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Is Driving Rain a "generation gap"?

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

  1. thewonders

    thewonders Forum Resident

    I disagree. Freedom is such a vacuous song and is also is one of the many songs that came out in response to 9/11 but seemed instead to just be taking advantage of a horrendous event to sell a few records. As a long-time follower of Paul's music I'm embarrassed that he did it. It's evident that the song was quickly (and poorly) written, and it appears that Paul was trying to create an anthem to rally people but the song falls far short of real anthems like Give Peace A Chance.

    As far as DR, it probably will get re-evaluated in the future but I don't see the overall feeling towards it changing in the way things did with Ram. Decades after their releases, Wild Life and Off The Ground have had their respective re-evaluations and haven't fared any better any better than their first reviews - I believe the same will happen with Driving Rain.
     
    Chuckee likes this.
  2. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    All a matter of opinion, but many then before his death, and many now find John’s anthems likewise hollow and fad chasing and some found his preachy music even simple and embarrassing. I do think John was sincere, but it took his murder for imagine to become an anthem and give peace a chance was revived and recycled, out on boxsets, etc. Earlier though, war ended and give peace a chance was no longer his big anthem ...it took his death to become an anthem. I use John asan example because he most embraced cause music. I’ve learned in my time, things come around and go around. At the time freedom was not so much as a failure as a song for the NYC concert and it was the most unfortunate misdirected international reactions after 9/11 that put a damper on the song and possibly even the concert.

    About albums getting reappraised and upgraded, I did read a critical reassessment and upgrade of wildlife when the box set came out which upgraded the album. It must also be stated that Paul is not dead yet....once he is, there’s no predicting how his music of his different eras will be viewed. Most probably, his wings and solo music will get a much closer And yet another critical and fan reevaluation as did several young critics a few years ago..particularly as he’s now called a musical genius by a musicologist and his legacy has been greatly upgraded.

    Likewise, some songs by an artist depending on future events can be selected and renewed. I’ve seen recently that with some sixties rock songs, like 4 dead in Ohio, etc., due to current events are posted on general events sites. The songs were then totally associated with their eras and causes...never thought I see folks posting them on various current events as applicable now in media. Ram’s 180 degree turn is the extreme but it proves albums on the bottom can rise to the top and never say never....that’s the way history down the line works and there’s never any predicting it.

    I too have been following Paul’s solo career a long time, since 1970. His music and image were so severely bashed for several decades, that I never imagined I’d see his stock rise to the extent it has, but indeed he has surged has. Folks see cause music according to their beliefs and it’s true cause music is the most quickly dated but generalized lyrics with social themes like freedom can again always come back in style. We’ll have to agree to disagree. When Linda died she was hailed by the public and the media as an animal rights and environmental activist, but in her life she was ridiculed for her lack of musical abilities and for being a groupie. You never know...
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
    PhoffiFozz likes this.
  3. Carlox

    Carlox Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portugal
    Driving Rain is a favourite of mine.
    Even enjoying "Off The Ground", i think it is inferior to Driving Rain...
     
  4. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    McCartney II with its associated singles is ...and acquired taste,..I oddly for a boomer liked it at the time of release....loved new wave and techno as well.
     
  5. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    DR better songs. There’s the different DR album image(slip cover )with Freedom on it.
     
    Carlox likes this.
  6. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    DR imo Paul’s last really powerful vocal album ..strong pipes ( of peace ) indeed.
     
  7. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, 60173
    It is? Sometimes I feel like any McCartney album that isn't McCartney, Ram, Band On the Run, Flaming Pie or Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is considered 'the worst Paul McCartney album'.

    But I definitely know that some of my younger friends really liked it at the time. So maybe it is a 'generation gap' album as you say. But I look at it this way... I think it's all perception. I'm going to use the TV show The Simpsons as an example since it's been on since December 1989 and had a huge cultural impact.

    In my college years, The Simpsons was new, it broke rules and had a huge cultural impact. This lasted a long time. (Yes, I know there were plenty of people who hated it too, isn't that how it always works?) People of my generation would speak in Simpsons quotes (some still do) but as we got into the 2000's and beyond, the fanbase either started moving on to different things feeling that the show lost it's edge. There are a lot of reasons why this would happen, which aren't really relevant. However, they were still producing a product that was generating money, so the show carried on. - But as my generation were having children and nieces and nephews etc, who would grow up and see the newer episodes, they would love the new ones, while the older generation is saying "they suck now". - To me, there are two reasons for this, number the show is touching on current topical things, which the younger generation is more aware of and two, the show can never have the same impact on the older generation. The "you weren't there in the heydey" syndrome.

