Home

Press to Play

6530 views

42 posts

Last post 01/02/2019

Posted by Nancy R

      Pages

      Not quite sure what you mean about "bad special effects", but the gimmicky African sounds and generally clunky production on 'Graceland' only serve to paper over what is a very weak, flimsy collection of songs by Simon. Whereas songs like 'Only Love Remains', 'Footprints' and 'Stranglehold' would sound great on any McCartney album, in any era. But Paul's star was falling in 1986, post-Broad Street, whereas the critics were ready to welcome Simon back into the fold (after the "failure" of 'Hearts and Bones', another underrated album).

        audi:

        The Eggman67:
        Apollo C. Vermouth:Songs are fine but just too much gimicky 80's production.

        Especially the electronic drums... far over the top imo

        Is this...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2yX8woDEDQ

        ...worse than this?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MWe2_WYcEs

        I say no. Then again I enjoy Press To Play. I just think both are products of their times, much like any album that Paul or any other artist releases.

          Mumbojunk:Not quite sure what you mean about "bad special effects", but the gimmicky African sounds and generally clunky production on 'Graceland' only serve to paper over what is a very weak, flimsy collection of songs by Simon. Whereas songs like 'Only Love Remains', 'Footprints' and 'Stranglehold' would sound great on any McCartney album, in any era. But Paul's star was falling in 1986, post-Broad Street, whereas the critics were ready to welcome Simon back into the fold (after the "failure" of 'Hearts and Bones', another underrated album).

          I meant just the general bad 80s production on Press to Play.
          And I see it the other way round, Paul's songs on PTP were really bad and would be also bad on any other McCartney album. On the other hand, Simon's songs were so good that they still stand out today and would've been a highlight in any other Simon album as well, f.e the title-song 'Graceland', 'I Know What I Know' or 'You Can Call Me Al'.

            dance-tonight:

            Mumbojunk:Not quite sure what you mean about "bad special effects", but the gimmicky African sounds and generally clunky production on 'Graceland' only serve to paper over what is a very weak, flimsy collection of songs by Simon. Whereas songs like 'Only Love Remains', 'Footprints' and 'Stranglehold' would sound great on any McCartney album, in any era. But Paul's star was falling in 1986, post-Broad Street, whereas the critics were ready to welcome Simon back into the fold (after the "failure" of 'Hearts and Bones', another underrated album).

            I meant just the general bad 80s production on Press to Play.
            And I see it the other way round, Paul's songs on PTP were really bad and would be also bad on any other McCartney album...

            I love every single track on that album.

            You think "Footprints" is...bad?

            "Move Over Busker"...bad?

            And dare I mention the majesty of "Only Love Remains"?

            It took me a while to come around on "However Absurd," but I dig that track, and it is a great, climatic closing track.

              Mumbojunk:It's my favourite Paul album, bar none. Crammed with great songs and performances. Don't really understand the complaints about "too much production" If you don't like 1980s production, fair enough, but it's no more "produced" than 'Ram' or 'Sgt Pepper'. I love the 80s sound on the album, it makes it stand out from the rest of Paul's catalogue, particularly tunes like 'Press', 'Talk More Talk' and 'Good Times Coming'. Even the one weak track, 'Pretty Little Head', is interesting because of the production.

              Each to their own. But I don't hear people whining about the equally dated production on Paul Simon's 'Graceland', which is a lot less inventive in my opinion (and I'm a Paul Simon fan).

