The Paul McCartney Project

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
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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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-‘70s pop production and a pure pleasure.”

 

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Last updated on September 20, 2018

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 engineer
Pete Henderson:
Engineer
Steve Howard:
Horns
Tony Dorsey:
Horns, String arrangements

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


Give My Regards To Broad Street

Official album • Released in 1984

5:27 • Studio versionB

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

All The Best!

Official album • Released in 1987

5:56 • Studio version


Wings At The Speed Of Sound (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

5:57 • Studio versionA


Give My Regards To Broad Street (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

5:27 • Studio versionB


Wingspan Hits And History

Official album • Released in 2001

5:55 • Studio version


Never Stop Doing What You Love

Official album • Released in 2005

5:54 • Studio version


Wings Over America - Archive Collection

Official live • Released in 2013

6:04 • LiveL1.2013 • 2013 remaster

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
Guy Massey:
Remastering
Steve Rooke:
Remastering
Simon Gibson:
Remastering

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


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


Videos

Live performances

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

Latest concerts where “Silly Love Songs” has been played








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Eduardo Reyes 3 months 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 3 months 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 !