miércoles, 22 de marzo de 2017

Paul McCartney Shares Intimate Memories of Recording Flowers in the Dirt

Behind the Songs: Paul McCartney Shares Intimate Memories of Recording Flowers in the Dirt

By the late-1980s, Paul McCartney may have been the only artist on the planet uninterested in sounding like the Beatles. But then his new collaborator, fellow British superstar Elvis Costello, reunited him with an old friend: his iconic violin-shaped Hofner bass. The instrument had last seen action during the band’s final live performance on the roof of their London offices almost two decades before, and a faded setlist from their last tour remained affixed to the side with yellowed scotch tape. “He was a big Beatles fan and said, ‘Hey, do you still use your Hofner?’” McCartney tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I had semi-retired it. But he said I should get it out, and I rediscovered it.”

In doing so, he rediscovered his voice. After several years of exploring the latest synth-pop trends with mixed commercial success, McCartney got back to where he once belonged on his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt. The four tracks co-written with Costello at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studios in rural Sussex, England, formed the foundation of his most vibrant and daring work in years. In preparation of an extensive reissue featuring unheard demos and rare session outtakes due out March 24, McCartney spoke to PEOPLE about the album’s creation.

Sitting nose to nose with Costello—a guitar-wielding, bespectacled, sharp-tongued Liverpudlian—surely brought McCartney a twinge of déjà vu. Though he had briefly collaborated with a handful of writers, this was arguably the most substantial working relationship since his partnership with John Lennon. It’s a comparison that McCartney found understandably unnerving in the wake of his former bandmate’s death in 1980. Costello, a card-carrying member of the Fab Four fan club in his youth, couldn’t resist nudging McCartney towards the sound he had helped engineer: intricate sky-high harmonies, splashes of shimmering guitars, melodically adventurous bass lines — and that tune.

It’s the last one that will continue to baffle fans and music makers alike. In conversation, McCartney, 74, has a charming way of demystifying their creative process. “We’d go upstairs with a couple acoustic guitars, sit down, get a cup of tea, grab a pad and say, ‘Well, what’s an idea, boy?’ ‘I don’t know, what about this?’ ‘That’s good.’ It just flowed, the whole thing.” Sound simple? It is if you’re Paul McCartney.

Read on as the icon goes track by track through the album’s highlights, sharing memories of writing with Costello, growing up with his father in Liverpool, making music with the Beatles, and happy times with his late wife, Linda.

“My Brave Face”

“I remember meeting up with Elvis and thinking, ‘Can we hit it off writing together?’ But we did, we enjoyed our time together. ‘My Brave Face’ was one of the early things we did, and it became a single. I felt that Elvis was pulling it in a little bit of a Beatle-y way—a Beatle-ist direction—but it was fine by me. And then I remember the video was quite crazy: some guy trying to steal my Hofner bass.”

McCartney’s 1963 Hofner 500/1 ‘violin’ bass, with scotch tape attaching the 1966 tour setlist visible (it’s since been removed). 

“Rough Ride”

“I had wanted to work with [’80s super-producers] Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson, and this was the first occasion. They came down to my studio [Hog Hill Mill] and we just cooked this little song up. I liked the feel of it. I thought it had a contemporary feel at the time, and a little bit of urban slick that I liked.
It was a great experience working with them—they’re very thorough. I was showing Trevor the view of the English Channel and the coast outside the window of my studio and saying, ‘Wow, look at that!’ He said, ‘No, there’s the view!’ and he points to the speaker. [laughs] I saw his point. We ended up closing the windows and getting into the music. Steve was great to work with, too. He’s a great engineer and musician. So the two of them together, it was a pleasure.”
The song also features multi-instrumentalist McCartney taking a turn on the drums, which he mastered during the early days of the Beatles. 
“I have a kit, which is based on Ringo’s. I figure I can’t go far wrong with a kit like his! It’s lovely, I always like a chance to get on the kit.”

Costello, McCartney, and the Hofner, performing at the Concert for Linda in 1999.

