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Author Topic: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited  (Read 1769 times)

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blmeanie

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McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« on: July 11, 2011, 01:06:08 AM »

Released in 1989, Paul's Flowers In The Dirt hit a chord with me.  Released at a time I was going through some tough personal stuff I latched onto much of this unheralded album.

I just had a listen today to it in it's entirety, really enjoyed it and the memories it brought back.

1- My Brave Face : nice enough song, overplayed as it was released as a single, still enjoy hearing it though, great voice throughout
2- Rough Ride : my favorite on the album, absolutely love the off-beat and how, when it gets going, the energy level gets going, half the time sounds like a simple jam song, need to hear it loud; drumming in it is cool, nice echo around the 2:44 mark
3- You Want Her too : Elvis playing the contrary to Paul.  Genius, perfect performer at that time to join up with.  Ending is cool.
4- Distractions : normally I would skip this song early in the listening process, but the mood I was in when the album came out, this song fit and became a nice song for me.  Solo beginning at 2:50 is nice.  Song is just a little too long.
5- We Got Married : Did not know until now but David Gilmore played guitar on this one.  Catchy tune and tempo.  Really enjoy this song for the guitar beginning at 1:34 and the 3:00 mark, solo/chorus riffs are cool.  Just a tad long too.  Seems to be the biggest complaints I have on the album, couple of songs go too long.
6- Put it There : tear jerker for me.  Pure emotion in a simple song.  When this came out I hadn't yet had kids, envisioned/hoped I would have moments like this song with a son (or two).
7- Figure of Eight : Another single release, along with My Brave Face and This One.  I like this song, thought it got a bad rap as a simple McCartney song.  Nice harmonizing.  Obviously catchy.  Macca's screams in the chorus of "Figure of Eight" sound great.  Overall good enough.
8- This One : Of the three singles, This One takes less chances and easily flows from beginning to end.  Nice tune, nice melody, just leaves me wanting a little more.
9- Don't Be Careless Love : The second song written with Elvis.  The song has some parts that I like, but it never seems cohesive, something odd about the whole song.
10- That Day is Done : Third Elvis collaboration, this song works where Don't be Careless didn't.  Seems to have beginning, middle, end with common threads.  Could easily be an Elvis song with Paul helping out.  They get the words "Flowers in the dirt" into the album in this song.  Beautiful, but a bit long in the tooth too.
11- How Many People : Feels like Paul's anthem on Peace and Love, believe it was written for specifically something going on in the Rain Forest.  Love the reggae feel and contrary "One too many for now" responses to the song's question.
12- Motor of Love : 6:25 , unless you are Hey Jude, Stairway to Heaven, Sympathy for the Devil, or Riders on the Storm you need to limit the length of this song.  True throw away for me.  Catch and release.  Never got into this song.
13- Ou Est Le Soleil : Bonus Track that, I think, appeared on every medium you could buy  ;D  ; every make a mix tape (or cd) and realize you had enough room to squeeze one more song on?  This sounds like a sound check fun song for the band but to me the term "bonus" should be worth waiting for.  Throw this one back in too.  At most should have been 1:30 and never sniffed close to 5:00


Really a good listen for me, I haven't heard the whole album since, probably, the early 90's.  Would love to read opinions, even though they may differ.

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Gary910

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 03:58:50 PM »

I too enjoy this album and think it is one of Paul's best. I remember when this came out, and I bought the "My Brave Face" single before the album was out.

I have to disagree with the songs being too long. I like the way "My Brave Face" gets back to Paul's Beatlesque bass playing. It was Elvis' idea for Paul to pull out his Hofner. Lovely tones that Hofner gives out.

I think "You Want Her Too" is a harder edge "The Girl Is Mine" replayed. I do like it though.

I love the Spanish Guitar solo in "Distractions". I think it is a beautiful "take me away" song.

"We Got Married" - a good song about Paul reminiscing about when he Linda got married. Love the Gilmour solo, simple, but effective. I have since learned most of it myself.

"Put It There" - Paul's song for his dad.

"Figure Of Eight" - Good Rocker.

It took me a long time to like "That Day Is Done". Now it is one of my favorites on the album. Very dark. How much of the darkness Paul wrote, I don't know. A good example of how well the McCartney/McManus collaboration worked.

"Ou Est Le Soleil" was not on the vinyl edition of the album. Paul released several mixes of this song as 12" singles, promo mixes, etc.

