Run Devil Run (album)

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Run Devil Run
Studio album by
Released4 October 1999 (UK)
5 October 1999 (US)
Recorded1 March – 5 May 1999
StudioAbbey Road Studios, London
GenreRock and roll, rockabilly
ProducerChris Thomas, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney chronology
Run Devil Run
Working Classical
Singles from Run Devil Run
  1. "No Other Baby"
    Released: 24 October 1999 (UK)

Run Devil Run is the eleventh solo studio album by Paul McCartney, released in 1999. It features mostly covers of both familiar and obscure 1950s rock and roll songs, along with three original McCartney compositions written in the same style, including the title track. As his first project following first wife Linda's death in 1998, McCartney felt the need to get back to his roots and perform some of the music he loved as a teenager. On 14 December 1999, McCartney returned to the Cavern Club stage to play a set publicising the new album.


Following the death of his wife Linda McCartney in April 1998, Paul McCartney had a year of mourning.[1] Wanting to keep things fresh, a lesson he had learned from his experiences working on The Beatles Anthology project and put to use on Flaming Pie, McCartney planned to cut the album as quickly as possible, much in the way the Beatles had recorded in their early years.[1] Asking Chris Thomas to help produce,[nb 1] McCartney booked time at Abbey Road Studios to undertake his quest.[3]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The album consists of twelve cover versions of rock and roll songs and three McCartney originals. Of the covers "Blue Jean Bop" was written and recorded by Gene Vincent in 1956.[4] "She Said Yeah" had been recorded by Larry Williams.[4] "All Shook Up", "I Got Stung" and "Party" had been recorded by Elvis Presley.[4] "No Other Baby" was written by Dickie Bishop and Bob Watson,[5] and was originally recorded in 1958 by skiffle group the Vipers[nb 2][6] and released as a single. Despite never owning a copy of the song, it had made a big enough imprint on McCartney for him to record it 30 years on.[4] "Lonesome Town" had been recorded by Ricky Nelson.[4] "Movie Magg" had been recorded by Carl Perkins.[4] Chuck Berry's composition "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" had been recorded by him and by Buddy Holly whose version McCartney liked.[4] "Shake a Hand" was written by Joe Morris and recorded by Little Richard in 1956 [6] "Coquette" had been recorded by Fats Domino. "Honey Hush" had been first recorded by Joe Turner though the liner notes state that McCartney was more familiar with the version by Johnny Burnette.

Of the originals "Run Devil Run" is a song in the Chuck Berry style, "Try Not to Cry" was recounting a widower's suffering.[7] and "What It Is" had been started a few months prior to Linda's death.[4]

Recording and structure[edit]

He wasn't thinking it was going to be the next big record. He was just free to enjoy himself.[3]

– Chris Thomas, on the recording sessions

Wanting to work with reliable and empathetic musicians, he called up Pink Floyd's David Gilmour to play guitar.[nb 3][3] Also recruited were guitarist Mick Green,[nb 4] keyboardists Pete Wingfield and Geraint Watkins, and on drums Deep Purple's Ian Paice and Dave Mattacks.[3] McCartney played bass[3] although he did play electric guitar in some instances. McCartney wanted the sessions to be laid back, with no post-production.[3] McCartney had brought a list of material that he wished to play,[3] the songs being early rock and roll songs from his childhood and a few originals he had written in a similar style.[3] The initial sessions were a week[3] in early March; a few more sessions were done in April and May, and then the album - featuring three new McCartney songs among the old classics - was complete.[4] Thomas thought it a cathartic exercise, "this is for Linda album"[8]


Released on 4 October 1999 in the UK, and a day later in the US, reaching number 12 in the UK and number 27 in the US.[9] The title Run Devil Run was inspired by Miller's Rexall Drugs, a hoodoo and herbal medicine shop in South Downtown Atlanta with products by that very name.[10] It appealed to McCartney as a great title for a rock and roll song, which he duly composed. The store is located at 87 Broad Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

To stimulate sales, a number of different bonus discs and singles were issued to accompany the album. Two special editions of Run Devil Run with limited-edition bonus discs were available only at certain retailers. A special limited edition of the album, sold only at Best Buy, featured a bonus interview disc. A similar special limited edition of the album, sold only at Musicland and Sam Goody stores, featured a four-track E.P. that contained the original artists' versions of four songs on the album: "Blue Jean Bop" by Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps, "Lonesome Town" by Ricky Nelson, "Coquette" by Fats Domino, and "Let's Have a Party" by Wanda Jackson. Also, in the UK, all fifteen songs on the album, along with "Fabulous", were released on 25 December 1999, as set of eight 7-inch singles sold together in a Run Devil Run Limited Edition Collector's Box designed to look like a record case from the 1950s.[11]

"No Other Baby" was released as a 7" vinyl single in the UK with two songs on the B-side, "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and a non-album track "Fabulous". In America, "No Other Baby" was released on a special juke-box single, with "Try Not to Cry" included as the B-side. "No Other Baby", "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and "Fabulous" were released together on two different CD singles, one of which contained stereo versions of the three songs and the other of which contained mono versions of the three songs. The music video for "No Other Baby", which was filmed in black and white, highlights McCartney's grief after Linda's death.[6]

