Silly Love Songs

Album This song officially appears on the Wings At The Speed Of Sound Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1976

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


"At The Speed Of Sound" sessions #2

January - February 1976



"Give My Regards To Broad Street" sessions

December 1982 to July 1984


Recording "Silly Love Songs"

First half of March 1983

Related interviews



Interview with Laurence Juber

2014 • From Calico Skies Radio


He Can Work It Out

October 2005 • From Bass Player


Interview with Gary Crowley

July 2005 • From EMI


Paul McCartney On His Not-So-Silly Love Songs

Mar 16, 2001 • From Billboard


Paul McCartney - Exclusive interview

Sep 01, 1983 • From International Musician And Recording World


Linda McCartney: Silly Love Songs

Apr 03, 1976 • From Sounds


McCartney: pressure cooking

Mar 27, 1976 • From Melody Maker

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

From Wikipedia:

“Silly Love Songs” is a song written by Paul McCartney and performed by Wings. The song appears on the 1976 album Wings at the Speed of Sound. It was also released as a single in 1976, backed with “Cook of the House”. The song, written in response to music critics accusing him of writing only “silly love songs”, also features disco overtones.

Background

“Silly Love Songs” was written as a rebuttal to music critics, as well as former Beatle and friend, John Lennon, accusing Paul McCartney of writing lightweight love songs. Author Tim Riley suggests that in the song, McCartney is inviting “his audience to have a laugh on him,” as Elvis Presley had sometimes done.

But over the years people have said, “Aw, he sings love songs, he writes love songs, he’s so soppy at times.” I thought, Well, I know what they mean, but, people have been doing love songs forever. I like ’em, other people like ’em, and there’s a lot of people I love — I’m lucky enough to have that in my life. So the idea was that “you” may call them silly, but what’s wrong with that?

The song was, in a way, to answer people who just accuse me of being soppy. The nice payoff now is that a lot of the people I meet who are at the age where they’ve just got a couple of kids and have grown up a bit, settling down, they’ll say to me, “I thought you were really soppy for years, but I get it now! I see what you were doing!”

By the way, “Silly Love Songs” also had a good bassline and worked well live.

McCartney allowed the horn section to create their own parts for the song.

Release

The US single was released on 1 April 1976 and spent five non-consecutive weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Silly Love Songs” was the number 1 pop song in Billboard’s Year-End Charts of 1976. It was also the group’s second of three number ones on the Easy Listening chart. In 2013, Billboard Magazine determined the song is McCartney’s biggest US chart hit of his post-Beatles career, ranking at No. 36 on the “all-time” charts. The UK single was released on 30 April 1976 and reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.

The song was McCartney’s 27th number one as a songwriter, the all-time record for most number one hits by a songwriter. (see List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones) With this song, McCartney became the first person to have a year-end No. 1 song as a member of two distinct acts. He previously hit No. 1 in the year-end Billboard chart with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in 1964 and “Hey Jude” in 1968. In 2008, the song was listed at No. 31 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All Time, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Silly Love Songs” has since appeared on multiple of McCartney’s greatest hits compilations, including Wings Greatest and All the Best!. It also appeared on the “Hits” half of the compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.

Other recordings

In 1976, Wings recorded “Silly Love Songs” live for their triple live album Wings Over America. In 1984, three years after the dissolution of Wings, Paul McCartney re-recorded “Silly Love Songs” for the soundtrack to the critically panned motion picture Give My Regards to Broad Street.

Critical reception

“Silly Love Songs” has generally received positive reviews from critics, despite the common criticism of the song lacking substance. AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the song, as well as its follow-up single, “Let ‘Em In”, as “so lightweight that their lack of substance seems nearly defiant.” Music critic Robert Christgau called the two tracks “charming if lightweight singles”, while Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden said “Silly Love Songs” was “a clever retort whose point is well taken.” John Bergstrom of PopMatters called the song “an exemplary piece of mid-ā€˜70s pop production and a pure pleasure.”

I was getting slagged off for writing luv songs. You see, I’m looking at love not from the perspective of ‘boring old love’, I’m looking at it like when you get married and have a baby. That’s pretty strong: it’s something deeper. For me, that’s what always makes me write the next love song – that I love it. I don’t mind being sentimental, I love the old movies. I’ve never been too ashamed of all that stuff.

Paul McCartney, from Club Sandwich NĀ°47/48, Spring 1988

Originally I wrote this song at about the time when the kind of material I did was a bit out of favour and you had Alice Cooper doing “No More Mr Nice Guy” and that kind of hard parody. I rather picked up a feeling in the air that ballads were being regarded as soppy and love songs as too sentimental.

