUDE

Oh my mama said the time would come when I
would find myself in love with you
I didn't think
I never dreamed
That I would be around to see it all come true

Woh I Oh I

Well I just can't enough of that sweet stuff
My little lady gets behind.

INTERLUDE

Oh no one ever left alive in 1985 . . .

FINALE

Officially appears on


Band On The Run (US version)

Official album • Released in 1973

5:31 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Late October / Early November 1973
Studio :
Kingsway Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Band On The Run (UK version)

Official album • Released in 1973

5:31 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Late October / Early November 1973
Studio :
Kingsway Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Band On The Run (Quadraphonic version)

Official album • Released in 1974

5:31 • Studio versionB • DTS Mix / Quadraphonic version

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Early 1974
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


One Hand Clapping (2 LP edition)

LP • Released in 1974

5:50 • Studio versionI • The same version as presented on Band on the Run archive edition - a composite take of Paul live in Studio Two, and the album version with a live vocal overdub. One difference here, the very end does not crossfade with Band On The Run.

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals
Jimmy McCulloch :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Geoff Britton :
Drums
Mark Vigars :
Assistant recording engineer
Steve Orchard :
Mixing engineer

Session Recording:
Aug 30, 1974
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Early 2024
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Band On The Run (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

5:31 • Studio versionA1993 • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings
Peter Mew :
Remastering

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Late October / Early November 1973
Studio :
Kingsway Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Band On The Run (DTS 5.1)

Official album • Released in 1996

5:31 • Studio versionB • DTS Mix / Quadraphonic version

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Early 1974
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Band On The Run (25th Anniversary)

Official album • Released in 1999

5:31 • Studio versionA1999 • 1999 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer, Remastering
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings
Greg Calbi :
Remastering

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Late October / Early November 1973
Studio :
Kingsway Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Band On The Run - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2010

5:32 • Studio versionA2010 • 2010 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Shaker (?), Synthesizers, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Organ, Shaker (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Bass (?), Electric guitar
Tony Visconti :
Orchestration
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant engineer
Pete Swettenham :
Assistant engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Horns, Strings
Steve Rooke :
Remastering
Simon Gibson :
Remastering
Sam Okell :
Remastering

Session Recording:
October 1973
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Late October / Early November 1973
Studio :
Kingsway Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Band On The Run - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2010

6:00 • TV showC • From "One Hand Clapping"

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny LaineJimmy McCullochGeoff Britton
Paul McCartney :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Mark Vigars :
Assistant recording engineer
John Barrett :
Assistant mixing engineer

Session Recording:
Aug 30, 1974
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 29, 1974
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five

12" Single • Released in 2016

6:01 • Studio versionD • Remix

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny Laine
Paul McCartney :
Producer
Tony Visconti :
Conductor
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Monday :
Assistant recording engineer
Beaux Arts Orchestra :
Orchestra
James Teej :
Mixing engineer, Producer, Programming
Timo Maas :
Mixing engineer, Producer, Programming
David Katz :
Orchestra contractor
Peter Swettenham :
Assistant recording engineer
Sascha "Busy" Bühren :
Mastering engineer

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