Flowers in the Dirt

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Flowers in the Dirt
FlowersDirtCover.jpg
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 5 June 1989
Recorded 1 October 1984 - 12 January 1989, Hog Hill Mill, East Sussex
Olympic Studios, London
AIR Studios, London
Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles
Soundcastle Studios, Los Angeles
Hot Nights Ltd., London
Genre Rock
Length 53:42
Label Parlophone
Producer Paul McCartney, Mitchell Froom, Neil Dorfsman, Elvis Costello, Trevor Horn, Steve Lipson, Chris Hughes, Ross Cullum, David Foster (and Phil Ramone on CD reissue tracks)
Paul McCartney chronology
Снова в СССР
(1988)Снова в СССР1988
Flowers in the Dirt
(1989)
Tripping the Live Fantastic
(1990)Tripping the Live Fantastic1990
Singles from Flowers in the Dirt
  1. "My Brave Face"
    Released: 8 May 1989
  2. "This One"
    Released: 17 July 1989 (UK only)
  3. "Où est le Soleil?"
    Released: 22 July 1989 (US only)
  4. "Figure of Eight"
    Released: 13 November 1989 (UK only)
  5. "Put It There"
    Released: 5 February 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Deseret News (highly favourable)[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[3]
The Essential Rock Discography 6/10[4]
Los Angeles Times 4/5 stars[5]
MusicHound 3/5[6]
The New York Times (favourable)[7]
Q 4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[10]
Time (favourable)[11]

Flowers in the Dirt is the eighth studio solo album by Paul McCartney under his own name. The album was released on 5 June 1989 on Parlophone, as he was embarking on his first world tour since the Wings Over the World tour in 1975–76. It was considered a major return to form, and earned McCartney some of the best reviews he had received in years. The album made number 1 in the United Kingdom and Norway and produced several hit singles (the first being "My Brave Face").

The album was reissued in an expanded form in March 2017, with the original demos recorded by McCartney and Elvis Costello included as part of this release.[12][13]

Background and recording[edit]

After the meagre sales that greeted Press to Play, McCartney realised that 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 18 months perfecting Flowers in the Dirt. A highlight of the sessions was McCartney's productive alliance with Elvis Costello, with whom he composed many new songs. In his 2015 autobiography, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Costello described the track "That Day Is Done" as, "the unhappy sequel to "Veronica"", which they had also co-written.[14] Despite Costello's similarities to John Lennon, the partnership was not to endure. McCartney's then manager, Richard Ogden, confided at the time to Beatles biographer, Mark Lewisohn, that the relationship between Costello and the former Beatle was "not entirely harmonious" and that at points McCartney had gone as far as to rant at him regarding Costello's attitude and approach to the sessions.[15] Costello would appear on the album, even co-singing "You Want Her Too" with McCartney. Another celebrity guest included was his friend David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, who plays the guitar on "We Got Married". On "Put It There", McCartney used an old Buddy Holly trick, the knee-percussion, that McCartney recorded on the same day as the backing track.[16]

Release[edit]

Knowing full well he intended to launch the biggest tour of his career thus far, McCartney also put together a regular band to take out on the road, and who would appear in various forms on Flowers in the Dirt. Hamish Stuart was best known for his tenure in Average White Band, while Robbie McIntosh had been a member of the Pretenders. Filling out the sound would be Chris Whitten on drums and Paul "Wix" Wickens joining McCartney's wife Linda McCartney on keyboards. The Paul McCartney World Tour opened on 26 September 1989 and featured concerts in North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil until the following July.

Finally, early in 1989, the project was ready for release. In May, the Beatlesque "My Brave Face" was released as a single and promptly gave McCartney a US hit, reaching number 25, while reaching number 18 in the UK. In June, Flowers in the Dirt was released to high anticipation and went to number 1 in the UK charts, garnering very positive reviews from all around. In the US, the reaction was better than Press to Play, with the album reaching number 21, staying on the charts for a year and going gold, though it still sold beneath expectations. The second single, "This One", also reached number 18 in the UK. The follow-ups "Figure of Eight"/"Où est le Soleil?" and "Put It There" would all be minor UK hits.

The album cover artwork was photographed by Linda McCartney. The background canvas was painted by the British artist Brian Clarke, who was also responsible for designing stage backdrops for the world tour.

