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Is Driving Rain a "generation gap"?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Durango88, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Durango88

    Durango88 Without Bogey Music, life is indeed incomplete Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Driving Rain is often considered as one of the worst Paul McCartney albums. DR was released a few days before my 13th birthday. And even though I didn't get this music back then (I didn't hate it, it just was too much to handle...) only 3 years later, when my love to the Beatles and Paul has reached a while different level, I really started to enjoy this album. I'm 32 years old now and I'm still listening this record.

    I kinda have the feeling that my generation is usually more keen on this record, as it always was a way more modern sounding 21st Century record (easy, since released in 2001) than it's predecessors. Same goes for NEW, I suppose.

    Just some random thoughts and I'm probably completely wrong. Therefore, I'm wondering: do you think, Driving Rain is a "Generation Gap"?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
    Rockford & Roll, lord K, 905 and 5 others like this.
  2. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    I’ll be the first...I’m a 63 year old boomer and upon catching up with Macca albums of the last few years, I was and still am astounded at how contemporary DR sounds. When Paul has taken these turns in his music in the past, he usually loses many of his older fans...What many my age and a little older don’t like about DR is what I like and yet when he did laid back off the ground style music, many around my age and a little olde didn’t like that...what they disparage as hippie dad style music. Driving rain was Paul’s new style and sound for a new century...an album with great bass plying, reasonably good vocals and IMO one one his few basically but not mostly rock style albums. DR began his resurgence and great later touring. I had to get online and places like this forum to realize the DR and a song like freedom, a good anthem, was hated for various and sundry reasons, as I didn’t remember all that when it came out.

    When trying to catch up with 21st century music online, one of the first videos I found was the macca making NYC video done by a guy I learned per comments was a long time Macca troll...his video was entitled .....see an egomaniac....thus it was the old recycled seventies and later trope stereotype meme of Paul, the egomaniac . However, the dude’s obviously slanted video backfired as many commenter folks called the poster an egomaniac and noted Paul just looked and seemed normal who was trying to pull together charity befit concert. It was especially funny because many commenters weren’t necessarily Paul fans per se. I had not gotten online except to email relatives in those days and earlier much due to being so busy with working and this was my first experience with all of the negative Paul videos and comments efforts by some online. Because of later US and other’s actions and abuses, freedom and driving rain in hindsight got a bad rep.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  3. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simcoe County
    I don’t disagree. A friend of mine and I were talking about that album the other day - we’re both in our 50s - I remember clearly thinking when I first heard the album, how artificial or processed it sounded. It was hard to define but it was like a wall between me and the songs. It wasn’t simply that the album was ‘produced’, as ‘Press To Play’ is one of my favourite Paul records, it was more that it was fed through a computer, and all the ambience, space, etc., sounded off, manufactured, and the ensemble seemed constructed, pieced together. ‘Heather’ was the only organic sounding track and ironically, it was the most most ‘one man band’.
    Of course, with all Paul albums, my opinion evolves as I evolve, and I see the big picture of his career and all the turns it takes. The context of each record fascinates me. For that reason alone, there isn’t a Paul album I don’t highly value, including DR.

    Of course, I’m sceptical you’ll get many nuanced responses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  4. thewonders

    thewonders Forum Resident

    I don't think Driving Rain is a "gap" album. If that were true then young people won't care so much for his previous work.

    To someone who has followed Paul for years, DR just doesn't measure up as far as his songwriting. I blame Heather.
     
  5. MHP

    MHP Lover of Rock ‘n Roll

    Location:
    DK
    It’s simply a far too long and not very good album in terms of songwriting.
     
  6. Durango88

    Durango88 Without Bogey Music, life is indeed incomplete Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Well, it's not a question whether young people like the older material or not. I love most of his 70s work. What I meant was if younger people are more likely to enjoy DR than the older fans.

    This is actually an interesting answer. I agree with you, this is a really unusual record with wildly mixed songs, lots of moody and ambience stuff rather than the "traditional tunes". And I just had the feeling that we're more used to this kind of sound. But again, I could be completely wrong ;)
     
  7. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    IMO the songs are mostly good though none are especially standouts with the famous old Paul hooks, thus aren’t memorable. The real problem to me was no real, unique standout songs or not enough of them. However, as a boomer who had followed his solo career, I found DR contemporary and the problem of being too long was also on flowers in the dirt....as was a problem of filling up the cd minutes by either having longer songs or more songs. I myself never made good adjustments to CDs period but it was a pity that in Paul’s IMO very creative days, that vinyl didn’t contain enough minutes to include the great IMO additional singles issued with LT, egg and McCartney II for instance.

