Driving Rain

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Driving Rain
Studio album by
Released12 November 2001
Recorded16 February – June 2001
StudioHenson Recording, Los Angeles
ProducerDavid 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
  3. "Your Loving Flame"
    Released: 2002 (promo only)
  4. "Lonely Road"
    Released: 2002 (promo only)

Driving Rain is the twelfth studio album by English musician Paul McCartney. The album was recorded and released in November 2001 as a double LP, a single cassette, and single CD.


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] and not a Game Boy Camera as commonly believed.

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 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]

Said Roger Friedman of Fox News, the song “Tiny Bubble”'s chorus is "remarkably" similar to the Beatles’ “Piggies” written by George Harrison which was released on The White Album.[4]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
The A.V. Club(mixed)[7]
Blender4/5 stars[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music2/5 stars[10]
entertainment.ie3/5 stars[11]
Entertainment WeeklyB[12]
Q3/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[15]
Uncut3/5 stars[17]

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.[18] Perhaps due to its having been leaked online weeks ahead of time (without last minute addition "Freedom"), or the lack of a hit single to boost it, Driving Rain peaked at number 46 in the UK,[19] and became McCartney's lowest-selling album in his homeland. The US reaction was a little stronger, with the album peaking at number 26 and being certified Gold by the RIAA.

Reviewing the album for Uncut magazine, Ian MacDonald noted McCartney's spontaneous approach to its recording, such that, "In parts (for example, the lengthy closer 'Rinse The Raindrops'), the results are almost ferocious, coming as close to a McCartney-esque Tin Machine as one could reasonably imagine." MacDonald considered the more "polished and produced" tracks to be "the most successful", however, and concluded: "Possibly a grower, this album is certainly better than anything Macca's done for some while, if not the late masterpiece some of us have been hoping for."[17]

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 number 45 in the UK) was repackaged with "Freedom", although the single failed to re-chart.

Beginning in April 2002, the Driving USA tour – a significant 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, he had decided to remove the song from his 2007 setlist, while also suggesting that 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."[20]

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 track listings 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.[21]



  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120115045815/http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/news/1209paulnewalbum.html. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. 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 … He 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. ^ https://www.foxnews.com/story/mccartney-sounds-like-harrison-in-new-tune
  5. ^ "Critic reviews for Driving Rain". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Paul McCartney Driving Rain". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  7. ^ Phipps, Keith (February 2002). "Paul McCartney Driving Rain". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 6 March 2002. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  8. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (December 2001/January 2002). "Paul McCartney Driving Rain". Blender. p. 119.
  9. ^ Heath, Chris (14 November 2001). "Paul McCartney – 'Driving Rain' (Parlophone)". Dotmusic. Archived from the original on 20 April 2002. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Willman, Chris (12 November 2001). "Mini Capsule Review: Driving Rain (2001)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 31 March 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  13. ^ Segal, Victoria (20 November 2001). "Paul McCartney: Driving Rain". NME. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Paul McCartney – Driving Rain CD Album". CD Universe/Muze. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  15. ^ Kot, Greg (30 October 2001). "Album Reviews: Paul McCartney Driving Rain". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2008.
  16. ^ Moon, Tom (January 2002). "Paul McCartney Driving Rain". Spin. p. 108. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  17. ^ a b MacDonald, Ian (January 2002). "Paul McCartney: Driving Rain (Parlophone)". Uncut. Missing or empty |url= (help) Available at Rock's Backpages (subscription required).
  18. ^ McGee, Garry (2003). Band on the Run: A History of Paul McCartney and Wings. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 157. ISBN 9780878333042.
  19. ^ "Driving Rain". JPGR. 2001. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  20. ^ Dahlen, Chris (21 May 2007). "Interview: Sir Paul McCartney". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
  21. ^ Driving Rain (Booklet). Paul McCartney. MPL Communications / Hear Music. 2011 [2001]. 088807321779.CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. ^ "Paul McCartney – Driving Rain – austriancharts.at". Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
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  26. ^ "lescharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". lescharts.com. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney – Driving Rain" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  28. ^ "italiancharts.com Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". italiancharts.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Highest position and charting weeks of Driving Rain by Paul McCartney ポール・マッカートニー-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" (in Japanese). oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
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  33. ^ "Paul McCartney > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  34. ^ Allmusic – Driving Rain > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  35. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  36. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Driving Rain". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Driving Rain in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]