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1988

The second session for what would become the next album took place from January 2nd-21st of 1988. Paul worked on four new songs, to go with the two started in December of the previous year.

Session number three continued in March, where Elvis and Paul recorded their versions of the demos of the songs they had written together. They laid down nine songs. These demos finally saw the light of day when the Archive Collection of the album came out in 2017.

Session number four started in April and running thru July featured most of the b-sides and bonus tracks, also two more songs that ended up on solo Linda’s album after her death, the demo for “Don’t Break The Promises,” (which 10cc would record and release).

On May 9th he recorded a song with Johnny Cash, that he wrote a few years earlier on a visit to Cash’s home in Jamaica.

Cash and fellow musician Tom T Hall showed up in Paul’s studio and together they modified the song, “New Moon Over Jamaica,” so they all got writing credits.

Linda and Tom T. sang backing vocals and Paul Played bass. Chris Whitten (played with Paul on CHOBBA B CCCP) played drums, and for the first time we see the name of Hamish Stuart (Average White Band) on guitar. These two would help form Paul’s next touring and recording band.

“New Moon Over Jamaica” Paul’s solo demo was written with a reggae beat. It is not much of a memorable song, but the final version Cash released on his album (in slow C&W style) is just dull.

Paul takes lead on a verse but even he can’t bring much life to this dud.

The harmonies of Paul and Cash just don’t work for me. Rating – 4.5

Paul took a month or so off then went into his home studio to lay down the ideas he was having.

Songs attempted included such titles as “Motor Of Love” (released in 1989), “Mambo Me Baby,” “Grand Entrance,” “So Long Blacky,” (what the ???) and odd bits such as “Guitar Fuzz Riff,” “Heraldic Fanfare,” “Current Affairs,” “James and Dad Jam,” “Come Back,” “Weird Drama Oscillator” and “Riff Matick.”

None of the songs besides “Motor” have seen the light of day.

From September thru November, Paul and his new Recording band, which now included lead guitarist Robbie McIntosh (The Pretenders), began overdubbing and mixing finished tracks for the next album.

The working with Costello had quickly ended, with no album coming out of it, as Elvis had envisioned.

Their relationship has still been good over the years since, but they have never created as a team since.

One thing, Costello persuaded Paul to dust off the old Hofner violin shaped bass of Beatles fame and use it in the studio. He did and plays only it in concert since then.

On a more personal note in 1988, Paul and Linda appeared on the British sit-com, “Bread.”

Les Paul gave Paul a custom-made Les Paul light.

Paul won the Silver Clef Award, and he also received an honorary doctorate from the University Sussex and finally “Yesterday” earned BMI’s million-air award, for radio air play.

On November 9th, Paul ventured into new territory by recording two new tracks that fall under the Classical style of music. “A Leaf” and “Spiral” were recorded, a sign of things to come in the next decade for Paul.

We finish 1988 off with another Buddy Holly week, Paul playing on and producing with the original Crickets on a song called “T-Shirt.”

1989 came, and Paul began the year how he finished 1988. Working on the new album.

1989 would bring Paul into many more living rooms, and on many concert stages with all these newly recorded songs.

It was to be called a comeback year for McCartney. Next…

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The REST Of 1986-87

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Paul did a one off concert appearance on June 20th at the Prince’s Trust Concert. He performed “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Get Back.” This performance went great and featured Elton John, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Phil Collins, David Bowie and Mick Jagger and Mark Knopfler.

Much better than his Live Aid performance in 1985, where his vocal microphone didn’t work for the first two minutes of “Let It Be.”

Just around the time that PRESS TO PLAY was released (August 22nd) Paul went into his home studio and laid down the next set of song ideas.

Of the eight tracks two (“Loveliest Thing” and “Beautiful Night”) would eventually see the light of day and one would morph into a finished track (“Without Permission” became part of the final “Loveliest Thing).

Richard Niles was brought in the months of September and October in the last aborted attempt to put together the Cold Cuts/Hot Hits album. Richard had worked with Paul as arranger on THRILLINGTON, and was an ideal alternative to the unavailable George Martin.

The lineup proposed was…..

Blue Sway  Hey Diddle Mama’s Little Girl Twice In A Lifetime Waterspout A Love For You Did We Meet Somewhere Before Same Time Next Year Best Friend Cage Tragedy Thank You Darling Night Out Robber’s Ball

Like the first two attempts to get this project out, it never has seen the light of day, with most tracks available via bootlegs. We’ll discuss this at another time….

In December 1986 he did work on a track that would become a b-side on a CD-single in 1997. It was an instrumental called “Squid.”

He also cut the demo on December 29th for a song that would come out in 1989 called, “This One.”

1987 ——————————————————————————————

In February of 1987, Paul recorded a mashup of songs in which he was still in control of publishing wise.

He merged “P.S. I Love You” and “Love Me Do” into a dance mix called “P.S. Love Me Do.” While no official release has happened he performed this song in concert in 1989. It has gone down among Beatles and Macca fans as maybe the worst thing he had recorded and signed off on.

It may have been a thumbing his nose to Michael Jackson, who outbid Paul and Yoko and on August 14th, 1985 gained control of the vast majority of the Lennon-McCartney catalog.

This ended any friendship and all attempts by Paul to buy back “Yesterday,” or “Hey Jude” etc.. were all rejected by Jackson up to his death. Jackson even lost control of many of them to Sony as his legal and financial woes worsened.

In early February Paul worked with Duane Eddy, on his version of the “Rockestra Theme” for his self-titled album.

In March, Paul again started a new album, with another new producer.

Phil Ramone was brought in to work with Paul after his success with Billy Joel, Chicago, The Band, Madonna, George Michael and Elton John among many others.

George Harrison had returned to recording studio and produced the outstanding “Cloud Nine” album in 1986. He had a hit album, a huge single and George even embraced his Beatles past with the song “When We Was Fab” which featured Ringo and Paul in the music video.

So now, Paul was also filled with a new idea for his next album, and he and Ramone began working on an album he would have called RETURN TO PEPPERLAND.

