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POLL: How do you rate Paul McCartney's "Flowers In The Dirt" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, Jun 12, 2014.

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  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    It's been a couple weeks since the last round of voting on the merits of a McCartney album, so here's round 5.
    The ground rules: this poll, like the others, is designed for people familiar with the album in question and with at least some familiarity with some of his other post-Beatle catalog (for comparison purposes). If the poll doesn't interest you, please kindly move on to a thread that does. I've intentionally not named "comparison albums" on the best-to-worst scale, as some may think a particular album of his is awesome, while others have a completely different take on the same album. Just consider how YOU would rate it in comparison with his other post-Beatles work.

    If you've missed a previous poll, feel free to vote below. Here's a recap of where the others have rated so far:
    The "New" album poll 260 votes, with a weighted average of 3.59 (edging slightly towards "solid effort").
    The "Back To The Egg" album poll. 144 votes, also with a nearly identical (!) weighted average of 3.60.
    The "Wild Life" album poll. 224 votes, with a weighted average of 2.86 (just below "not bad").
    And, dragging up the rear:
    The "Driving Rain" album poll. 210 votes, with a weighted average of 2.80.

    With this poll, we've now rated two albums from the 70s, this one from the 80s, one from the 00s and one from the 10s. Suggestions on which 90s album to tackle in a couple weeks are welcome here or via PM.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
    theMess likes this.
  2. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Riverside, CT
    Very good. Not great.
    Paul Saldana likes this.
  3. peteneatneat

    peteneatneat Forum Resident

    Liverpool UK
    GuinnessDan and Huck Caton like this.
  4. music4life

    music4life Forum Resident

    South Elgin, IL
    After the dismal "Broad Street" and "Press to Play", it was a real return to form for Paul. The Beatlesque "My Brave Face" (which Ringo jokingly referred to as "My Old Face" at the time), the collaborations with Elvis Costello, David Gilmours guitar on "We Got Married", "Figure of Eight", "This One", "Put it There", even the B side "Flying to My Hiome" was a gem! I also attended his show in Chicago (15th row) and was excited as I was at the Wings concert back in 1976. A real highlight in his catalog for myself!
    Rubber Soul, AJK74, Syd Avett and 5 others like this.
  5. Frank

    Frank Forum Resident

    Huge emotional attachment to this album which probably clouds my objectivity a bit, but since reaction to music should mostly be emotional I gave it the top rating. There isn't a guaranteed skip for me until Où est le Soleil?, which isn't even part of the album proper. My Brave Face, Figure of Eight, This One and That Day Is Done are top-shelf McCartney from any era / album. Some may rate the production as a product of its time, but for me that's a positive - it takes me right back to that time. Not a great time to go through as I was doing it, mind you, but this was the soundtrack of mid to late 89 for me leading right up to my first McCartney concert in NYC that December.

    I love it, I love it, I love it, and none of you naysayers are going to take that away from me! :D
    Syd Avett, AJK74, Bemagnus and 9 others like this.
  6. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    For me, the last 3 songs really hurt the album as a whole: How Many People, Motor Of Love, and Où est le Soleil**. Those 3 songs total over 15 minutes, and they dampen the joy I get from the rest of the album.


    **Yes, I know that Où est le Soleil was not on the original LP; but it was on the original CD and cassette.
  7. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    you better duck!!!!:hide:
  8. TimM

    TimM Senior Member

    Dayton Ohio
    It is about half of a very good album, but there is too much filler to say anything else. Putting "Flying to My Home" on and removing "Don't Be Careless Love" and "Motor Of Love" would have improved it IMHO.
    dylankicks and Paul Saldana like this.
  9. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    this is arguably his best 80s record. In terms of quality tracks presiding and constituting a very interesting listen.
    Beatles Floyd, HarvG and longaway like this.
  10. groff

    groff Forum Resident

    I love this album and I'm crazy about all three bonus songs, which are top tier efforts. So obviously I gave it the highest rating.
  11. NSM1969

    NSM1969 Active Member

    Co.Durham, U.K.
    Top notch.
  12. McCool

    McCool Forum Resident

    My feeling is it hasn't aged very well. It sounds very of it's era when I listen to it now (this coming from a "Press To Play" fan!). In a way it was a return to form for McCartney but in another way a sad commentary as to what the public was willing to accept from him. The mid eighties was a down time for Macca where he tried his best to think outside the box with a number of different sounds and projects all of which would fall under "The Road Less Traveled" category and his buying public just refused to give him a break. Some would say that projects such as "Give My Regards To Broad Street" and "Press To Play" weren't very good but my feeling on it is that their lack of success was also indicative as to a buying public that by the mid eighties had already pigeonholed Macca to an obscene degree.

