Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#140 in the Series) is Paul McCartney, Tug of War.
I had not purchased a new Paul McCartney album in years when Tug of War was released in 1982. I hadn’t even thought about it. Then my friend Phil Lucafo asked me if I heard the new McCartney album. He highly recommended it. So on his suggestion, I grabbed it.
I’m glad he did. This was some of the best music that Paul had done in many moons.
It was produced by former George Martin and it appears that he added nice motivation.
I was just looking back. Rolling Stone gave it 5 starts, Allmusic gave it 4.5. So it looks like many agreed.
Highlight, well there’s the title cut, Ballroom Dancing, Take It Away (with Ringo Starr on drums), the great ballad Someone Who Cares and of course Paul’s tribute to John Lennon, Here Today.
There’s also a duet with Carl Perkins called Get It.
Tug of War featured Denny Laine on guitar, Steve Gadd on drums, Andy MacKay on lyricon and Stanley Clarke on drums.
It was #1 on the Billboard Album charts for three weeks,
It received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#135) is Paul Simon, Hearts and Bones.
Hearts and Bones could be considered the ‘Lost Paul Simon Album.” It wasn’t Simon and Garfunkel. It wasn’t Still Crazy, It wasn’t Graceland. It was between all those classics and never received it’s proper due. Well not until now that is!
I myself hadn’t even played this for quite sometime. Then I was on facebook and saw a video that James Eves III had placed by Al Di Meola. In the thread beneath it, there was a comment by Richard Kent Burton who claimed that Di Meola had ‘the most pick control’ of anyone he could think of.
When I though, Al Di Meola and pick control, I could only think of one solo. That would be the one that he does in the Paul Simon song, Allergies. It’s nothing BUT pick control!!
So I was going to add that to the thread but I quickly decided to be selfish and add it to my blog instead!
Hearts and Bones was recorded right after the period in which Simon and Garfunkel held their huge Central Park reunion concert. In fact, I recently read that this was originally going to be a Simon and Garfunkel album called, Think Too Much.
It ended up being a Paul Simon record and Think Too Much became one of many great songs on the album.
The aforementioned Allergies is my standout track. Others are the title cut, Hearts and Bones, where Paul tossed in a great line about he and future wife describing their vacation travels referring to themselves as ‘One and One Half Wandering Jews.’
When Numbers Get Serious, Song About The Moon, and Rene and Georgette Magrette With Their Dog After the War are all outstanding.
But there is one last song that needs mention. A truly, truly masterful song called The Late Great Johnny Ace. There have been many, but this might be the best song written in honor of John Lennon. It was written my Paul Simon with a haunting ending piece that was added by Phillip Glass. This is a superb track. A must hear.
Al Di Meola was not the only big name musician brought in to fill the sound.
Steve Gadd (drums), Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers from Chic (bass and guitar), Sid McGinnis (guitar), Richard Tee (piano), Jeff Porcaro (drums), Greg Phillinganes (keys) and Micheal Boddicker (synthesizer…. curve ball..OK, not THAT Michael Boddicker.)
Hearts and Bones was released in 1983.
It was produced by Simon, Roy Halee, Russ Titelman and Lenny Waronker.
It peaked at #35 on the Billboard Top Album Charts.
I can’t believe that I could nor find ANY videos for Allergies not Late Great Johnny Ace. So here’s the title track.
You remember the band Charlie. They were the ones with the hot album covers. You had to at least walk to the ‘C’ section of your record store to see if they had anything new. We’ll at least we guys did.
This one was probably their best known in the states. (They were from the UK.) It contained, what I feel, was most of their best work. Songs such as ‘She Loves to Be in Love, Watching TV, L.A. Dreamer,’ and ‘Out of Control’ are highlights.
One interesting thing about this band is that the drummer is Steve Gadd. But not THAT Steve Gadd.