On This Day: Paul McCartney Enjoyed His Sixth No. 1 Hit on the Hot 100 with the Wings Tune “With a Little Luck”

On May 20, 1978, Paul McCartney scored his sixth post-Beatles No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, with the song “With a Little Luck.” The tune also was the fifth chart-topping single in the U.S. by McCartney’s 1970s band Wings.

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“With a Little Luck” was the lead single and first track from Wings’ 1978 studio album, London Town. The song spent two consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100.

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McCartney wrote “With a Little Luck” on his farm in Scotland, and the song was recorded on a yacht called the Fair Carol that featured a 24-track studio and was moored in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Several of the songs for London Town were recorded on the yacht, and Wings initially had planned to call the album Water Wings.

During the making of the album, guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Joe English both exited Wings, although they did contribute to many of the songs. That left the band’s lineup as a trio featuring McCartney, his wife, Linda, and Denny Laine, at least temporarily.

More Details About the Tune

“With a Little Luck” features Paul on lead vocals, electric piano, bass, and synthesizer, with Linda and Laine both contributing additional keyboards and backing vocals. It’s believed that English played drums on the track.

The song breezy pop-rock tune features elements of synth-pop, with lyrics that offer a positive message about working together to resolve life’s problems.

The “With a Little Luck” Music Video

A low-budget promo video for the song was released that features the band performing “With a Little Luck” on a small stage surrounded by a group of children and adults who are happily dancing together. The clip was directed by Let It Be filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg.

Wings Lineup Change

Around the time that “With a Little Luck” hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, Wings announced that guitarist Laurence Juber and drummer Steve Holley had joined the band, replacing McCulloch and English. The two new musicians remained in Wings until the band broke up in 1981.

McCartney’s Other Chart-Topping Hot 100 Hits

McCartney’s previous No. 1 Hot 100 hits following The Beatles’ breakup were “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” released as a duo with Linda, in 1971; and the Wings singles “My Love” in 1973, “Band on the Run” in 1974, “Listen to What the Man Said” in 1975, and “Silly Love Songs in 1976.

“With a Little Luck” was McCartney’s last chart-topping U.S. single with Wings. He also had a No. 1 hit as a solo artist in 1980 with “Coming Up.” In addition, he topped the Hot 100 with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, respectively, in 1982 and 1983, with the duets “Ebony and Ivory” and “Say Say Say.”

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