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1997-Apr-08: Big interview in this week's "Billboard Magazine"

This week's edition of Billboard Magazine has lots of info on Flaming Pie, an interview with Paul and some notes on the 1h TV special. It's worth seeking out. And there's quite a bit of critizism on the guys that have the saying in the record industry.

Here's some summarized excerpts of what Paul said to Billboard in his first interview on the new album, conducted in Sussex, England:

"I've really started to say to myself, look, what's it been worth to do all that Beatles career, earn all this money, get all that fame, if at some point I don't go, `That was great, now I can have a good time.' "

"I feel like the suits are back in charge now.So I want to be subversive and sort of break that lock, just for me personally this time.''

Paul said that he didn't want to do mega campaigns to promote Flaming Pie but "I wanted to make an album for the kid in the bedroom. The Beatles, we all wanted to make records for the kid in the bedroom somewhere, because we had recently been that kid in a bedroom.''

The president of Capital Records, Gary Gersh, is quoted saying "It's the best Paul McCartney album I've heard in years. There are a lot of people who learned a lot about the Beatles over the course of the last 18 months, and a growing number of young fans who will be receptive to a great new Paul McCartney album - and this is it."

Paul McCartney further says: "In looking at `Anthology,' I saw the standards that the Beatles had reached." McCartney tried to recapture the standards of both songwriting and spontanity in the studio.

He recalls about the situation in mid-1995 when the Anthology was being put together: "One of the big wigs at the record company said, `We don't want a [solo] record from you for the next two years. We don't really need a record off you for awhile.
``I was almost insulted at first. But I thought, well, yeah, it would be silly to go out against yourself in the form of the Beatles. So I fell in with the idea and thought, `Great, I don't even have to think about an album.' What a great, lovely, lazy couple of years - although we worked quite hard on the `Anthology.' ''

Billboard also reports that Paul has been recording this album mostly alone - playing drums, bass, guitar and piano himself - just like with the 1970 album McCartney.

Style, Style

Flaming Pie'' displays a joyously familiar style - in the pounding piano of the title track, the guitar rave-up of ``The World Tonight,'' the George Martin orchestration of ``Somedays,'' the acoustic coda of ``Great Day,'' and more.
``It's the `feel' that you're talking about,'' says McCartney. ``It's true. I've got a feel. I've got my feel. And throughout my career, I have made efforts to get away from it. I think, well, okay, let's try to go in some other direction.
``But I started to think on this album, no, I don't really need to. And somebody pointed out to me, `Hell, a lot of what these younger groups are doing is your sound.' So I thought it's actually mad if I don't do it, and I just let everybody else do it, and admire how well it sounds when they do it.''

Steve Miller

Paul decided to record again with Steve Miller when he discovered his son James is a big fan of Miller. Paul had been drumming for Miller back in 1969 under the pseudonym Paul Ramon on the song "My Dark Hour." In February 1995, after "Real Love" was finished, Paul flew to Idaho and these sessions produced "Young Boy." Later in May that year, they recorded again in Paul's studio: "If You Wanna" (a 'road song') written by Paul, and "Used To Be Bad", a blues jam co-written by Paul and Steve

Ringo

"We fell in, like a old habit, like a comfortable glove. When you can work with someone like that, it's stranger to lose it than for it to still be there. It often is still there, like with Ringo. "

"Ringo had always said after `Real Love,' that he was comfortable in this studio. And he said, we should do it again some time." says McCartney. In May 1996 Starr came down to play on ``Beautiful Night,'' a song on ``Flaming Pie'' which Paul had written a decade earlier but never released.

"We had a lot of fun doing it and then he stayed over the next day in case we needed to fix any drum things, which we didn't. I could see that whenever we'd gone out to rehearse anything, he was very comfortable. So I said, well, let's take this a little step further. I'll get on bass, you get on drums, we'll get Jeff on his guitar, just a three piece, and we'll have a jam for the hell of it.''

The resulting track, ``Really Love You,'' is a cool R&B groove built upon Starr's drum beat and McCartney's rock'n'roll vocals. It is the first song ever released which is co-written by the Beatles' former drummer and bassist.


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