Driving Rain

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Driving Rain
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 12 November 2001
Recorded 16 February 2001 – June 2001, at Henson Recording Studio, Los Angeles
Genre Rock
Length 67:17
Label Parlophone
Producer David Kahne
Paul McCartney chronology
Wingspan: Hits and History
Driving Rain
Back in the U.S.
Singles from Driving Rain
  1. "From a Lover to a Friend"
    Released: 29 October 2001
  2. "Freedom"
    Released: 5 November 2001

Driving Rain is the twelfth studio album by Paul McCartney, recorded and released in 2001.


Clearly determined to follow the example of Run Devil Run's brisk making, Driving Rain—except for two songs—was cut with David Kahne co-producing in two weeks, starting in February 2001 and with a set of new musicians whom McCartney intended on backing him on tour. The cover of the album featured a photograph taken with a Casio wristwatch that had a built-in camera.[1]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Driving Rain features many songs inspired by and written for Heather Mills.[citation needed] "Back in the Sunshine Again" was co-written by McCartney and his son, James.[2] On 11 September 2001, McCartney was sitting on a plane in New York City when the terrorist attacks occurred and was able to witness the events from his seat. Incensed at the tragedy and determined to respond, he composed "Freedom" and helped organise (alongside Harvey Weinstein) The Concert for New York City, a massive all star show at Madison Square Garden on 20 October where "Freedom" was performed to a very receptive audience.

The song "About You" was written for Mills, as thanks for helping McCartney grieving the death of his first wife, Linda McCartney.[3]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 75[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[5]
The A.V. Club Mixed [6]
BBC Favorable[7]
Dot Music Positive [8]
Entertainment.ie 3/5 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly 8/12 stars[10]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars [11]
NME 6/10 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[13]

In November 2001, Driving Rain was released to generally strong reviews but stunned many with its very low sales. The album sold 66,000 copies in its first week in the US.[14] Perhaps due to the lack of a hit single to support it, Driving Rain peaked at number 46 in the UK,[15] and became McCartney's lowest selling album in his homeland. The US reaction was a little stronger, though still underwhelming, with the album making number 26 and reaching Gold status.

Impulsively, McCartney halted the pressing of Driving Rain so that "Freedom" could appear as a hidden track (since the artwork had already been printed). The just released "From a Lover to a Friend" (which only reached No. 45 in the UK) was repackaged with "Freedom", though the single failed to re-chart.

Beginning in April 2002, the Driving USA tour—a massive success which would lead to worldwide tour extensions—was launched.

In May 2007, McCartney said there are those who ascribe "militant" connotations to "Freedom" and, because of this, his decision to remove the performing of it from his 2007 setlist, although suggesting it could possibly return when he next mounted a US tour. About the song, McCartney added "I thought it was a great sentiment, and immediately post 9/11, I thought it was the right sentiment. But it got hijacked. And it got a bit of a militaristic meaning attached itself to it, and you found Mr. Bush using that kind of idea rather a lot, in a way I felt altered the meaning of the song."[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Paul McCartney, except "Spinning on an Axis" and "Back in the Sunshine Again" co-written by James McCartney.

  1. "Lonely Road" – 3:16
  2. "From a Lover to a Friend" – 3:48
  3. "She's Given Up Talking" – 4:57
  4. "Driving Rain" – 3:26
  5. "I Do" – 2:56
  6. "Tiny Bubble" – 4:21
  7. "Magic" – 3:59
  8. "Your Way" – 2:55
  9. "Spinning on an Axis" – 5:16
  10. "About You" – 2:54
  11. "Heather" – 3:26
  12. "Back in the Sunshine Again" – 4:21
  13. "Your Loving Flame" – 3:43
  14. "Riding into Jaipur" – 4:08
  15. "Rinse the Raindrops" – 10:08
  16. "Freedom" (studio mix) – 3:34
    • Due to the last minute addition of "Freedom" to Driving Rain, it was not listed in the track list and thus appears as a hidden track. "Freedom" was recorded live during The Concert for New York City with later studio overdubs. There are some copies of the CD that were issued with an outerbox and a different cover and the tracklistings featured "Freedom" as an official track.
iTunes exclusive track
  1. "From a Lover to a Friend" (David Kahne remix 2) – 5:26
    • In 2007, upon adding McCartney's catalogue of music, the iTunes Store added one of David Kahne's two remixes of the song "From a Lover to a Friend" as an exclusive bonus track. This remix is the version released on CD-singles for this song and "Freedom".


Personnel per booklet.[17]



  1. ^ http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/news/1209paulnewalbum.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Clayson, Alan (2003). Paul McCartney. London: Sanctuary. p. 252. ISBN 9781860744822. 
  3. ^ Vincent Perez Benitez The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years 2010 p.158 "Your Way hearkens back to the sound of McCartney's first two albums of the 1970s. ... McCartney composed About You for Heather Mills, thanking her for helping him get over his grief regarding the death of his first wife, Linda Eastman."
  4. ^ "Critic reviews for Driving Rain". metacritic.com. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Driving Rain at AllMusic
  6. ^ Phipps, Keith. "Review of Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". Archived from the original on 6 March 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Jones, Chris (20 November 2002). "Review of Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Heath, Chris (14 Nov 2001). "PAUL MCCARTNEY - 'DRIVING RAIN' (PARLOPHONE)". Archived from the original on 30 April 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Chris Willman (16 November 2001). "Driving Rain Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Gift Guide: Pop Albums: Choices From the Charts". latimes.com. 22 November 2001. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "NME Album Reviews – Paul McCartney : Driving Rain". NME. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Kot, Greg (30 October 2011). "Music Reviews : Driving Rain by Paul McCartney". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2008 
  14. ^ McGee, Garry (2003). Band on the Run: A History of Paul McCartney and Wings. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 157. ISBN 9780878333042. 
  15. ^ "Driving Rain". JPGR. 2001. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  16. ^ Dahlen, Chris (21 May 2007). "Interview:Sir Paul McCartney". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  17. ^ Driving Rain (Booklet). Paul McCartney. MPL Communications / Hear Music. 2001 [2011]. 088807321779.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ "Paul McCartney – Driving Rain – austriancharts.at". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "CANOE -- JAM! - Paul McCartney set to tour this spring". canoe.ca. JAM! Showbiz. 30 January 2002. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "danishcharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". danishcharts.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "lescharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". lescharts.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney – Driving Rain" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "italiancharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". italiancharts.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  25. ^ ポール・マッカートニー-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Driving Rain by Paul McCartney" (in Japanese). oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "swedishcharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Paul McCartney – Driving Rain – hitparade.ch". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Paul McCartney > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  30. ^ Allmusic – Driving Rain > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  31. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Driving Rain in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  34. ^ a b "Paul McCartney's new album "Memory Almost Full" will be released June 5 in North America". Billboard. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 

External links[edit]