He recorded versions of 11 songs, including “Return To Pepperland,” “My Big Day, “Peacocks”, all of which are unreleased as of today.

He also recorded “Atlantic Ocean” and an early version of “This One.”

He did manage to record the only single Paul would release this year. They knocked out “Once Upon A Long Ago,” and it’s b-side, “Back On My Feet.”

The latter was the first song that Paul was to write together with his newest collaborator, Declan McManus, otherwise better known as Elvis Costello.

Costello had sort of replaced Eric Stewart as the current muse for Paul and “Back…” was the first venture together.

“Once upon a Long ago” was released only as a single in the U.K. for Christmas, with an interesting video of animation combined with Paul and a band playing it on top of a huge mountain.

It was also placed on the U.K. version of Paul’s second greatest hits package, called ALL THE BEST.

The song selections differed in the U.S. version with the U.K. with the British version having 3 more songs, different songs and different versions of songs. Odd.

Paul and Elvis would work much more together for the next year or so and produce songs from both of them and future albums.

So, RETURN TO PEPPERLAND was never finished and released and the greatest hits package his only major release in the United States in 1987.

“Once Upon A Long Ago” Recorded in March of 1987 and released in late November of that year, it does have a Christmas like feel, which is featured in the animation part of the music video. It has a nice violin and sax solo (it is the 80’s, right?) And I believe this is the first time Paul worked with session drummer Chris Whitten, who would become his drummer for the next few years. A very slick recording and Paul was probably correct not releasing it anywhere but England. Rating – 7

“Back On My Feet” I again got excited when I heard that Paul was working with Costello, as he was also a favorite of mine since 1977. You can feel the effect that Costello had. An interesting melody, and lyrics that are far more interesting than anything Paul had written in many years. I loved his vocals and the play-out growling by Macca had me jumping around. Rating – 8

I was further excited to hear that they were continuing their work into 1988…..

Next… Paul does something for the Russian people. Paul then picks up the Hofner for the first time in a while and a forms a new touring band and he has many new songs to play with….

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CHOBA B CCCP (1987)

Starting on July 20th, 1987 for two days Paul and a small band of talented musicians recorded a special group of vintage songs very very quickly for a NEW project by Paul. The official title is Russian for “Back In The USSR.” It is known as either of these or simply “The Russian Album.”

Here’s how it developed…..Released in the Soviet Union in 1988, making Paul the first artist from the West to issue an album exclusively for that market. (It was released in the rest of the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.)

Ruminating on the next stage of his career following 1986’s Press To Play, Paul decided he wanted to get back to his roots, so he hired the three session musicians and spent just two days covering his favorite hits from the 1950s.

The recording sessions produced 22 songs in total, 13 of them ending up on the final album, with one of the songs left off being a cover of The Beatles’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’.

For Paul, it was a deeply personal album and a way to acknowledge fans who had supported him and The Beatles since the start. “When I was very young I asked my dad if people wanted peace,” Paul explained at the time. “He said to me, ‘Yes, people everywhere want peace – it’s usually politicians that cause trouble.’

It always seemed to me that the way The Beatles’ music was admired in the USSR tended to prove his point, that people the world over have a great deal in common.

In releasing this record exclusively in the Soviet Union, I extend the hand of peace and friendship to the people of Russia.”Originally only 11 tracks were put on the first edition of the album. A second Soviet pressing, released in December 1988, increased the song total to 13 by adding “I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday” and “Summertime“.

The 1991 worldwide CD release contained 14 tracks by including “I’m in Love Again” (first released in 1989 as one of the B-sides to McCartney’s “This One” single) as a bonus track.

The cover of the album was designed by Michael Ross. McCartney’s photograph in a red star, the USSR’s symbol, was taken by his wife Linda and was first featured inside the gate-fold album cover of Ram.

McCartney intended Снова В СССР as a present for Soviet fans who were generally unable to obtain his legitimate recordings, often having to make do with copies; they would, for a change, have an album that people in other countries would be unable to obtain.

Accordingly, McCartney never intended the album to be sold outside the USSR, and mirroring the situation as it had been within the Soviet Union, it was a popular import or bootleg album in other countries.

Recorded in 1987

Released to the U.S.S.R. in 1988

Worldwide release in 1991

Produced by Paul McCartney

Side 1

Kansas City Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller 4:03

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

#1.

Peter Henderson : Recording engineer Jul 20, 1987 Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK Session Mixing: Jul 22, 1987

A rocking opener, which Paul has done many times. He does it the Beatles way with the Hey Hey part, instead of the Wilbert Harrison version. A tight band for this and every track. No or little backing vocals on most tracks, but here a few “Hey Hey’s.” The drumming is strong on every track, as is the great piano and guitar solos. Paul’s bass is understated. Vocals are strong and growly here and on every track. Rating – 8

2. Twenty Flight Rock Written by Eddie Cochran, Ned Fairchild. 3:04 Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #1.

The song that got Paul into Lennon’s band. A nice strong version. Again, nice piano solo, understated 4×4 bass line. Green smokes on his solo. Rating – 7.5

3. Lawdy Miss Clawdy Written by Lloyd Price 3:18

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #1.

Outstanding toe tapper that takes off with Gallagher’s sweet lines, and then Green’s guitar turns it up with an amazing set of solos. Macca’s vocals are good. But they have him mixed into the heart of the sound with a bit of echo effect (on all of songs). It doesn’t make the songs bad, it just doesn’t always show off his voice. Rating – 8

4. I’m In Love Again Written by Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew 3:00

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #1.

Paul has a blast with this one. He snarls, growls and even barks his way through one of his loves, the fat man. Rating – 7

5. Bring It On Home To Me Written by Sam Cooke 3:15

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #1

Paul slows it down with this tasty remake. One of his best vocals of the album. Green’s solo is delicious.Rating – 8.5

6. Lucille Written by Richard Penniman / Little Richard, Albert Collins 3:13

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #1

The classic that Paul has rocked since childhood. He handles it like a pro. The band keeps a nice rocking pace, with the right amount of tension on the pauses. Green and Gallagher kill again on their solos. Rating – 7

7. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore Written by Duke Ellington, Bob Russell 2:51

Paul McCartney : Guitar, Vocals Mick Gallagher : Piano Nick Garvey : Bass Henry Spinetti : Drums

#2. Peter Henderson : Recording engineerSession Recording: Jul 21, 1987Studio : Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UKSession Mixing: Jul 22, 1987Studio : Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Put on the CD single for “Once Upon A Long Ago,” which I bought and this song came on and I loved it. He takes the Duke Ellington swing hit and rocks the house with it. This is what every song on the album should have tried to do and tried to sound like. Spinetti is a monster on the drums…. Rating – 9

8. I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday Written by Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Roy Hayes 4:14

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

#3.

