I've been referring to Wikipedia a lot this week to confirm my suspicions that this week's selections are the proverbial "return to form" that I think they are. I'm digging for more of a generalized consensus rather than just my own gut instincts. And with this McCartney LP, I think my instincts remain intact. I mean, it was the first time I was truly interested in a McCartney release for quite a while--Press to Play, anyone?
From Wiki, " After the meagre sales that greeted Press to Play, McCartney realised he needed to work much harder on his follow-up. Thus, he not only teamed up with several different producers, but also spent the better part of eighteen months perfecting Flowers in the Dirt. A highlight of the sessions was McCartney's unlikely alliance with Elvis Costello, with whom he composed many new songs. McCartney greatly enjoyed the partnership, even finding that Costello mirrored John Lennon in certain aspects of his personality. Costello would also appear on the album, even co-singing "You Want Her Too" (an update of "The Girl Is Mine") with Paul. Another celebrity guest included was friend David Gilmour from Pink Floyd on his trademark electric guitar.
Finally, early in 1989, the project was ready. In May, the Beatlesque "My Brave Face" was released as a single and promptly gave McCartney a US hit, reaching #25, while reaching #18 in the UK. In June, Flowers in the Dirt was released to high anticipation and immediately entered the UK charts at #1, garnering very receptive reviews from all around. In the US, the reaction was better than Press to Play, with the album reaching #21, staying on the charts for a year and going gold, though it still sold beneath expectations. The second single, "This One" reached #18 in the UK, as did "My Brave Face". The follow-ups "Figure Of Eight"/"Ou Est Le Soleil?" and "Put It There" would all be minor UK hits.
Sure seems like a "return to form" to me. And while you're downloading and listening to these tracks today, go on over and wish Sir Paul a Happy Birthday. He turns 66 today.
Paul McCartney - My Brave Face (Mp3)
Paul McCartney - This One (Mp3)
Paul McCartney - You Want Her Too (Mp3)
Paul McCartney - We Got Married (Mp3)
Paul McCartney - Distractions (Mp3)
(A tip o' the pin to JC for these 'Flowers' Mp3's.)