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POLL: How do you rate Paul McCartney's "Press to Play" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, Mar 17, 2015.

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  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Album poll #22 (of 25) for McCartney's post-Beatle albums! The end is near(er)!

    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 intentionally don't name "comparison albums" on the best-to-worst scale, as some may think a particular album of his is awesome, while others may 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 how the others have rated so far:
    The "New" poll. 384 votes, with an average rating of 3.65 (edging slightly towards "solid effort").
    The "Back To The Egg" poll. 355 votes, with a nearly identical (!) average rating of 3.62.
    The "Wild Life" poll. 385 votes, with an average rating of 2.90 (just below "not bad").
    The "Driving Rain" poll. 303 votes, with an average rating of 2.77.
    The "Flowers in the Dirt" poll. 344 votes, with an average rating of 3.74.
    The "Flaming Pie" poll. 339 votes, with a very favorable average rating of 4.12.
    The "McCartney II" poll. 276 votes, with an average ratingof 3.13.
    The "Red Rose Speedway" poll. 303 votes, with an average rating of 3.32.
    The "Memory Almost Full" poll. 228 votes, with an average rating of 3.37.
    The "Pipes of Peace" poll. 234 votes, with the lowest average rating to date of 2.47.
    The "Band on the Run" poll. 413 votes, with the highest average rating of 4.63 (!!).
    The "Give My Regards to Broad Street" poll. 221 votes, with an average rating of 2.56.
    The "McCartney" poll. 336 votes, with an average rating of 4.02.
    The "At The Speed Of Sound" poll. 338 votes, with an average rating of 3.14.
    The "CHOBA B CCCP" poll. 174 votes, with an average rating of 3.01.
    The "London Town" poll. 214 votes, with an average rating of 3.25.
    The "Kisses on the Bottom" poll. 225 votes, with an average rating of 2.56.
    The "Off The Ground" poll. 236 votes, with an average rating of 2.91.
    The "Run Devil Run" poll. 136 votes, with an average rating of 3.71.
    The "Tug of War" poll. 230 votes, with an average rating of 4.10.
    The "Electric Arguments" poll. 194 votes, with an average rating of 3.71.

    Thanks to all those who continue to take place in the voting!

    For those who question/dislike the poll choices, I take full blame. My fullest attempt to explain the "logic" behind the rating options is explained here.
    theMess and DmitriKaramazov like this.
  2. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    I might be the only one to vote this way, but...:

    "Clearly one of his best works - essential listening for Paul fans"!

    RickH, theMess, NSM1969 and 3 others like this.
  3. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    The fewest top-ranked albums to-date are "Broad Street and "Pipes of Peace" with 3 and 6 votes in that category, correspondingly. If THOSE albums can get that many votes, than surely this one can do better!
    theMess likes this.
  4. antonkk

    antonkk Senior Member

    Great record. Along with RAM and Wild Life his best accomplishment. Fantastic for people who can't stand his usual muzak.
  5. pantofis

    pantofis Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Sleazy instruments, half-talked, half-baked ideas
  6. BadJack

    BadJack doorman who always high-fives children of divorce

    Boston, MA
    Some okay melodic ideas lost in songs that go nowhere and production that sounded horribly dated six months after it came out.

    I do think that "Only Love Remains", aside from some lyrical clunkers in the bridge, is a nice tune.
    klaatuhf, hazard and warewolf95 like this.
  7. warewolf95

    warewolf95 Forum Resident

    Greenville, SC
    I think the album is pretty good considering it's from 1986.

    Just think how bad it COULD'VE been. :)

    I think Eric Stewart was a great foil for Macca in the early 80s and shoulda been given the producer's role instead of Padgham.
    Macca was in a rut and at the height of his marijuana use so it's no wonder the album came out as it did. I think it's biggest flaw is that it tries way too hard to "fit" into "1986", if you will.

    That being said, I ****ing love some of the tracks. When the album's on, It's on. Angry, Press, Footprints and even Stranglehold are almost great album cuts.

    Any love for Only Love Remains? I still think thats the best ballad he's ever done. It's so bombastic and romantic and just.....love it.

  8. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Or Press To Flush as one (non) fan called it here a while back!

    I've always liked the album. It really should have done better considering similar fare from Phil Collins and Steve Winwood were selling very well at this time. Paul had been criticised for albums like Broad Street and Pipes Of Peace being 'bland', but you couldn't say that about PTP. The original LP had 10 tracks though the CD and cassette had 13. I feel the latter works much better.

    I agree with the previous poster that the album sounds very 1986, but I don't mind that. PTP is a fun journey. Some great melodies and ideas. Love the twinkly smooth production. Looking forward to the Archive reissue in 2023!
    Solace, theMess and warewolf95 like this.
  9. Slokes

    Slokes Cruel But Fair

    Greenwich, CT USA
    Voted option #3, "not bad, with some good/great tracks."

    That said, I can't think of a single great track on this album. But I also can't think of any that are bad. I liked it from Day One, but was never that taken with it. Everyone will mention the overbusy production, and that is certainly true. I do enjoy the soundscapes Paul and his team created for this; and I find the lyrics often intriguing and charming in their goofball way. I just am not that wild for the songs themselves, the melodies seem half-hearted and disengaged.