“You Want Her Too”

“That was from the Elvis batch. He’s a great guy to work with, very focused. When you’re working with someone—instead of just sitting around and thinking, ‘Oh, what are we going to do?’—it’s nice when someone comes up with something and you get a kickstart. Elvis was good at that. He would come up and we’d talk stories about his Auntie Irene and various relatives of his and mine growing up in Liverpool. This song came out of that. It’s got sort of a sea-shanty feel. We didn’t take long to write them, they just kind of fell out.”
“That’s a good old trick. We both love the art of songwriting, we’re still intrigued by it. Little things like having a cynical answer to a line—that’s the kind of thing I did a long time ago, like in [the 1967 Beatles song] ‘Getting Better’ where I sing, ‘It’s getting better all the time,’ and John sings, ‘It couldn’t get much worse.’ Otherwise you’re just writing a song straightforward. That’s good too, but it’s kind of nice to have little things that bounce off each other, that yin-yang thing.”


“That’s one of my favorites. I got in touch with this guy called Clare Fischer, who I thought was a woman with the name Clare. I just knew of the person’s work off of a Prince album [1986’s Parade], where I heard a really nice arrangement. When I’d written this song I thought, ‘It would be really nice to have a really good arrangement, slightly jazz tinged but not too much.’ So I got in touch with Clare, and I was quite surprised to find out that he was a middle-aged man. [laughs] But he was great—a bit of a genius. He and I talked about it a lot and he got the idea. I really liked that arrangement.
Sometimes you hit a lyric that means something to you. For me, if you love someone, you really want to just hang out with them all the time and then just have the best time and the best life. But then you’ve got to go to work, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that. So I just call all of those things distractions.”

The McCartneys on their wedding day, March 12, 1969, outside London’s Marylebone Registry Office.

“We Got Married”

“It’s a pretty little song, heartfelt. It’s not totally autobiographical but it captures being first married, first in love like Linda and I were. We didn’t get a flat together, little details like that are me as a songwriter just throwing in stuff that feels good. But basically it’s our life story, me and Linda. I have great memories of it, because it reminds me of her. It’s a song about getting married and the thrill of it—the first bloom of that for me is encapsulated in the song. The great thing was Dave Gilmour [of Pink Floyd] agreed to play guitar on it. That was really nice, I thought he did a great job on guitar. Very soulful.”

“Put It There”

“That’s an expression my dad used to say. He was an old-fashioned Liverpool guy with a very good sense of humor, and he was always coming out with weird phrases. It was as if he thought it was a bit boring to talk in normal phrases, so he’d always say, ‘Put it there if it weighs a ton!’ And you’d go, ‘Oh … he means shake hands.’ I grew up with that, and all sorts of other expressions—some that don’t lend themselves to songs. But I thought that one would be nice about a father and his young boy, because it reminded me of my dad.
Some of his expressions you really wouldn’t want to use! Sometimes me and my brother would ask questions: ‘Why? Why is that? What’s the reason for that?’ And he’d go, ‘Because there’s no hairs on a seagull’s chest.’ Which is true, but not a satisfactory answer!”
McCartney once again laid down the rhythm on the track, but with an unusual twist. 

“There’s a little hand-slappy thing. That’s something we first heard on Buddy Holly’s record, a great old favorite of ours when we were growing up. He does a record called ‘Everyday.’ It’s a cute little song, a great little song, and there’s this tapping on it [demonstrates]. The story was that it was him tapping on his jeans. And if you ever do that and want to get that effect, don’t wear sweatpants or regular trousers. Jeans are what you need, they’ve got the right tone. That’s just a hint for you and your readers, should you ever be called on to a thigh-slapping session.”

“Figure of Eight”

“I liked the philosophy behind the lyrics of this song. I like the idea of not being caught in a figure of eight. Better to love than give in to hate, which now sounds to me like the U.S. elections.”

“This One”

“That’s completely silly wordplay. My dad was very into words and crosswords and things, and so was I at school. And then becoming a songwriter I was interested in wordplay. So when I heard someone say, ‘This one,’ I thought it could also be ‘this swan.’ I liked this image of a swan, like in Hindu art—Krishna and the swan gliding over water lilies. I was attracted to that image, so that’s what it became, using the two meanings of the word. And then the video by Tim Pope turned out that way, too.”

