Coming Up

Album: McCartney II (1980)
Charted: 2 1

Songfacts®:

  • The tame studio version was released as a single, but DJs flipped it over and began playing the "Live at Glasgow" version, which hit number one. Nowadays, that's the version more widely known. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Seth - Brooklyn, NY
  • Paul and Linda McCartney are the only people in the video, playing all the band members. This preceded other "one person plays the whole band" videos such as Phil Collins's "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Two Hearts" and Outkast's "Hey Ya." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Andy - Arlington, VA
  • John Lennon reportedly liked this song so much that it spurred him to come out of retirement to resume recording.
  • The video is an early example of electronic trickery, with Paul McCartney playing ten different rock musicians and Linda McCartney playing two. The "band," in a nod to Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" is identified on the drum kit as "The Plastic Macs."

Comments: 35

  • Virginia Abreu De Paula from BrazilTo my ears it sounds a lot like " I don't wanna face it" by John Lennon.
  • Deneese D'agostino from Albany, NyI wonder how many Americans know who the keyboard player is? Unfortunately Sparks isn't as big here as in Britain. The only thing that Paul got wrong was Ron Mael's moustache. It's just a little square in the center of lip. Identical to a certain famous dictator.
  • Roy from SloughMcCartneys voice sounds speeded up. Is this the case anyone?
  • Roy from SloughALF....If you play it backwards you bugger up your stylus.
  • Chuck from Joppa, Md, MdKirsten, I believe it's supposed to be John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, who worked with Paul on Rockestra.
  • Kirsten from New York, NyWho is the drummer supposed to be? People on youtube said Ginger Baker but I've never seen him act like that and I don't remember him ever having an Amish beard....
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song has a very catchy bouncy sound to it.I think the melody is surprisingly good.Paul always had a knack for writing melodic hooks and catchy pop songs.No wonder John was inspired to write again after listening to this.
  • Emily from St Louis, MoSounds like he wrote this with John in mind? Open your minds.
  • Crazyc63312 from Why Do You Want To Know?, RiThe live version is on Paul's 'All The Best!' It's hardly noticable that it's live!
  • Paul from Detroit, MiI find it amazing that I can hate one version of the song and love another. The Live one kicked A$$, while the recorded one absolutely stunk.
  • K from Nowhere, Onthis song is great, but if i'm in a bad mood, his voice annoys me a little.
  • Jabriel from Tucson , AzYou know outkast actually stole the coming up video on hey ya!your a chippy chip chip
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaIs this the same basic music as "Give it up" by KC & the Sunshine Band, 1982?
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn the famous Saturday Night Live bit, "Father Guido Sarducci" (Don Novello) was sent to Paul's London home to interview him. Father Guido doesn't realize with the time difference, it's around 5 AM in London! He gets Paul and Linda to answer the door in their robes, and tries to get them to talk about the pot bust in Japan, but they keep telling him "play the tape!" - the music video of this song.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJohn's exact quote was this was a "nice piece of work". Which was about the highest praise John ever gave Paul after the split!

  • Ograstamon from Newkirk, OkThe characters in the video are mostly composites or archetypes (i.e. the drummer and the horn section). The exceptions are the guitarist (The Shadows' Hank Marvin), the strange keyboardist (Sparks' Ron Mael), and the bassist (some guy from the Beatles).
    One of my faves from Paul and probably why I love horns in my rock.
  • Eric from Bend, OrThe first time I remember hearing this song (as a kid), it was the version from Paul McCartney's "Tripping the Live Fantastic" live concert CD. I always thought it was an awesome song. A long time later, when I listened to the original live version, I didn't feel like it was as good. This is one of my favorite McCartney songs though.
  • Grizzlie from Hanford, CaThrowing up! Throwing up! Throwing up! Throwing up!
  • Rich from Birmingham Uk, Englandthe Original McCartney II has unreleased tracks and a version of "Coming Up" and "Check My Machine" and "Dark Room" which is nearly twice as long as the released versions, that were subsequently edited. The other unreleased tracks were "Bogey Wobble" "Summers Day Song (instrumental)" "All you horse riders" "Mr H.Atom(Linda Vocals)" "Blue Sway" "You Know I'll get you baby"
  • John from Jersey City, NjIn response to Kalissa of New York City, NY "Does anyone know where can I find the "not live" version of this song?", I assume you're referring to the studio version, which can be found on the Paul McCartney solo album/LP/CD known as "McCartney II."
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaThere is a live version of this amazing song on Wingspan, that is totally wicked!
  • Alf from Kingston, CanadaInteresting song, if you play it backwards :-), everytime he sings the corus "coming up," backwards sounds like "oh demons." To be honest I don't know about the whole backwards messages thing, but just the same, interesting. The not live version, if anyone still has vinyl, both versions were released on the 45 (single).
  • Flo from Toulouse, FranceFunky
  • Stsjfsd from Denver, CoI first saw it on Saturday Night Live as well and thought it was totally cool. Linda and Paul were outside in NYC and introduced the video during the SNL news.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyWhen American DJ's started playing the live B-side version of "Coming Up", Paul's then-U.S. label Columbia wanted to include that version on teh forthcoming "McCartney II" LP. Paul said "no", that it would defeat the whole purpose of the album. It was supposed to be just Paul, alone, with no other musicians (besides Linda). Columbia said that not having the hit "live" version would hurt sales. So they compromised, the live version was left off the album proper, but Columbia inserted a free 45 single inside the album jacket that had both the studio and live versions.
  • Kalissa from New York City, NyDoes anyone know where can I find the "not live" version of this song?
  • Wes from Springfield, Va"anyone know WHAT exactly is coming up?"
    Paul: A love that will last forever.
    Me: When I heard it I assigned my own meaning to it, the Eighties. A new decade.
  • Liliana from Huntley, Ilanyone know WHAT exactly is coming up?
  • Jude from Thomasville, GaThis came out when I was in high school (which tells you just how old I am). I stayed up late to watch the video on Saturday Night Live and it was awesome!
  • Ken from Louisville, KyPaul wrote this song in the late 70's and performed it several times with Wings in concert but never released it until his "solo" album, "McCartney II" in 1980. The live version was recorded with Wings, during a concert in Glasgow in 1979.

  • Rich from Birmingham Uk, EnglandJohn Lennon liked this particular track, which made him want to record again
  • Joe from West Creek, NjI love the studio version, i think it's better than the live version that became a hit. The album it was on was a weird album for Mccartney to do, recorded entirely at his home. His first album entitled "Mccartney" was also recorded quickly at his home studio 10 years earlier, so that is why this is called "Mccartney II".
  • Claudio from São Paulo, BrazilJust a little mistake. We Are Family is by Sister Sledge not Sly and The Family Stone


    Claudio Dirani
  • Claudio from São Paulo, BrazilThis song was also inpired by Family Stone's We Are Family track.

    Claudio Dirani
  • Horace from Western, MdIn the video for this song, Paul and Linda McCartney play all the members of the band and backup singers.
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