I thought – so what’s wrong with silly love songs? I was striking a blow for nice sentimental love songs.

In the film this is the second big studio number which we made as if for a video. Really we just wanted to use the opportunity of being in a studio to dress up. The story for the film was that we were on a planet and we were a little music box that appears every day, plays a song and disappears.

Paul McCartney – From the “Give My Regards To Broad Street” book, Pavilion Books, 1984
tumblr_ncxq8niLWP1qk3unwo1_1280[1]
From Paul McCartney on Twitter: Wings at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, 1976 #ThrowbackThursday #TBT
From Oobu Joobu: Photo (tumblr.com) – Wings at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, 1976

Last updated on July 29, 2022

The book "The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present", published in 2021, covers Paul McCartney's early Liverpool days, the Beatles, Wings, and solo careers, by pairing the lyrics of 154 of his songs with first-person commentaries of the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.

"Silly Love Songs" is one of the 154 songs covered.

Lyrics

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs
But I look around me
and I see it isn't so
Some people want to fill the world
with silly love songs
and what's wrong with that?
I'd like to know
cos here I go again

I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you

Ah, I can't explain
the feeling's plain to me
Now can't you see?
Ah, she gave me more
she gave it all to me
Now can't you see?
What's wrong with that?
I need to know
cos here I go again

I love you, I love you

Love doesn't come in a minute
Sometimes it doesn't come at all
I only know that when I'm in it
It isn't silly, no, it isn't silly
Love isn't silly at all

How can I tell you about my loved one?
How can I tell you about my loved one?
How can I tell you about my loved one?
How can I tell you about my loved one?

I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you

Ah, I can't explain
The feeling's plain to me
Say, can't you see?

Ah, he gave me more
He gave it all to me
Say, can't you see?

Ah, I can't explain
The feeling's plain to me
Say, can't you see?

Ah, he gave me more
He gave it all to me
Say, can't you see?

Ah, I can't explain
The feeling's plain to me
Say, can't you see?

Ah, he gave me more
He gave it all to me
Say, can't you see?

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs
But I look around me and I see it isn't so, oh no,
Some people want to fill the world
with silly love songs
And what's wrong with that?

Officially appears on


Wings At The Speed Of Sound

Official album • Released in 1976

5:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Mellotron (?), Percussion (?), Piano (?), Producer, String conductor, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Piano (?)
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar (?)
Howie Casey :
Horns
Joe English :
Drums, Percussion (?)
Thaddeus Richard :
Horns
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer, Assistant recording engineer
Pete Henderson :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Howard :
Horns
Tony Dorsey :
Horns, String arrangements

Session Recording:
Jan 16, 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


Silly Love Songs / Cook Of The House

7" Single • Released in 1976

Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Mellotron (?), Percussion (?), Piano (?), Producer, String conductor, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Piano (?)
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar (?)
Howie Casey :
Horns
Joe English :
Drums, Percussion (?)
Thaddeus Richard :
Horns
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer, Assistant recording engineer
Pete Henderson :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Howard :
Horns
Tony Dorsey :
Horns, String arrangements

Session Recording:
Jan 16, 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


Wings Over America

Official live • Released in 1976

6:05 • LiveL1

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Keyboard, Vocals
Denny Laine :
Piano, Vocals
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar, Vocals
Howie Casey :
Saxophone
Joe English :
Drums, Vocals
Thaddeus Richard :
Saxophone
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer
Phil McDonald :
Mixing engineer, Overdubs recording
Steve Howard :
Trumpet
Tony Dorsey :
Trombone
Jack Maxson :
Recording engineer
Tom Walsh :
Assistant recording engineer

Concert From the concert in New York, USA on May 25, 1976


Wings Greatest

Official album • Released in 1978

5:55 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Mellotron (?), Percussion (?), Piano (?), Producer, String conductor, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Piano (?)
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar (?)
Howie Casey :
Horns
Joe English :
Drums, Percussion (?)
Thaddeus Richard :
Horns
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer, Assistant recording engineer
Pete Henderson :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Howard :
Horns
Tony Dorsey :
Horns, String arrangements

Session Recording:
Jan 16, 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


No More Lonely Nights

12" Single • Released in 1984

4:29 • Studio version


Give My Regards To Broad Street (CD version)

