Lost in the ’80s: Paul McCartney, “So Bad”

Written by Lost in the '80s, Music

lit80s

Oh, some things just write themselves, don’t they?

I kid, I kid. “So Bad” is an overlooked little gem from the Paul catalog, released in the States as the follow-up to “Say Say Say,” his megahit duet with Michael Jackson. (Sorry to put that one in your head. Let’s get back to today’s subject, shall we?)

“So Bad” (download) was taken from Paul’s Pipes of Peace LP (1983), which was mostly made up of leftover tracks from his previous effort, Tug of War (1982). As a result, it shares many traits with Tug, such as producer George Martin and some studio drummer named Ringo, of all things. Oh yeah, and Linda’s on it. Surprise!

Okay, sorry again. That’s two cheap shots in one post about a song I actually quite like. I must be grumpy. The video for “So Bad” is sort of melancholy in light of Linda’s passing. She did the photography for all the posed shots surrounding the band, and that little freeze-frame of Mrs. McCartney winking and smiling near the end of the clip is heartbreaking.

Step off, Heather Mills. You never stood (ha!) a chance. “So Bad” is a cute, if lightweight, ballad (from Paul? Ya don’t say!) that put McCartney’s falsetto to good use. Unfortunately, despite its decent charting, it always seems to get the short shrift when it comes time to package those greatest-hits compilations or retrospectives. Heck, it didn’t even make it onto Wingspan (2001), for Linda’s sake — an unfair snub for a legitimate McCartney hit. You never seem to hear this one on AC or ’80s radio stations either, but boy, you’ll certainly hear “Say Say Say.” Ugh. Which was worse — “Say Say Say” or “The Girl Is Mine”? It’s a Sophie’s Choice of crap!

God, I am grumpy.

“So Bad” peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984.

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