The Paul McCartney Project

Stranglehold

Album This song officially appears on the Press To Play Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1986
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1985 (Paul McCartney was 43 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


"Press To Play" sessions #1

March - May 1985


"Press To Play" sessions #2

October 1st - December 6th 1985


"Press To Play" sessions #3

April 14th-18th 1986

Other "Press To Play" songs co-written with Eric Stewart


Footprints

Officially appears on Press To Play


Pretty Little Head

Officially appears on Press To Play


Move Over Busker

Officially appears on Press To Play


Angry

Officially appears on Press To Play


However Absurd

Officially appears on Press To Play

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Song facts

Stranglehold” is a song from 1986 album “Press to Play” co-written with Eric Stewart. It was the first song recorded for this album, and the album opener. It was isued as single exclusively in the US and reached number 81.

We started off with ‘Stranglehold’, putting rhythmic words in, using lyrics like a bongo, accenting the words. We enjoyed the experience, then went on to write the six that are on the album… I remembered the old way I’d written with John, the two acoustic guitars facing each other, like a mirror, but better! Like an objective mirror, you’re looking at the person playing chords, but it’s not you.

Paul McCartney, about writing songs with Eric Stewart for “Press To Play”, Club Sandwich N°42, Autumn 1986
From “Club Sandwich 42 – Autumn 1986“:

Messrs. Marotta and Padgham justify themselves immediately: the crisp drumwork is beautifully recorded and propels an arresting track which can only be described as swinging. Paul and Eric drive it along on acoustic guitars, saxophone swells occur at just the right moments and there’s some delightful, clipped electric rhythm guitar.

[Stranglehold] sounded great with just Paul on bass, me on electrified acoustic guitar, and Jerry on kit. I went home feeling very very happy and got a call, which my wife Gloria answered. It was Paul and he said, ‘Tell that bloke of yours that is bloody good and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!’

Eric Stewart, from A Conversation with Eric Stewart, interview by Ken Sharp, in Beatlefan, N°140

Past the writing phase, the experience in the studio had not been satisfying, as Eric Stewart thought he would be the producer but McCartney finally brought Hugh Padgham – the go-to producer of the moment – in. Over time, the relationship between McCartney and Padgham didn’t work well, and it surely and clearly affected the end result. Here’s what Eric Stewart had to say retrospectively about the production of “Press To Play“, including “Stranglehold“:

God knows what happened, but by the time it was finished there were four producers involved and they’d messed up those songs, like ‘Angry’, totally changed them, a great song called ‘Stranglehold’, which was a beautiful song we’d written together, buggered it all up with blipping saxes going all the way through the verses

Eric Steward, 2017, from FarOut Magazine
From the “Press To Play” inner sleeve – These coloured diagrams by Paul show the position of the voices and instruments in the mix of each track.

Last updated on May 2, 2020

Lyrics

Can I get you to give me a minute of your time?
Can I get you to slip me the answer?
Can I get you to show me a little of your mime?
You were always a very good dancer.

I'd be happy to show you a bit of what I found,
I'd be happy to share in its beauty,
I'd be happy to lay low inevitably bound,
I would only be doing my duty.

I wait, I wait, I can wait. I can wait back in the bar.
I can wait, I can wait, I can wait back in the car.
I'll be waiting for you.

Stranglehold, you know you've got one on me,
I don't want to go without you.
Stranglehold, you've got me where you want me,
But I want to know more about you.
I want to know more about you.

Are you willing to wager a little of your life?
Are you willing to take such a gamble?
Are you ready to walk on the edge of the knife?
Then I think we can skip the preamble.

I wait, I wait, I can wait. I can wait.
I can wait back in the bar, I can wait, I can wait,
I can wait back in the car, I'll be waiting for you.
I'll be waiting...

Stranglehold, you know you've got one on me,
I don't want to go without you.
Stranglehold, you've got me where you want me,
And I want to know more about you.
I want to know more about you.

I can wait, I can wait back in the bar.
I can wait, I can wait, I can wait back in the car.
I'll be waiting for you.

