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9 February 2014
2.17am
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Expert Textpert
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Not so long ago I asked for Paul McCartney recommendations on this forum and since then I have pretty much collected all of Paul's albums except for his classical ones and a couple of live albums.

One of the ones I was told to avoid was "Press To Play," and I have to admit than my wife and I first listened to it, we thought it was pretty laughable.  I remember saying, "What?"  Some of the artistic decisions on it just embraced the worst of the 80's aesthetic.

But I have to say it has grown on me a bit.  I especially think Only Love Remains and Pretty Little Head are great.  I think Pretty Little Head is an example of an experiment that went right.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon
9 February 2014
12.14pm
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Ahhh Girl
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22 April 2014
9.31am
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Oyster Black Pearl
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I'm currently digitising my vinyl - 'Press To Play' is on now. Probably haven't heard it for at least 10-15 years, I'd deliberately avoid it, mainly due to the production.paul-mccartney

It's not as poor as I remember, maybe it's because the 80's sound is currently 'cool', however I draw the line at the wailing sax! 

I'm also putting together a career retrospective playlist - I'd take 4 tracks from this album - 'Footprints', 'Only Love Remains', 'Press', and 'Pretty Little Head'. Funny how those tracks are bunched together in the middle of the running order?

 

PS - I'd forgotten just how close to 'Here Today' 'Only Love Remains ' is.

27 April 2014
8.13pm
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Ahhh Girl
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Yes, the cover is sweet.

I'm not one to knock Paul, but I have done it once or twice on the forum. Here' goes another one.

I've been thinking about this, and the "screaming" Beatles Fab File episode spurred me into writing it. Some folks say that Paul doesn't sound convincing (tries too hard on the vocals) in Oh! Darling on Abbey Road. I can see that. Also, I'm not convinced that he really means what he is singing on "It's Not True" from this album. I need @DrBeatle to come in and school me like he did on "Daytime Nighttime Suffering".

 

I still love Paul though a-hard-days-night-paul-7 in case anyone was beginning to wonder.

3 May 2014
7.16pm
martinquibell
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Press To Play!

 

Well, what can you say about it?

 

The different percussion and "drums" (both real and artificial) that feature on the album are so horribly processed throughout the whole set.  Stranglehold could have been a nice grooving opener with better production. Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun is another case of Paul having song fragments that he just decided to slam together to use them, much as he did with the beautiful Winter Rose and Love Awake on Back To The Egg, but in that case they could have potentially become two classic McCartney songs with a little more work (an extra verse and perhaps a middle eight in each).  GTC and FTS though would have worked nicer if he had another fragment to create a better link between the two songs - just fading out and then in is an appallingly lazy production idea.

 

Talk More Talk is McCartney experimenting a lot.  He needed to work on it a lot more before issuing it.  It has elements therein that if expanded on could have gone somewhere better, but to me as a musician it sounds unfinished and in need of a spring clean.

 

Footprints (a co-write with Eric Stewart) is one of the most beautiful pieces on the set, but as with everything else suffers from that appalling production.  A shame since the guitar work in the song by Macca & Eric Stewart is absolutely gorgeous.  The percussion sounds muddy unfortunately, as does a lot of what is going on in there.  I love the song so much, but hate the production.

 

Only Love Remains - if not for the terribly processed drums and percussion it is almost as if the song was from a different album entirely! 

 

Press to me is a fairly decent pop song, although as with a few McCartney lyrics there are a few clunkers in there. It's a song that was written to be a single. The video for the song is what it is and, in fact, was sort of groundbreaking in that it spurred others onto doing different things with music videos. It is the forerunner to the Fat Boy Slim video Praise You perhaps?

 

Pretty Little Head is a case of an experiment that works well, and is in fact one that I have covered myself before.  It is also the outcome of an experiment between two world class composers (McCartney and Stewart) who wanted to do something different.  This song alone must have taken such an incredible amount of time to piece together and get everything just right. 

