"Spies Like Us" is a 1985 song to the title of the 1985 Warner Bros. motion picture of the same name, starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon (see Spies Like Us (film)). It was written and recorded by Paul McCartney, and was a top ten hit in the US in late-1985, reaching number seven on the singles chart, making it McCartney's final top ten hit in the US to date.
Multiple releases were issued in the U.K.: a regular 7" single, a 7" shaped picture disc, a regular 12" single featuring extended mixes and the B-side "My Carnival" (a song by Wings from the Venus and Mars session) and a 12" picture disc.
The minute-long outro, which turns the tempo up a notch and features Linda singing "spies like us" over and over and Paul ad-libbing his trade-mark rock'n roll hollers, is a highlight of the song. When the movie Spies Like Us hit the theaters, producers opted to play the outro first in the closing credits before playing the entire song.
Critics derided the song for its trite lyrics, purists for the supposed "sell-out" nature of the song so directly tied to a movie (although whether the song was worse in this regard than "Live and Let Die" or Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" is debatable).
The video for the song, directed by John Landis (who also directed the movie), was banned by the BBC because Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase appeared in it playing instruments. British labour rules prohibit non-musicians from performing in videos. It didn't occur to them that Aykroyd was in the Blues Brothers and was a proficient harmonica player and Chevy Chase once played drums in a band that included Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (who later formed Steely Dan), as well as playing both drums and keyboards for a band named Chamaeleon Church, which recorded one album for MGM Records before disbanding in 1969.