Peter Henderson : Recording engineer Session Recording: Jul 20, 1987Studio : Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK Session Mixing: Jul 22, 1987 Studio : Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Paul again has some fun with this Fats Domino number. The lead guitar is buried way too deep. Paul’s voice, drums and piano are clear and up front. The bass again, restrained and basic four to the floor. The lead vocal gives it the extra touch. Rating – 8

9. That’s All Right Mama Written by Arthur Crudup. 3:48

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #3.

Accurate recreation of the Elvis classic, complete with Paul’s Presley vocal inflection and heavy echo added on. Green solo is short and sweet. The second solo is joined by piano. Paul’s vocals just don’t carry the payload for the entire song. Rating – 6.5

10. Summertime Written by George Gershwin. 4:58

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #3.

The old standard done blues style. Compare to Paul’s other attempts to play the blues, this one is pretty darn good. The bass line finally moves around a bit, and the band is right there with him. Gallagher adds an organ to good use. A nice surprise here…. Rating – 8.5

11. Ain’t That A Shame Written by Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew. 3:43

Paul McCartney : Guitar, Vocals Mick Gallagher : Piano Nick Garvey : Bass Henry Spinetti : Drums

Same as #2.

A song built for Paul. He’s played it a few times. The in-studio production on this one is taken up a notch with the echo effect on the vocals. The lead guitar sounds like it is in another room. Paul’s vocals are spot on. Rating – 8.5

12. Crackin’ Up Written by Ellas McDaniel 3:55

Paul McCartney : Guitar, Vocals Mick Gallagher : Piano Nick Garvey : Bass Henry Spinetti : Drums

Same as #2

Bo Diddley’s hit is done with a reggae flair. Best to leave this one as a soundcheck. Great organ by Gallagher adds to the island feel. Rating – 6.5

13. Just Because Written by Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton, Sydney Robin. 3:34

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #3.

The Elvis uptempo deeper track. Same vocal effect as “That’s All Right, Mama” and it just doesn’t elevate the song at all. It’s not bad, it’s just not a killer vocal by Macca. Rating – 6.5

14. Midnight Special (Prisoner’s Song) Written by Traditional. 3:59

Paul McCartney : Bass, Vocal Mick Green : Guitar Chris Whitten : Drums Mick Gallagher : Piano

Same as #3.

Another one that doesn’t come out as smooth as the recording. Traditional track with another set of lyrics from other versions I’ve heard. It’s nice, one I would dance with my cat with behind closed doors…. Rating – 6.5

The complete version of these sessions that have been release comes out with a rating of 7.57/10.

Paul goes to old rock during tough times, and this cleansed his palette for the next major release.

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In August Paul laid down demos to “Good Sign,” “Distractions” and “Pick It Up.”

Also in August he worked on two Cold Cuts songs, “Same Time, Next Year” and “Mama’s Little Girl.”

He made the decision to start included all of these unreleased tracks could come out as bonus tracks on CD singles. So over the next ten years this would begin to happen. He would tidy up the songs prior, sometimes make it better than the original mix, sometimes not.

Both these demos would come out in 1989-90 era.

He did a session in September with the band Spirit Of Play and recorded and produced a song called “Children In Need.”

He got back together with Elvis Costello in this time frame and they worked a few months on laying down demos to the songs they had written.

Elvis envisioned an album that THEY co-released, but Paul had another idea. They recorded 9 demos.

Paul did another one off session for Linda. They did “Endless Day” and “Poison Ivy.” Little by little, a song or two every few years and Linda was getting close to a full album.

In December 1987 he had sessions for the music and voice for the short animated film, “Tropic Island Hum.”

Finally, on December 21st-24th he did the first official session in what would end up being his next album.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, it’s now going to be 1988…..

We’ll go over my rating of the proposed 1987’s “Return To Pepperland” album… next.

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PRESS TO PLAY (1986)

This was the first McCartney album in which I bought a CD first (that had more tracks included than the vinyl), also the vinyl, and I don’t think I bought any cassette or CD-single.

The album is titled, PRESS TO PLAY, like the instructions you got before listening to music in 1986.With walk-mans the thing, and now the CD had been introduced and older catalogs of artists were slowly coming out. The vinyl section gave up some room.

This was still baby steps. The McCartney catalog that would come out on CD and then in 1993 the entire catalog was remastered again, with altered bonus tracks. And then again on they are all remastered again with the newest digital and physical archive releases today, some costing up to $400 for the super deluxe box sets.

This album has not had that treatment. Paul released four singles from this album, only one had mild success.

He scrapped Eric Stewart without so much as a “where they do” and brought in the HOT producer, Hugh Padgham. One of the last things they worked on together was a lovely mid-tempo acoustic ballad they wrote together called, “Yvonne.”

Paul recorded an amazing version of it and it belonged being on PRESS somewhere?Eric, in one of the last 10 cc albums and a shell of the original four in 1973, released it in a much different arrangement and lyric. Rating – (Paul) 8.5 10cc – 4.5

Hugh Padham had just produced The Police and Phil Collins to MONSTER records in 1984-86, so naturally Paul wanted to sound as contemporary and radio friendly as they had… But he had about 10 songs which Eric Stewart had recorded, but not finished, and so they used those as launching pads and re-recorded and re-mixed all the tracks.

Stewart is credited throughout but they removed his soul in the final edit. I open it up still thinking he and Paul were working closely.

