The Paul McCartney Project

Venus And Mars

Album This song officially appears on the Venus and Mars Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1975

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Venus and Mars/Rock Show” is a medley of two songs written by Paul and Linda McCartney and originally performed by Wings that make up the first two songs of the album Venus and Mars. The single was released in the United States on 27 October 1975 and in the United Kingdom on 28 November 1975. The B-side was “Magneto and Titanium Man“, another track from the album. The single version is considerably shorter than the album version of the songs; in the single “Rock Show” is cut by more than 3 minutes and “Venus and Mars” is cut by a few seconds. “Venus and Mars/Rock Show” peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, but did not chart on the UK singles chart. In the book The Rough Guide to the Beatles, Chris Ingham praised both songs, describing “Venus and Mars” as “atmospheric” and “Rock Show” as “barnstorming”.

Music and lyrics

“Venus and Mars” is an acoustic, folk-like song representing the perspective of a concertgoer waiting for the show to start. Originally when the song was released fans believed the title referred to Paul and Linda. Paul has denied this, stating that the song “is about an imaginary friend who’s got a girlfriend who’s the kind of person who asks what your sign is before they say hello. That’s it: ‘A good friend of mine studies the stars.’ In fact, in the first verse it’s ‘a good friend of mine follows the stars,’ so it could be ambiguous: a groupie or an astrologer.” The song is in the key of D major.

“Rock Show” is a harder arena rock song. The chorus of “Rock Show” mentions concerts at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York’s Madison Square Garden, and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. The verses include musical references such as “Silly Willy with the Philly band” and Jimmy Page’s guitar. In addition to the normal Wings line-up, Allen Toussaint played piano on this song. “Rock Show” is in the key of A major. A major is the dominant key of D major, the key of “Venus and Mars”.

Personnel

“Venus and Mars”

“Rock Show”

Hand Bells are only played on the album version (Credits from 2014 Deluxe Venus and Mars Remaster)

Releases

“Venus and Mars” also has a reprise that appears on the Venus and Mars album, which serves to open the second side of the LP record. The reprise incorporates some science fiction lyrics and sound effects, reflecting McCartney’s reading Isaac Asimov at the time the song was recorded.

The single version of the medley was released on the History disc of the 2-disc compilation Wingspan: Hits and History. Both songs are also included on the live album Wings Over America, combined in a medley with “Jet“.

In 2014 the medley was covered by Kiss on The Art of McCartney covers album.

Track listing

References

External links

Last updated on October 17, 2016

Lyrics

Sitting in the stand of the sports arena
Waiting for the show to begin
Red lights, green lights
Strawberry wine
A good friend of mine
Follows the stars –
Venus and Mars
are alright tonight

Officially appears on


Venus and Mars

Official album • Released in 1975

1:19 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Electric guitar, Finger cymbals, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Piano
Denny Laine:
Moog, Sitar
Jimmy McCulloch:
12-string guitar, Electric guitar
Joe English:
Drums
Tony Dorsey:
Clarinet
Alan O'Duffy:
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Biff Dawes:
Assistant mixing engineer

Wings Over America

Official live • Released in 1976

1:34 • LiveL1

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Keyboard, Vocals
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar, 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:
Percussion, Trumpet
Tony Dorsey:
Tambourine, Trombone
Jack Maxson:
Recording engineer
Tom Walsh:
Assistant recording engineer

Concert From the concert in Cincinnati, USA on May 27, 1976


Venus And Mars (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

1:19 • Studio versionA


Wings Over America - Archive Collection

Official live • Released in 2013

1:34 • LiveL1.2013 • 2013 remaster

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Keyboard, Vocals
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar, 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:
Percussion, Trumpet
Tony Dorsey:
Tambourine, Trombone
Jack Maxson:
Recording engineer
Tom Walsh:
Assistant recording engineer
Guy Massey:
Remastering
Steve Rooke:
Remastering
Simon Gibson:
Remastering

Concert From the concert in Cincinnati, USA on May 27, 1976


Venus And Mars - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2014

1:19 • Studio version


Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

Studio version

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 8

Unofficial album

1:34 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 8

Unofficial album

1:24 • Studio version


Venus And Mars Outtakes Are Alright Tonight

Unofficial album

1:34 • Outtake


Great Lost Takal Master

Unofficial live • Released in 1996

2:28 • Live

Concert From the concert in Landover, USA on May 15, 1976


Learning To Fly

Unofficial live • Released in 2000

3:53 • Live • Live On Stage in Australia - November 1975


Live performances

“Venus And Mars” has been played in 91 concerts and 5 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Venus And Mars” has been played



Antwerp • Sportpaleis

Mar 28, 2012 • Part of On The Run Tour






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