“That Day Is Done”

“Elvis was talking about a relative one day. We’d have some great conversations: ‘My god, this crazy old uncle of mine…’ ‘Well, there’s this crazy old uncle I’ve got who did this…’ I think this song originally came from Elvis telling the story of the funeral of his aunt [Costello writes in his 2015 memoir that it was his grandmother] and the effect it had on him. He had the idea on that one—so it was my pleasure to just go along and help write the song with him.”

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martes, 21 de marzo de 2017

Paul McCartney releases unheard demo of This One and unseen exclusive Flowers in the Dirt pictures

Paul McCartney releases unheard demo of This One and unseen exclusive Flowers in the Dirt pictures
21 MARCH 2017

Paul McCartney in rehearsals in 1989
Paul McCartney in rehearsals in 1989 CREDIT: BILL BERNSTEIN

In the Eighties, Paul McCartney became the most prolific solo member of the former Beatles.

During the decade, he released seven albums, which included Pipes of Peace (1983) and Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984).

But as he was preparing to go on his first ever solo tour and his first major live tour in a decade, McCartney wanted to new songs to perform in his set.

One such song was This One.

And you can listen to the previously unreleased 1988 demo version of the song below:

For the song and the resulting album, Flowers in the Dirt - McCartney’s eighth studio solo LP – he teamed up with Elvis Costello.

Work began on songs in 1987, with some apprehension, it seems. McCartney is reported to have told his band that he wouldn’t go out on tour unless he really liked the album.

Collaborating with, among others, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, producers George Martin, Trevor Horn and David Foster, McCartney emerged with a collection of songs that was livelier than anything he’d done in years.

Recorded mainly at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex, the album was released in June 1989, and songs such as Figure of Eight, Put It There, This One and My Brave Face became regular favourites in the tour set list.

Paul McCartney with his wife Linda and the touring band
Paul McCartney with his wife Linda and the touring band CREDIT: KIM KNOTT

Looking back, McCartney recalls, “You’re always thinking, ‘Let’s get some new songs and take them on tour’ and you hope your new songs are going to work.

“I think mainly because we’re going out on tour, we probably took a little bit more care over this one.”

“We concentrated on kind of what the songs were, and probably a bit more than we would usually to get them right.”

“Something like My Brave Face would be a song that nobody knew at the start at the beginning of the tour and then everybody knew it at the end and it was the high spot of the whole tour.”

My Brave Face, which McCartney co-wrote with Costello, was his last top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 until his Kanye West collaboration, Only One, in 2015.

Paul McCartney in concert, Bologna, Italy - 26 November 2011.
Paul McCartney in concert, Bologna, Italy - 26 November 2011.
Picture: Roberto Ugolini / Rex Features

By September 1989, the Paul McCartney World Tour was launched, and saw him play over 100 shows across 14 countries.

One of those shows set the world record for the largest concert audience for a solo artist. More than 184,000 people attended McCartney’s show at the Maracana Stadium in Brazil.

The reissue of the album includes the songs You Want Her Too, Don't Be Careless Love and That Day Is Done.

“I hadn’t listened to them in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out.

“We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment’s finally arrived.”

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney CREDIT: REX

The Flowers in the Dirt sessions saw the return of McCartney’s signature Hofner bass guitar for the first time in years, but it was not his own idea.

As McCartney explains, it was Costello who suggested that he play the instrument during their songwriting sessions.

It was a suggestion that McCartney recalls as "unusual” because he thought he “had outgrown it”.

“I had resigned myself to not working with it again because it’s not very precise, but [Costello] said, ‘Oh, I love the sound, and you must be able to get it in tune.’”

 “It was a little bit like pulling it out of mothballs.

“But when I started playing it again and never really looked back. It’s great that Elvis encouraged me to take it out.”

The album went on to be nominated for both Brit and Grammy Awards.

The reissue of Flowers in the Dirt is out on March 24. 

Image result for paul mccartney flowers

lunes, 20 de marzo de 2017

Paul McCartney honors Chuck Berry: 'He was one of rock 'n' roll's greatest poets'

Paul On Chuck Berry

Paul McCartney honors Chuck Berry: 'He was one of rock 'n' roll's greatest poets'


Paul McCartney paid tribute to Chuck Berry, who died this weekend at age 90, in a tweet posted Monday morning.