Again, one of Paul's best albums. He put a lot of effort into this one, and it shows. He knew he was going to tour behind this album. I think he felt it was a bit of a "comeback" album of sorts. What was he coming back from? I don't know. Maybe a "re-emergence" would be a better way to put it.
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glass onion

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 08:59:24 PM »

i think there are some nice bits on the album but it tends not to be one i listen to a lot.i never got into it in a big way at all.i'll have another listen after reading this....'dig it out' so to speak and i'll see if it's how i remember it.i seem to recall that i thought it was a bit of a weak record.much as i love and respect paul,he's done a few duffers.
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Mr Mustard

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 10:04:57 PM »

It's been too long since I played this album, which I really enjoyed when it was released and which has more than its fair share of great songs. The taster single "My Brave Face" was very Beatley with that very Lennonesque "Take me to that place..." line as Paul was quick to point out. All in all the collaboration with Elvis C worked very well I thought. I think Gary is right in that Paul seemed to be consciously re-launching himself to some extent with this release. It was very refreshing... then again, following on from "Press To Play" (one of McCartney's worst solo outings in my opinion) the only way was up I suppose. All in all a great album.
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Gary910

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 12:43:29 AM »

Slightly off topic, but not really...

A recent article/interview with Elvis about his working relationship with Paul.

http://www.mojo4music.com/blog/2011/07/costello_talks_mccartney.html
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tkitna

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 01:50:27 PM »

This is an album that hasent aged well with me. I was just downstairs and found that I have three copies of it somehow.  ??? Anyways, I think this is Pauls most adult/contemporary album besides Chaos, but it doesnt appeal to me as much. First of all, I think the two singles (My Brave Face/Figure Of Eight) are weak and forgettable. I love 'Put It There' and its been one of my favorites for a long time, but the other songs dont hold up. Dont get me wrong here though, theres some good stuff on the album, its just that you need to wade through it to find it. I think my biggest problem is the band itself. I never cared for this lineup. I talk to Chris Whitten all the time too on a drummer forum, but this lineup just never agreed with me (Tripping The Live Fantastic was much better than this studio effort though). Maybe its just me.

Mr. M, I thought Press was way better than Pipes and 2 though, but what wouldnt be?

Mr Mustard

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 01:09:55 AM »


Mr. M, I thought Press was way better than Pipes and 2 though, but what wouldnt be?

I know you've never cared for McCartney II tkitna but I've always liked it...any album featuring "Coming Up", "Waterfalls" and the truly sublime "One Of These Days" has got to be a winner. It was a modern breath of fresh air since Wings had really run their course by the end of the 70s. Pipes Of Peace features some lovely numbers like "So Bad", "Keep Under Cover" and the title track.

I would say both records pale alongside the superb "Tug Of War" sandwiched between them, but for me these three albums marked a very promising beginning to the 1980s for Paul. Unfortunately there were signs that he was running out of steam with Broad Street, and by the time Press To Play appeared it marked a real low point to my ears. I can't really think of anything to commend that album. I remember feeling mightily relieved that Flowers In the Dirt  seemed to mark a pleasing return to form. Press To Play was the big blot on Paul's 80s copybook in my opinion!
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glass onion

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 09:37:04 PM »

uh-oh.i'm gonna have to say that i prefer 'press to play' over 'flowers'.i listened again and i have to agree with tkitna,'flowers' is a pretty ordinary album-although i do like 'my brave face','put it there' is great,a couple of others are alright.on the whole the album is not too good and i think todd has hit the nail on the head for me also when he states he never really got on with the band line up.i never thought of that (oddly enough).a good band,yes.the right one for paul material,maybe not.
i think press to play is a better album than broad street,flowers in the dirt,off the ground,and maybe better than red rose speedway for me.red rose speedway has some lovely stuff on side 1 but side 2 is bloody awful by macca standards.
lastly,mccartney 2 takes some listening to at times, but i think it's an ok album.i love 'coming up' and 'temporary secretary'.'nobody knows' is also great,it has maybe 3 stinkers on there but it was experimental,and give credit where it's due.
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tkitna

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 02:40:23 PM »

Am I the only person on earth that likes Broad Street? I even like the stupid movie. Oh well. My issue with McCartney 2 is that the best song on the album (Coming Up) is the worst version of it. The single version and the live version are both superior. Waterfalls is decent and One Of These Days is listenable. The rest can be thrown out along with any rejects from Depeche Mode or The Human League. I give Paul credit for giving it a go, but 80's electric pop and him dont mix well. Pipes is just awful in my opinion. Its filled with sugar coated weak pop that he should have just given to Michael Jackson and been done with it. Press has a few edgier tunes and has its moments at least. Its a miracle that Tug Of War turned out so well now that I think about it. Anyways, like I said, I think i'm the only person that like Briad Street so what do I know?

Bobber

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 08:35:18 AM »

I really like this album. I bought it and played it a lot. Not too fond of Ou Est Le Soleil and Motor Of Love, but no real miss for me. The strange thing is that I was hardly interested in McCartney after this album. Off The Ground? The Unplugged thing? Flaming Pie? Driving Rain? I don't even remember they were released.
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tkitna

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2011, 10:28:47 AM »

'Flaming Pie' is probably my second favorite he's ever done behind RAM.

