It was 35 years ago today (May 20th, 1978) that Paul McCartney & Wings scored their fifth Number One hit with "With A Little Luck." The song, which McCartney and the band began recording the previous year on a yacht docked in the Virgin Islands, was featured as the lead single from Wings' London Town album.
"With A Little Luck" was McCartney's only major hit of 1978 and was able to temporarily break Barry Gibb's songwriting and production toe-hold on the Number One spot, which he and his brothers and bandmates, Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees, dominated throughout the year.
"With A Little Luck" knocked the Bee Gees-written Yvonne Elliman hit "If I Can't Have You" out from the top spot and held the Number One position for two weeks, breaking Barry Gibb's already 15-week run at the top spot with songs he wrote and co-produced. "With A Little Luck" was knocked from Number One by Johnny Mathis and Deneice Williams' "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late."
Wings, which at that time was pared down to just Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine and new drummer Steve Holly, filmed a promotional video for the song in late March, reuniting McCartney with Michael Lindsey-Hogg, who had directed the Beatles' 1970 movie Let It Be.
McCartney says that he's always preferred straight-ahead performance videos than over-the-top big budget clips: "You suddenly had to be a short filmmaker as well, and not all of us liked it. I must say occasionally it was like, 'oh my God,' and the process was kind of quite wearing. Y'know, you'd kind of farm it out to three or four directors who you thought were hot, who would come back with 'I see you. . .' -- it was a little bit like a comedy sketch -- 'I see you on a mountain top in Tibet wearing nothing but a loin cloth. The sun god shines down. . .' And you're going 'Oh no -- next one!"
The promo clip for "With A Little Luck" is featured on the three DVD video collection The McCartney Years.
McCartney has never performed "With A Little Luck" live in concert, although the song was rehearsed with Wings in early 1980 prior to the band's ill-fated tour of Japan during which McCartney was arrested for possessing seven ounces of marijuana. McCartney's arrest led to the tour being canceled with McCartney being deported after being jailed for 10 days.
During his L.A. rehearsals for his current Out There world tour, it was reported that McCartney and his band had rehearsed "With A Little Luck" -- but the song has yet to appear in any of his pre-show soundchecks or concerts.
DID YOU KNOW?
In addition to "With A Little Luck," the only other two post-Beatles chart toppers McCartrney has yet to perform live are 1971's "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and his 1983 team-up with Michael Jackson, "Say Say Say."