“He was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest poets,” McCartney said. “He will be missed but remembered by everyone who ever loved rock ‘n’ roll.”

The acclaimed musician was a hugely influential presence in the music scene, and multiple stars have covered his songs over the years. McCartney previously released a solo cover of “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” in 1999 and a rendition of “Roll Over Beethoven” with the Beatles in 1963. (Check out more covers of Berry classics  here  .)

Other members of the music community also expressed their love and appreciation of Berry, including Bruce Springsteen and Keith Richard, who posted pictures with the late musician.

 Maxi-single with 5 tracks of the Beatles live at the BBC, paying tribute to his great idol Chuck Berry. The tracks are not the same of the official double-CD "Live At The BBC."

sábado, 18 de marzo de 2017

Vast Beatles collection goes on auction in Paris

Five alternate pictures for the cover of Abbey Road are displayed by French Beatles specialist and collector Jacques Volcouve, one of the world's greatest living experts of the band, at Drouot auction house in Paris, March 16, 2017.
Five alternate pictures for the cover of Abbey Road are displayed by French Beatles specialist and collector Jacques Volcouve, one of the world's greatest living experts of the band, at Drouot auction house in Paris, March 16, 2017

Vast Beatles collection goes on auction in Paris
March 18, 2017

French Beatles specialist and collector Jacques Volcouve, one of the world's greatest living experts of the band, poses with the ' Yesterday And today ' and 'From Me To You' covers at Drouot auction house in Paris, March 16, 2017, a part of the 15,000 items going on sale on next March 18. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

A vast collection of rare Beatles vinyl records, photos and other paraphernalia will go on auction in Paris on Saturday.

Beatles aficionado Jacques Volcouve began his collection in 1967 with the album “A Hard Day’s Night”. Decades later, it has grown to include nearly 15,000 records and more besides.

“Starting from 1967, I gave myself an absolutely impossible mission: own everything concerning the Beatles,” Volcouve told Reuters TV, as he was sorting through his collection December.

French Beatles specialist and collector Jacques Volcouve, one of the world's greatest living experts of the band, poses next to figurines on stage at Drouot auction house in Paris, March 16, 2017, a part of the 15,000 items going on sale on next March 18.
French Beatles specialist and collector Jacques Volcouve, one of the world's greatest living experts of the band, poses next to figurines on stage at Drouot auction house in Paris, March 16, 2017, a part of the 15,000 items going on sale on next March 18.

The 60-year-old has decided to auction off his collection to fund his retirement.

Among the 332 lots up for auction on Saturday is the disc “Tony Sheridan and the Beatles 7: My Bonnie,” signed by Paul McCartney and George Harrison, with an estimated price of 6,000-10,000 euro ($6,450-10,740).

A lot of 11 alternate cover photos for the Grammy-winning Sergeant Pepper Lonely Hearts Club album is expected to go for 10,000 to 15,000 euros.

Volcouve has written books and given radio commentaries about the Liverpool foursome. Letters he received from Harrison and Ringo Starr in 1976, thanking him for articles he had written, could fetch up to 3,000 euros each.

A set of dolls of the Fab Four with their instruments is expected to sell for 200-400 euros.

Among other items up for sale are an “authentic Beatle wig”, a Yoko Ono/John Lennon wedding album box and posters.

viernes, 17 de marzo de 2017

Hear The Original Demo Of Paul McCartney And Elvis Costello’s ‘You Want Her Too’

Image result for Paul McCartney And Elvis Costello’s ‘You Want Her Too’

Hear The Original Demo Of Paul McCartney And Elvis Costello’s ‘You Want Her Too’
By Rami Abou-Sabe
March 17, 2017

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

A stripped down recording of the Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello duet “You Want Her Too” was released this morning (Mar. 17). Off McCartney’s 1989 Flowers In The Dirt, the original recording featured fingerprints of the eighties and Macca’s signature melodic bass work. The occasional “Helter Skelter” wail sticks out like a sore thumb from the otherwise slick production.

