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Expert Textpert
In bed.
2696 Posts
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1
9 February 2014 - 2.17am

 

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

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SatanHimself
Hades-on-Leith
666 Posts
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2
9 February 2014 - 5.53am

You're a better man than I.

While I'm sure there are charms to be found, P2P is a tough sell.

E is for 'Ergent'.

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meanmistermustard

19113 Posts
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3
9 February 2014 - 11.56am

I heard it a few times a number of years back, found it to be incredibly poor (sound, feel, lyrics, instrumentation (are those fake drums being used, sound horrible and empty?)) and haven't heard it since. However as i've mentioned on here i'm currently going thru all of Paul's solo-career so will get to it a-hard-days-night-paul-7. Currently listening to a couple of Newcastle concerts Wings played back in '73 so its a long way off tho.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"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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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12438 Posts
(Offline)
4
9 February 2014 - 12.14pm

meanmistermustard said
I heard it a few times a number of years back, found it to be incredibly poor (sound, feel, lyrics, instrumentation (are those fake drums being used, sound horrible and empty?)) and haven't heard it since. However as i've mentioned on here i'm currently going thru all of Paul's solo-career so will get to it a-hard-days-night-paul-7. Currently listening to a couple of Newcastle concerts Wings played back in '73 so its a long way off tho.

So you took my suggestion to stick with the concerts before moving on. :-)

I heart Press To Play. I especially like the song Press, one reason being it mentions Oklahoma. But even if it didn't, I would still like the song, words and music. Hope you will like it a tad bit more when you get to it this go around. Just keep thinking, "Hold Me Tight is not on this album" and you should be okay.

 

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meanmistermustard

19113 Posts
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5
9 February 2014 - 12.38pm

I was always going to play concerts throughout, i have shows and rehearsals from the mid-70's and Glasgow '79 lined up for when the time comes. I did take your advice on going back a bit and listened to the Switzerland '72 concert however. And it was interesting and fun to listen to, even tho the band were very rough round the edges on a few numbers, so thank youapple01.

 

 

The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:

Bongo, Ahhh Girl

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"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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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12438 Posts
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6
9 February 2014 - 12.50pm

meanmistermustard said
I was always going to play concerts throughout, i have shows and rehearsals from the mid-70's and Glasgow '79 lined up for when the time comes. I did take your advice on going back a bit and listened to the Switzerland '72 concert however. And it was interesting and fun to listen to, even tho the band were very rough round the edges on a few numbers, so thank youapple01.

 

 

Yes, that's what it was. Thanks for the reminder.

 

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Mr Bellamy
Near Edinburgh
427 Posts
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7
9 February 2014 - 3.02pm

It's definitely one of his weakest, but I find it enjoyable when I'm doing something else and its on in the background since I'm not listening to the lyrics that much. My faves are probably Footprints and... that's it. Can't stand Talk More Talk, I had it stuck in my head all last week a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

"We can do what we want, we can live as we choose"

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Oyster Black Pearl
Liverpool, UK
124 Posts
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8
22 April 2014 - 9.31am

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.

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DrBeatle
Hershey via Boston
1556 Posts
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9
22 April 2014 - 3.31pm

It's not as bad an album as it's made out to be...I think a lot of the grief it gets is because it came hot on the heels of the critical drubbing he took for the whole Broad Street debacle. The production dates it but he was trying some new and interesting things on it and there are some really great songs on the album.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @rocknrollchem

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parlance
Slaggers
7065 Posts
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10
22 April 2014 - 3.49pm

It's *really* hard to get past that production. A lot of Paul's 80s songs suffer from that.

And I've said it elsewhere, but that incredibly lazy video for "Press" soured me on that album and Paul in particular for years.

parlance

The following people thank parlance for this post:

acmac

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at Vimeo or YouTube.

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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12438 Posts
(Offline)
11
22 April 2014 - 3.58pm

parlance said

It's *really* hard to get past that production. A lot of Paul's 80s songs suffer from that.

And I've said it elsewhere, but that incredibly lazy video for "Press" soured me on that album and Paul in particular for years.

parlance

I absolutely adore that video. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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meanmistermustard

19113 Posts
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12
22 April 2014 - 4.27pm

I could never get past the dreadful "talk more talk, chat more chat".blue-meanie

The good thing is that it can't be as i remember it to be.a-hard-days-night-ringo-4

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"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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acmac
229 Posts
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13
24 April 2014 - 6.34pm

I think "However Absurd," "Footprints," and "Stranglehold" are good songs screaming to get out of a bad album.

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trcanberra
Oz
5857 Posts
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14
24 April 2014 - 10.46pm

It has a nice cover :)

Will comment on substance when I get to that year - I was up to mid 1970 until the US Albums threw me back into the 60s.

==> trcanberra and hongkonglady - Together even when not (engaged for those not in the know!) <==

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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea

12438 Posts
(Offline)
15
27 April 2014 - 8.13pm

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.

martinquibell
4 Posts
(Offline)
16
3 May 2014 - 7.16pm

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!

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vonbontee
Inside an Apple Orchard in a Letterbox
2815 Posts
(Offline)
17
4 May 2014 - 12.23am

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

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jakealdrich
12 Posts
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18
7 May 2014 - 9.35pm

good songs horrible production 

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
1610 Posts
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19
18 May 2014 - 12.09pm

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)

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meanmistermustard

19113 Posts
(Offline)
20
18 May 2014 - 1.20pm

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....RN5u2FQ73E

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"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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