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Driving Rain is the twelfth solo studio album by Paul McCartney, recorded and released in 2001. The cover of the album was taken with a wristwatch that had a built-in camera.
Driving Rain features many songs inspired by and written for Heather. 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.
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. 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, and somewhat daringly uncommercial "From a Lover to a Friend" (which only reached #45 in the UK) was repackaged with "Freedom", though the single failed to re-chart.
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."
In November 2001, Driving Rain was released to generally strong reviews but stunned many with its very low sales, especially considering that McCartney's previous studio album of original material, Flaming Pie, was a number two hit in both the US and the UK. Perhaps due to the lack of a hit single to support it, Driving Rain peaked at #46 in the UK, and became McCartney's lowest selling album in his homeland. The US reaction was a little stronger, though still underwhelming, with the album making #26 and reaching Gold status. Again however, there were no major US singles from the album.
Beginning in April 2002, the Driving USA tour—a massive success which would lead to worldwide tour extensions—was launched.
All songs by Paul McCartney, except "Spinning on an Axis" and "Back in the Sunshine Again" co-written by James McCartney.
- "Lonely Road" – 3:16
- "From a Lover to a Friend" – 3:48
- "She's Given Up Talking" – 4:57
- "Driving Rain" – 3:26
- "I Do" – 2:56
- "Tiny Bubble" – 4:21
- "Magic" – 3:59
- "Your Way" – 2:55
- "Spinning on an Axis" – 5:16
- "About You" – 2:54
- "Heather" – 3:26
- "Back in the Sunshine Again"– 4:21
- "Your Loving Flame" – 3:43
- "Riding Into Jaipur" – 4:08
- "Rinse the Raindrops" – 10:08
- "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
- "From a Lover to a Friend" (David Kahne remix 2) – 5:26
- In 2007, upon adding McCartney's catalog 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".
- Paul McCartney – Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Drums, Spanish Guitar, Fender Rhodes, Percussion, Tambourine, Knee Slaps
- Eric Clapton – Guitar (appears only on "Freedom")
- Rusty Anderson – Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, 12-String Guitar, Backing Vocals, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass, Tampura, Percussion
- David Campbell – Viola
- Larry Corbett – Cello
- Joel Derouin – Violin
- Gabe Dixon – Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer, Backing Vocals, Fender Rhodes, Percussion
- Matt Funes – Viola
- David Kahne – Synth, Samples, Electric Guitar, Organ, Wurlitzer
- Abe Laboriel Jr. – Drums, Percussion, Tambourine, Backing Vocals, Accordion
- James McCartney – Electric Guitar, Percussion
- Ralph Morrison – Violin
- David Kahne – Producer
- Paul McCartney – Executive Producer
- Mark Sickora – Engineer
- Mark Dearnley, David Kahne, David Leonard – Mixing
- Stephen Marcussen – Mastering
- Stewart Whitmore – Digital editor
- Norman Hathaway, Micha Weidmann, Donat Raetzo – Design
- Paul McCartney – Photography
Charts and certifications
Certifications and sales