    Your viewpoints are well taken and valid however. I really enjoy listening to DR repeatedly along and am again surprised at how much I liked it. I had read online and n this forum much of the fan criticism of it so listened to it last when catching up on Paul’s unheard albums. I do however see why critics then mostly liked it, even RS think I read, it as is a more adventurous Paul album and I usually Luke those albums.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  8. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    Lol.....blame Heather..maybe truth in it but it’s like the old blame yoko and blame linda old stereotypes. ..exactly what folks said when early solo John and Paul drastically changed their music after meeting those future wives. However, in the case of DR, it’s possibly true..though I liked the album but not Paul’s short haired look where he actually looked older and miserable and his middle aged crazy man with younger woman stage, though I do like the album. Though he personally messed up big time in his own life with his detour, I forgave him as he was thrown off balance by losing Linda, his wife of many years and he was subsequently trolled mercilessly everywhere for the Heather mishap.
     
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  9. Durango88

    Durango88 Without Bogey Music, life is indeed incomplete Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    I don't disagree with you. In fact, many people say it's too long. However, I have no problem with that. But ikinda feel like the classic album with its 45 min length is not a standard thing as it once was, since we got the mp3-players (talking about the DR era) and all those gadgets which allowed us to create playlists. So we listened to randomly mixed songs by one artist for hours. Stones - random - enjoy. AC/DC - ramdom - enjoy... it's a different approach. I guess, we are more used to something like that. Don't get me wrong, for me, it's a sacrilege to rip apart something like "Dark Side Of The Moon" and when listening to the Beatles, I only listen to albums, never playlists or best ofs or whatever. But for us it isn't big deal if an album goes on for 67 minutes ;) At least for me and the ones I know ^^
     
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  10. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    When I think of Driving Rain, I can't really see it being a generation gap thing when it comes to appreciating it because the production is somewhat modern but it's ultimately Paul's last rocking album or rock band album - plenty of rocking moments elsewhere and there's a band feel. "She's Given Up Talking" is the one track that seems more modern than the others in production with the vocal filter and its rhythm. I think it's a very optimistic album since he was now with Heather, it was a new century, Paul was trying to move forward. The first 3 tracks are a bit pessimistic but then he moves on and gets positive with the title track onward.

    I split it into two records considering its long length. The lead single "From A Lover To A Friend" was something I really enjoyed but others I think were confused about the lyric - could be about someone doubting his moving on 'from a lover to a friend take your own advice, let me live again.' - And then we get Paul moving forward in the love department with optimism. Paul says his voice wasn't in good shape but he sounds good enough for me.

    He dives into India with "Riding to Jaipur", garage rock with "Rinse The Raindrops", soul with "Tiny Bubble". There's rarely acoustic guitar-led passages, no orchestras or horns - just him and the band mostly rocking- and the production ties it together. I always liked the album and still do. Maybe it doesn't have that knockout single other albums have but I think it's solid overall.

    Oh and excellent bass playing!
     
  11. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    I’m 53, been following Paul since the early 70s, and I think Driving Rain is one of his best albums.

    Whether you think it’s a good album or bad album, blaming Heather for the quality of the songwriting strikes me as bizarre. She wasn’t in the band, like Linda was with Wings. If anything, I would argue that the combination of Paul’s grief over Linda’s death and his stormy relationship with Heather caused him to write some of his best and most heartfelt lyrics on both Driving Rain and Chaos and Creation.
     
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  12. jl151080

    jl151080 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    It's not a theory I subscribe to. I was 21 when Driving Rain was released, and have always loved it. It's always been one of my favourite McCartney albums.
     
  13. jl151080

    jl151080 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Better than Flaming Pie, for one.
     
  14. Durango88

    Durango88 Without Bogey Music, life is indeed incomplete Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    well, 21 is pretty young too ;)
     
  15. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forem Residunt

    Location:
    Astoria, NY USA
    Fifty years old and a Beatles/Paul fan since eight. The first new McCartney album I bought as a kid was McCartney II (which I loved), and I've loved Driving Rain since day one. Never understood the hate it gets as to me it's Paul's freshest, most effortless sounding album in a long time. Contrasting with Flaming Pie, which to me sounds a little too labored over, not to mention extremely uneven. The only song on DR I don't like is Freedom, which is easy enough to ignore.
     