              A great post, twas my fave for a long time, now has to sit behind Back To The Egg & Flowers In The Dirt ( but only just !)
              I love everyone of the songs, with maybe the exception of Write Away, why people moan about the production, some tracks on FITD sound more 80's or "dated" than most of PTP, for a mid 80's record its pretty unscathed.....look what Dylan did to Empire Burlesque in 85 !! I can onl listen to the bootleg of the album before all the gimmicks etc were added !!
              I have the album of PTP which has most tracks in early form, and while its a great listen I always return to the finished product, only wish he'd released the full length version of Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun !!

                audi:

                dance-tonight:
                Mumbojunk:Not quite sure what you mean about "bad special effects", but the gimmicky African sounds and generally clunky production on 'Graceland' only serve to paper over what is a very weak, flimsy collection of songs by Simon. Whereas songs like 'Only Love Remains', 'Footprints' and 'Stranglehold' would sound great on any McCartney album, in any era. But Paul's star was falling in 1986, post-Broad Street, whereas the critics were ready to welcome Simon back into the fold (after the "failure" of 'Hearts and Bones', another underrated album).

                I meant just the general bad 80s production on Press to Play.
                And I see it the other way round, Paul's songs on PTP were really bad and would be also bad on any other McCartney album...

                I love every single track on that album.

                You think "Footprints" is...bad?

                "Move Over Busker"...bad?

                And dare I mention the majesty of "Only Love Remains"?

                It took me a while to come around on "However Absurd," but I dig that track, and it is a great, climatic closing track.

                Bad for McCartney, yes. Which means: a bad Paul-album is still better than 90% of other peoples best albums. But the benchmark is very high, because it's Paul, and he has written so many better tunes and whole albums than the tunes on PTP. From a man who has written some of the best songs in music, I expect him to come up with something better than PTP. No catchy tunes, no guitars, just boring 80s synthesizer pop (but not in a good way like on McCartney II). There is really not one great track on it.
                To answer your questions: Yes, "Footprints" and "Move Over Busker" are bad songs for someone like Paul. "Only Love Remains", "However Absurd" and "Press" are okay, but nothing special. I mean you can listen to them, but come on Paul, you can do it so much better IMO.

                  That's weird to me: I thought he'd actually stepped it up when he made PTP, especially after the mediocre Pipes Of Peace.

                  At the time, I remember liking "Spies Like Us," and it was a big hit, but I don't think it has withstood the test of time -- and it's his only '80s hit that's probably better off not being played live.

                  I could be wrong, though.

                    'Spies Like Us' is a a bit of a throwaway, but I do love Paul's guitar playing on it. In fact, some scorching guitar adorns 'Press To Play' -- by Paul (Press), Carlos Alomar (Good Times Coming), Pete Townsend (Angry) and others. It is one of the many great things about this album.

                      I've got a real fondness for Press to Play, though, like many, I'm not wild on the production. I'm hoping for a Double Fantasy Stripped-type remix when the archive series hits this album. Some lovely stuff on there, particularly Good Times Coming and Footprints.

                        We had been off topic talking about this album in the Egypt Station thread, so I thought I’d move to to the proper thread. I just received the CD that has the 3 extra songs on it that were not on my original vinyl copy - Write Away, It’s Not True and Tough On A Tightrope! Didn’t have time today to listen, but will tomorrow. Have heard It’s Not True On you tube the other day and love it. 

                          Nancy R wrote:

                          We had been off topic talking about this album in the Egypt Station thread, so I thought I’d move to to the proper thread. I just received the CD that has the 3 extra songs on it that were not on my original vinyl copy - Write Away, It’s Not True and Tough On A Tightrope! Didn’t have time today to listen, but will tomorrow. Have heard It’s Not True On you tube the other day and love it. 

                          Nance, I cannot stop listening to It's Not True! I lurve this song.

                            Apollo C. Vermouth wrote:Songs are fine but just too much gimicky 80's production.

                            This might be silly and totally wrong, but the cover photo of him and Linda in a pose like they are Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in some old 40's movie didn't help either.  It was reflective of nothing that was on the album. He left songs off the album that should have been included:  "Write Away" for example.  It's a funky dance number.  I really liked "Footprints" and one nobody else seems to choose:  "Pretty Little Head."   Never liked "Talk More Talk."  That should have been left off.  

