“Congratulations to Rupert on his 100th birthday. The great thing is he never looks a day older. Having been a fan of his since my early days in Liverpool, I know what he means to generations of young and old kids. In his character and attitudes to the world, he sums up the best of British tradition and reminds us of an innocence we would all love to cherish. So, congratulations, my little bear. Your fans are celebrating your 100th birthday, and I, for one, think you deserve a telegram from the Queen.” Paul McCartney
36 years since its release and also celebrating the 40th anniversary of when Paul recorded the song at AIR Studios, London, We All Stand Together is being made available on limited edition picture disc vinyl on November 6th via MPL/Capitol/UMe – the vinyl is specially shaped, exactly the same as the 1984 release. The 2020 version also comes with a poster.
We All Stand Together has been remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton along with the B-side instrumental We All Stand Together (Humming Version), which was included on the original release.
Produced by George Martin and featuring The King’s Singers and the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, We All Stand Together (also known as The Frog Song) was a huge hit upon release, remaining in the charts for 13 weeks, becoming a classic and a much -loved song by every school child in the 80s.
The song was the focal point of Rupert and The Frog Song - a short animated film that Paul began work on in 1981 with animator Geoff Dunbar. The film has now been fully restored in 4k as well as getting a new audio mix. Written and produced by Paul and directed by Geoff, Rupert and The Frog Song was eventually released in 1984. The film saw Paul voice the character of Rupert and featured the voices of the beloved British TV icons June Whitfield (as Rupert’s mother) and Windsor Davies (Father Frog). Released simultaneously with We All Stand Together, the film went on to become the biggest selling video of 1985 in the UK, earning Paul a Grammy nomination in the process as well as seeing him win a revered Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Soundtrack and picking up a BAFTA for Best Animated Short Film.
The film, along with the amphibian anthem, were inspired by Paul’s childhood love of Rupert and a specific drawing Paul remembered from the 1958 Rupert Bear Annual.
“I’ve always loved animation. It started with Disney cartoons and went on from there. As a kid, I would always get the Rupert Annual at Christmas. I remember getting the idea for a film project when looking through one of them. There was a standout image in color, and when I saw it, I could imagine a concert of frogs with them all doing different parts, a choir, and an orchestra, and I could almost hear the music.”
The project had been in the making for a long time. Paul’s original idea had been to make a feature-length film, and he set about work for this in the 70s, recording songs and writing stories that, to this day, remain unreleased with one of the unreleased songs dating back to The Beatles Let It Be sessions in 1969.
“I had wanted to make a Rupert feature film for a while but didn’t realize what a difficult task it actually was. I remember telling John Lennon about it, and he encouraged me to have a go, which was great, but you need more than that to make a film. There were so many different things to think about, things like securing the rights. It was all too much. Eventually, I had the idea to make a short film with an animator I admired, Geoff Dunbar.”
Like Paul, Geoff Dunbar had grown up on Rupert, and unlike other animators who were suggesting some kind of Rupert reboot, Geoff, sharing Paul’s vision, believed that Rupert shouldn’t change. Geoff took inspiration from the demo of We All Stand Together, and just as Paul had heard what the song might be years before when looking at the annual, Geoff started to visualize the film based on Paul’s music, and he and Paul would back and forth ideas on the project as it started to come to life. Rupert and The Frog Song was made in a pre-digital age, all handcrafted, and this year has undergone a painstaking and serious restoration process in which the film has been regraded and restored frame by frame.
Watching the new film, Geoff says: “It’s delightful and absolutely thrilling. I’m totally blown away by it and the sound quality too. I’ve always maintained what a marvelous piece of work it was. It was seriously adored and a massive hit all over the world.”
The magic can be recaptured once again for existing fans and new audiences on November 6th when the new version will be made available on YouTube.