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Paul McCartney - Band On The Run (Kiev, Ukraine 2008)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Band on the Run on Wikipedia
"Band on the Run"
Single by Paul McCartney & Wings
from the album Band on the Run
B-side"Zoo Gang" "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five"
Released28 June 1974
Format7" single
LabelApple Records
Writer(s)Paul and Linda McCartney
ProducerPaul McCartney
CertificationRIAA - Gold
BPI - Gold
Paul McCartney & Wings singles chronology

"Band on the Run" is the title song from Paul McCartney & Wings' acclaimed Band on the Run album. The single sold one million copies in 1974 in the United States, where it reached number 1, and it went to number 3 in the United Kingdom.[1][2] "Band on the Run" can also be found on Wings Greatest (1978) and All the Best! (1987).


The song has a three-part structure that revolves around the themes of escape and liberation and tells a story about a band being confined to prison and then escaping and going on the run.

The first part (0:00-1:18) is soft and melodic. The singer complains about being stuck in one room forever alone, unable to see any nice people.

The second part (1:19-2:05) is more of a pop-rock melody with the guitar, drums, and bass becoming more prominent. The singer thinks about giving everything away if he does escape. George Harrison unwittingly contributed the first line of this part: "If we ever get out of here" when he said it during one of the many Beatles' business meetings.[3]

The third and main part (2:05 to 5:09) is the initial rock part, which talks about the band escaping and going on the run. The people in the town are trying to find them "forevermore", but they "never will be found."

The version played on the radio in America in 1974 was a shorter version of the song, edited down from the original 5:09 to 3:50 in length. The difference was largely caused by the removal of the middle or the second part of the song, as well as the verse that starts with "Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh..."[4]


The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[5] The song features prominently on every McCartney/Wings best-of compilation and in McCartney's live shows. It was the second of five number-one singles for the band on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] The song is featured on Guitar Hero World Tour on the main setlist.[6] Both the master recording and a live version was added to Rock Band.

Cover versions

A cover version of "Band on the Run" was recorded in 2007 by Foo Fighters as their contribution to the Radio 1. Established 1967 album. This album, commemorating BBC Radio 1's 40th anniversary, features a cover version of a song released in each of the station's 40 years recorded by a modern-day band or solo artist, "Band on the Run" being the song selected to represent 1974.

On 1 June 2008 McCartney was joined onstage by Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl for a special performance in Liverpool.[7] Grohl played guitar and sang backing vocals on "Band on the Run" and then played drums on Beatles songs "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "I Saw Her Standing There". Grohl later performed the song with Paul's band in 2010 at the White House, when Paul was given the Gershwin Award.

On 16 April 2011, the Foo Fighters cover of the song was released on their album Medium Rare (Foo Fighters album).

The song was referenced by Will Ferrell during his act at The Concert For New York City. While impersonating George W. Bush, he told viewers of his attempt to come up with new names for the "talliband operation". He says Paul McCartney told him to name it "Talliband.. on the run."

Tori Amos performed a snippet of this song at a number of shows during the Plugged '98 Tour.[8]

The synthesizer section from 1:33 - 1:48 is sampled on the track "Cutting Rhythms" by Tone Lōc on the album Lōc-ed After Dark.[citation needed] The opening section of the track is sampled on the song "Brown Girl" by Amanda Diva from her EP Life Experience.

Wings band member Denny Laine covered "Band on the Run" in 2007 on his album Performs the Hits of Wings.[9]


An official video was released along with the song. It served mostly as a tribute to The Beatles, featuring montages of still pictures from their career. Present-day McCartney and Wings weren't shown. The video ends with a collage of Beatles pictures much like the album cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.


  • Paul McCartney: vocals, bass guitar, guitar, drums
  • Linda McCartney: keyboards, backing vocals
  • Denny Laine: guitar, backing vocals


  1. ^ a b "Paul McCartney Charts and Awards". allmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  2. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  3. ^ "BBC - Radio 2 - Sold On Song - Song Library - Band On The Run". BBC. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Allen J. Wiener, The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide third revised edition (Holbrook, Massachusetts: Bob Adams Press, 1994), 396.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Activision Unveils Full Guitar Hero(R) World Tour Set List". 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  7. ^ "Paul McCartney watched by Yoko Ono in Liverpool as Dave Grohl helps out". New Musical Express. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "TORI AMOS | HEREINMYHEAD.COM | lyrics | band on the run". Hereinmyhead.Com. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  9. ^ "Performs the Hits of Wings". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 

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