Yankeefan2 wrote:Yankeefan2 wrote:B J Conlee wrote:Yankeefan2 wrote:B J Conlee wrote:Yankeefan2 wrote:B J Conlee wrote:
Just to try to finish up on this fascinating Flowers in the Dirt period, Chris and Ryan reminded me of just how many conflicting forces that had to be going through Paul's head in 1988 and 1989. Paul certainly needed a hit album after his commercial failure with Press to Play. It was also a different "music" world in the late 80's and how would Paul navigate in this new world. Some of the conflicting forces for Flowers in the Dirt were:
modern record with heavy production vs. retro Beatles, more stripped down sound (e.g. mid Period Beatles)
multiple producers vs. working with Elvis only
Paul/Elvis songs vs. Paul only songs
With all these forces at play, it is no wonder that the final album had its share of flaws. It is also easy to look back in hindsight and say...If only Paul had done this or included this song etc. etc. That being said, the final album (just my opinioin) is still "top tier" for me relative to Paul's Post Beatles' works. I say this mainly because "Flowers" yielded 6-8 of Paul's very best Solo songs. These "best" songs were not only Beatle worthy but some, in my opinion, would be Top 20 of Paul's best Post Beatles' songs period. Like Tug of War, Flowers in the Dirt offered smart, mature lyrics that actually had common and universal themes. For that reason I put Flowers ahead of some of his previous albums like Press to Play, Pipes of Peace, McCartney 2, London Town, and Back to the Egg. When you think about it, Paul ended the 80's with a strong album just like he began the 80's with Tug of War.
As a big time Macca fan however, I also felt conflicted. As far as I was concerned, Flowers in the Dirt should have been a masterpiece. As I said in the last post, Flowers in the Dirt in the 2nd half went out with a wimp. He had so many better choices than the last 2 (Motor of Love and Ou Est Le Soleil) tracks. You feel like shaking Paul and saying...How could you leave "The Lovers that Never Were" and/or Tommy's Coming Home off the album? In retrospect, Flowers should have had a couple more Paul/Elvis collaborations in that 2nd half and both songs would have been perfect. On top of this, he had 2-3 B-sides that were also better. I'm thinking of songs like Back on My Feet, Flying to My Home and Loveliest Thing. All are terrific, complete songs that would have enhanced the overall album over what we got.
But the good news as I have continued to say is that we have tremendous material for a Deep Anthology of Paul's Post Beatles' music. And I'm not talking about a "glorified" Greatest Hits package! While many people look at Paul's 80's period as quite weak, I think just the opposite. Paul's 80's period might be one of the most surprising of Paul's decades with many very good to great hidden gem type songs. Other songs written in the period that the guys played and I liked are:
Same Love (loved the piano on this one)
Anyway, looking forward to Off the Ground!
Thanks for your in-depth posts regarding FITD. Like we both have mentioned, McCarntey needs a very strong producer who will cut some of thes clunkers off some pretty good albums. FITD served many purposes for McCartney when it was released. It was a return to form after after some not very good albums/movie. It also gave him 5-6 songs that he could go out on tour with and I personally loved hearing them all live.
Thanks as always Yankeefan for your replies. Seems like it is just you and me on this "Take It Away" subject and Podcasts. I love them! I think we are Paul "music" fans first and foremost. We appreciate his tremendous musical talents but also see so many of his misteps too. The way he just ignores so much of his very good Solo career just blows our minds.
I just sent in another post trying to finish out the Flowers in the Dirt period that you should also see. My total focus is not so much what he should have done in the past (Flowers in the Dirt had several key flaws that, in my opinion, kept if from being a close to Masterpiece album) but what a great "Antholoy By Decade type Package" he "should" do. A package like this would be great for an early 2020 release (after his new album everyone is waiting for). For this potential Antholoy, he already has very good to great material in his vaults. It is just a matter of having a couple of key people to discern what should be included by Decade. Paul if you are listening, I have 2 tremenous Paul "music" fans that will work very cheaply (Yankeefan and me...ha ha) to help you. We love your Post Beatles music and so much of it (from the 80's on) is relatively unknown.
I would happily work for him free of charge(lol) to put out a great Anthology type package. Just think of the unreleased songs, B sides and demo (exp On The Wings Of A Nightengale) that could be included which would be awesome. Throw in some different songs he has played in soundchecks and this could be really cool for us solo fans and hopefully others.Of course, you would have to have his better known solo songs included but I think people like us would point out some "deep" cuts from albums that he has probably forgotten - ha ha.
After yesterday afternoon and the crazy world we live in, it's actually probably a good time to "escape" in music and particularly our interest in Paul's overall Catalog.
Yes, I would also happily work on a Macca Anthology free of charge. Just cover our expenses! Please Paul send us a Private message and we would love to discuss it (ha ha).
As far as the content by Decade, Paul easily has enough great, relative unknown material for even a Volume 2 in both the 70's and 80's. As you say, he has so many unreleased songs, B-sides, tasty demos etc. But for the 90's and beyond, we might have to include some good "covers" like That's All Right (Elvis Presley song), and Maybe Baby (from a movie soundtrack) etc. As you have often pointed out, Paul has such a great voice for 50's style rock and roll. And many of these covers are unknown to the masses.
But for an Anthology like we are proposing, absolutely no Beatle songs. The whole idea should "generally" be songs that he has written alone or jointly after the Beatles. I love the Beatles but those songs are so well known and that's not the point here. Just listen to Sirius Radio (channel 18) and you get all the Beatles anytime you want.
You also bring up "deep" cuts from his Post Beatles'albums. I'm all for including some songs exactly as they appear on his albums, but they should be very good to great "forgotten" songs and not studio album versions he has already included on Pure McCartney. No duplications are needed because he has so much material.
For example, on a 70's Anthology Disc, why not include 2-3great ones from Red Rose Speedway like Single Pigeon, Get on the Right Thing or Little Lamb Dragonfly. Talk about Lost Classics! When was the last time you heard those songs on the radio or Paul himself playing them at a Live Show. The less successful Paul albums deemed inferior always have a few great "deep" cuts on them. Of course, it would be even better if Paul had a great demo of these type of "forgotten" songs. Serious fans would love it! Either way, I'm ok with including these type of lost classics that are not on previous compilation sets.
That being said, I think this type of Deep Cut Anthology should avoid the big hits from an album like Band on the Run where Paul has played them to death or where they are already available on "past" Greatest Hits Compilations. Those kinds of compilations are for the casual fan where what we are talking about is more for the serious fan. Word of mouth alone will get the casual and younger generations to eventually find this type of "deep cuts" Anthology. The nice thing is that from Tug of War on, almost all of Macca's good stuff is "underrated" except for the big duets with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Again, those 2 songs should be avoided too. From the 80's on, it's free sailing with all the unreleased stuff, great demos and lost classics from albums. Potentially, it would be a great Set for both Paul's legacy and his more serious fans.
Yes, Paul has had a very good Solo Career musically but you would never know it from his own "Live" shows or what you hear on the radio.
I agree with you on deep cuts. Maybe songs like "A Certain Softness", "About You", Two Magpies", "Mr. Bellany", "I Can Bet" and "Get Out Of My Way" would be songs for the more serious fans. As we have mentioned before McCartney himself has played a major role in why his solo career has not been appreciated. From his live shows not playing much after 1980 to always having his Beatle career dominate interviews almost 50 years later it is no wonder he does not get radio play anymore.