Writer: Paul McCartney
Producer: Paul McCartney
Recorded: A side: July 1979 at McCartney’s farmhouse in Scotland; B side: December 11, 1979 at the Glasgow Apollo, Scotland
Released: April 1980
|Players:||Paul McCartney–vocals, bass (A- and B-side), all other instruments on the A-side
Linda McCartney–vocals, keyboards (B-side)
Denny Laine–guitar, vocals (B-side)
Lawrence Juber–guitar (B-side)
Steve Holly–drums (B-side)
Tony Dorsey–trombone (B-side)
Thaddeus Richard–saxophone (B-side)
Steve Howard–trumpet (B-side)
Howie Casey–saxophone (B-side)
|Album:||McCartney II (Columbia, 1980)|
Both sides of “Coming Up” were a hit for Paul McCartney. The A-side–a solo studio recording–reached Number Two on the U.K. pop chart. In the U.S., however, radio programmers preferred the B-side, a live performance of the song by McCartney and the final lineup of Wings. It was the group’s last Number One hit in the U.S., topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.
McCartney’s version of the song was recorded in the summer of 1979 during the same session for the holiday single “Wonderful Christmastime.” McCartney performed the song entirely solo, singing and playing guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards.
The live version comes from a December 1979 Wings concert in Glasgow, Scotland, on the group’s first U.K. tour in four years and its final outing as a band.
McCartney made an elaborate promotional video for the song in which he portrayed different musicians, imitating Frank Zappa, Buddy Holly, Ron Mael of Sparks, and Andy Mackay of Roxy Music, as well as a 1964 version of himself playing his famous Hofner violin-shaped bass from the Beatles’ early days.
The McCartney II album, which he recorded solo except for some backing vocals by his wife Linda, reached Number Three on the Billboard 200 and Number One on the U.K. chart.