Before McCartney and Costello got carried away with eighties studio decadence, the pair recorded an acoustic demo of the duet. The two distinct vocalists can be heard intertwining, dancing around the other, exploring various harmonies throughout the nearly three minute jam session. While the pair sing mainly in call-and-response on the official release, both can be heard simultaneously on the demo. Notably absent is the big band inspired outro of the album version.




'Flowers In The Dirt' - One Week To Go...

'Flowers In The Dirt' - One Week To Go...
Friday March 17 – With only one more week to go until the release of the reissue of Paul McCartney’s classic Flowers In The Dirt, Paul has released two new photographs to coincide with the song ‘You Want Her Too (Original Demo)’ becoming available as an Instant Grat track for fans who digitally pre-order the album.
Both shots were used during the promotion of the album's original release - a black and white promo shot of Paul, and a black and white shot of Paul and Linda on the set of the 'My Brave Face' video shoot in Liverpool.  

Paul at a promotional shoot for the album 'Flowers In The Dirt', 1989. Photo by Peter Mountain

Paul and Linda McCartney on set at the video shoot for 'My Brave Face', Liverpool, 1989. Photo by Peter Kernot.

jueves, 16 de marzo de 2017

When Paul McCartney teamed up with Elvis Costello, the Beatle got back on track

Costello and McCartney during a recording session for “Flowers in the Dirt.” (Linda McCartney/Copyright 1988 Paul McCartney)

When Paul McCartney teamed up with Elvis Costello, the Beatle got back on track
By Geoff Edgers
March 16 2017

Paul McCartney’s album “Flowers in the Dirt” was originally released in 1989. ( Bill Bernstein/Copyright 1988 MPL Communications)

The 1980s had not been going well for Paul McCartney. A series of commercial flops left even the artist taking stock. “It was time to prove something to myself,” McCartney said back then. That he did. “Flowers in the Dirt,” released in 1989, marked a rebirth.

But the most intriguing element of “Flowers” was shelved for decades. In 1987, McCartney had invited Elvis Costello to work with him. Four of their songs ended up on “Flowers,” but a few others never came out. And both McCartney and Costello agree that their nine initial demo recordings remain the best part of their collaboration. On March 24, those demos are being released as part of an elaborate, box-set reissue of “Flowers in the Dirt.”

We spoke recently with McCartney and Costello, separately and by phone, about their intense writing spurts, the challenges of turning the demos into a polished album and about their obvious differences over a certain synth-pop group.

A half-inch analogue stereo mixtape from the “Flowers In the Dirt” recording sessions. (MPL Communications Ltd./Copyright 1987 MPL Communications Ltd. )

In 1986, McCartney released his sixth solo studio album, “Press to Play,” working with producer Hugh Padgham, known for his work with Phil Collins and the Human League.

McCartney: Sometimes you get caught up in trying to be the current flavor, trying to go along and flavor your cooking with the food of the month, and I think “Press to Play” was certainly that. . . . I remember the records I listened to. “Let’s Dance.” Or “Drive” by the Cars. Records that were of the time and I probably just thought, “Yeah, it’d be quite nice to get into a bit of that.”

McCartney’s manager suggested he call Costello. Costello, then 33 , came to McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill Studio in East Sussex, England. Costello grew up loving the Beatles. But he didn’t bring his fan club card.

Costello: I’ve seen people, quite eminent people, completely lose their mind in his company. I didn’t want to turn up and be kind of bothersome in that way. I wanted to get something good done. Something that justified the invitation.

McCartney: I do get a bit of that in life generally, but I’ve adapted, I’ve developed a way of trying to put people at ease that kind of eliminates the vast majority of this syndrome. With Elvis, I didn’t need to do it. He’s sensible enough to know that. We’d sit around and talk and have a cup of tea. By the time we got down to songwriting, we knew the deal.
We just sat on these couches. Each of us got an acoustic guitar. Sat across from each other. I said to him, “The way I’m used to working with a collaborator is really, mainly with John.” And the way we used to do it is sit opposite like this. And the thing for me that was kind of nice . . . because I was left-handed and he was right-handed, as was the case with Elvis, too, it was as if I was looking in the mirror.