  16. Durango88

    Durango88 Without Bogey Music, life is indeed incomplete Thread Starter

    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ha - same here, for many years I had no idea xD I was actually (almost) shocked and questoined my musical taste, however, I don't give a sh***. I like it, so what? As Linda used to say "It's allowed."
     
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  17. albert_m

    albert_m Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atl., Ga, USA
    Not sure where I fit being in my mid 40s, but I loved the singles... however, the album is just there for me. Overall, I don't get much out of it.
     
  18. Geezee

    Geezee Active Member

    Location:
    London
    There could be a generation gap element to it for sure - it was McCartney's attempt to update his sound, get a little bit Radioheady/indie, and that would jar with some of his more purist fans. At the same time, it got caught in all the 9/11 posturing that he then did which also didn't sit well with other elements. I still think From a Lover to a Friend is one of the best songs he ever wrote.
     
  19. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    Yes, I remember that the whole post 9/11 was an odd and shocking time in the country. I do think his being stuck on a plane all those hours, seeing the buildings or at least the second building go down and getting a cop to take him to the site really affected him. I’m sure his intentions were good overall and the concert and record sales went to a good cause. I mean for a little bit, his or anyone’s plane could have been hijacked then or the hijackers could have hit surrounding buildings and the idea of it and being that close to it had to be very frightening. Folks view it now as posturing in hindsight but at the time it was probably genuine and was indeed a very scary day. NYC, the US and the west reeled from that event then. These are simply just my opinions of these kinds of efforts that they all different times participated in.

    However, there were very regrettable unknown to McCartney or any concert performer participants then of later official actions taken. I equate this somewhat to George’s well meaning bangla desh concert where ringo also performed which ultimately raised little money as all got entangled in the various star’s contracts and the money basically stolen by klein, and questions to George by the press that there were starving folks all over the world, so why single out bangla desh....also, I could include the Kampuchea concert ..a well intentioned cause gone somewhat awry though in a different way.

    It’s always very difficult to stick your neck out and coordinate something like that anyway and you can be accused, as McCartney was later of being an egomaniac and an opportunist. These types of benefit things became far less common after the eighties for obvious reasons discussed here and for other reasons as well. Likewise, Lennon stuck his neck out recording these types of songs for then current events as well which many didn’t approve of then as well though some of his fans may now justify and agree with and Lennon was sincere I think and meant well but he was not a US citizen though was residing in the US when did this. It was much safer and easier for none of them to have stuck their necks out but I’m glad they did as it was brave of them though history may have later showed them in error, or some folks then believed them in error then.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  20. Cledwyn

    Cledwyn Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Wales
    It's not a theory I subscribe to. I was 35 when Driving Rain was released, and have always loved it. It's always been one of my favourite McCartney albums.

    :edthumbs:
     
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  21. thewonders

    thewonders Forum Resident

    The way you framed your original question you mentioned younger people liking DR because "it always was a way more modern sounding 21st Century record... than it's predecessors". Referring to the new century production sound, that would then mean that young people wouldn't like the sound of Paul's older albums because they sound older. Your question pitted the sound of older albums against newer albums in view of younger people, which relates to whether younger people like the older material or not.

    Also, I think you'll find that McCartney listeners born in the 70s, 80s, and 90s all have different "gap" albums.


    I wouldn't think so. When looking at his complete catalog, Flaming Pie stands out as one of his better albums. I would put Driving Rain just about as bad as Pipes of Peace.
     
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  22. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    IMO..POP is simply left over eighties sounding pop, leftover TOW, which a better album , but DR is fresh, with an updated contemporary sound and ....to use the preferred genre of many forum members..DR ...RAWKS, especially Macca’s bass.
     
  23. Solaris Morse

    Solaris Morse Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex,UK
    Post 9/11 it just wasn't a good time to be releasing a new album and coupled with the unattractive cover and playing too long (16 songs / 67 minutes), the whole album just seemed very dreary and depressed.
     
  24. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    I too like From a lover to a friend..a very good Paul song IMO. I had to get on SHF to learn how it’s not liked.
     
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  25. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    Very unfortunately true..album released..help me..just a few days before 9/11? Very bad timing though unplanned. IMO the album itself wasn’t so much dreary though the era definitely was. I thought chaos was much drearier sounding even looking album, black n white and old Paul pic shot of the hung up sheets on a clothes album/cd cover, though chaos is a beautiful musical songs album.
     

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