Paul McCartney, Press to play appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Beatles Floyd, Jan 12, 2017.

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  1. maccafan

    maccafan Senior Member

    Way better than it's ever received credit for.

    Stranglehold - One of McCartney's absolute best, a snare pounding rocker!
    It's Not True - prefer the single version
    Tough On A Tightrope
    Write Away - Absolutely love the jazzy piano solo
    Angry - Love McCartney's angry lyrics

    All of these are really good!
  2. Blimpboy

    Blimpboy Forum Resident

    Walton, KY
    I know a lot of people think he is just stringing together fragments of unfinished songs, as in side two of Abby Road and Red Rose Speedway, but I like Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun because of that dichotomy. It's an attention grabber. I love the vibe on Pretty Little Head. Great drum beat. Very 80's and I love it!
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  3. mynameistaken

    mynameistaken Forum Resident

    Oklahoma City, OK
    Really love Footprints. It's a perfect winter song.
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  4. Paul H

    Paul H The fool on the hill

    Nottingham, UK
    I've posted too many times on this forum about how much I love this album. And here's another post.
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  5. For the Record

    For the Record Forum Resident

    Ontario Canada
    I always wondered about Write Away, It's Not True and Tough on a Tightrope.

    The record and cassette didn't have those tracks. While they are tacked on to the END of the CD. They aren't really classified as bonus tracks. Just MORE of the album.
    The same way the Give My Regards to Broadstreet on record has less tracks than the CD/Cassette. I wonder why the extra Press to Play songs weren't on the cassette.
    Heck they COULD have fit the 3 extra songs on the record if they really wanted to.

    Even the 1993 remaster only suggests Spies Like Us and Once Upon a Long Ago are bonus tracks.

    So I guess the CD version is the full album, while the cassette and LP are actually MISSING tracks.
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  6. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Always really enjoyed this album. I don't care what Paul says.:D

    Picked up the original UK (Japanese made) CD a couple of months ago. It sounds fantastic.
  7. For the Record

    For the Record Forum Resident

    Ontario Canada
  8. gkmacca

    gkmacca Forum Resident

    Snippets about making the record from Eric Stewart's memoir:

    George Martin suggested Stewart produce the album, then Steve Shrimpton, McCartney's manager at the time, confirmed the offer.

    Linda then suggested he and McCartney meet to write together for the album. Paul said he'd always liked 10cc and felt they could collaborate well.

    It was snowing outside when Stewart arrived at McCartney's home studio, and the first thing he said on entering was 'It's so beautiful outside'. McCartney immediately started improvising with that line and it became 'Footprints in the Snow'.

    They wrote a lot very quickly (including 'Angry' and 'Stranglehold'), but Stewart began to get a bit uneasy about the fact they didn't seem to be completing any of it. Stewart was used to concentrating on one song and finishing it, whereas here they were going from one 'sketch' to another.

    Then Stewart was surprised when one morning McCartney said in a matter of fact fashion that he'd asked Hugh Padgham to engineer and co-produce. Stewart didn't mind ceding the engineering duties because he wanted to play on the tracks, but he resented sharing production with someone he viewed as a rookie in that department.

    But they met up, Padgham said he was a big 10cc fan, and that he was busy anyway working with Bowie on 'Tonight' and wouldn't be around for a while, and Stewart and McCartney continued as before.

    The first day they worked on 'Angry' and McCartney was delighted with the rough mix. 'Tell that man of yours he's a bloody genius,' he told Stewart's wife.

    Then after a while Padgham turned up, brought in other musicians and Stewart began to relax with the arrangement.

    But as they kept working, he was puzzled that they still weren't really finishing any more of the 'sketches'. McCartney would work on one for a while, and then leave it to work a bit on another one, etc. He was also frustrated that Padgham 'wasn't coming up with any musical production ideas at all'.
    'I therefore wondered if Paul was possibly getting worried about whether or not the songs were good enough and that maybe he hoped that if he left them alone for a while they might perk up when he went back to work on them later. Whatever the reason I was completely in the dark with this strange scenario going on around me'.

    The other problem was that Stewart and his wife enjoyed Paul and Linda's friendship and he was disinclined to risk damaging that with an argument.

    Stewart later found out that Padgham had told his manager that he didn't rate any of the initial work but hoped they'd come up with something better later. 'It's a pity that he didn't mention this to us earlier!'

    Then things got worse. Stewart was in the control room with Padgham when Paul was singing a vocal. Stewart asked Padgham to get Paul to do a verse again. Padgham pressed the talkback button and said sarcastically, 'Do that verse again, Paul, he doesn't like it'. So a furious Stewart butted in and asked to speak with Paul in private. Paul cancelled that day's session to let things cool down.