 

Move Over Busker is a song that is a decent rocker, incredibly similar to Average Person in fact in it's "I was talking to ....." blah blah blah.  It's nothing new, but it is good at what it does.

 

Angry is an interesting song in that it was recorded a few times in different ways. The one on the album is the line up of McCartney on bass and lead vocal, Pete Townshend on guitar, and Phil Collins on drums, along with some overdubbed backing singers. There might be more, but the initial basis of it is that live recorded guide of the threesome.  I'd love to hear the other versions, but that one isn't awful.

 

Finally there is the "trying to be Beatlesque" However Absurd, which perhaps tries too hard? I don't know. If the guys were still together and alive at the time, I could easily see Lennon smiling with glee at the possibility of helping Macca clean it up lyrically.  The middle eight in the song is beautiful, and the orchestration is really nice when it can be heard!

4 May 2014
12.23am
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vonbontee
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martinquibell said

Press To Play!

 

Well, what can you say about it?

 

The different percussion and "drums" (both real and artificial) that feature on the album are so horribly processed throughout the whole set.  Stranglehold could have been a nice grooving opener with better production. 

Yeah, the mid-to-late 1980s specialized in some of the worst drum sounds in the history of modern multitrack recording for sure.

I remember George saying 'Blimey, he's always talking about “Yesterday”, you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody' - Paul McCartney

7 May 2014
9.35pm
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jakealdrich
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18 May 2014
12.09pm
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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One of my faves.  Wonderful lyrics; could read them as a poem. McCartney's or Stewart's?

by Paul McCartney and Eric Stewart

IT'S BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE, 
AN OLD HAND GATHERS WOOD,
CAN HE SEE ME SITTING HERE? 
HIS MIND IS SOMEWHERE ELSE.

HIS FRIENDS HAVE FLOWN AWAY, 
HE'S LEFT OUT IN THE COLD.
HE WON'T SIT BY MY FIRE, 
HE SAYS HE LIKES IT IN THE SNOW.
WHERE FOOTPRINTS NEVER GO, 
HE LIKES IT IN THE SNOW.

IT'S GETTING DARK OUTSIDE, 
THE OLD MAN'S GOING HOME.
HAS HE SOMEONE WAITING THERE? 
IS HE LIVING ON HIS OWN?
WHERE FOOTPRINTS NEVER GO, 
HE LIKES IT IN THE SNOW.

IN WHITE BLANKET, 
HIDING THE TRACES OF TEARS SHE DIDN'T SEE.
OH, WHITE BLANKET, 
COVERS THE MEMORY OF ALL THAT USED TO BE, 
ALL THAT USED TO BE.
BUT HIS HEART KEEPS ACHING IN THE SAME OLD WAY,
HE CAN'T HELP FEELING THAT SHE MIGHT COME BACK SOME DAY.

IT'S BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE, 
A MAGPIE LOOKS FOR FOOD.
THE OLD HAND THROWS A CRUMB,
DO YOU THINK HE'S FOUND A FRIEND?
WHERE FOOTPRINTS NEVER GO, 
HE LIKES IT IN THE SNOW.

OH, WHITE BLANKET, 
HIDING THE TRACES OF PATHS HE DIDN'T TAKE.
OH, OH, WHITE BLANKET, 
COVERS THE MEMORY OF MOVES HE DIDN'T MAKE.

GO NOW,

OH, WHITE BLANKET, 
HIDING THE TRACES OF TEARS SHE DIDN'T SEE.
SNOW WHITE BLANKET, 
SIMPLY COVERS THE MEMORY OF ALL THAT USED TO BE.
BUT HIS HEART KEEPS ACHING IN THE SAME OLD WAY,
HE CAN'T HELP FEELING THAT SHE MIGHT COME BACK SOME DAY.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
18 May 2014
1.20pm
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meanmistermustard
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It was one of the tracks that caught my ear when going thru alternate mixes of Press To Play a few days ago, a delicate mix with a lot going on in the musical track that you might not pick up on but not overbearing - i felt it suited the theme and lyrics of the song. Still to get to the album mix.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
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