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The cover’s photograph was taken by George Hurrell, using the same box camera that he used in Hollywood in the 1930s and the 1940s. Hurrell was renowned for his photographs of movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s like Clark Gable and Greta Garbo, to which the album’s cover was meant to pay homage.

Paul and Linda look lovely but I was hoping for something different in a cover from Paul in 1986.

I would listen to the CD as best I could in my car (shaking player plug in and while jogging it was impossible), but would love it when I was tanning just around the corner from where I lived.

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“Stranglehold” Stewart co-write, started March 85. Nice opener, but the 80’s sax comes in, which wasn’t in the original mix. A good little track, the real horns sounds great. The drums by Jerry Morotta work fine, with minimal tinkering by Padgham. A single pulled from the album did poorly. Rating – 8

“Good Times Coming”/“Feel The Sun” An upbeat chant leads to the reggae up-beat first half of the track into the rocking second half. This time the basic drumming moves the stiff feeling flowing…. The slow change flowing into “Sun” was a very Beatle change. Stewart’s guitar is finally featured…. Could he have written two songs?, yes. He actually did. “Feel The Sun” exists in a much longer stand-alone version with more verses. On this version Linda sounds nice. Rating – 7.5

“Talk, More Talk” Paul tries to get trippy here with the voice adjustments added to family quotes before getting to the rocker. A bit of difference in the rocking Paul voice was noticed here…. It has become what it is….but I heard the first inkling here. It tries with a few spiritual sounding changes, before the voices carry us out….Grey Flannel Trousers Indeed!!! Rating – 6

“Footprints” The hidden GEM of The album. “it’s beautiful outside sparked this gem. Slightly off kilter sound give it edge. The acoustics and percussion are amazing. A tad long. Nice subtle enhancements throughout. Rating – 8

“Only Love Remains” This single finishes side one. Now this one should have been the piano based album closer he was popping out like marshmallow peeps. This one works better than nearly all of the others. They now mix his vocals slightly in the back with a bit of echo. Odd. A slow mover that Linda brings into a strong middle eight. Rating – 8

Side two.

He wants us to push “Press.” The music video has a relaxed (very) sporting a changing hair color in the tunes as a every man Singing with the locals. He raps a bit. They do this to run him into MC McCartney……sigh..

It doesn’t sound bad, he’s just trying too hard to sound young and vital. Lots of Linda on the play-out. He has never sang one of this albums songs in concert since returning to the stage in 1989.

And BACK TO THE EGG. That album also hasn’t come out with archive editions…. Hmmm. Rating. – 6.75

“Pretty Little Head” Various mixes of this song exist. It’s kind of a consensus that the single mix is the best and this album version and the extended mix (on the now obligatory 12” single with each 45 and CD single release) is not. Rating – (this mix) 5.25

“Move Over Busker” Another Paul rocker, with free thought lyrics about nothing that made since. A nice toe-tapper. Linda and Eric help out. The last verse features some adventurous bass. Paul’s vocal mix is buried. Nice but harmless. Rating – 6.5

“Angry” Helped by Pete Townshend and Phil Collins, Paul’s screams at us in this new wavy song of his anger. I don’t feel it…. Rating – 6.5

“However Absurd” Paul tries his best to capture that Beatles feel on this track which ends the vinyl release. It also features silly lyrics which I heard in my head as he was singing them. Big “Ringo” sound by Jerry Marotta on drums sound really nice. Paul affected vocals didn’t affect me. A terrible middle eight doom this heavyweight dud. Rating – 5

“Write Away” A CD only track and on one of the singles. An odd drum track and bass and that 80’s guitar by Carlos Alomar. Not enough there for me…. Rating. – 6.5

“It’s Not True” A defense of someone…..Linda, maybe? A slow starter that soon becomes too layered in all that production. The sad 80’s sax solo.. Rating – 5

“Tough On A Tightrope” It had a chance to be very good and the layers of bad production wash it away. Not a bad middle eight and guitar break by Stewart. Rating – 7

In the inside gate-fold Paul draws what he wants each song sound to look like in a visual drawing. It is quite interesting and accurate.

Over all PRESS gathered a rating of 6.62/10.

I think this rating captures it’s inability to latch on to the public and Paul again searched elsewhere for hits…

1986…. Another return to Cold Cuts! Phil Ramone, and a new concept that again doesn’t get released.

Next.

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After Broad Street (1985)

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.”

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GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROAD STREET (album 1984)

The album that was Paul’s next official release, the soundtrack of the film, which included the music as it was in the film, including dialog from the film itself rather than a faking it completely on camera after recording it proper in a studio. So this is very authentic and every sounds really nice, as usual.

Just one major issue…To factor these songs it was rather amazing that so many Beatles songs would be done, and released in a film this way, as complete remakes, nearly identical to The Beatles, and he also does songs he had just released on record. Filming began in very late 1982 and Paul’s latest album out at the time has two songs in the film. Interesting……and not in a good way.

The cover is a black background with a pasting of a “worried and thinking” Paul….where did the tapes go?? A image of Harry, the suspected roadie who had the tapes when they went missing. For no reason the big blue box holding the tapes has an outer glow and inside even more. An obvious nod to their value, a-la diamonds or precious metals that have had the same effect in films and television. The opened case with glowing inside.

The album

“No More Lonely Nights” This tender ballad features Paul on Paino and vocals, joined by Eric Stewart and Linda on backing vocals. Herbie Flowers handles the bass, Stuart Elliot does a good Ringo sound on drums, Ann Dudley on synthesizers and the best part of the song, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame on electric lead. His fill lines and two solos make this song very very special. One of the last great singles.

