The Paul McCartney Project

The Ballad of the Skeletons

Timeline More from year 1996
UK release date:
Jan 23, 1997
US release date:
Jul 15, 1996
Publisher:
Mercury Records
Reference:
697120101

Related sessions

This album has been recorded during the following studio sessions


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Track list

Disc 1


1.

The Ballad of the Skeletons

Written by Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass

7:49 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Drums, Guitar, Hammond organ, Maracas
Allen Ginsberg :
Voice
Philip Glass :
Keyboard
Lenny Kaye :
Bass, Producer
Marc Ribot :
Guitar
David Mansfield :
Guitar
Scott Ansell :
Recording engineer
Danny Goldberg :
Executive producer
David Silver :
Executive producer
Hal Willner :
Mixing engineer
Joe Palmaccio :
Mastering

Session Recording:
October 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


2.

The Ballad of the Skeletons

Written by Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass

4:11 • Studio versionA1 • Edit

Paul McCartney :
Drums, Guitar, Hammond organ, Maracas
Allen Ginsberg :
Voice
Philip Glass :
Keyboard
Lenny Kaye :
Bass, Producer
Marc Ribot :
Guitar
David Mansfield :
Guitar
Scott Ansell :
Recording engineer
Danny Goldberg :
Executive producer
David Silver :
Executive producer
Hal Willner :
Mixing engineer
Joe Palmaccio :
Mastering

Session Recording:
October 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


3.

Amazing Grace

2:51 • Studio version


4.

The Ballad of the Skeletons

Written by Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass

7:48 • Studio versionA2 • Clean

Paul McCartney :
Drums, Guitar, Hammond organ, Maracas
Allen Ginsberg :
Voice
Philip Glass :
Keyboard
Lenny Kaye :
Bass, Producer
Marc Ribot :
Guitar
David Mansfield :
Guitar
Scott Ansell :
Recording engineer
Danny Goldberg :
Executive producer
David Silver :
Executive producer
Hal Willner :
Mixing engineer
Joe Palmaccio :
Mastering

Session Recording:
October 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

About

From Dangerous Minds:

Throughout his long career, Allen Ginsberg was keenly aware of the power of music—and an association with generationally key musicians, like Bob Dylan and The Clash—as the candy-coated bullet to see his poetry and ideas for social and political transformation reach the younger generation.

“The Ballad Of The Skeletons” with Philip Glass, Lenny Kaye, session guitarist David Mansfield, Marc Ribot and Paul McCartney (on organ, maracas and drums) was Ginsberg’s final 1996 release and in many ways, it’s probably the best of his recorded work. Even at nearly 8-minutes in length, the number never never gets dull—well with a backing band like that one…—as Ginsberg voices the lines of 66 skeletons representing American culture and hegemony. The poem was first published in the pages of The Nation in 1995.

From Club Sandwich N°81, Spring 1997:

Poet extraordinaire Allen Ginsberg is not only one of the most famous, prolific and profound exponents of his art, carving his name into the pantheon of the century’s best, he’s also a friend of Paul McCartney. Readers may recall seeing in a previous Club Sandwich (issue 76) a photograph of Allen and Paul together, on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Allen read a riveting new piece, The Ballad Of The Skeletons, while Paul – his surprise guest, whose unexpected appearance drew gasps, even from the “cool” crowd – vamped on electric guitar. During that same visit to England, Allen and Paul also worked together in Paul’s studio, cutting the definitive version of the piece that, at its fullest and in all its finery, extends to almost eight minutes. Paul contributed not only guitar but also drums, maracas and a Hammond organ passage. (Later still, other musicians Philip Glass, Lenny Kaye, Marc Ribot and David Mansfield also contributed.) The result is a four-track CD EP, issued shortly before Christmas in USA by Mercury Records, comprising this full piece, an edited version, a “clean” version and, finally, a new rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ that has no McCartney connection.

Last updated on June 16, 2020


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