The Paul McCartney Project

Rough Ride

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

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

Rough Ride” appears on “Flowers In The Dirt“, and is the result of two days of work with producers Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson in October 1987.

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

I was going to work with Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson, and I’d heard that Trevor takes a long time… so it seemed to me that it might be a good idea if we could try and limit him to a short period and see what we could get done… I said well I’ve got this crazy little thing that you won’t like, it’s called ‘Rough Ride’. He said I love the title already…it grew from a nothing little 12-bar and by the end of the second day we’d mixed it, which is pretty unheard of these days… they came back with a tarted-up version, and I said well I think it’s a Paul Goes To Holly wood… type of thing, so we kept the original.

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

“I had wanted to work with [’80s super-producers] Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson, and this was the first occasion. They came down to my studio [Hog Hill Mill] and we just cooked this little song up. I liked the feel of it. I thought it had a contemporary feel at the time, and a little bit of urban slick that I liked.

It was a great experience working with them—they’re very thorough. I was showing Trevor the view of the English Channel and the coast outside the window of my studio and saying, ‘Wow, look at that!’ He said, ‘No, there’s the view!’ and he points to the speaker. [laughs] I saw his point. We ended up closing the windows and getting into the music. Steve was great to work with, too. He’s a great engineer and musician. So the two of them together, it was a pleasure.”

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

[…] Trevor Horn: Steve Lipson and I lifted the beat [for Rough Ride] from Experience Unlimited which is a go-go band that we really liked.

Stephen Lipson: When we got there it was just him, so we were the band, the three of us. I had this bass sound I had been working on, it was a huge bass sound, two synths. I don’t think anyone had gone this far with all the gear. I had a little mini-keyboard and so McCartney comes in and I was fiddling around and he went oh you play the bass. So I was the rhythm section; bass and drums. Trevor had a keyboard and Macca was playing the guitar. And we started going through this tune and I remember at numerous points thinking this is weird, I’m playing the bass and that is Paul McCartney – fucking hell.

Trevor Horn: We started to put the song over that beat and he liked it, I could tell he was liking it and I always remember I changed the chords in the middle eight, I just re-jigged them and he said, “Oh no, those aren’t the chords for the middle eight” and I said, “They are now” and he laughed. Because as I said it was just the three of us so we’re going to kind of change things around.

Stephen Lipson: There was no ‘Paul Goes To Hollywood’ version of Rough Ride. I don’t remember anything like that. I think it developed and it was finished.

Trevor Horn: No, there wasn’t. There was a moment where he was playing [something else], people are playing, I think Linda’s playing the Mellotron and he’s playing electric guitar and one of the crew came running in because we were trying to finish off Rough Ride and shouted, “Quick, quick he’s playing, go into record” and Steve had a stick that we used to call the ‘lipstick’, Steve’s lipstick, and he poked this guy and he said, “And we’re mixing, out, out” and poked him and the guy went out, we didn’t go into record.

Stephen Lipson: The stick was something I had at Sarm [studios] because the consoles, the SSRs are very deep. And I get so fed up, so I got this stick and I hit the buttons with the stick because I was accurate with the stick.

Trevor Horn: The other thing I remember about Rough Ride was that he only sang it three times and it was mostly the third take. He sang it three times and he came into the control room and I said, “The third take was the take” and Lippo said, “Yes, first two weren’t up to much, but the third one was good”. That was the difference between me and Steve, I would never say something like that, I always look for the positive! […]

Trevor Horn: […] The other thing that I remember about Rough Ride was that we brought Linda in and Linda played some really great synths. She came up with this idea for a mini-moog part. We really liked Linda. So I was pretty keen to get her on the record. She also seemed to have a really good influence on him. He really liked her, if you know what I mean. [I know] that’s a dumb thing to say, but he did. Sometimes you meet people who don’t like their wives, you know.

Stephen Lipson: She was wonderful; absolutely brilliant. I haven’t got a bad thought in my head about her. She was the best; so warm. She invited us into their lives in a really lovely way. And that was Rough Ride. And then we mixed it. […]

Trevor Horn: No, we had such a good experience on Rough Ride that he wanted to do it again. There was a lot going on and it caused a little bit of friction at one point because Simple Minds suddenly wanted to be finished and I had to cancel a couple of sessions and put them back a couple of months. I was surprised at the time that Rough Ride wasn’t a single. I didn’t think My Brave Face was as good as Rough Ride. […]

Last updated on April 13, 2017

Lyrics

I needed loving, needed a friend
I needed something that would be there in the end.
On a rough ride to heaven
Want to get inside, what will I do?
On a rough ride to heaven,
I want to get inside to be with you.

I knew you'd help me, I knew you could.
You knew I didn't want to be misunderstood.
On a rough ride to heaven,
Want to get inside, what will I do?
On a rough ride to heaven,
I want to get inside to be with you.

I'm not asking for an easy passage,
So I hope you understand,
I'm not after any special treatment,
But I wouldn't mind a hand.
On a rough ride, on a rough ride,
On a rough ride, on a rough ride,
On a rough ride to heaven,
I want to get inside, what will I do?

Officially appears on


Flowers In The Dirt

Official album • Released in 1989

4:44 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Figure Of Eight

CD Single • Released in 1989

4:54 • Studio rehearsalB • From the video "Put It There"

Paul McCartney:
Producer
Eddie Klein:
Project engineer
Matt Butler:
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Peter Henderson:
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
April 26-28th, 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Tripping The Live Fantastic

Official live • Released in 1990

4:48 • 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 Paris, France on Oct 10, 1989


Paul McCartney ROCKS

Official album • Released in 1990

4:44 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flowers In The Dirt - Special Package

Official album • Released in 1990

4:44 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flowers In The Dirt - Special Package

Official album • Released in 1990

4:53 • Studio rehearsalB

Paul McCartney:
Producer
Eddie Klein:
Project engineer
Matt Butler:
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Peter Henderson:
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
April 26-28th, 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flowers In The Dirt (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:44 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Motor Of Love

Official album • Released in 2005

4:40 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

4:45 • Studio versionA.2017 • 2017 remaster

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer
Sam Okell:
Remastering
Alex Wharton:
Remastering

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.23

Unofficial album

0:09 • Studio version • Demonstration "Put It There" video


Friends Of The Earth

Unofficial live

4:46 • Live

Concert From the concert in Hamburg, Germany on Oct 03, 1989




Oobu Joobu Part 10

Unofficial album • Released in 1995

3:30 • Radio show


Live performances

“Rough Ride” has been played in 103 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Rough Ride” has been played








Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.