    Anyhow back to "Flowers In The Dirt": It has some nice tracks on it with "Distractions" in particular still being just as gorgeous all these years later. The hits on the album however have far outworn their welcome in my opinion as I rarely listen to "My Brave Face" or "This One" anymore. The problem is that beyond the hits though, the rest of the record seems to lack the timeless quality needed to be a constant presence in my compact disc player. Add to that the fact that "Flowers In The Dirt" just sounds like standard Macca means that there isn't really anything unique about the presentation (such as say "McCartney II" or "Press To Play") that keeps me coming back all these years later when I want to hear something different from Sir Paul.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  13. babyblue

    babyblue Pactches Pal!

    Pacific NW
    The first eight tracks are really good, but after that the album really falls off the cliff for me. It makes me wonder if a more developed collaboration with Costello would have been more productive. Flowers is a good album, not a great one. It often feels like it could have been a great record. I made my own version of it long ago that includes "Flying to My Home" and "Back on My Feet."
  14. heatherly

    heatherly Well-Known Member

    I went with "One of his best works".

    I see it the same way I see Flaming Pie, some amazing tracks and some throwaways.

    The best tracks are soooo good that it's worth picking up and skipping over the duds.
    pobbard, Syd Avett and Geoffsterpiano like this.
  15. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    I definitely consider Flying to My Home a highlight of that album's sessions, but I have a hard time considering the other two tracks as being related to Flowers, since they were done so much earlier. Assuming you mean "Loveliest Thing" & "Back On My Feet", that is...
  16. HeavensAbove

    HeavensAbove Forum Resident

    Like BTTE, pretty solid Macca work, this time from the 80's. Plenty to enjoy here, though it is the 3rd lowest title in my list of 80's McCartney:

    80's PM, from fave to least fave:

    Tug of War
    McCartney II
    Pipes of Peace (yep, I like this album)
    Press to Play
    Flowers in the Dirt
    Broad Street

    Would have almost matched the quality of Tug of War if "Rough Ride" and "How Many People," the two weak links that weigh the album down, were replaced by "Flying to my Home" and "Back On My Feet." I think "Motor of Love," cited by some as being another weak link, works well as an album closer. I don't consider "Ou Est Le Solei" part of the album.
    theMess likes this.
  17. Mike Visco

    Mike Visco Forum Resident

    Newark, NJ
    okay, but not great on the revisit factor (voted squarely in the middle). Love the Elvis duet, and there is some sentimentality to this LP being assiciated with his first tour since Wings (saw it in MSG Dec. 89).
    Syd Avett likes this.
  18. audiotom

    audiotom Ground Control to Major Tom

    New Orleans La USA
    I love the Tripping The Live Fantastic live versions of these songs
    Figure of Eight, Rough Ride, My Brave Face, We Got Married, This one and Put it There are great songs

    sound greater in the live context

    but the album sounds dated with a late 80s / early 90s production

    still one of his solid top tier albums

    why, oh why does Paul not use his touring bands in the studio
  19. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Nuttier than a Snickers bar

    And on the b-side of the single Figure Of Eight, I know you knew that anyway. :) I actually prefer the single edit of FOE...

    I go with option 2 because although it's not one I return to as much as some, it's a still a great listen and is mostly made up of really good songs.
    EasterEverywhere likes this.
  20. Lovealego

    Lovealego Forum Resident

    Danville, CA
    whats best version of this on cd? I have heard 93 remaster and original capitol are the same. is this true?
    There's also that japan 2 disc set that has always eluded me...
  21. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    I really liked the album. To my dismay,this is when I noticed Paul was no longer an automatic hit making machine.
  22. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    You might consider yourself somewhat fortunate for not having the Japanese set, as it's the only home for the studio version of P.S. Love Me Do...
  23. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    Liked it when it came out and it has only grown on me since. Being a big Elvis Costello fan doesn't hurt - his influence is strongly felt.

    "Clearly one of his best."
    streetlegal and theMess like this.
  24. longaway

    longaway Forum Resident

    Charlotte, NC, USA
    I voted
    A pretty solid effort - worth recommending

    I know there's some sentimentality attached to this album, as it was my first "new" McCartney album, and my first CD, but it's definitely a solid album. Figure of Eight, This One, My Brave Face, and Put it There raise it above average. I'd rate any of those four tracks as being worthy of a Best of... or live setlist inclusion, and not just as padding.
    905 likes this.
  25. groundharp

    groundharp Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger

    California Day
    I think Flowers In The Dirt is easily Macca's best album of the 80's, just ahead of Press To Play. Since then, McCartney has been on a downhill slide.
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