A limited-edition "World Tour Pack" of Flowers in the Dirt, sold in a facsimile trunk, was issued in Britain in October 1989, and America (with British catalogue numbers) in January 1990. The set included a bonus single of "Party Party" (mixed by Bruce Forest and released on a one-sided 7" single in vinyl editions of the "World Tour Pack" and a 3" CD-single in compact disc editions of the "World Tour Pack"). In March 1990, another limited edition of the album that featured a bonus disc was released exclusively in Japan and re-entered the country's chart.

Reissues[edit]

A remastered CD was released in 1993 as part of The Paul McCartney Collection with several bonus tracks.

The album was re-issued on March 24, 2017 by Capitol Music Group as the tenth release in the ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection.[17] Formats included a two-disc (CD) Special Edition (the second disc included McCartney and Costello's demos recorded prior to the album's sessions), a two LP vinyl edition, and a three disc (CD) and DVD Deluxe Edition Box Set that featured previously unreleased demos, unseen archival videos, a notebook of Paul's handwritten lyrics and notes, Linda McCartney Flowers in the Dirt Exhibition Catalogue, and a 112-page hardcover book documenting the making of the album.

The album features the song “The Lovers That Never Were”. Costello said of the song "The real lost gem from that batch of songs – one of these days one of us should cut it – is The Lovers That Never Were. In its original condition, it’s like something Dusty Springfield or Jackie DeShannon would have recorded. Paul straightened it out in the studio [for 1993’s Off The Ground album] and wanted it to go a different way, but the demo is, I’d say, one of the great vocal performances of his solo career. He’s standing up playing a twelve-string guitar and, weirdly enough, I’m playing piano, just thinking, “Don’t fuck up! He’s really singing this!” He’s singing a ballad in the voice of I’m Down! He’s right over my shoulder singing all this wild, distorted stuff! I had never heard him do that before".[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing for AllMusic, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote of the album: "Paul McCartney must not only have been conscious of his slipping commercial fortunes, he must have realised that his records hadn't been treated seriously for years, so he decided to make a full-fledged comeback effort with Flowers in the Dirt."[1]

Writing for the Chicago Tribune, David Silverman wrote that the album was "a welcome, if not wholly fantastic, return from the fabbest of the Fab Four".[19]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "My Brave Face" Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus McCartney, Mitchell Froom, Neil Dorfsman 3:18
2. "Rough Ride" McCartney Trevor Horn, McCartney, Steve Lipson 4:43
3. "You Want Her Too" (with Elvis Costello) McCartney, MacManus McCartney, Dorfsman, Froom, Costello 3:11
4. "Distractions" McCartney McCartney 4:38
5. "We Got Married" McCartney McCartney, David Foster 4:57
6. "Put It There" McCartney McCartney 2:07
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
7. "Figure of Eight" McCartney Horn, McCartney, Lipson 3:25
8. "This One" McCartney McCartney 4:10
9. "Don't Be Careless Love" McCartney, MacManus McCartney, Costello, Froom 3:18
10. "That Day Is Done" McCartney, MacManus McCartney, Costello, Dorfsman, Froom 4:19
11. "How Many People" McCartney Horn, McCartney, Lipson 4:14
12. "Motor of Love" McCartney Chris Hughes, McCartney, Ross Cullum 6:18

Additional tracks[edit]

Special Package (1990 Japanese tour edition)[edit]

Following tracks are included on bonus disc.

  1. "Message" – 0:28
    • an environmental message from Paul to the Japanese fans.
  2. "The Long and Winding Road" (Lennon–McCartney) – 3:51
    • B-side to "Figure of Eight" single; re-recording of The Beatles song
  3. "Loveliest Thing" – 3:59
    • B-side to "Figure of Eight" single
  4. "Rough Ride" – 4:53
    • extended version; b-side to "Figure of Eight" single
  5. "Ou est le Soleil (7" Mix)" – 4:50
    • single mix edit; b-side to "Figure of Eight" single
  6. "Mama's Little Girl" – 3:41
    • B-side to "Put It There" single; an outtake from the 1972 "Red Rose Speedway" sessions.
  7. "Same Time Next Year" – 3:06
    • B-side to "Put It There" single; an outtake from the 1979 "Back To The Egg" sessions.
  8. "Party, Party" (McCartney/Linda McCartney/Robbie McIntosh/Hamish Stuart/Chris Whitten/Paul "Wix" Wickens) – 5:35
    • bonus single from the World Tour Pack edition of the album
  9. "P.S. Love Me Do" (McCartney–Lennon) – 3:40

