The Paul McCartney Project

Spies Like Us

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Spies Like Us / My Carnival 7" Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1985

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Other original film songs by Paul McCartney


Vanilla Sky

Officially appears on Music From Vanilla Sky



Live And Let Die

Officially appears on Live And Let Die

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Spies Like Us” is the title song to the 1985 Warner Bros. motion picture of the same name, starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, and Donna Dixon. It was written and performed by Paul McCartney, and reached #7 on the Billboard singles chart in early 1986, making it McCartney’s last US top ten hit until 2015. It also reached #13 in the UK.

Recording and release

Multiple releases were issued in the UK: a regular 7″ single, a 7″ shaped picture disc, a regular 12″ single featuring extended mixes and the B-side “My Carnival” (a Wings track from the Venus and Mars sessions) and a 12″ picture disc.

The minute-long outro is uptempo while the title is being sung repeatedly. When the movie Spies Like Us hit the theaters, producers opted to play the outro first in the closing credits before playing the entire song.

“Spies Like Us” was released on CD in 1993, as part of the release of The Paul McCartney Collection, as a bonus track on the album Press to Play. The B-side, “My Carnival”, was released as a bonus track on Venus and Mars, and the 12″ single was an exclusive to iTunes.

Music video

The video for the song, directed by John Landis (who also directed the film), was not aired by the BBC because Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase appeared in it playing instruments. British labour rules at the time prohibited non-musicians from performing in videos, and Aykroyd and Chase did not actually play on the record, though both have worked as professional musicians. The video ends with McCartney, Chase, and Aykroyd walking across Abbey Road, parodying the famous album cover.

The video was however played on the long running BBC show Top Of The Pops on 2 January 1986 having already briefly featured in its Top 40 Breakers section during December 1985.

McCartney, the song, and its associated film were all referenced in the Self song “Out With a Bang”.

Last updated on February 23, 2020

Officially appears on


Spies Like Us / My Carnival

7" Single • Released in 1985

4:47 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Eric Stewart :
Backing vocals
Phil Ramone :
Producer
Eddie Rayner :
Synthesizers
Kate Robbins :
Backing vocals
Ruby James :
Backing vocals
Hugh Padgham :
Producer

Session Recording:
September 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
September 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Spies Like Us

12" Single • Released in 1985

7:10 • Studio version • Party Mix


Spies Like Us

12" Single • Released in 1985

3:56 • Studio version • Alternative Mix-Known To His Friends As "Tom"


Spies Like Us

12" Single • Released in 1985

3:46 • Studio version • DJ Version


Press To Play (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:45 • Studio version

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.19

Unofficial album

0:56 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.20

Unofficial album

4:47 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.20

Unofficial album

4:37 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.20

Unofficial album

3:55 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.20

Unofficial album

7:06 • Studio version


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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