Never understood the poison aimed at the album to be honest. It's Paul being very Paul. There's an element of tweeness in there but I think almost anything attempting to follow up the fabulous "Tug Of War" would be on a hiding to nothing, although I for one would rather listen to "Say Say Say" over "Ebony And Ivory" every time!
Honestly, I find it hard to pick out a really bad track on "Pipes Of Peace". The title song deserved to hit the number one spot and so it did. There's a strong sense of melody throughout the album and songs which might have dissolved into mushy schmaltz in lesser hands (the achingly simple but poignant "So Bad") are deftly handled with aplomb by McCartney in the way that only he can. "Keep Under Cover" is comfortably on a par with virtually anything from "Tug Of War" and could easily have been lifted from that album.
The cover's a bit poncey and pretentious but most of the music within holds up pretty well in my opinion. Macca's 1980s surely went a lot more sour than this. By comparison the follow-up was a largely cobbled together cop-out of Beatle re-recordings padded around a repetitive single, and as for the truly grim "Press To Play"....let's not go there!!!