Official album • Released in 1984

5:27 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Electric harpsichord, Vocal
Linda McCartney :
Keyboards, Vocals
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer (?)
Jon Jacobs :
Assistant engineer (?)
Steve Lukather :
Guitar, Vocal
Louis Johnson :
Bass
Jeff Porcaro :
Drums
Jerry Hey :
Horn
Stuart Breed :
Assistant engineer (?)
John Kelly :
Recording engineer (?)
Lawrence Williams :
Horn
Thomas Pergerson :
Horn
Charles Loper :
Horn

Give My Regards To Broad Street (LP version)

Official album • Released in 1984

4:31 • Studio version • Stereo


All The Best! (Box Set)

Official album • Released in 1987

5:53 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Mellotron (?), Percussion (?), Piano (?), Producer, String conductor, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Piano (?)
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar (?)
Howie Casey :
Horns
Joe English :
Drums, Percussion (?)
Thaddeus Richard :
Horns
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer, Assistant recording engineer
Pete Henderson :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Howard :
Horns
Tony Dorsey :
Horns, String arrangements

Session Recording:
Jan 16, 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


All The Best! (UK version)

Official album • Released in 1987

5:56 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Mellotron (?), Percussion (?), Piano (?), Producer, String conductor, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Piano (?)
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar (?)
Howie Casey :
Horns
Joe English :
Drums, Percussion (?)
Thaddeus Richard :
Horns
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer, Assistant recording engineer
Pete Henderson :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Howard :
Horns
Tony Dorsey :
Horns, String arrangements

Session Recording:
Jan 16, 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


All The Best! (US version)

Official album • Released in 1987

5:56 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Mellotron (?), Percussion (?), Piano (?), Producer, String conductor, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Tambourine (?)
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Piano (?)
Jimmy McCulloch :
Electric guitar (?)
Howie Casey :
Horns
Joe English :
Drums, Percussion (?)
Thaddeus Richard :
Horns
Mark Vigars :
Assistant mixing engineer, Assistant recording engineer
Pete Henderson :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Steve Howard :
Horns
Tony Dorsey :
Horns, String arrangements

Session Recording:
Jan 16, 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
January - March 1976
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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


Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

4:54 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

4:47 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

0:40 • Studio version


Wingspan: the Remixes

Unofficial album

5:47 • Studio version • Wings Vs Loop Da Loop Main Mix


Wingspan: the Remixes

Unofficial album

3:26 • Studio version • Wings Vs Loop Da Loop Radio Mix


Films


Silly Love Songs

1976 • For Wings • Directed by Gordon Bennett

Videos

Live performances

“Silly Love Songs” has been played in 43 concerts.

Latest concerts where Silly Love Songs has been played







Going further


Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical ā€“ a total of around 500 songs ā€“ released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

Shop on Amazon

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!

Eduardo Reyes 5 years ago

Due to the amazing bass performance, this is one of my favorites. Do you know why Paul doesn't play it anymore on concerts? The pre-concert DJ do play it, but Paul doesn't


The PaulMcCartney Project 5 years ago

With the brass section added to the new Freshen Up tour, I had expectations that Silly Love Songs would be back. It's also a favorite a mine, especially the live version of 1976 on "Wings Over America" which is fantastic ! Thanks for your message Eduardo !


iliketrees 10 months ago

Hi! I just saw an interview on the South Bank Show in 1978 on youtube (titled The South Bank Show Featuring Paul McCartney (Full Episode) - 14 January 1978 and uploaded by The Beatles Videos), in which Paul mentioned something relevant to this song. It's some years earlier than quotations above, and sort of reveals a self-doubt-to-self-assurance process, which is very interesting to me.
dialogue below might not be that accurate though:(
-After the Beatles broke up you took a lot of stick a little while, did it bother you?
-Yeah. Did it bother me? Yeah. When the Beatles split up, John did a big kind of thing about me, kind of thing you know, "it's all muzak", "it's a load of rubbish" and "you couldn't rock if you tried "and all that, which was all rubbish itself of course. But it did put me off for a while, you know. I must say I'm a bit gullible like that, I kind of listen to people like that, and I sort of listened to him for a few years and used to think, you know, "I can't write another of those soppy love songs", "god I keep writing those", "I've got to get off all that, got to get hard and rocking", you know. But I mean, in the end, I sort of thought, I've got to be myself really. If I like all that, well, I've just got to do it. It's the worst to be ashamed of it. I mean, I think it's bolder to say "what the hell, I like it and may be soppy", you know.
(somehow keep failing to submit this comment lol)


The PaulMcCartney Project 10 months ago

Thanks a lot iliketrees, it's a really nice quote and indeed gives a nice context to "Silly Love Songs"


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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