In 1984 Paul also helped out two others with their projects. The band Ivory, he wrote “Runaway” and “Freedom Land” on their album that would be titled, PRINT OUT.
He also helped out pals, and idols of his, The Everly Brothers, whom had reunited and Paul wrote the lead single and opening track, “on The Wings Of A Nightingale.” An outstanding song, designed with the two brothers distinct style in mind. Paul does a wonderful demo and it was released officially on an archive set. Rating (Paul’s demo) – 8.5
In the early part of 1985 Paul finally took some time off. Had been very busy three years for Paul. They finished his home studio in Scotland and it was to be called Hog Mills Studio.In the March to May time frame he assembled with Eric Stewart.
George Martin advised Paul to make his next albums producer and musician, Eric Stewart.
And they worked on and laid down ideas and demoed and by the release they had co-wrote 10 songs in this time. I’ve heard these demos and they are very good, but different than the final mixes that would come out in 1986, with Hugh Padgham running the show.
Eric tells the story of the period of recording what would become 1986’s, PRESS TO PLAY.
Beside George Martin, Steve Shrimpton, McCartney’s manager at the time, confirmed the offer. Linda then suggested he and McCartney meet to write together for the album. Paul said he’d always liked 10cc and felt they could collaborate well.
It was snowing outside when Stewart arrived at McCartney’s home studio, and the first thing he said on entering was ‘It’s so beautiful outside’. McCartney immediately started improvising with that line and it became ‘Footprints‘.
They wrote a lot very quickly (including ‘Angry‘ and ‘Stranglehold‘), but Stewart began to get a bit uneasy about the fact they didn’t seem to be completing any. Stewart was used to concentrating on one song and finishing it, whereas here they were going from one ‘sketch’ to another.
Then Stewart was surprised when one morning McCartney said in a matter of fact fashion that he’d asked Hugh Padgham to engineer and co-produce. Stewart didn’t mind ceding the engineering duties because he wanted to play on the tracks, but he resented sharing production with someone he viewed as a rookie in that department.
But they met up, Padgham said he was a big 10cc fan, and that he was busy anyway working with Bowie on ‘Tonight’ and wouldn’t be around for a while, and Stewart and McCartney continued as before.
The first day they worked on ‘Angry‘ and McCartney was delighted with the rough mix. ‘Tell that man of yours he’s a bloody genius,’ he told Stewart’s wife.
Then after a while Padgham turned up, brought in other musicians and Stewart was also frustrated that Padgham ‘wasn’t coming up with any musical production ideas at all’.‘I therefore wondered if Paul was possibly getting worried about whether or not the songs were good enough and that maybe he hoped that if he left them alone for a while they might perk up when he went back to work on them later.
Whatever the reason I was completely in the dark with this strange scenario going on around me‘.The other problem was that Stewart and his wife enjoyed Paul and Linda’s friendship and he was disinclined to risk damaging that with an argument.
Stewart later found out that Padgham had told his manager that he didn’t rate any of the initial work but hoped they’d come up with something better later. ‘It’s a pity that he didn’t mention this to us earlier!‘
Then things got worse. Stewart was in the control room with Padgham when Paul was singing a vocal. Stewart asked Padgham to get Paul to do a verse again. Padgham pressed the talkback button and said sarcastically, ‘Do that verse again, Paul, he doesn’t like it‘. So a furious Stewart butted in and asked to speak with Paul in private. Paul cancelled that day’s session to let things cool down.
The next morning Paul’s manager called Stewart to say that Padgham had declared he would leave the project immediately unless he was given complete control over production. Stewart was hurt to find that McCartney had agreed to the ultimatum. It was added that Stewart was welcome to stay on as a musician and backing vocalist but with no other input whatsoever.
Stewart felt Padgham was blaming him for the lack of progress, rather than pushing Paul to have the courage of his convictions and start finishing the songs. He also concluded that Paul hadn’t wanted him to produce but had merely gone along with George Martin and his manager when they suggested it.
Stewart did go back to play on the tracks but was rattled when Padgham re-recorded the ‘Angry‘ track and generally ignored him.
Eventually, he called Paul and explained how awkward it felt and said it was probably best if he left. Paul merely said ‘Okay’ and the phone went dead. Linda called that evening to apologize and hope that the friendship they had would remain.
“We started off with ‘Stranglehold’, putting rhythmic words in, using lyrics like a bongo, accenting the words. We enjoyed the experience, then went on to write the six that are on the album… I remembered the old way I’d written with John, the two acoustic guitars facing each other, like a mirror, but better! Like an objective mirror, you’re looking at the person playing chords, but it’s not you.
He worked on the previously written of “Twice In A Lifetime.” “- Paul
The he did just a few months composing and recording what would be the title song of a future Chevy Chase/Dan Ackroyd Film called, “Spies Like Us.”
Paul recorded the song and made the music video on and off in August and September.From October 1st thru December 6th, He worked on the next album sessions, this time with the new man Padgham brought in, forcing out Stewart soon.
He like many, has never worked with Paul again, as far as I know.
In 1985 he also performed live for the first time (since the ill-fated 1979 tour) at Live Aid on July 13th.
next…1986, a year we could see Paul “pressing.”