The Paul McCartney Project

Off The Ground

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Off The Ground Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1993
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Off the Ground” is a song by Paul McCartney and is from the album from the same name. The video can be seen on the DVD collection, The McCartney Years. The video was shot by Industrial Light & Magic. Some behind the scenes footage can be seen on the out of print VHS, Movin’ On. The video features “Soggy Noddle“, a short acoustic piece played as an intro which can be found as a B-side on the single release. In the US, it reached number 27 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

The song was played live during The New World Tour that followed the release of the album; however, the song was omitted on the live album, Paul Is Live.

Off The Ground is a song where Paul McCartney used computers during the recording:

Well, right at the end of doing the album Wix said to me “We’ve worked very naturally on this album but there’s one thing we haven’t tried and that is a computer thing”. And I said “Well, I don’t really want to waste a lot of time on it” and he said “You might want to spend a day on it, though, for a change, just to do something a bit different now that we’ve already got most of the album”, so I thought yeah, it might be fun, actually. So we gave the rest of the band a day off, and just me, Wix and the production team went into the control room for the day – that’s where you mainly do computer stuff.

One of the songs that had been on my list but hadn’t got onto the album was ‘Off The Ground’, which at that time was a little folk song. I liked it but it didn’t really fit onto the album so I thought that if we were just going to play around and experiment, maybe even waste a song, we might as well do it with that one. So I brought it in and we started to kick it around. We soon started to get a rhythm track in the computer that changed the song’s direction a bit and made it more exciting. Then I said “OK, let me go in and put a little heavy guitar on it”. So we really started enjoying it: we put a bit of machine bass on, which started to make it more funky, then percussion, then I sang on it and it really started to come together as a track. By the end of the day we’d pretty much finished it, with just a few little harmonies and a solo from Robbie still to come. 

After I got home that night I happened to be speaking to one of my daughters on the phone and she asked what I’d done that day, and when I said ‘Off The Ground’ she said “That’s a great album title!” and it made me think of it in that way for the first time. So it became the title of the album. 

Paul McCartney – From Club Sandwich interview

PAUL WIX WICKENS: I think since the last tour Paul’s become more aware of technology, even though he still has his original four-track set up at his place in Scotland the way it always has been, quite an antique.

PAUL: Wix had said to me if I ever wanted to try computer recording as an alternative to all the live stuff we’d been doing he’d come in one day and we could have a goof around. I said to everyone else, have a day off. I had this song, Off The Ground, rather folksy, (sings) doodle- doodle-doodle-da-dum, cha! — a fruity little folk song.

PAUL WIX WICKENS : You should have heard the demo. It’s nothing like the album version. I thought, Oh my God, how am I going to do this? And he wanted to build it entirely on the computer. But we bashed ahead, put some drum loops in, the feel changed totally, we messed around, added some Robbie guitar, and it worked out brilliantly. Got it done in a day, basically.

PAUL: And it ended up being the title track, the song that nearly didn’t make it.

PAUL WIX WICKENS: “It was nice from my point of view because if you’re not familiar with technology it can seem a hassle, time-consuming and breaking down all the time. Computers are trouble, you know. But technology’s not a problem in music. It’s a matter of how you use it. I use the same technology that The Shamen use. You can plug into a computer and miss the point — but you don’t have to.

From the “New World Tour” tour book

Off The Ground was not initially considered to be part of the album ; but finally gave its name to it :

I happened to be speaking to my daughter and she said, ‘What did you do today, dad?’, and I said, ‘We did this song. It’s called Off The Ground’. She said, ‘Oh, that’s a great album title!

Paul McCartney, from The Beatles, The Dream Is Over, Off The Record 2 by Keith Badman

Different mixes (the Radio Remix by Bob Clearmountain, the Radio Remix by Keith Cohen, the AC Edit by Larry Walsh) have been created and made available for US radios, in an effort to boost diffusion and sales.

A promotional video has been shot in San Rafael, California, early December 1992 and completed in February 1993, directed by Matthew Robbins. This video includes “Soggy Noodle” as its introduction.

Last updated on June 15, 2019

Lyrics

There must have been a lot of heartache
For you to sink so low.
You must have had a ton of pressure.
Only answer if the answer's no.

I need loving, you need loving too.
Doesn't take a lot to get off the ground.

There must have been a lot of magic
When the world was born.
Let me be the one you wish for,
One you call for, when you're all alone.

I need loving, you need loving too.
Wouldn't take a lot to get off the ground.

Off the ground, off the ground.
Fly around, fly around.
Hear the sound, hear the sound.
Off the ground, off the ground.

Though it takes a lot of power
To make a big tree grow.
It doesn't need a pot of knowledge.
For a seed knows what a seed must know.

You need loving, I need loving too.
Doesn't take a lot to get off the ground.

Off the ground, off the ground.
Fly around, fly around.
Hear the sound, hear the sound.
Off the ground, off the ground.

Hear the sound, hear the sound.
Off the ground, off the ground.
Yeah yeah, off the ground.

Officially appears on


Off The Ground

Official album • Released in 1993

3:40 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off the Ground - The Complete Works

Official album • Released in 1993

3:41 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off the Ground

7" Single • Released in 1993

3:51 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off the Ground

EP • Released in 1993

3:51 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off The Ground (promo CD1)

CD Single • Released in 1993

3:38 • Studio versionA1 • Radio remix by Bob Clearmountain

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer
Bob Clearmountain:
Remix

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off The Ground (promo CD2)

CD Single • Released in 1993

3:38 • Studio versionA2 • Radio Remix by Keith Cohen

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer
Keith Cohen:
Additional production and remix
Tom Daugherty:
Additional programming, Assistant engineer
Ulrich Wild:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off The Ground (promo CD3)

CD Single • Released in 1993

Studio versionA2b • AC Edit by Larry Walsh

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer
Keith Cohen:
Additional production and remix
Tom Daugherty:
Additional programming, Assistant engineer
Ulrich Wild:
Assistant engineer
Larry Walsh:
Editing

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Off The Ground (Japan)

EP • Released in 1993

3:38 • Studio versionA3 • Extended version - with the a-capella intro if the Keith Cohen remix the album version

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar, Percussion
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Percussion
Paul Wickens:
Backing vocals, Computer programming, Keyboards, Piano, Synth-bass
Julian Mendelsohn:
Producer
Bob Kraushaar:
Engineer
Keith Cohen:
Additional production and remix
Tom Daugherty:
Additional programming, Assistant engineer
Ulrich Wild:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
December 1991 - July 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September - October 1992
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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

Bootlegs


Off The Ground Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

3:59 • Studio versionA4 • Video Sound Track mix


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.23

Unofficial album

3:53 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

4:09 • Soundcheck

Concert From the concert in Las Vegas, USA on Apr 14, 1993


Magical Toronto Night

Unofficial live

4:12 • Live

Concert From the concert in Toronto, Canada on Jun 06, 1993


Let Me Roll It To Boulder

Unofficial live

4:07 • Live

Concert From the concert in Boulder, USA on May 26, 1993


Videos

Album • Off The Ground

Live performances

“Off The Ground” has been played in 81 concerts and 8 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Off The Ground” has been played








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