    McCartney's career is completely like that. Partially because McCartney is always into new things. People have accused him of "trying" to be cool in EVERY era post-Beatles, but I honestly don't think he ever blatantly tried, I think he has always just embraced what was around him. And I think to that point too, that's why when people said he "tried" punk or disco or dance or whatever, none of his stuff is ever TRULY the genre he is playing with. It's always McCartney with a 'insert genre here' feel.

    I think Driving Rain was more of a return to McCartney being himself in the moment and not looking back. And he was working with new people, so it gave it a sort of modern edge, without being blatant. I think that apparently (I didn't realize it myself at the time) turned some older fans off. - It actually was relieving to me. I thought we would get some great McCartney music after that. And as far as I'm concerned (my own opinion) I was right. I think Chaos-McCartney III has been his most 'consistent' run. I don't think he's reached the commercial appeal of his past, but I also think that has been necessary for him to be consistent. The other thing I love is that Chaos, Memory, Arguments, Kisses, New, Egypt & III are all fairly different from album to album and I love that. (Something he has been pretty damn good about throughout his career).

    Sorry... someday I'll learn to write a short post! :)
     
    Durango88, foxylady, Cledwyn and 2 others like this.
  8. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    I guess what you're asking is - was McCartney out of touch with a younger audience at that time?

    When I first heard Driving Rain, I was 21. None of my peers cared about McCartney and at that point, the view that McCartney's solo career was crap was still strong among music nerds. As a fan, I personally saw Driving Rain as a step backwards from Flaming Pie as it reminded me of the made-for-the-tour album Off The Ground. In 2001, McCartney had zero chance of reaching a younger audience and I don't think he was trying to. The production and song writing is very adult contemporary. His choice of producer, David Kahne (who also produced on Memory Almost Full). Kahne's first big break was with The Bangles and Fishbone in 80's (before then, he had a background working with underground punk bands). He would later work with Sugar Ray on two massively successful albums in the late 90's. The electronic sounds on the album were everywhere by the early 2000's, even with older artists (The Stones had released Bridges To Babylon in '97 with the Dust Brothers). I leaning towards Kahne being behind this as right before Driving Rain, he produced Orgy's Vapar Transmission album. I still don't think he worked with Kahne to attract a younger audience as much as to stay relevant to a commercial radio rock audience (which was anything from age 12 to 50 at that time). Also keep in mind that the climate of rock in 2001 was in a transitional period between industrial rock/post grunge and indie rock. Driving Rain sits more with what came before in the late 90's, rather than what was already coming into the mainstream.

    What Driving Rain is to me is - an album by an older artist that was going to appeal to an older crowd but still trying to attract a mainstream audience, whomever that may be.
     
    Cledwyn likes this.
  9. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    I think Driving Rain is McCartney returning to his commercial self rather than his "experimental" self. Which one is the real McCartney? Both most likely. He loves to be on the charts and praised by his older fans as much as he loves the praise from critics and music geek fans. It's like when he does one, he needs to purge with the other. For every McCartney, RAM, Wings Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway there's a Band On The Run, Venus and Mars and Speed of Sound, for every Tug of War and Pipes of Peace, there's a Press To Play, for every Flaming Pie there's a Driving Rain, for every Memory Almost Full there's an Electric Arguments and so on...
     
    wolfmac and PhoffiFozz like this.
  10. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Never even heard of this album.

    Anything McCartney / Beatles is pretty yawn to me.
     
  11. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    I don't blame Heather (she didn't write the songs). And Paul's Chaos & Creation is one of this best-ever albums. But I do agree with you that Driving Rain just isn't quite strong enough with the songs, the melodies. It has a few keepers.
     
  12. paulisdead

    paulisdead fast and bulbous

    The early 2000's were a low point for McCartney in terms of song writing. The songs on DR have this sound of lyrics that don't belong are being forced into the melodies. It has this chunkiness that doesn't feel natural. Perhaps, they worked better in demo form and the problem is one of production? Memory is a more successful collaboration with Kahne.
     
  13. thewonders

    thewonders Forum Resident

    And someday you may have a better perspective of Paul's career, and life in general. :winkgrin:

    Also, I believe you misspoke about the younger generation being more aware of current events. Usually older people are more aware (having more life experience) but what I think you mean is that the younger generation is more often more aware of what is trendy and what is not, which becomes less important as one ages.

    But back to Paul's career. Aside from not agreeing that his career is like The Simpsons, if you don't realize how Paul's ego has driven his whole career you don't understand the guy. Articles and books have been written about Paul's ego as well as comments from many musicians who have played with him, including John Lennon, who said that Paul was coy about his bass playing but egotistical about everything else. In the 70s being a Wings member was like being in a revolving door, with musicians leaving when they reached their limit with Paul's control issues. 3 drummers, 3 lead guitarists, and later people like Elvis Costello and Eric Steward (of 10CC), players who were successful artists in their own right and got tired of working with Paul. There is a reason why John Lennon and George Harrison never asked Paul to play on their albums (All Those Years Ago was the exception). You may not think that he has "blatantly tried" to be cool, but that is exactly what he has been doing most of his career. His attempts to be cool and relevant include things like trying punk and disco, and working with Micheal Jackson, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, David Kahne and Youth, among others. It's actually become more pronounced and a bit pathetic as he gets older - it's as though he's driven to remain relevant and trendy when he's already successful enough to not need to worry about it.

