Category: paul mccartney

On this day in music history: June 5, 1989 – &…

On this day in music history: June 5, 1989 – “Flowers In The Dirt”, the ninth solo album by Paul McCartney is released. Produced by Paul McCartney, Mitchell Froom, Neil Dorfsman, Trevor Horn, Steve Lipson, Chris Hughes, Ross Cullum and David Foster, it is recorded at Sarm West, AIR Studios, Olympic Studios, Metropolis Studios, Island Studios in London, The Mill in Peasmarsh, East Sussex, UK, Sunset Sound and Mad Hatter Studios in Los Angeles, CA. from September 1987 – February 1989. Following the poor sales and lukewarm response to his previous studio album “Press To Play”, McCartney collaborates with Elvis Costello, writing several songs together including the first single “My Brave Face” (#18 UK, #25 US Pop). Widely regarded as his best album of the 80’s (after “Tug Of War”), it is warmly received by fans and critics upon its release. To promote the album, an hour long documentary titled “Put It There – The Making Of "Flowers In The Dirt” is produced and released on home video. “Flowers” is also supported by McCartney’s first world tour since the “Wings Over America/Over The World” tour in 1975-76. As a promotion for the UK leg of the tour, the album is also issued as a numbered limited edition “Tour Pack” on vinyl and CD, coming packaged in a sleeve shaped like a touring anvil case. The set contains a bonus 7" or 3" CD single of the track “Party Party” (laser etched with flowers on the back side of the 7"), a poster of the band, a second poster with the “family tree” of McCartney’s band history, a tour itinerary, a bumper sticker and six picture postcards. “Flowers” is remastered and reissued as a two CD, vinyl and  three CD + DVD archival box Deluxe Editions in March of 2017. The Archival Collection features the original thirteen song album on disc one, with the second and third discs including eighteen demo recordings. The DVD features all of the music videos made for the album including both versions of “My Brave Face” and “This One”. It also includes the “Put It There” documentary and behind the scenes footage from the recording sessions, as well as McCartney working with Elvis Costello in the studio. “Flowers In The Dirt” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number twenty one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 27, 1975 – &…

On this day in music history: May 27, 1975 – “Venus And Mars”, the fourth studio album by Wings is released. Produced by Paul McCartney, it is recorded at Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans, LA and Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, CA from January – April 1975. Issued as the follow up to the hugely successful “Band On The Run”, it marks the first appearance of new band members Jimmy McCullough (guitar) and Geoff Britton (drums). However, Britton only remains with the band for six months (playing on only three tracks), and is replaced by Joe English who plays on the remaining tracks. The sessions produce a wealth of material including non LP songs such as “My Carnival” (first released as  the B-side of “Spies Like Us” in 1985) and “Lunch Box/Odd Sox” (released as the B-side of “Coming Up in 1980) which are released years later. The project is also McCartney’s first release after re-signing with Capitol Records after dissolution of The Beatles Apple Records label earlier in the year. It spins off three hit singles including "Listen To What The Man Said” (#1 Pop) and “Venus And Mars/Rock Show” (#12 Pop). The album is also released with a quadraphonic stereo remix, which is reissued as a DVD-A disc by DTS in 1996. The original vinyl LP release comes packaged in a gatefold sleeve, and includes two posters and two stickers. In 2014, the album is remastered and reissued as a standard edition two CD set, with fourteen additional bonus tracks on the second disc. It is also released as a two CD + DVD Deluxe Edition with the same contents as the standard edition, plus a one hundred twenty eight page book with rare and previously unpublished photos, extensive annotation on the making of the album, as well as other memorabilia including a reproduction of the “Wings At Elstree” concert poster. The DVD features the original V&M TV spot, previously unseen footage of the band rehearsing for the Elstree concert, and recording the tracks “My Carnival” and “Bon Voyager” in New Orleans. In December of 2017, the album is remastered and reissued on vinyl, on both standard black and limited edition red and yellow split vinyl.  "Venus And Mars" spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 22, 1976 – &…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1976 – “Silly Love Songs” by Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks (non-consecutive), also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on May 29, 1976. Written and produced by Paul McCartney, it is the fifth solo chart topper for the former Beatle. McCartney writes the song in response to critics who often chide him, feeling that his solo work is “lightweight” in comparison to his Beatles era material. Released on April 1, 1976, it is issued as the first single from Wings’ fifth studio album “Wings At The Speed Of Sound”, becoming an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on April 10, 1976, it leaps to the top of the singles chart just six weeks later. After one week on top, it is temporarily bumped from the top spot by Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover” for two weeks on May 29, 1976. The single then rebounds and returns to the top for four more weeks on June 12, 1976. McCartney re-records “Silly Love Songs” in a dramatically revamped version for the film “Give My Regards To Broad Street” in 1984, that features Brothers Johnson bassist Louis Johnson on bass. “Silly Love Songs” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 20, 1978 – &…

