McCartney Times

How Paul McCartney Saved Classic Rock From Extinction | | Observer

How Paul McCartney Saved Classic Rock From Extinction | | Observer

How Paul McCartney Saved Classic Rock From Extinction | | Observer
May 05
09:33 2017

1989 was the year classic rock surged back into the international mainstream.It was a year that saw Lou Reed release his best album of the ’80s with New York, the Grateful Dead craft their final studio recording with Jerry Garcia with the better-than-you-remember Built to Last, Tom Petty go solo with Full Moon Fever, Billy Joel dropping his final classic LP with Storm Front, Neil Young returning to Reprise with Freedom, Rush bringing back the guitars on their Atlantic Records debut Presto and the Rolling Stones reclaiming their stake as the World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band with the exceptionally underrated Steel Wheels and its subsequent world tour. And, of course, Cycles by the Doobie Brothers.However, perhaps the greatest record to emerge from the world of AOR in 1989 was Paul McCartney’s Flowers in the Dirt, the latest Macca LP to receive the deluxe-edition treatment as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection.

An album that impressively reclaims the artistic credibility that was nearly derailed by his creative output in the mid-’80s, McCartney’s eighth studio album is an absolute pleasure to rediscover today.

During the summer it was released, rumor had it that McCartney had recorded music for the album with Elvis Costello that would not only appear on Flowers but the new wave icon’s own new record Spike, his debut endeavor on Warner Bros. Records, which, 28 years later, remains the Costello’s most versatile album.

“We had only met a handful of times,” Costello says in the liner notes to the deluxe edition of Flowers. “We were in adjacent studios for a number of weeks in the early ’80s, when we were making Imperial Bedroom and he was making Tug of War, and then we were making Punch the Clock and he was making Pipes of Peace, and we’d vie for the Asteroids machine in the lounge, and there was a bit of banter.”

“The invitation was to come down to Hog Hill, to his writing room over the studio, and see what happened. It was all very exploratory, I thought, well I better not go unprepared, so I took a bit of a song I’d been working on that I thought he might like, and I think he did the same. My song was ‘Veronica,’ the first song that we worked on. The second was a song of his called ‘Back On My Feet,’ which had a shape to it already. And I added some bits, wrote some more lyrics, and we knocked those two off. And I think the fact that we did start with these gave us a bit of confidence.”

The second disc of the Flowers deluxe edition is comprised of nine songs from those initial acoustic recordings from 1987 up in that room above McCartney’s studio in East Sussex.

Unfortunately, “Veronica” was not included in this set, and neither was the song “Pads, Paws & Claws,” which wound up to great effect on side two of Spike.

Source: How Paul McCartney Saved Classic Rock From Extinction | | Observer

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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