McCartney filmed a performance at the Cavern Club as part of promotion for the album,[12] on 14 December 1999.[13] This performance was eventually released as a video Live at the Cavern Club.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[14]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[16]
Entertainment WeeklyA–[17]
The Essential Rock Discography7/10[18]
Q3/5 stars[19]
Robert ChristgauA−[15]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[20]

On release, Run Devil Run received several highly favourable reviews. McCartney biographer Peter Ames Carlin said that despite the rock and roll songs being written by others, the album is "the most deeply autobiographical album of Paul's career".[4] Rhapsody praised the work, calling it one of their favourite cover albums.[21]

Track listing[edit]

1."Blue Jean Bop"Gene Vincent, Hal Levy1:57
2."She Said Yeah"Roddy Jackson, Sonny Bono [as 'Don Christy']2:07
3."All Shook Up"Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley2:06
4."Run Devil Run"Paul McCartney2:36
5."No Other Baby"Dickie Bishop, Bob Watson4:18
6."Lonesome Town"Baker Knight3:30
7."Try Not to Cry"McCartney2:41
8."Movie Magg"Carl Perkins2:12
9."Brown Eyed Handsome Man"Chuck Berry2:27
10."What It Is"McCartney2:23
11."Coquette"Johnny Green, Carmen Lombardo, Gus Kahn2:43
12."I Got Stung"David Hill, Aaron Schroeder2:40
13."Honey Hush"Joe Turner2:36
14."Shake a Hand"Joe Morris3:52
15."Party"Jessie Mae Robinson2:38
16."Fabulous" (7" box set and iTunes exclusive track)Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann2:16

Notes on track 16

  • In 2007, upon adding McCartney's catalogue of music, the iTunes Store added his cover of the Charlie Gracie song as an exclusive digital bonus track on this album.
  • B-side to "No Other Baby" single.


Personnel per booklet.[22]





  1. ^ McCartney and Thomas previously worked together when McCartney was in The Beatles working on The Beatles (1968) when Thomas was an engineer, and when the pair co-produced Wings' Back to the Egg (1979) album.[2]
  2. ^ The 1958 version had been produced by George Martin, who produced the Beatles' albums.[6] McCartney had previously recorded the song during the Choba B CCCP (1988) sessions.[6]
  3. ^ Gilmour had worked with McCartney as early as The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) sessions where McCartney recorded some voice-overs which were not used; Gilmour later worked with McCartney during the "Rockestra Theme", Give My Regards to Broad Street (1983) and Flowers in the Dirt (1989) projects.
  4. ^ Green previously played on McCartney's Снова в СССР album.


  1. ^ a b Benitez 2010, p. 154
  2. ^ Rodriguez 2010, p. 66
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Carlin 2010, p. 312
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Carlin 2010, p. 313
  5. ^ Jackson 2012, p. 242
  6. ^ a b c d e Jackson 2012, p. 243
  7. ^ Carlin 2010, p. 313–314
  8. ^ Talk More Talk. "Episode 5:Interview with Producer Chris Thomas". YouTube
  9. ^ Jackson 2012, p. 291
  10. ^ Sounes 2010, p. 496 "most of them obscure, with a couple of newly written tracks including the title song, 'Run Devil Run', inspired by a voodoo remedy Paul had picked up in Atlanta to ward off evildoers, thieves and liars."
  11. ^ Run Devil Eun box set on discogs
  12. ^ Ingham 2009
  13. ^ Sounes 2010, p. 496
  14. ^ Run Devil Run at AllMusic
  15. ^ "Robert Christgau: Album: Paul McCartney". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  16. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  17. ^ Chris Willman (11 October 1999). "Run Devil Run Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  18. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 696. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  19. ^ "Paul McCartney Run Devil Run". Q. November 1999. p. 124. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  20. ^ David Wild (28 October 1999). "Music Reviews : Run Devil Run by Paul McCartney". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008.
  21. ^ Rhapsody' Favorite Covers Albums Archived 31 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine Referenced 1 August 2010.
  22. ^ Run Devil Run (Booklet). Paul McCartney. MPL Communications / Hear Music. 1999 [2011]. 0888072321748. Check date values in: |year= (help)CS1 maint: others (link)
  23. ^ " Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  24. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  25. ^ "Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run –". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  26. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  27. ^ " Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  28. ^ Allmusic – Run Devil Run > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  29. ^ 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 Run Devil Run by Paul McCartney" Check |url= value (help). (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  30. ^ "Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run –". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  31. ^ " – Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run"., Hung Medien. Ultratop. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  32. ^ " Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run". MegaCharts. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  33. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Paul McCartney". Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  34. ^ a b "UK best albums 1999". Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  35. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  36. ^ "Yamachan Land (Japanese Chart Archives) – Albums Chart Daijiten – The Beatles" (in Japanese). Original Confidence. 30 December 2007. Archived from a-ビートルズ the original Check |url= value (help) on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Run Devil Run". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Run Devil Run in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.


  • Benitez, Vincent P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.
  • Carlin, Peter Ames (2010). Paul McCartney: A Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-6223-8.
  • Ingham, Chris (2009). The Rough Guide to the Beatles (3rd ed.). Rough Guides UK. ISBN 978-1-84836-752-4.
  • Jackson, Andrew Grant (2012). Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles' Solo Careers (illustrated ed.). Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8223-2.
  • Rodriguez, Robert (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970–1980. New York: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8.
  • Sounes, Howard (2010). Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. [S.l.]: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-723706-7.

External links[edit]