                              dance-tonight wrote:

                              Mumbojunk:It's my favourite Paul album, bar none. Crammed with great songs and performances. Don't really understand the complaints about "too much production" If you don't like 1980s production, fair enough, but it's no more "produced" than 'Ram' or 'Sgt Pepper'. I love the 80s sound on the album, it makes it stand out from the rest of Paul's catalogue, particularly tunes like 'Press', 'Talk More Talk' and 'Good Times Coming'. Even the one weak track, 'Pretty Little Head', is interesting because of the production. Each to their own. But I don't hear people whining about the equally dated production on Paul Simon's 'Graceland', which is a lot less inventive in my opinion (and I'm a Paul Simon fan).

                              That's because the songs on "Graceland" are so brilliant that they are still great after all these years, no one cares about the production (also there aren't so many "bad special effekts" on 'Graceland' as on 'Press to Play'). On the other hand, not only the production of "Press to Play" is bad, but also imo the songwriting of Paul on this album.

                              What are the "special effects" people are mentioning and complaining about.? It didn't sound like anything else in the 80's...to me.  I'm not even sure what/why 80's music is being slammed. It's a Paul McCartney album. He wasn't trying to copy some "style" of the time that I can hear. (Seemingly people here either really like "Talk More Talk" or hate it.  I could not stand to listen to it.  Should not have been on the album. 

                                I think Press To Play is a massivley underated album . Stranglehold is such a good song ! Don't know why it was only relased as a single in the US ?! it may have 80's sounding gated reverb drums , but all the instrumnetation on it is "real". The vast majority of the songs are top notch . Move Over busker and however absurd are a bit take it or leave it for me, but I can't think of too many others. Only Love Remains as others have said is a magnificent ballad.

                                Beggars belief why Paul thought wild life deserved the remastering treatment before this album !

                                Maybe he could do what Yoko did with double fantasy . Strip back all the 80's reverb etc and release a new mix . Johns recording on double fantasy sound brand new in this format  - infinitley better.

                                  Along with Back To The Egg, this is at the top of my wishlist for all the remaining albums yet to receive the Archive treatment! I think it's way past due for a reappraisal, and although it's not among my top Paul albums I think many of the songs are brilliant. I LOVE 'Talk More Talk' and I know it's unpopular but in my opinion it's almost a proto-Fireman track, along with the instrumental 'Hanglide', which isn't even available anywhere besides on one of the 'Press' vinyl singles. I think that a nice book in the deluxe edition would help tell the story of the time period, and making-of the album, could go a long way in it being reevaluated and appreciated.

                                    "Write Away" is one of his best of many, many songs that should have been on an album but were left off for some reason.

                                      I always thought the album was one or two songs short, to begin with.

                                      Add It's Not True, Tough on a Tightrope and Write Away.

                                      Ditch Talk More Talk (cannot have that on the same album as Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun) and Pretty Little Head.

                                      Stranglehold and It's Not True thus the best songs on the album.

                                        Nancy R wrote:

                                        We had been off topic talking about this album in the Egypt Station thread, so I thought I’d move to to the proper thread. I just received the CD that has the 3 extra songs on it that were not on my original vinyl copy - Write Away, It’s Not True and Tough On A Tightrope! Didn’t have time today to listen, but will tomorrow. Have heard It’s Not True On you tube the other day and love it. 

                                        Great idea Nancy to move PTP to its own thread.

                                        While I've always been a huge Macca  fan as you know, PTP was released at a particularly turbulent time in my life.  I was going through a divorce plus I hated my job simultaneously.  Relative to Paul, I was admittedly getting a little tired of his "too Pop oriented" and "overplayed singles" after Tug of War which I loved as an album.  Because I was also having money difficulties (even for buying an album) I passed on buying PTP in 1986 especially when so many of the music critics were slamming it.  Fortunately, I got myself straigtened out personally and things got much better a couple of years later.  When Flowers in the Dirt was released in 1989  to very positive reviews, I immediately bought the album and got back on track with Macca.  And of course, once Paul started touring again in 1990, I was a full blown fan again.  But as I said, PTP escaped me during the period.