    The next morning Paul's manager called Stewart to say that Padgham had declared he would leave the project immediately unless he was given complete control over production. Stewart was hurt to find that McCartney had agreed to the ultimatum. It was added that Stewart was welcome to stay on as a musician and backing vocalist but with no other input whatsoever.

    Stewart felt Padgham was blaming him for the lack of progress, rather than pushing Paul to have the courage of his convictions and start finishing the songs. He also concluded that Paul hadn't wanted him to produce but had merely gone along with George Martin and his manager when they suggested it.

    Stewart did go back to play on the tracks, but was rattled when Padgham re-recorded the 'Angry' track and generally ignored him. Eventually he called Paul and explained how awkward it felt and said it was probably best if he left. Paul merely said 'Okay' and the phone went dead. Linda called that evening to apologise and hope that the friendship they had would remain.

    Eric Stewart's (digital only) book is called Things I do For Love and I'd recommend getting a copy.

    Things I Do for Love by Eric Stewart on iBooks
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  9. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Really enjoyed that video. I think you totally nailed this album. I found myself nodding in agreement with almost everything you said. The album certainly has retained it's 'freshness' as people were never forced to become over-familiar with any of the songs as radio wasn't exactly playing them to death. I wouldn't say any of it is top-tier McCartney, but I love the peaks and valleys of the record. You never know what's coming next.:)

    Thanks for taking the time to make this. I love the way you pulled out various LP's and 12" singles to illustrate your points.:D I'll certainly check you out on YouTube.

    And I have to say it's the only 30th anniversary celebration of PTP I've ever seen.:D
  10. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    It's a man making a record without any inspiration and coming across as being completely lost and redundant. Thankfully it was temporary.
  11. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Better than Ram, BOTR, Tug of War etc? Hmmmm
  12. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    I think it's top shelf McCartney myself and would give it a 4/5 if we were giving out ratings.
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  13. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    I think of Press to Play and Benjamin Orr's The Lace as two albums from this time that deserved better sales.
  14. backseat

    backseat Italian translator - Paul McCartney's 'The Lyrics'

    It's a strange album and, you like it or not, boy what a bold LP it is. In McCartney's position, I wouldn't dare to do it... It wasn't a success and that started in Paul's mind a process like, "what the audience wants from me?"

    Some tracks are really weird and experimental, more than some Fireman things... Talk More Talk, Pretty Little Head but also However Absurd and snippets of Good Times Coming...
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  15. Mumbojunk

    Mumbojunk Forum Resident

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  16. Mumbojunk

    Mumbojunk Forum Resident

    Me too!!! It's such a great album, I've never understood why people don't 'get it'. I suspect it's commercial failure has a lot to do with - along with the 80s production, which some people can't see (or rather, hear) past. Each to their own, but I love it with a passion. Macca at his best.
  17. David Austin

    David Austin Eclectically Coastal

    West Sussex
    This was the first PMcC album I bought on CD. It is also the last PMcC album I bought in any format. I quite like the sound placement sketches in the booklet.
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  18. andy75

    andy75 Forum Resident

    Love Paul McCartney, but I think this is one of his lesser efforts.
  19. Wingsfan2012

    Wingsfan2012 Forum Resident

    Junior's Farm, IL
    We can all say that from "McCartney" to "New" that no album in his post-Beatles career sounds like "PTP"...

    It is an 80's album but I have no problem with it as a 70's/80's kid.........

    It is a shame that most involved (Paul and Hugh Padgham especially) think negative of the album. I think Padgham said once that the album was "why you should never work with one of your idols" and Eric Stewart said he would save his thoughts on "PTP" for his memoirs..................

    Maybe Paul is softening a bit as "Press" and "Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun" were included last year on the "Pure McCartney" box set and both belong.

    So many B-Sides/Remixes etc that this album screams out for an "Archive Collection" box set!
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  20. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    The single version (also known as the (Video Edit)) was my first exposure to the song. When I got around to listening to the album version it just felt weird having that little part in that was edited out of the Video Version.
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  21. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    I think of the three extra tracks as bonus tracks since the LP was still the main format of the time. Also "However Absurd" sounds more of a closer song than "Tough On a Tightrope". Knowing the McCartney Camp, if they ever decide to reissue this as part of the Archive Series, then the three songs would be added the CD versions and the vinyl version will not include them, but they will be available on the download card. Much like how Ou Est Le Soleil got that treatment.
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  22. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    No, but I really do like it quite a bit more than most other folks seem to.
  23. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    I clearly remember reading the liner notes more than any album I'd ever owned and wondering for a week what the songs might sound like.
  24. Blimpboy

    Blimpboy Forum Resident

    Walton, KY
    I agree 100 percent in that assumption. The CD booklet includes the stereo image drawings that Paul made for It's Not True and Tough On A Tightrope on the lyrics. That make it officially part of the album to me.
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  25. Muzyck

    Muzyck Real inventor of the inverted firkin

    59 minutes is a bit much for a single LP.
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