Costello: I was sort of a little startled when he made that reference. I think it’s more to just try to explain the immediacy of the way we worked rather than put me in the same bracket as Lennon. I don’t see myself like that. In terms of the immediacy and just the musical role. . . . I can’t sing above him so I would naturally harmonize below. Which is often the relationship of Lennon and McCartney’s harmonization. That would draw some comparison. Hey, I sing through my nose some of the time. What can I do?

McCartney: The thing about working with John is that we started songwriting virtually together. We had written a little bit separate from each other. But we grew into songwriting together. . . . You know, the bottom line is I’ve never had a better collaborator than John and I don’t expect to. Because we were pretty hot.

Working with Costello created a sound that was decidedly Beatles-like, something McCartney had tried to avoid for years.

McCartney: By that point, it seemed okay to reference the Beatles, so with Elvis, we tried to keep away from it, but if we did fall into anything — like, I think “My Brave Face” has a sort of Beatle-y thing to it — we didn’t try to avoid it.

Costello: I learned how to sing two-part harmonies from singing along with Beatles records. So of course, the minute I put my voice next to his, with the somewhat harder edges in my voice, it naturally created some sort of regional echo. I call it the Mersey cadence. I wasn’t even born in Liverpool. My family’s from Liverpool. But I’ve got a lot of those sounds in my voice.

Elvis Costello and McCartney at the MPL Communications office in 1995. (Linda McCartney/Copyright 1995 Paul McCartney)

When critics heard of the collaboration, they developed a story line — that Costello, the punk-rocking bad boy, represented the darker Lennon. He would push McCartney, the softy who sang “Silly Love Songs.” Costello dismisses that.

Costello: Oh, Paul’s the ballad guy, the same guy who sang “I’m Down,” “She’s a Woman” and “Helter Skelter.” You can find a contrary thing when people talk about Lennon/McCartney and those simplifications. Yeah, you can go “Instant Karma” and “Revolution” and these things and “Help.” But you can also go “Julia” and “Beautiful Boy.”

McCartney: The funny thing is, I think a lot of people assume that John and I pushed each other in those ways. . . . That never occurred. We had a very easy manner where both of us knew that the other was only in it to help and we were pooling our resources. So many times I would help John out with a problem in his song, but conversely, he’d do exactly the same with me. We knew that we would do that, and it was perfectly allowed. It’s not a question of pushing. It’s a question of just being. I’m writing, “It’s getting better all the time” and John comes in with, “Couldn’t get no worse.” Instead of going, “Oh, you’re spoiling my lovely song.” I go, “Genius, great.” I would do the same thing for him. . . . John famously brought in “Come Together” sounding very much like a Chuck Berry song called “You Can’t Catch Me.” I said, “That’s Chuck Berry.” He went, “Yeah.” I said, “No, no, no.” And we swapped it out and slowed it down and made a genius record. I’m allowed to say that now.

From left, McCartney’s Hofner, Rickenbacker and Wal 5 bass guitars at London’s Olympic Studios in 1989. (Linda McCartney/Copyright 1989 Paul McCartney)

COSTELLO did politely urge McCartney away from the instrument he was using, a modern bass with five strings. (“A perversion of nature,” says Costello.) He asked McCartney to pull out his old Hofner. The bass still had a Beatles set list taped to it.

Costello: I wasn’t being funny or being in any way sentimental. I honestly thought [the new bass] disguised his musical personality when he was playing. He actually played his Rickenbacker on a lot of the tracks. He played the Hofner on “Veronica,” that he played on my session [for Costello’s album “Spike”]. Because he knew I liked the sound of it. But he flew around on that Rickenbacker, and it was suddenly like, “My God, this is one of the great instrumentalists of the rock-and-roll era.” His voice comes through. It’s as if you gave Louis Armstrong a plastic horn to play.

There was no great strategy as they wrote. It was organic. Costello points to “Tommy’s Coming Home,” a beautiful, poetic song about a war widow torn between mourning and temptation. (The demo is being released for the first time on the “Flowers” box set.)