    I can see people making the point that it's a proto-Fireman effort, more out-there than anything he did before in the pop idiom, if you think of his self-titled albums as experimental in nature. Press To Play critically lacks the surefire crowd-pleaser or two that might have given it more of a chance commercially.

    By the way, I don't buy the "mid-80s curse" for classic rockers. Peter Gabriel, Stevie Winwood, and that George Harrison guy did well enough. Paul should have, too.
    theMess likes this.
  10. babyblue

    babyblue Pactches Pal!

    Pacific NW
    One of my favorite McCartney albums, even though it does have a few clunkers and some of the production has not worn well. I made my own version using the "Yvonne" outtake and some of the CD bonus tracks, which perks up the "second side" a bit. If Paul's reissue campaign makes it to this album, it will be one of the few that I'll buy.
  11. DennisF

    DennisF Forum Resident

  12. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    I agree. I think the weakness of the lead single killed this album. "Darling, I love you very very very much" was a TERRIBLE opening line. And what's he gonna rhyme "much" with? How about ... :idea: ... "touch"! Then, let's throw in "Oklahoma was never like this" for good measure. I was a sophomore in college when this came out and friends who heard it had a "you've got to be kidding me" attitude about this one.

    I've always felt that some sort of edit of "Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun" would've had a much better chance as a "late summer" single. It sounded more contemporary and experimental - almost danceable - but that "let the sun shine in" bit had the familiar McCartney hook that could've sold it.

    Instead, Ferris Bueller took off and suddenly djs and music writers were speculating about whether a 20+ year old Beatle track might top Paul's current single on the US charts (Press hit #21; Twist #23). Probably not what his management team was wishing would be the focus of discussion about his bold new album...
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    Slokes likes this.
  13. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    I think it's one of his worst (option 5), AND that there are about 3 tracks worth revisiting (option 4?) . And I've given it considerable repeat plays over the decades, but to little avail. I do like the song 'Press', and also 'Pretty Little Head' and 'Only Love Remains'.
  14. SoporJoe

    SoporJoe Huge fan of alexpop

    British Columbia
    I think it stinks.
    Andrew J, Huck Caton and jeatleboe like this.
  15. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    On the one hand: The photo on the cover is very nice.

    On the other hand: The photo on the cover is very nice. ;)
  16. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    LOL! :D

    True and true.
    But on the third hand, while the album cover is nice it doesn't seem to fit this album at all.
    Slokes likes this.
  17. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident

    Love this album.
    theMess likes this.
  18. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    I love it, personally it's a favorite. But I voted for pretty solid effort, since it's not for everyone obviously but I do recommend it.
    theMess likes this.
  19. warewolf95

    warewolf95 Forum Resident

    Greenville, SC
    The Lovely Linda on that cover art! :)
    theMess and Bobby Morrow like this.
  20. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Too bad you don't have a "Not as bad as I remembered" vote.
    'Coz, honestly...... it's not as bad as I remembered it!
  21. Bemagnus

    Bemagnus Music is fun

    Imo one of-if not- Pauls least succesful album. Terrible and over-produced sound coming from the real dark-ages of recording values
    The songs are generally weak with some exeptions. Some actually sounds better in the earlier recordings
    Paul himself made one of the most fitting comments concerning Press to play. "What was I on recording this" -
    Good question Paul
    applejam101 likes this.
  22. applejam101

    applejam101 Humble Fan

    NYC, NY, USA
    I listened to it a few times when it first came out and couldn't find a single song off the album that I liked. I thought Stranglehold and Angry would be the ones, but they didn't hold my interest.
  23. Frank

    Frank Forum Resident

    I'd have panned it years ago (it left such a bad taste in my mouth in 1986 that it put me off listening to solo McCartney until Flowers in the Dirt), but after being convinced to give it another shot a few years back by members of this forum (not specifically told "Frank give it another listen," but seeing it represented as something better than I remembered, probably by @theMess or maybe even @Oatsdad ) I have reevaluated it completely and now give it "Solid Effort."

    Strangely, it sounded more dated to me in 1986 than it does now, and, anyway, if a record sounding of its own time is a knock, I implore you not to listen to any of his 70s albums ever.

    It's got grooves, it's got passion, it's got power, it's got melody, it's got the usual McCartney schmaltz. You can't listen to it with the expectation you're going to get the warm fuzzies of Red Rose Speedway and expect to enjoy it. It took me listening to it for what it was and not what it wasn't - throwing away my expectations of what a McCartney album should sound like and finding the McCartney songs underneath - before I understood that.

    I still hate Footprints with a fiery passion, though.

    The whole end portion of However Absurd is a career McCartney standout moment for me.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    theMess, Paul H and mando_dan like this.
  24. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Franklin, TN
    Man - did I LOVE the title track when it came out.
    Man - was I disappointed when I bought the album.

    That sums it up for me.
    heatherly and wayneklein like this.
  25. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    At the bottom of the bottom of the bottom
    Andrew J and Huck Caton like this.
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