Officially appears on


Press To Play

Official album • Released in 1986

3:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Eric Stewart :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Trevor Jones :
Assistant engineer (?)
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer (?)
Tony Clark :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jon Kelly :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jerry Marotta :
Drums
John Hammel :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Howe :
Assistant engineer (?)
Gary Barnacle :
Horns (?)
Dick Morrisey :
Horns (?)
Hugh Padgham :
Engineering, Mixing, Producer
Peter Mew :
Assistant engineer (?)
Haydn Bendall :
Assistant engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1st - December 6th 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
April 14th-18th 1986
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

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


Stranglehold / Angry

7" Single • Released in 1986

3:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Eric Stewart :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Trevor Jones :
Assistant engineer (?)
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer (?)
Tony Clark :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jon Kelly :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jerry Marotta :
Drums
John Hammel :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Howe :
Assistant engineer (?)
Gary Barnacle :
Horns (?)
Dick Morrisey :
Horns (?)
Hugh Padgham :
Engineering, Mixing, Producer
Peter Mew :
Assistant engineer (?)
Haydn Bendall :
Assistant engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1st - December 6th 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
April 14th-18th 1986
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

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


Stranglehold / Angry

Official album • Released in 1986

3:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Eric Stewart :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Trevor Jones :
Assistant engineer (?)
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer (?)
Tony Clark :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jon Kelly :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jerry Marotta :
Drums
John Hammel :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Howe :
Assistant engineer (?)
Gary Barnacle :
Horns (?)
Dick Morrisey :
Horns (?)
Hugh Padgham :
Engineering, Mixing, Producer
Peter Mew :
Assistant engineer (?)
Haydn Bendall :
Assistant engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1st - December 6th 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
April 14th-18th 1986
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

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


Press To Play (LP version)

Official album • Released in 1986

3:36 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Eric Stewart :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Trevor Jones :
Assistant engineer (?)
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer (?)
Tony Clark :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jon Kelly :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jerry Marotta :
Drums
John Hammel :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Howe :
Assistant engineer (?)
Gary Barnacle :
Horns (?)
Dick Morrisey :
Horns (?)
Hugh Padgham :
Engineering, Mixing, Producer
Peter Mew :
Assistant engineer (?)
Haydn Bendall :
Assistant engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1st - December 6th 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
April 14th-18th 1986
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

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


Press To Play (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:36 • Studio versionA1993 • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Eric Stewart :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Trevor Jones :
Assistant engineer (?)
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer (?)
Tony Clark :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jon Kelly :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jerry Marotta :
Drums
John Hammel :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Howe :
Assistant engineer (?)
Gary Barnacle :
Horns (?)
Dick Morrisey :
Horns (?)
Hugh Padgham :
Engineering, Mixing, Producer
Peter Mew :
Assistant engineer (?)
Haydn Bendall :
Assistant engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1st - December 6th 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
April 14th-18th 1986
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

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

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.18

Unofficial album

3:40 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.18

Unofficial album

3:32 • Studio version



Pizza And Fairy Tales

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

3:35 • Rough mix

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Press To Play - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:37 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Eric Stewart :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Trevor Jones :
Assistant engineer (?)
Eddie Klein :
Assistant engineer (?)
Tony Clark :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Butler :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jon Kelly :
Assistant engineer (?)
Jerry Marotta :
Drums
John Hammel :
Assistant engineer (?)
Matt Howe :
Assistant engineer (?)
Gary Barnacle :
Horns (?)
Dick Morrisey :
Horns (?)
Hugh Padgham :
Engineering, Mixing, Producer
Peter Mew :
Assistant engineer (?)
Haydn Bendall :
Assistant engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March - May 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1st - December 6th 1985
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
April 14th-18th 1986
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

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


Films


Stranglehold

1986 • For Paul McCartney • Directed by Bob Giraldi

Live performances

“Stranglehold” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played


'Stranglehold' video shoot

Nov 04, 1986 • USA • Amado • Half Way Station restaurant


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