Would have been a record breaker if released at his peak popularity period, but this was approaching the middle of a difficult period of not any major success, and with failures happening in this period. It is a song that can’t be improved on. Rating – 9.0

“Good Day Sunshine” It was a great song back in 1966, it still is a good song, and this exact as possible re-recording of it sounds really good here, I just didn’t need this. Rating – 6A full soundtrack of new and great songs, with a better conceptualized theme and maybe this film could have worked.(Maybe the tug and pipes singles videos could have been held back and involved and allowed Paul to remain in various characters in shorter roles..)“Yesterday” Another spot on remake with a larger horn section and no strings. Not needed. Rating – 6

“Here, There and Everywhere” See “yesterday.” Rating – 6

“Wanderlust” Needed less that The Beatles tracks. Hate the 80’s drum sound. Rating – 5

“Ballroom Dancing” Goes well with the films dance hall, band in blue and fight/dance choreography. An extra verse has been put in. Ringo’s sad drumming continues. He is lifeless. Rating – 5

“Silly Love Songs/Reprise”. Awful remake of this song in the worst 1980’s wash of production. Rating – 4

“Not Such A Bad Boy” One of the two new songs. This is kind of a rocker, but doesn’t move me in the least. Rating – 5.5

“So Bad” Another unneeded song from an album less than a year old, and not a big hit. Rating – 5

“No Values” Second new track, not nearly as bad as “Bad Boy” but sounds like it was recorded in a garage. And not in a good way. It just doesn’t move me at all. When it shows some life, he ends it… Rating – 6

“For No One” Remake with string quartet while Ringo still looks for those sticks…. Why not something new? Rating – 6

“Eleanor Rigby”. Paul looks and sounds great. A slightly different arrangement of the original. Rating – 6

Paul daydreams into “Eleanor’s Dream” Interesting variation of the original. It is the first time many of us hear Paul in this setting. He had released the two themes in his life so far, from “THE FAMILY WAY” and “THE HONORARY CONSUL.”The film get wacky and all over the place with the vintage dream but his first dabbling into classical for me. Rating – 8

“The Long And Winding Road” Paul takes his gentle piano ballad he and George Martin drown it in a wash of 80’s saxes and too much percussion and too quick. Rating – 5

“No More Lonely Nights” (play-out version)They take a great piano song and make it a extended mix dance track. Bad idea. Rating – 4

“Goodnight Princess” Sweet 1930’s style final song of the night played by the band. Rating – 7

Wow, I really didn’t seem to like it. It rates out as 5.91/10

One of our lowest rated album, so far.

Next, songs given away and 1985…..

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Give My Regards To Broad Street (1984)

At some point in 1984 the word came out that Paul was going to release a new full length movie in the fall, called “Give My Regards To Broad Street.” As a super fan I was excited. Now could I not be….

It is a take off of the old show tune, “Give My Regards To Broadway.”

One of the main plot points takes place at the actual London railway station, Broad Street (which closed in 1986….maybe because of the movie?)

Paul came up with the idea, and chose to write the screen play. It was produced by Andros Epaminodas. Andros resume included assistant to the producer and actor on 1971’s “A Clockwork Orange,” as well as assistant to the producer on Barry Lyndon (1975) and The Shining (1980) and producer of Stealing Heaven (1988).

The director job went to Peter Webb, whose credits prior to this film were 14 episodes of the British television shows, Whose Baby? (1973), 2 episodes of Shadows (1975), 2 episodes of The Tomorrow People (1978). His only film credit was the 1979 short, Butch Minds The Baby. Not exactly Marty Scorsese…. And after Broad Street…nothing. Yikes…

Paul gathered the crew and from very late 1982 thru most of 1983 they filmed and put the film together and planned on this late 1984 release.

I was still married, living in Las Vegas and the local rock station had a contest and gave away tickets for a special screening the day before release. I won two tickets (which I have in my collection) and took my wife to the theater, all excited. Also winning was my friend and co-worker, Koko, and her then husband, and we sat behind each other.

Paul had also finished the short animated film Rupert And The Frog Song and it was shown before hand (it was around 15 minutes). And it was fantastic, colorful and filled with childlike warmth and whimsy. It was a tasty appetizer for the main event. The film started….

Okay, here are the good things. It’s 90 minutes of Paul, playing music, on film, in many interesting locations and scenes with Linda, Ringo etc.. and this alone is a reason to watch. He has scenes where he re-imagines Beatles songs…. And gives us a few new songs.

The single, released before the movies release, “No More Lonely Nights” was out and moving up the charts. The only problem…. was the plot….

Paul being driven to a destination but is stuck in traffic and begins jotting down notes on a pad…. We get into his head. He has an album due to his record company. The tapes go missing. The evil businessman gives them 24 hrs to find them or he will own the label.

So in the 24 hrs of Paul’s life he records (George Martin and Geoff Emerick appear), he films a television segment (“Ballroom Dancing” come to rollicking life), he practices with a band and has a couple of fantasy segments as he is in deep thought (“Silly Loves Songs” becomes some sort of futuristic break dancing madness and “Eleanor Rigby” becomes some Sherlock Holmes era picnic turned into chase and escape).

He also drives around looking and thinking. There are sub plots involving Ringo and a reporter (his wife Barbara) and Tracey Ullman and her angry boyfriend, Sir Ralph Richardson as an old and wise confidant helping him find the glowing blue box of tapes. Finally, as Paul sees the Broad Street station on his drive, he remembers the roadie (to whom the tapes disappeared with and is presumed to be the guilty one based on his past) had left via this station.

He finds the tapes (the roadie accidentally got locked in a bathroom those 24 hrs) and gets them delivered with seconds to spare…. Only to have Paul arrive at his destination in the car, waking up from the nap he had while in traffic…. It was all a dream!

At various points I would turn and look back and stare in horror at Koko, whose look back to me was the same…. What the…..?

We left the theater, confused, disappointed but like I said. It was a Beatle on the big screen for 90 minutes. And the music ranged from not bad to good to very very good.

Paul fully embraced his Beatles past (not a bad selling point) by re-recording “Good Day Sunshine,” “Yesterday,” “Here There And Everywhere,” “For No One,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “The Long And Winding Road.” He also re-records solo era songs “Wanderlust,” “Ballroom Dancing” and “Silly Love Songs.”

He has three new songs, with “Lonely Nights” as well as “Not Such A Bad Boy” and “No Values.”

Funny trivia about the movie. Ringo refused to be part of any re-recording of classic Beatles tracks, so while Paul sings them in the recording studio Ringo comically fakes looking for his drum sticks and finds them just when Paul starts on a non-Beatles song….The film premiered for the public the next day to horrifying reviews, and was out of the theaters in ONE WEEK….A major disaster at the time.