2017 remaster[edit]

  • Special Edition 2-CD; the original 13-track album on the first disc, plus 9 bonus tracks of Paul and Elvis’s previously unreleased original demos on a second disc;
  • Best Buy Special Edition 2-CD + 7" single; same as Special Edition with additional "My Brave Face" b/w "Flying to My Home" limited collectors 7" vinyl colored single;
  • Deluxe Edition 3-CD/1-DVD;
    • the original 13-track #1 album remastered for all the new configurations at Abbey Road Studios;
    • 18 bonus audio tracks across two discs, featuring previously unreleased demos, written and performed by Paul with Elvis Costello;
    • three unheard cassette demos, as well as a collection of original B-sides, remixes and single edits as digital downloads only;
    • a 32-page notebook of Paul’s handwritten lyrics and notes, a catalogue for Linda McCartney’s 1989 Flowers In The Dirt photo exhibition, a 64-page photobook featuring the music videos for 'This One', and a stunning, custom-created 112-page book telling the complete story of the album through exclusive in-depth interviews with Paul, Elvis Costello and other key contributors. Along with expanded track-by-track information, the book contains album and single artwork as well as previously unpublished photographs by Linda McCartney;
    • a DVD includes all the music videos from the album, three new short films with unseen archive material that show some of the creation process of the album and the documentary Put It There originally released on VHS in 1989;
    • an access to downloadable 24bit 96 kHz high-resolution audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks.
  • Remastered vinyl 2-LP with a download card. The first LP includes the remastered album but in keeping with the original vinyl release doesn’t include 'Ou Est Le Soleil?' (this track is available with the accompanying digital download). The second LP includes Paul and Elvis’s previously unreleased original demos;
  • Digital Download Digital album available as both standard and special versions.

Disc 1 The original 13-track album.

Disc 2 – Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello original demos
All songs written and performed by Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello

  1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
  2. Tommy's Coming Home (Original Demo)
  3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
  4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
  5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
  6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
  7. Don't Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
  8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
  9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)
  10. The Lovers That Never Were (Geoff Emerick Mix)
    • hidden bonus track, not listed in credits; also available as digital download with the download code included in the set

Disc 3 – Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello 1988 demos
All songs written and performed by Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello

  1. The Lovers That Never Were (1988 Demo)
  2. Tommy's Coming Home (1988 Demo)
  3. Twenty Fine Fingers (1988 Demo)
  4. So Like Candy (1988 Demo)
  5. You Want Her Too (1988 Demo)
  6. That Day Is Done (1988 Demo)
  7. Don't Be Careless Love (1988 Demo)
  8. My Brave Face (1988 Demo)
  9. Playboy To A Man (1988 Demo)

Disc 4 – DVD
Music Videos

  1. My Brave Face
  2. My Brave Face (Version 2)
  3. This One (Version 1)
  4. This One (Version 2)
  5. Figure Of Eight
  6. Party Party
  7. Où Est Le Soleil?
  8. Put It There
  9. Distractions
  10. We Got Married

Creating Flowers in the Dirt

  1. Paul And Elvis
  2. Buds In The Studio
  3. The Making Of ‘This One’ (The Dean Chamberlain One)

Put It There

  1. Put It There Documentary

Digital download only – original B-sides, remixes and single edits
All songs written by Paul McCartney except where noted

  1. Back On My Feet (McCartney / MacManus)
  2. Flying To My Home
  3. The First Stone (McCartney / Hamish Stuart)
  4. Good Sign
  5. This One (Club Lovejoys Mix)
  6. Figure Of Eight (12” Bob Clearmountain Mix)
  7. Loveliest Thing
  8. Où Est Le Soleil? (12” Mix)
  9. Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub Mix)
  10. Où Est Le Soleil? (7” Mix)
  11. Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental)
  12. Party Party (Original Mix) (P. McCartney/L. McCartney/Robbie McIntosh/Hamish Stuart/Chris Whitten/Paul "Wix" Wickens)
  13. Party Party (Club Mix) (P. McCartney/L. McCartney/Robbie McIntosh/Hamish Stuart/Chris Whitten/Paul "Wix" Wickens)

Digital download only – Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello cassette demos
All songs written and performed by Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello

  1. I Don’t Want To Confess
  2. Shallow Grave
  3. Mistress And Maid

Digital-only bonus tracks Available only on Paulmccartney.com

  1. Distractions (Demo)
  2. This One (Demo)
  3. Back On My Feet (Demo)

Personnel[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1990 Flowers in the Dirt Best Engineered Non-classical Album[21] Nominated