Mr Mustard

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2011, 11:16:00 PM »

Am I the only person on earth that likes Broad Street?

No you're not; and reading back my own post I think I was being a bit glib and dismissive. Broad Street is fine, but seemingly padded out with old Beatle numbers (and some of my less favourite ones at that) and a curious hotchpotch of previous solo and Wings material, the album seemed a bit of a cheat to me at the time - as though Paul was running dry of fresh ideas.... but given its context as a film soundtrack I guess I ought to cut it some slack. I've been listening to it again today and it really is rather good  ;)

That's one of the many things I enjoy about this site, you get opinions from other forum members which whet your appetite and encourage you to dust down recordings you haven't heard in ages. I've decided to listen to a whole bunch of late 80s and 90s albums from Paul as a result of this....I'm even going to have another bash at Press To Play!

By the way Todd, is there any particular reason why Back To The Egg (rather than the other albums you mention) is your avatar?
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tkitna

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 01:57:08 AM »

No you're not; and reading back my own post I think I was being a bit glib and dismissive. Broad Street is fine, but seemingly padded out with old Beatle numbers (and some of my less favourite ones at that) and a curious hotchpotch of previous solo and Wings material, the album seemed a bit of a cheat to me at the time - as though Paul was running dry of fresh ideas.... but given its context as a film soundtrack I guess I ought to cut it some slack. I've been listening to it again today and it really is rather good  ;)

That's one of the many things I enjoy about this site, you get opinions from other forum members which whet your appetite and encourage you to dust down recordings you haven't heard in ages. I've decided to listen to a whole bunch of late 80s and 90s albums from Paul as a result of this....I'm even going to have another bash at Press To Play!

By the way Todd, is there any particular reason why Back To The Egg (rather than the other albums you mention) is your avatar?

Nice post Mr.M. You've even inspired me to break out Pipes again. We'll have to get back to each other in a couple days and see what we think.

Ahhh, Back To The Egg. I love it. One of the main reasons (and dont laugh) is that I dont think Pauls voice has ever sounded that good. Ever. I do realize that the album itself is all over the place song and style wise, but thats Paul to me. You have a rocker followed by a ballad follwed by some pop followed by some disco, etc,,. You get my point. Kind of like the White Album in a way. Also, I think this record captures the true essence of Wings with the harmonies and sound. I dont really know why, but this album grabs me. I'd love to hear your opinion of it Mr.M.

glass onion

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 05:24:59 PM »

i like back to the egg,too.i think it's a strong album in pauls' collection.folk ought to give pauls' 80s output a bit more scope-as we have already really agreed in the past,nobody came through the 80s with any credit,really.if you stand back a look at pauls' 80s stuff it's not that bad at all.especially pipes and press......not classics,granted;but not all bad.but back to the egg is a bloody good listen.
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Mr Mustard

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2011, 02:49:58 PM »

Nice post Mr.M. You've even inspired me to break out Pipes again. We'll have to get back to each other in a couple days and see what we think.

I'll put my feelings regarding both "Pipes" and "Press" on your "Pipes Of Peace" thread shortly Todd.

Ahhh, Back To The Egg. I love it. One of the main reasons (and dont laugh) is that I dont think Pauls voice has ever sounded that good. Ever. I do realize that the album itself is all over the place song and style wise, but thats Paul to me. You have a rocker followed by a ballad follwed by some pop followed by some disco, etc,,. You get my point. Kind of like the White Album in a way. Also, I think this record captures the true essence of Wings with the harmonies and sound. I dont really know why, but this album grabs me. I'd love to hear your opinion of it Mr.M.

First off, no laughter from me mate... I agree with you regarding Paul's vocals which were rarely better than here. And like you I enjoy the variety of styles used on this album. It was very refreshing to hear it again after a very long time, I'd forgotten just how good it was. I think part of the reason for that is that I've always had a soft spot for "McCartney II" which follows it, and I absolutely love "London Town" which precedes it, so "Back To The Egg" tends to get overlooked a bit by me, but it won't anymore. Thoroughly enjoyed the re-listens. I think my only gripe is the pretentious inclusion of those silly interludes "Reception" and "The Broadcast" which serve only to irritate me. No need for either piece in my opinion. And unlike the albums released either side of it, there is no outright dominant hit single ear grabber like "With A Little luck" or "Coming Up". Nevertheless the overall standard on "Back To The Egg" is very impressive. I'm glad, on reflection, that Wings seem to have bowed out on something of a high note after all. But I still believe Paul was ready for a new chapter with the onset of the 1980s.
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KeepUnderCover

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Re: McCartney - Flowers in the Dirt - revisited
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2011, 04:57:03 PM »

Not a huge fan of this album. I like My Brave Face, but most of it just leaves me cold.

My favorite album post this album is Driving Rain. In fact, I'd go as far to say that Driving Rain is my favorite Macca album, period.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 04:58:52 PM by KeepUnderCover »
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