Heart of the Country
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|"Heart of the Country"|
|Single by Paul and Linda McCartney|
|from the album Ram|
|A-side||"The Back Seat of My Car"|
|Released||13 August 1971|
|Recorded||16 November 1970|
|Genre||Folk rock, country folk|
|Songwriter(s)||Paul and Linda McCartney|
|Producer(s)||Paul and Linda McCartney|
|Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology|
|Ram track listing|
The song has simple acoustic tune with a heavy bass chorus, and an unusually mellow sound to the acoustic guitar that was achieved by tuning all of the strings a full step lower than standard pitch. The song is about a man searching for a farm in the middle of nowhere. The song reflects Paul's heading for the Scottish countryside to escape the headaches associated with the Beatles' break-up at the time.
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar
- Hugh McCracken – electric guitar
- Denny Seiwell – drums (with brushes)
In a contemporary review for Ram, Jon Landau of Rolling Stone gave "Heart of the Country" a negative review, calling it the album's "lowest point", and the song that "most clearly indicates [Ram's] failures". Landau described the song as "an evenly paced, finger-picking styled tune, with very light jazz overtones, obviously intended as Paul's idea of "mellow."". However, Landau believed McCartney's lyrics about the country "ring false".
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the song as "an effortless folk-pop tune that ranks among [McCartney's] very best songs". Erlewine also praises its "imaginative and gorgeous arrangement". In 2013, Rolling Stone rated "Heart of the Country" at number 26 in its list of Paul McCartney's best post-Beatles songs.
McCartney and Elvis Costello re-recorded the song in 2013 for a commercial featuring his late wife Linda's vegetarian recipe book.
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