                                        As I continued to be a Macca diehard musically (went to all his tours that his my area in Philadelphia and bought all his new releases etc.) I started to get back to the albums I had missed.  A few years ago (I believe it was 2015), I saw a PTP Cd in a used record store and bought it immediately.  I had the 3 additional tracks on it (from the original album release) that also perked my interest.

                                        As I started to listen to the CD, I must also admit that I didn't have high espectations.  Actually my expectations were quite low considering how much I generally loved his music.  Again, it was all the negativity surrounding PTP that I was remembering.  I also remember the lead single "Press" that I heard on the radio back in the day and that hadn't overwhelmed me.  It was just Ok.

                                        Anyway what I found after 2-3 weeks really surprised me.  I found the majority of songs were really growing with me and the album as a whole was really good to my ears.  I loved certain songs like Stranglehold, Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun, Footprints, Only Love Remains, Move Over Busker as well as the bonus songs...Write Away, It's Not True and Tough on a Tightrope.  Even the songs that didn't click immediately were growing with me...Talk More Talk, Pretty Little Head, However Absurd and Angry were becoming pretty good album tracks.  To this day, I consider PTP to be one of Paul's most underrated albums and much better in my opinion than some of Paul's mediocre to weaker albums.

                                        I feel bad that I missed out on many of these songs at the time but I also felt great that just 3 years ago I discovered some very good McCartney music from the mid 80's.  While Flowers in the Dirt was considered a big comeback for Paul, I actually think it started with PTP.  Paul got away from trying to make big hit singles (with generally weak lyrics) to making good and smart albums.  But it shows that even big time artists go through periods where the public gets tired of them.  It wasn't that PTP was a bad album, it was just its timing was bad for Paul.  He needed a few years of being out of the limelight and Flowers in the Dirt (with his Elvis Costello collaborations  on half of the album) that became his comeback.  But actually many of his songs on PTP were in my opinion very good.

                                        This reopened PTP thread, is getting my motivation to revisit the album.  It is hard to keep up with Paul (which it good) but since I first heard PTP,   Paul has released the Remastered/Archive edition of Flowers in the Dirt with all the extra songs, his new album Egypt Station and now the last Archive installments...Wildlife and RRS.  I now have to revisit PTP to see if I like it as much as i did on my revisit in 2015.  One thing that it very optimistic is that PTP is getting far more love than in 1986.  On a recent "Take It Away Podcast" that you can hear right here on Maccaboard, both of the commentators and their special guest and author Kit O'toole (I believe that is her name) all felt like I did that PTP is very underrated.  Kit actually liked it better than Flowers in the Dirt.

                                        Once I revisit PTP, I will try to get back here with my feelings 3 years later.

                                         

                                          B J Conlee wrote:

                                          Nancy R wrote:

                                          We had been off topic talking about this album in the Egypt Station thread, so I thought I’d move to to the proper thread. I just received the CD that has the 3 extra songs on it that were not on my original vinyl copy - Write Away, It’s Not True and Tough On A Tightrope! Didn’t have time today to listen, but will tomorrow. Have heard It’s Not True On you tube the other day and love it. 

                                          Great idea Nancy to move PTP to its own thread.

                                          While I've always been a huge Macca  fan as you know, PTP was released at a particularly turbulent time in my life.  I was going through a divorce plus I hated my job simultaneously.  Relative to Paul, I was admittedly getting a little tired of his "too Pop oriented" and "overplayed singles" after Tug of War which I loved as an album.  Because I was also having money difficulties (even for buying an album) I passed on buying PTP in 1986 especially when so many of the music critics were slamming it.  Fortunately, I got myself straigtened out personally and things got much better a couple of years later.  When Flowers in the Dirt was released in 1989  to very positive reviews, I immediately bought the album and got back on track with Macca.  And of course, once Paul started touring again in 1990, I was a full blown fan again.  But as I said, PTP escaped me during the period.