I can watch it, warts and all, as a time in my life and for all of the music and visual excitement. So since the Wings over America and world tour of 1976, he’s had bad reviews for LONDON TOWN, BACK TO THE EGG, McCARTNEY II, PIPES OF PEACE and now the film Broad Street. Except for TUG OF WAR and FROG Song animated short, it has been a tough 8 year stretch.

And also the drug bust of 1980, two more drug busts in early 1983, the death of John Lennon…..

Also, some video game manufacturer developed the film as a game. Would love to see footage of this 1985 product in action.

The album of the soundtrack sold very well, as did the single, “Lonely Nights” and we will review it..

Next, reviewing the soundtrack to “Give My Regards To Broad Street,” and 1985 and what followed…..

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After PIPES OF PEACE (the end of 1983 into 1984)

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The album PIPES OF PEACE was a successful album, sales wise, but not up to the sales of TUG OF WAR. It went to only #15 in the U.S. and #4 in the U.K. It still was a platinum disc, and the single “Pipes Of Peace” did go to #1 in the U.K.

“Pipes,” the single, was only issued as the B-side to “So Bad” in the U.S., which got to #24 on the charts.The reviewers were not kind in its critique of the album, with most giving it 2 or 3 stars out of 5, a major drop from TUG OF WAR. Even as “Say Say Say” was on top of the charts at the end of 1983, Paul returned to the studio on December 11th to record an instrumental track that played out during the credits of his next film project. ———————————————————————————————————————–

Songs that were recorded and considered for either album in that entire 1980-1983 range that didn’t appear on either TUG or PEACE…“Simple As That” The demo was recorded in 1983 and the finished version was released on the 1986 album, THE ANTI-HEROIN PROJECT: IT’S A LIVE-IN WORLD.The song is about making a decision, yes or no, or in this case dead or alive.

I know it isn’t easy to refuse.

A lot of thoughts are flying thru’ your head.

Tell me this before you have to choose.

Would you rather be alive or dead?

It’s as simple as that

Would you rather be alive or dead?

It’s as simple as that, it’s so simple.

I guess this is why this song was selected for this album.The demo is raw with pulsating guitar and Paul on drums, bass and electronics, and has completely different lyrics. The album takes the same basic framework, and slows it with a reggae beat, with the new “decisions lyrics” and now features Linda, and children James, Mary and Stella on backing vocals. Both are interesting variations of the same structure. Rating – 8

“Ode To A Koala Bear” A piano driven mid-tempo rocker that features great vocals by Paul and that Wings like harmony of Linda and Eric. Paul plays fuzz bass in addition to everything. Released as the B-Side of “Say Say Say.” Inspired by one of his children toys, this was also the last song Paul worked on while John was alive. Rating – 7.5

“Christian Bop” Recorded in 1981 and released in 2015 with the deluxe archive edition of PIPES. In bootlegs it has been listed as Christian POP. Parts of the basic melody were incorporated in Paul’s LIVERPOOL ORATORIO (1991). A sprite orchestra driven instrumental. Rating – 7

“Twice In A Lifetime” Another of the piano ballads we talked about in “Through Our Love.” Heavy 80’s production (including the required sax solo on the break), it all sounds nice, but doesn’t stay in your head once it’s done. Rating – 6.25

“We All Stand Together” The title track and central theme from the short animated film, “Rupert and the frog song.” Finally released in 1984 to much acclaim. Started in late 1980 by the last Wings band, a wonderful little children’s song with Paul doing nearly all of the human (an operatic woman sings a line in the middle) and frogs and cats vocals. Aided by a children’s choir, this was issued as single in the U.K. only. Ultra-lush and bombastic at parts (to drive the video) even features Paul on kazoos to simulate bees…. Rating – 7.5

“It’s Not On” Recorded in 1982, in what could have been a continuation of the “average persons” theme. Super interesting song, feature Paul alone, with altered voices, tempo shifts and general weirdness. Wished this could have been included on either of the albums, but finally came out in the 2015 archive set. “Some things, like buttons, are left undone…. It’s not on.” I love this insanity. Rating – 9

The Theme From “The Honorary Consul” John Williams conducted this from the movie of the same name, featuring Richard Gere, Michael Caine and Bob Hopkins. A slow Spanish acoustic guitar driven instrumental melody that could have been written by anyone, except this was written by and heavy promoted as being written by Paul. Rating – 6.25

Meanwhile he continued to record music for his next album, which would be the soundtrack for the film which he wrote, with himself, Linda, Ringo, Tracey Ullman, Bryan Brown staring in, “Give My Regards To Broadstreet.”

Next……. 1984 (not Orwell or Bowie) and film successes and failures.

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Paul Gives “Peace” A Chance (1983)

1983 started with Paul continuing as he had done in 81 and 82. He began finishing songs that they had laid down in both of those years, plus new songs he had wrote since then. All were intended for the next album, which came out October 31st of this year.

In addition, in late 1982 Paul had dreamed up and started work on a new and massive project…..

A Hard Days Night

Help!

Yellow Submarine

Let It Be

All are films which Paul had appeared in, and whose music was featured. He also wrote music which was featured in films, such as Live and Let Die, Same Time Next Year, The World According To Garp, Once Upon A Time In America, Twice In A Lifetime, Vanilla Sky, The Royal Tenenbaums, The In-Laws, Funny People and Maybe Baby.

He, along with The Beatles made numerous promotional films over a decade before MTV was even an idea. And he continued to make numerous short musical films, and release concert films, and start unfinished films. Seeing Elvis on the big screen was a “that’s what I want to do” moment for him….

So quietly (I knew of no such work in progress at the time) he began jotting down ideas on a potential movie plot…. And then deciding at some point in 1983, screw it…. I’ll write the screenplay.

Starting in February thru March 1983 he went back into the studio to work on music for said film project.

In June he went back to work on the next album, starting to come up with the final mixes, combined with starting a few new recordings. After the August 31st mixing of a song that would become the b-side of his next single, he put the music side of the next album to bed. But obviously there was album art design, music video work to be done as well as planning out the entire promotional campaign.