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1990 "My Brave Face" Best Music Video[22] Nominated

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[44] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[45] Gold 162,000[46]
Germany (BVMI)[47] Gold 250,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[48] Gold 86,000[B][49]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[50] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[51] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[52] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes

  • A^ Aside from standard version, Double-CD deluxe edition subtitled Special Package released in Japan. In 1990, it peaked at No. 27 on the chart and entered there for 4 weeks.[55]
  • B^ Combined sales of standard edition and its expanded reissue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Flowers in the Dirt at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  2. ^ Boren, Ray (18 June 1989). "BATTERED EX-BEATLE DELIVERS VALIANT EFFORT IN 'FLOWERS IN THE DIRT'". Deseret News. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9. 
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 696. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9. 
  5. ^ Hilburn, Robert (4 June 1989). "McCartney Generation Nears Middle Age: Paul McCartney 'Flowers in the Dirt'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 730. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  7. ^ Kozinn, Allan (18 June 1989). "'Flowers in the Dirt': Love on the Rocks". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt CD Album". CD Universe/Muze. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  9. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (29 June 1989). "Paul McCartney Flowers in the Dirt". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2008 
  10. ^ Randall, Mac; Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 526. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ "Critics' Choice: Jul. 3, 1989". Time. 3 July 1989. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Blistein, Jon (15 December 2016). "Paul McCartney Preps Huge Reissue With Rare Elvis Costello Demos". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Paul Announces Reissue of 'Flowers In The Dirt'". Paul McCartney. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  14. ^ Elvis Costello (13 October 2015). Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. Viking. p. 494. ISBN 978-0241003466. 
  15. ^ 013 - LEWISOHN, retrieved 2017-04-03 
  16. ^ Luca Perasi, Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969–2013), L.I.L.Y. Publishing, 2013, p.281, ISBN 978-88-909122-1-4.
  17. ^ https://www.paulmccartney.com/news-blogs/news/paul-announces-reissue-of-flowers-in-the-dirt
  18. ^ "Mojo Magazine July 2011". Mojo. July 2011. 
  19. ^ Silverman, David (11 June 1989). "Paul Is Back – Well, Almost". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Ingham, Chris (2009). The Rough Guide to the Beatles. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-1-84836-525-4. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "HERE'S LIST OF NOMINEES FROM ALL 77 CATEGORIES". Deseret News. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "The BRITs 1990". Brit Awards. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  23. ^ "australian-charts.com Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt – austriancharts.at" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Library and Archives Canada.. Retrieved 5 March 2012
  26. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (ASPl) (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  27. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste". infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1989" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  30. ^ 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 Flowers in the Dirt by Paul McCartney" Check |url= value (help) (in Japanese). oricon. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  31. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (ASP). Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  32. ^ "swedishcharts.com Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  33. ^ a b Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  34. ^ "Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt – hitparade.ch" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  35. ^ "Chart Stats – Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original (PHP) on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "allmusic ((( Flowers in the Dirt > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  37. ^ "Paul McCartney – Chart trajectories on the US Billboard 200". October 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  38. ^ "Jahrescharts Top 75 Auswertung Alben 1989" (in German). chartsurfer.de. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  39. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1989". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1989" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  41. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1989 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  42. ^ "Jahrescharts Top 100 Auswertung Alben 1989" (in German). chartsurfer.de. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  43. ^ "UK best albums 1997". Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  44. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt". Music Canada. 
  45. ^ "French album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select PAUL MCCARTNEY and click OK
  46. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  47. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Paul McCartney; 'Flowers in the Dirt')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  48. ^ "Japanese album certifications – ポール・マッカートニー – フラワーズ・イン・ザ・ダート" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 1990年3月 on the drop-down menu
  49. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  50. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. 
  51. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  52. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Paul McCartney; 'Flowers in the Dirt')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  53. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Flowers in the Dirt in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  54. ^ "American album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  55. ^ 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 Flowers in the Dirt: Special Package by Paul McCartney" Check |url= value (help) (in Japanese). oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ten Good Reasons by Jason Donovan
UK number one album
24 June 1989 – 30 June 1989
Succeeded by
Batman soundtrack by Prince
Preceded by
Look Sharp! by Roxette
Norwegian VG-lista number one album
25/1989 – 28/1989
Succeeded by
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Smokie