It was 40 years ago today (April 26th, 1982) today that Paul McCartney released his critically acclaimed Tug Of War album — which marked his last chart-topping set in the U.S. until 2018's Egypt Station. The collection — which was the first to be released following John Lennon's December 1980 murder — marked both his first album released since Wings' 1981 split, and McCartney's reunion with legendary Beatles producer, the-late George Martin.
Tug Of War featured cameo appearances by such heavyweights as Ringo Starr on the album's second single — the Top 10 “Take It Away,” childhood hero Carl Perkins, and Stevie Wonder, who appeared on two songs — including the pair's seven week chart-topper “Ebony And Ivory.” The track marks the final time a song composed solely by McCartney hit the top spot. The album also featured McCartney's poignant tribute to Lennon, “Here Today,” which McCartney has performed on every tour since 2002.
George Martin had previously worked with McCartney during the '70s as an arranger on select tracks from his 1971 Ram album and his 1973 blockbuster “My Love” — but had only co-produced the former Beatle once for the 1973 Top Two Oscar-nominated theme to Live And Let Die. Shortly before his 2016 death, Martin remembered worrying if McCartney had been his own boss for so long that he would be above or beyond any musical direction: “He had been used to working by himself for seven or eight years and wasn't used to having a producer telling him: 'That's no good, or you should do this again.' And I wondered how he would react to it. And he said, 'Oh, we know each other so well, I don't think it'll be a problem. (Laughs) The first thing that happened was, I said, 'First of all, I think we ought to look at your material and see what the songs are like.' And he said, 'Well, do you mean I've got to pass an audition?' (Laughs) So, I could see that that was. . . might've been a problem, but in fact, it worked out fine. We got into a method of working where we weren't rubbing each other up the wrong way too much. There's gotta be a certain amount of abrasion.”