Filming and recording more music for the film began in November 1983, just after the new album would be released, and continued until July of 1984. The proposed film was slated for a fall of 1984 release…..

On October 3rd, the first single pulled from the album was released, combined with an amazing music video that was dominating play on the red-hot new MTV channel. Both featured the hottest property on the planet, Jackson.

On October 31st the new album was released. It was called, PIPES OF PEACE, the other side of TUG OF WAR’s coin. George Martin had envisioned TUG as a more funky album, but PEACE ended up with the funkier songs and feel.

By this time in music, Funk/Pop/Dace music was dominating the charts, with artists such as Prince, Wham, Madonna and Michael Jackson combining all three styles with much success. I brought the album and scurried home to listen to it…. Excited as a kid on Christmas Day.

The front cover shows a single chair, with five pipes of various size, shape and use (smoking vs music) with a single hand holding one.

Opening the gate-fold sleeve on the rear cover shows Paul body as the hand hand reaches around to the the front cover. On an opened tripod a large tribal smoking pipe (identical to the one leaning on the chair) is mounted on top, like a camera or a telescope.

My first thought is that Paul looks slightly older and a bit stoned in his extremely casual dress.

My emotional go to before even listening was back to Paul’s love of weed…. Was Paul saying, that with music (the musical pipes) and smoking pipes (the tribal peace pipe maybe filled with something medicinal) that peace could be the alternative to war? I may have been seeking my own inner peace before placing the needle on the turntable….

“Pipes Of Peace” A song which produced the second best music video of Paul’s career, when he plays multiple roles as an English and German soldier who interact during a cease fire holiday break in war torn WWI. The two soldiers exchange photos of each others wives, while the soldiers from both sides play soccer, laugh and drink and stop the war…. Until a random shell hits nearby and both sides quickly retreat to their respective bunkers and trenches. Upon their arrival both soldiers now realize that that have accidentally kept the photo of the other mans wife, but still find comfort in having it on hand, and both settle back into the war scene in with each photo clutched to his heart.

Tender, well directed and staged and Paul’s best acting performance of his career. He must have thought, Hey making these videos is fun….. I would love to do more and bigger ones….

About the song…. Sounds of war begin and suddenly a voice breaks in. A gentle piano ballad that kicks in and a nice little toe tapper. Played mostly by Paul, with pan flute and tabla players brought in. Linda and Eric Stewart backing vocals with Paul have a children’s choir like quality. The opening verse is repeated and it ends in a bed of lush orchestration. Rating -8

“Say Say Say” The demo was cut by Jackson and Paul added his bass, and they worked out the lyrics and arrangement together. Jackson insisted that Linda sing backup vocals, and again with Eric Stewart joining in. Another amazing video, a silly romp with Paul and Linda and Jackson as a turn of the century hustlers going from town to town selling their “goods” and performing.

It is a lovely production as well, with both men looking as good as they ever will, especially Jackson. He should have stopped the surgeries at this point. He looked amazing. LaToya plays his love interest. It is fun, visually beautiful and it got played a hell of a lot on MTV. It allowed the song to stay at number one in the charts into 1984.

About the song…. Okay, at first I was like yes, Paul has grabbed the comet, but Jackson was quite taken by Macca and his past as well. Look at every photo I post of them during these times and they dress alike, and make the same facial gestures. Michael was like a son of Paul during this time period, and the song continued Jackson’s domination of the charts and airwaves, as his THRILLER continued to sell like mad, over a year and a half after its release.

“Say Say Say” is an awesome pop song, with both performers knocking it out of the park. The mix is perfect, the sound is solid and still sounds amazing today. If it weren’t for the events that followed by Jackson regarding Paul, and the deterioration of Jackson late in his life, this would be a highlight for them both to remember. It still shines like a bright star in the sky, but one we don’t really ever look at anymore.

Paul remixed this song on his deluxe archive release and switched the alternating vocals in the opposite way. Verses that Jackson sung, we now had Paul singing etc…. Dance remixes of this still get the bones a bounding on the dance floor. Rating – 9

“The Other Me” The song brings us back to reality. Not a bad little disco-like melody, but one of the worst line of lyrics of Paul’s. (“I acted like a dust bin lid”). Paul plays everything and features a nice double tracked vocal at the end. I still found myself tapping my foot…. Rating – 6.5

“Keep Under Cover” An odd song… it opens slow and soft then kicks into a Beatles like march. Started in 1980…. With heavy strings added. Eric, Linda and Stanley Clarke on bass. Rating – 6.5

“So Bad” Paul brings his “Girlfriend” falsetto back, with Ringo on drums, Eric (he was kind of the new Denny) on vocals and electric guitar and Linda on vocals. Very Wings like, it also was a single and a music video was made with Paul, Ringo and Eric playing and Linda snapping away wit the camera. A nice song, but a bit too lush for my taste. Rating – 7

“The Man” The third and final Macca/Jacko collaboration. This one doesn’t really get enough footing. Paul plays everything again with Linda and Eric singing backing vocals as usual. They try hard, it sounds good, but it is missing something. Tasty guitar work by Paul on the break and the play-out. Rating – 6.5

“Sweetest Little Show” Another Paul only song. A oldies like fell that has a wonderful acoustic break that breaks into applause and then a quick return to the verse before ending on a off note…. I like it…. Rating – 8

“Average Person” Starts as “Show” fades, with heavy Linda backing vocals, joined by Denny Laine and Eric Stewart. Ringo drumming is functional at best. Outstanding production by Martin, with all sorts of noises and sounds within the mix. Silly lyrics about the average people described had me head scratching. Rating – 6.5

“Hey Hey” Paul plays nearly all gets funky with bass player Stanley Clarke, who co-wrote this one. Basically an instrumental except for shouting “Hey Hey.” A tempo change gives a Clarke to stretch out the bass for a short time, a nice touch. They shout out “That’s all” as the song fades. Rating – 7

“Tug Of Peace” It takes the intro to “Tug Of War” and melody of the same and brings it into funky town with the counter melody and lyrics of “Pipes Of Peace.” One of the first mashups ever done, I would say. Interesting that it is done on the album where one of the songs is on. Right? They all shout out…”Hey, new ending” Rating – 8.5

“Through Our Love” The first time I heard the kind of ballad Paul would write the next 10-15 years, usually as a closer to his albums. Heavy orchestration by Martin. It isn’t terrible, but it never moves me. It is a clear of example of 1980’s over-production. Rating – 6

The entire album “sounds” slicker then an oil spill in the head phones, but overall the album is lacking something that all of Paul’s best albums have…. Making me want to listen again and again with those magical ear-worms missing for the most part. The highlights are great, the title track, “Say Say Say,” The acoustic break on “Sweetest Little Show” and of course the the three music videos are all great in retrospect.