On this day in music history: May 20, 1978 – “With A Little Luck” by Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written and produced by Paul McCartney, it is the sixth solo chart topper for the former Beatle. In early 1977, Linda McCartney finds out that she is expecting her and Paul’s third child together (a son, named James Louis McCartney born on September 12, 1977). Inspired by the good news, McCartney writes “With A Little Luck” based on his feelings of happiness and optimism about the impending birth and their future. Deciding that a change of scenery is necessary when recording the follow up to their previous studio album “Wings At The Speed Of Sound”, the band take a working vacation, by living and recording on a yacht called the “Fair Carol” (equipped with a twenty-four track recording studio) moored off of the Virgin Islands in the Spring of 1977. Final overdubbing and mixing for the track is completed in London at Abbey Road and AIR Studios. Released as the first single from “London Town” (original working title “Water Wings”), it quickly becomes a hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #70 on March 25, 1978, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. Commercially sold copies of the 45 contain the full album version clocking in at 5:45, while promotional copies serviced to radio stations feature an edited version running 3:13. The short version is not issued on a commercial album, until the release of the compilation albums “All The Best!” in 1987 (US Version only) and “Wingspan” in 2001. “With A Little Luck” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 17, 1971 – &…

On this day in music history: May 17, 1971 – “RAM”, by Paul & Linda McCartney is released. Produced by Paul & Linda McCartney, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studio in New York City from November – December 1970, A&R Recording Studios in New York City in January 1971, and Sound Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA from February – March 1971. His second album following the break up of The Beatles, McCartney records in the US during the Winter of 1970/71. It is successful in spite of taking a major drubbing from critics. It also raises the ire of his former Beatle band mates, particularly John Lennon, who feels that several songs are directed at him. Lennon’s suspicions about this are further heightened by a photo of two beetles copulating on the back of the album jacket, and that it is another thinly veiled message against them. Lennon responds with “How Do You Sleep?” and “Crippled Inside”, included on his album “Imagine”. The front cover photo of McCartney holding a male sheep by the horns is spoofed by Lennon on a postcard inserted into the “Imagine” album, with John holding a pig by the ears. In spite of the negative critical response, the album is well received, and in time opinions change and is regarded as one of McCartney’s best albums. In the US, it is initially released without a single. Radio stations begin playing “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” which is released as a single three months later, hitting #1 in September of 1971. During its original press run, some copies of the LP pressed by the Capitol Records Los Angeles plant, feature labels with a whole apple on both sides, rather than a cut half apple on side two. While not exceedingly rare, this pressing variation is sought after by collectors. In 2012, the album is remastered and reissued in various editions which include a four CD + DVD archival box set that also include the rare promo mono mix of the album as well as the long out of print album “Thrillington” (featuring instrumental versions of the songs played by an orchestra). The bonus disc also includes “Another Day” and it’s B-side “Oh Woman, Oh Why” (#5 Pop), as well as the later B-side “Little Woman Love” and other outtakes from the sessions. The mono version of “RAM”, originally issued as a promo only LP to radio stations in the US (issued in some foreign territories), is also released. The reissue faithfully replicates the promo release, coming in a plain white sleeve, with the title handwritten on the front and the credits on a typewritten insert. The album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in December of 2017, on standard black and limited edition yellow vinyl. “RAM” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 16, 1980 – &…

