The single that paved the way for the band’s worldwide roadtrip.
Kronomyth 6.3: Band on the road.
The combination of “Venus and Mars/Rock Show” is patterned after the patchwork opener from his last album, “Band on the Run.” This time, the theme is the band on the road, with the rockstar re-imagined as a spaceman (see Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and David Bowie’s “Starman” for more on this). It is a silly song and over the top, but a great way to launch a world tour which, not coincidentally, McCartney had in mind. The single version edits the original by about half, notably the middle tune (“The lights go down…”) and the long ending.
The flip side continues the fantastical excess of the Rock Show. Paul McCartney has written some very silly love songs over his career, but “Magneto and Titanium Man” might be the silliest yet: a comic book come to life in which McCartney’s superhero friends try to turn him against his love interest. I really like this song, but I would imagine that John Lennon had a good snortle (a combination of snort and chortle) when he heard it. Manna for the masses it isn’t, but manga for the masses isn’t such a terrible thing.
Original 7-inch single version
A1. Venus And Mars Rock Show (Paul McCartney) (3:39)
B1. Magneto And Titanium Man (Paul McCartney) (3:15)
Released on 7-inch single on October 27, 1975 in the US (Capitol, 4175), on November 21, 1975 in the UK (Capitol, R 6010), on December 20, 1975 in Japan (Capitol, EPR-10881), and in 1975 in Australia (Capitol, A-11008), Brazil (Capitol, MP-03), France (Capitol, 2C 006 97 142), Germany (Capitol, 1C 006 97 142) and the Netherlands (Capitol, 5C 006 97142) with regional picture sleeve; reached #12 on the US charts (charted on November 1, 1975 for 9 weeks).