I’ve been threatening to post this for years. It’s not among the best-selling of Paul McCartney’s albums, but I’ve always felt that some of the music on Press To Play ranks with his best post-70s work. There are a few outside factors at play here. One is 10cc’s Eric Stewart, who has a hand in the production and in co-composing 8 of the album’s 13 songs. More important to the overall sound and feel of Press To Play, however, is producer Hugh Padgham – best known for his work with Genesis & The Police (Ghost In The Machine). Padgham’s drum sound has a powerful, rhythmic emphasis, one that helped to propel Phil Collins to the top of the charts, anyway (this, being a year after No Jacket Required). As a result, this fresh, radio-ready mindset (80s radio-ready mindset, mind you) brings a new dimension to McCartney’s work, even a rare abdication of his own production authority. It’s the main reason Press To Play sounds different from any other McCartney album. Not radically enough to scare anyone off, but it’s noticeable enough to aficionados. A lot of the music itself is playful, spontaneous and inventive, though, like nearly all of McCartney LPs, it needs to be trimmed of fat. Side One sets the stage. Three rhythmic excursions, kicked off by a rockabilly variation, all capped by the gorgeous “Footprints” and the popular, “Only Love Remains.” Since the demise of Wings, McCartney has been his most interesting when he lets go of the control reins a little and collaborates, something I wish he’d do a little more often (e.g. Electric Arguments). I’m learning from comments that Press To Play wasn’t as universally disliked as my memory chip suggests I’m remembering. Maybe it’s been re-evaluated since I last sat around and talked about it, in a previous century. So, here it is for those still on the fence. Besides… Dave hasn’t heard it yet. Amazon’s got it, HERE.
Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun (4:57)
Talk More Talk (5:18)
Only Love Remains (4:16)
Pretty Little Head (5:14)
Move Over Busker (4:05)
However Absurd (4:59)
Write Away (3:01) – Bonus Track
It’s Not True (5:53) – Bonus Track
Tough On A Tightrope (4:42) – Bonus Track
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