Costello: Paul made the first musical statement. But if you listen to that song, who do you think wrote that? Probably me, less known as a melodist than him. But I think I was the one who suggested [hums the chorus]. Often we exchanged the role as we were doing it because it wasn’t considered. All these theories, they don’t exist because of who I am. They exist because of who he is and all these associations that people want to read into. None of that was any part of writing any of these songs. It was almost fun really. It was really seeing what we could get. . . . The image of the hawk hovering over the little animals in that song. I said, “How do we get that in the story?” And I had the idea of a war widow on a train, and somehow both of those images ended up in that song. That’s proper collaborating. It’s not theoretical. It’s actual practical work.

In 1988, Costello and McCartney returned to the studio. The idea is that Costello would co-produce the new record. As they worked, they realized they had different ideas. One day, they were talking about “That Day is Done,” a gospel-inspired ballad. Costello wanted to use New Orleans brass. McCartney referenced the Human League. Costello left the studio to calm himself down.

McCartney: This is one of the rules of my game. I will say stuff, any idea that comes into my head. And if you don’t like it, you just tell me and I’ll probably agree. But my method is to throw out a lot of stuff and whittle it down. [Pause.] Actually, he was really not a fan of the Human League. I like “Don’t You Want Me.” [Hums the chorus.] I think that’s, like, a classic pop record. . . . I can now see now that me even mentioning the words Human League would send him off in the wrong direction.

The final studio recording of “That Day is Done,” on “Flowers,” was actually true to Costello’s original idea.

Costello: I think I was just overly sensitive, to be honest, because I did feel so attached to the lyrics.

Costello and McCartney at Hog Hill Mill in 1988. (Linda McCartney/Copyright 1998 Paul McCartney)

So why did Costello and McCartney eventually part ways?

McCartney: Thinking back to the time, I didn’t just want to just make an Elvis Costello album. There were other things I was interested in. I also wanted to work with this fabulous arranger, Clare Fischer, which may not have happened if I had been working with Elvis. I think I wanted to work with Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson, and things like “Rough Ride” and “Figure of Eight” wouldn’t have been there. I wanted some variety, and that led to the decision of writing some stuff with Elvis. And things like “Put It There,” I think those were pretty successful.

Of the demos, though, he and Costello agree. They are, indeed, the best versions of their songs. That doesn’t mean McCartney has any regrets.

McCartney: Man, are you kidding? It’s being reissued like a gazillion years afterward, and people are loving it. And the great thing is that we can now release these hidden treasures. It’s actually worked out really well.

miércoles, 15 de marzo de 2017

Paul McCartney unveils unheard demo for ‘Distractions’

Image result for paul mccartney distractions


Free Download: 'Distractions (Demo)'

Free Download: 'Distractions (Demo)'
To celebrate the forthcoming reissue of Paul McCartney’s 1989 Flowers In The Dirt album an exclusive demo of the album track ‘Distractions’ has been made available for download on PaulMcCartney.com.
Speaking earlier this week to PM.com about ‘Distractions', Paul said:
"I like a good love song, you know. And it’s always nice to be in the mood to write a ballad and that was the case when I sat down to write this. It just occurred to me that if you love someone, one of the problems is that you don’t always spend enough time with that person. Because you’ve got things to do, you’ve got work or you’ve got other obligations to other people or whatever. And so I thought, yeah you could call those distractions from the main event kind of thing. That was basically what this is:
What is this thing in life that persuades me to take time away from you?
 … Distractions, like butterflies
I elaborated on that theme, it’s just someone wishing they could spend more time with their loved one. And you know for me at that time it was about Linda. But people often say to me, ‘Who did you write this about?’ and even though then I would have been writing specifically about Linda - because she was the object of my affection - I liked the idea that it could also be the sort of dream of romance. It could just be an ideal - we all love someone and wish we could spend more time with that someone. A romantic ideal! I know that a young couple won’t hear this about me and Linda, the guy will hear it about him and his girlfriend, the girl will hear that it’s about her and her boyfriend, and I like that. I like that about my songs, that people use them for their own purpose. And I think that’s a very romantic idea.”
Listen to 'Distractions (Demo)' below and download for free HERE!

Paul McCartney, 1987