                                          As I continued to be a Macca diehard musically (went to all his tours that his my area in Philadelphia and bought all his new releases etc.) I started to get back to the albums I had missed.  A few years ago (I believe it was 2015), I saw a PTP Cd in a used record store and bought it immediately.  I had the 3 additional tracks on it (from the original album release) that also perked my interest.

                                          As I started to listen to the CD, I must also admit that I didn't have high espectations.  Actually my expectations were quite low considering how much I generally loved his music.  Again, it was all the negativity surrounding PTP that I was remembering.  I also remember the lead single "Press" that I heard on the radio back in the day and that hadn't overwhelmed me.  It was just Ok.

                                          Anyway what I found after 2-3 weeks really surprised me.  I found the majority of songs were really growing with me and the album as a whole was really good to my ears.  I loved certain songs like Stranglehold, Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun, Footprints, Only Love Remains, Move Over Busker as well as the bonus songs...Write Away, It's Not True and Tough on a Tightrope.  Even the songs that didn't click immediately were growing with me...Talk More Talk, Pretty Little Head, However Absurd and Angry were becoming pretty good album tracks.  To this day, I consider PTP to be one of Paul's most underrated albums and much better in my opinion than some of Paul's mediocre to weaker albums.

                                          I feel bad that I missed out on many of these songs at the time but I also felt great that just 3 years ago I discovered some very good McCartney music from the mid 80's.  While Flowers in the Dirt was considered a big comeback for Paul, I actually think it started with PTP.  Paul got away from trying to make big hit singles (with generally weak lyrics) to making good and smart albums.  But it shows that even big time artists go through periods where the public gets tired of them.  It wasn't that PTP was a bad album, it was just its timing was bad for Paul.  He needed a few years of being out of the limelight and Flowers in the Dirt (with his Elvis Costello collaborations  on half of the album) that became his comeback.  But actually many of his songs on PTP were in my opinion very good.

                                          This reopened PTP thread, is getting my motivation to revisit the album.  It is hard to keep up with Paul (which it good) but since I first heard PTP,   Paul has released the Remastered/Archive edition of Flowers in the Dirt with all the extra songs, his new album Egypt Station and now the last Archive installments...Wildlife and RRS.  I now have to revisit PTP to see if I like it as much as i did on my revisit in 2015.  One thing that it very optimistic is that PTP is getting far more love than in 1986.  On a recent "Take It Away Podcast" that you can hear right here on Maccaboard, both of the commentators and their special guest and author Kit O'toole (I believe that is her name) all felt like I did that PTP is very underrated.  Kit actually liked it better than Flowers in the Dirt.

                                          Once I revisit PTP, I will try to get back here with my feelings 3 years later.

                                           

                                          Wow, you know this thread is old when my good buddy (lol) "Audi" has a post in it, miss him and his insights. Anyway, I liked this album especially songs like "Strangehold", "Good Times Coming", "Only Love Remains" and "Angry". The single "Press" may not be a great song but it is bouncy and it always put me in a good mood when I heard it.  I loved the video of this song with McCartney riding train in Underground. People blasted this album due to the production but that was the way of the world in the 80's. I agree with you, I think this was part of his comeback in the 1980's after the disaster of "Pipes Of Peace" and "Broad Street".

                                            Yep, Press To Play is another one of my guilty pleasures, along with Red Rose Speedway.  Stranglehold and Only Love Remains are absolute masterpieces.  And of course, I love Talk More Talk and However Absurd; probably because they sound like they could easily fit on RAM.  And yes, I dig Press; if this single was released in 1975 it would have reach the Top 5 easily.  I remember being at at McCartney show in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few years ago and the crowd was screaming for Press, knowing of the line about their state in the song. 'Oklahoma was never like this!'

                                              Pages