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Paul McCartney’s Golden Age

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Paul McCartney is writing his best music since The Beatles for over a decade now but the general public is unaware of this and radio refuses to play it. Paul returned with a creative force in 1989 with the release of “Flowers in the Dirt.” He had something to prove after having a few mishaps in the 80’s. He also had to contend with John Lennon’s reputation that grew to a near holy figure after his death. In 1983, Paul released “Pipes of Peace,” which had a couple hits, but was universally ridiculed by the critics and sold below expectations. In 1984, Paul had a bigger mess on his hands with the release of “Give My Regards to Broadstreet.” The movie bombed and the soundtrack didn’t do much on the charts. The one bright spot was the hit “No More Lonely Nights.” Paul got serious with the experimental “Press to Play,” album in 1986 which the critics liked but it quickly fell off the charts with no major hits. Paul had his last top ten hit with “Spies Like Us,” that was released in the same year. All of these disasters were amplified in 1987 with the sudden success and renewed popularity of George Harrison who released “Cloud 9” and had a huge hit with “Got My Mind Set On You.” George continued to have success the following year with his new superstar band, The Traveling Wilburys.

There was a great deal of pressure on Paul to produce a great album. He released one of his strongest albums with “Flowers in the Dirt,” that left the synthesizer of the 80s behind, replacing it with a band. He went on his first world tour in over a decade in support of the album, but unfortunately it didn’t sell as well as he hoped and the singles got little airplay. This must’ve been very frustrating for Paul because the album is chalk-full of great songs. “My Brave Face,” a Beatles-sounding, melodic-filled tune with a great bass line and a catchy chorus would fit nicely on any Beatles collection. Another standout is “Put It There,” a heart-felt, acoustic number that sounds like a Beatles. “This One,” another melodic number, is about seizing the moment before it passes you by. Other highlights include “Figure of Eight” and two bonus songs, “Flying to My Home,” and “Loveliest Thing.”

In 1993, Paul returned with “Off the Ground,” an album that wasn’t as strong as “Flowers in the Dirt,” but it still had a few gems that radio ignored. “Hope of Deliverance,” is the highpoint of the album, a song about optimism that is classic McCartney. “The Lovers that Never Were,” has some great lyrics and a psychedelic feel. “Get Out of My Way,” is a light, 50’s rock & roll song that would be a signal for more to come.

In 1997, Paul released his critically acclaimed “Flaming Pie,” album that had many quality songs. The first single, ‘The World Tonight,” was a departure from Paul’s usual light pop sound. It’s hard and heavy with some clever lyrics. Paul shows some attitude, impatience and some anger below the surface in the song, which is rare for the usually positive Beatle. Unfortunately, “The World Tonight,” didn’t have any success on radio, even though VH1 played the video several times. Another highlight is “Calico Skies,” an acoustic song about love with a memorable melody that harkens back to his Beatle days. “Beautiful Night,” is another Beatles-worthy song that continues in the steps of “Let It Be” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.” George Martin co-produced the song with Paul. Ringo played the drums and sings a bit at the end. It was the closest thing to a Beatles song since “Real Love.” “Souvenir” is a bluesy, psychedelic song with a hard guitar riff and great vocals from Paul.

In 1999, Paul released “Run Devil Run,” an album of rock & roll covers with three new songs. It was the first album since the death of his wife Linda. The album is amazing and rocks harder than anything Paul or any of the other Beatles had done before. This album blows away his last rock & roll record, “Back in the USSR,” that was recorded in the 80’s which had a light pop feel in comparison. Two of the new song

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