On this day in music history: May 16, 1980 – “McCartney II”, the second solo album by Paul McCartney is released. Produced by Paul McCartney, it is recorded at Spirit of Ranachan Studios in Campbelltown, Scotland and EMI Replica Studio in London from July – August 1979. McCartney begins recording his second solo album during the Summer of 1979 while Wings is in limbo (officially disbanding in 1981), at High Park, his farmhouse in rural Scotland. Much like his first solo effort “McCartney” in 1970, he uses the same method of recording, by plugging microphones directly into a Studer sixteen track tape machine. The sessions are prolific, yielding twenty new songs, with the released LP containing only eleven tracks, the rest surface as non-album B-sides or remain unreleased. Though it receives mixed reviews upon its release for its experimental, somewhat less polished sound, it is an immediate hit, spinning off three singles including “Coming Up” (#1 US Pop, #2 UK) and “Waterfalls” (#9 UK). Some copies of the US LP come packaged with a bonus 7" disc featuring the live version of “Coming Up” (recorded in December of 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland) which becomes a huge hit on US radio stations, overtaking the original studio version in airplay. In 2011, the album is remastered and reissued in three different editions including a single CD of the original album, a two CD set with eight bonus tracks, and a three CD + DVD box set edition containing unreleased material from the sessions, including unedited versions of four songs that appeared on the original release (plus additional tracks from the same sessions). In December of 2017, the album is remastered and reissued on vinyl, on standard black and limited edition clear vinyl. “McCartney II” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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The Beatles during the filming of Help! (196…

The Beatles during the filming of Help! (1965)

On this day in music history: May 5, 1997 – &l…

On this day in music history: May 5, 1997 – “Flaming Pie”, the tenth solo album by Paul McCartney is released (US release is on May 20, 1997). Produced by Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne and George Martin, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, Steve Miller’s Home Studio in Sun Valley, ID, and The Mill Studios in Peasmarsh, East Sussex, UK from September 3, 1992, February 22, 1995 – February 14, 1997. His first proper studio album since “Off The Ground” in 1993, McCartney actually begins writing the songs that become the “Flaming Pie” album as early as 1991. Two tracks (the acoustic based “Calico Skies” and “Great Day”) are recorded first in 1992 (pre-dating the release of “Off The Ground”), with the bulk of the recording being completed over a two year period between 1995 and 1997, working with producer Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra). The album title originates from a story told by John Lennon, on the origins of The Beatles name to the Liverpool music paper Mersey Beat in 1961. Released following the huge success of The Beatles “Anthology” project, it is Paul McCartney’s best selling and critically acclaimed album in many years. An accompanying home video documenting the making of the album titled “Paul McCartney In The World Tonight” is also released. The album receives a Grammy nomination for Album Of The Year in 1998. “Flaming Pie” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: April 26, 1982 -…

On this day in music history: April 26, 1982 – “Tug Of War”, the fourth solo album by Paul McCartney is released. Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat and London and Strawberry Studios South in Dorking, UK from June, October – December 1980, February – December 1981. After the solo effort “McCartney II” in 1980, Wings reassembles to record their first album, since 1979’s “Back To The Egg” in October of 1980. When it becomes clear that the sessions are not going well, it leads to McCartney disbanding Wings in 1981. Starting again fresh, McCartney calls upon producer George Martin for guidance. Once reunited, the sessions are very productive, producing enough material for not one but two albums, with the remaining tracks are released as the follow up album “Pipes Of Peace” in October of 1983. It features guest musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Carl Perkins, Steve Gadd, Ringo Starr and Stanley Clarke. Upon its release, it is McCartney’s best received album both critically and commercially in many years, receiving five Grammy nominations including Album, Record, and Song Of The Year. It spins off three singles including “Ebony & Ivory” (#1 Pop) and “Take It Away” (#10 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued in 2015 on CD and vinyl, with a three CD/DVD deluxe archive edition, that features a newly remixed version of the album along side the original 1982 mix. It also includes two booklets, containing copious amounts of previously unpublished photos, documenting the making of the album. The DVD features the music videos for the three singles, as well as a documentary featuring rare and previously unseen footage of the recording sessions. The vinyl release of the album is also available with a bonus 7" of “Ebony And Ivory”, as an exclusive through Barnes & Noble. In December of 2017, “Tug” is reissued again on vinyl, on standard black and limited edition blue vinyl. “Tug Of War” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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The Beatles on the set of Help! (1965)

The Beatles on the set of Help! (1965)