    And it's sad because, when he is just himself with his natural talent, he can be a great artist. His career has been up and down, but for every disappointing album like Driving Rain he comes up with better albums like Memory Almost Full and New, stumbles with an album like Off The Ground and bounces back with Flaming Pie, releases albums that should have never been released like Pipes of Peace and then eventually creates a great album like Flowers In The Dirt.

    But you are right about one thing - Paul is always looking for and willing to try something new. So he can stay relevant.
     
    PhoffiFozz likes this.
  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    DR?

    Heard Your Loving Flame belted out on big speakers close to MTV London winter 2001 and the song sounded mighty impressive, powerful driven ballad.
     
    Carlox likes this.
  15. wolfmac

    wolfmac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    When Driving Rain came out, I was 20. I remember being in graduation class and buying this album after school and listening to it in its entirety in my mother's car on an empty parking space. Off The Ground/Flaming Pie was where I had come in. That seemed like ages ago back then. Run Devil Run hadn't done much for me (still doesn't), so my expectations were not exactly high.

    Well, it was a bit like your favorite football team lost again. I wanted to like it, but I really had a hard time doing so. The exact same thing happened four years later with Chaos. I found out that it's easier to like such albums in retrospect. I have made my peace with all of his albums, but Driving is still special because it still sounds extremely half-baked to me. The awful cover doesn't help.

    So - to answer your question - it is definitely a gap album, yes. I think Flaming Pie was the last album with classic McCartney on it. After that (and - as much as I like Memory Almost Full, Egypt Station and McCartney III - to this day) it was never quite the same. But I don't blame him for that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    Durango88 likes this.
  16. Cledwyn

    Cledwyn Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Wales
    No, I love McCartney II (it's round about No.5 or 6 in my Paul Top 10), it's McCartney III that I'm (so far) much less keen on. :cry:
     
  17. peskypesky

    peskypesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    I've never even heard of it.
     
  18. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    I see what you done there.
     
    wolfmac likes this.
  19. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, 60173
    Yes! Absolutely that's what I meant.

    I knew when I was writing that I was saying the wrong thing and I never went back and tried to clarify. I didn't mean 'current events' like politics, I meant more like current trends and pop culture. Meaning they are in on all the current fashions and celebrities and scandals related to those things. - I laugh that my 15 year old daughter seems to be mentioning a new app or something every two months.
     
  20. Rockerfella

    Rockerfella Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    As a 26 year old, I find Driving Rain quite jarring. It feels very much an album from 2001. In my head, I don't know if its the production, but it makes me think of artists like Macy Gray, even though its nothing like Macy Gray, but that seemed like that era.

    I don't think it's the worst, but it's definitely out of place compared to Flaming Pie, Run Devil Run and Chaos. I think 'worst' is probably reserved for Off the Ground. It surprises me how many folks on this forum think the Complete Works is any good. It's terrible... even 'Keep Coming Back to Love' sounds like the kind of generic ballad that plays over the end of a film in the 90s.

    Though, I do get more enjoyment from Driving Rain and possibly Off the Ground over London Town, for example. In that sense, I think there's a way of differentiating what you think is a great album (or the best album) from an album you're fond of for personal reasons, Memory Almost Full is one of those albums for me. It's not the album I think is necessarily the best, but it takes me back to a good place.
     
    Durango88 likes this.
  21. wolfmac

    wolfmac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    The "problem" here is that I'm fond of EVERY of his albums for some reason or another. I can tell you a story related to every single album. Every album takes me back to some good place or another. And, by the way, I loooove Off The Ground (the complete works). I really do. I'd take it over Band On The Run or Chaos any day!
     
    Durango88, PhoffiFozz and joy stinson like this.
  22. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    Like most of your posts...exceptionally detailed and well analyzed and supported.
     
    WilliamWes likes this.
  23. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    You always have the keen and subtle tastes of of a lover of the avant garde.
     
  24. joy stinson

    joy stinson Secret friend

    Location:
    Dickson. Tn
    Well, solo Beatles are an acquired taste I always say and Beatles are a broader taste though some folks never liked them then or now.
     
  25. I just don’t think that the material is quite as good on Driving Rain. It does have some good songs just isn’t consistent.
     
    wolfmac likes this.

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