The grades are in and PIPES OF PEACE gets 7.14/10, a bit better than I expected….

Next, songs left off PEACE and what started in 1984…..

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After TUG OF WAR and more (1982)

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After John Lennon was murdered in December 1980, this event changed the mindset of Paul. He would not tour for the next nine years, even with multiple albums being released, and his love of live performances.Security and staying safe became the main thing in his life.

If the ex-Beatle who wrote, “Give Peace A Chance” could be killed for no reason, then why should he risk it? But Paul is constantly creating, coming up with project after project, song after song, idea after idea.

And as TUG OF WAR hit the stores and airwaves in May of 1982, nothing had changed. Just before its release date, in April 1982, Paul met up with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, to record what would become three songs. The first would be released by Jackson, and became the first single pulled from his mega-seller 1982’s, THRILLER.

They would reunite in early 1983 and they recorded two more songs which Paul released on his next album in 1983.Jackson called up the McCartney’s home on Christmas Day in 1981 and told Paul that he wanted them to get together “and make some hits.”

During his visit with Paul, the fatherly McCartney gave Jackson some financial advise. He told him to invest his money in song publishing, something he had already done to much reward. Jackson, listened and agreed, then giggled and told Paul, “One day I’m gonna’ own your songs.” Paul laughed and thought Jackson a wacky kid….. More on this major life changing moment for the two later on.

Well, Paul loves to create. And Paul loves success, and had gotten so much of it since 1962, that the lack of it must drive him crazy. As a solo artist, and a member of Wings, he had albums and songs that didn’t sell well (in relations to past sales) and critique’s of these that were downright bad.

So the chance to perform with a young man, who was nearing the apex of his “Beatle-like” fame, was a sure fire chance to grab onto that soaring comet. Paul was now approaching 40 years old, and a chance to stay relevant with the young music buyers is something he wanted to do.

The song they worked on in 1982 was “The Girl Is Mine,” which was a big hit for Jackson. It ended up being the weakest of ALL of the singles pulled from THRILLER, but it was a major hit.

“The Girl Is Mine” A mid tempo song that became a #1 hit about two men arguing (in song) about who the girl belongs two. It is a harmless song that ends in cringe worthy dialogue between the two which caused mocking laughter whenever it played on the radio at work. My co-worker Koko, the worlds biggest Jackson fan, and I could not really respond with anything other than, “it’s not THAT bad…”. The line spoken by Jackson, “I think I told you Paul, I’m a lover, not a fighter..” Indicated the opposite. Rating – 6.5

They also worked on the other two songs in 1983, one started by Jackson and added to by Paul off the original demo (which they used in the final mix) called “Say Say Say” and a track written by both called, “The Man.” George Martin produced both these songs.

After taking off five months, Paul and George Martin, reunited in September of 1982 and began recording more songs for Paul’s next album, which would come out in 1983…..

Very late in 1982 Paul began working on an idea which would be his next really BIG project. It would eventually appear to all in 1984. In addition to critically panned albums, other ideas Paul had dreamed up since leaving tThe Beatles included the unreleased full length “Rupert Movie,” “The Bruce McMouse Show,” and the various attempts at releasing “Cold Cuts And Hot Hits.” Add in the ideas which he did produce such as the lukewarm reception of “The James Paul McCartney TV Special,” and those which ideas which came out way too late to capture the audience, such as the “Back To The Egg TV Special,” “Rockshow TV special” and the “Wings Over America” film projects. But he was beginning to form the next HUGE idea that would actually get done….BUT would be the biggest flop of his career….

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There were songs recorded in 1981-1982 that didn’t appear on TUG OF WAR, but came out with its release. “Rainclouds” The song Paul was working on the day John Lennon was killed. Written with Denny Laine, who with Linda and Eric Stewart contribute backing vocals that deliver with Wings like harmonies and an also wonderful contribution by Paddy Moloney on uilleann pipes. The B-side to “Ebony And Ivory” single. A good old fashioned Irish foot stomping jam equals great fun. I’m not sure if its sound could have fit on TUG, but taking the link out and placing this or the next b-side would have been fine with me. Rating – 8.5

“I’ll Give You A Ring” The B-side to “Take It away,” another classic McCartney deep cut. In the style of an old jazz tune, it features amazing lead and backing vocals that rival anything ever done with Wings. It pauses and shifts at the end into a thumping rocker with Denny’s guitar putting an exclamation pint on the whole song.Rating – 9

“Stop, You Don’t Know Where She Came From” A demo that was never recorded properly but still shows its character in 1:44. A song about about caution about a friend getting involved with a bad woman. A nice four to the floor vintage rocker that had possibilities. Paul uses his New Orleans upper end vocals to deliver the goods.. but it needed more work to bring the goods home and Paul chose not to. Rating – 7.5

“All In Love Is Fair” I’ve seen this listed as a Wings song, so maybe Laurence and Steve played on it… A working out of the basic song melody, with faux lyrics sung by Paul except for the title.. Sounds like the kind of song Paul could write in his sleep.Rating – 6

Denny Laine left during the recording of TUG OF WAR, and it’s a shame, for even though he is hidden in the background on this album he helped elevate Paul through some very tough years until this second phase of his solo career. He speaks only of good of Paul nowadays, but he really didn’t receive the credit and financial compensation he deserved for 12 years of hard work and dedication. Next, it’s 1983, and the road to Peace. Also Paul puts lots of his money where his mouth was….