The Paul McCartney Project

Flowers In The Dirt

By Paul McCartneyOfficial album• Part of the collection “Paul McCartney • Studio albums

Timeline See what happened in June 1989
UK release date:
Jun 05, 1989
US release date:
Jun 05, 1989
Sessions This album has been recorded during the following sessions

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Track list

Disc 1


1.

My Brave Face

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

3:19 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Harmonies, Lead vocal, Producer, Tambourine
Robbie McIntosh:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, Harmonies
Dave Bishop:
Saxophone
Chris Whitten:
Drums
Mitchell Froom:
Keyboards, Producer
David Rhodes:
Ebow guitar
Chris Davis:
Saxophone
Chris White:
Saxophone
Neil Dorfsman:
Engineer, Producer
Noel Harris:
Assistant mixing engineer

Session Recording:
October 1988
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Jan 28, 1989
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London


2.

Rough Ride

Written by Paul McCartney

4:44 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Drum overdubs, Guitar, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Synth
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Guitar, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 05, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 06, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


3.

You Want Her Too

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

3:13 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Guitars, Harmonies
Elvis Costello:
Intro keyboards, Producer, Second vocal
Mitchell Froom:
Keyboards, Producer
Chris Davis:
Saxophone
Neil Dorfsman:
Engineer, Producer
Chris Witten:
Drums, Percussion
Robert Niles:
End orchestration
Richard Niles:
End orchestration
Noel Harris:
Assistant mixing engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 01, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
October 1988
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Jan 16, 1989
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


4.

Distractions

Written by Paul McCartney

4:41 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmonies, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Solo guitar
Linda McCartney:
Harmonies
Hamish Stuart:
Acoustic guitar, Harmonies
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Neil Dorfsman:
Mixing
Chris Witten:
Drums, Percusson
Clare Fischer:
Orchestration
Arne Frager:
Engineer
Matt Butler:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
April - July 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
Nov 01, 1988
Studio:
Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK ?


5.

We Got Married

Written by Paul McCartney

4:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmonies, Lead vocal, Mexican guitar, Percussion, Producer, Tom overdub
Robbie McIntosh:
Acoustic guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Harmonies
David Gilmour:
Guitar
Dave Mattacks:
Drums
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Chris Witten:
Additional percussion
Jon Jacobs:
Engineer
David Foster:
Keyboards, Producer
Guy Barker:
Trumpet
Jon Kelly:
Engineer

Session Recording:
September - October 1984
Studio:
Location unknown

Session Overdubs:
June - July 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
September - November 1988
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios & AIR Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


6.

Put It There

Written by Paul McCartney

2:10 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Harmonies, Lead vocal, Orchestra lead, Orchestration, Percussion, Producer
Hamish Stuart:
Bass, Percussion
George Martin:
Orchestra lead, Orchestration
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Chris Witten:
Hi hat, Percussion
Peter Henderson:
Computer programming, Engineer
Lance Phillips:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
April - July 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK


7.

Figure Of Eight

Written by Paul McCartney

3:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Celeste, Electric guitar, Handclaps, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Handclaps, Mini moog
Chris Whitten:
Drums, Handclaps
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Steve Lipson:
Computer programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Handclaps, Keyboards, Producer

Session Recording:
December 21st-24th, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


8.

This One

Written by Paul McCartney

4:10 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Glasses, Harmonium, Keyboards, Producer, Sitar, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Electric guitar, Vocals
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Chris Whitten:
Drums, Percussion
Neil Dorfsman:
Mixing
Matt Butler:
Assistant engineer
Lance Phillips:
Assistant engineer, Glasses
Judd Lander:
Harmonica
Tessa Niles:
Backing vocals (?)

Session Recording:
April - July 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
September - November 1988
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK


9.

Don't Be Careless Love

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

3:19 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Bass, Finger snaps, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar, Tambourine
Chris Whitten:
Backing vocals, Drums
Elvis Costello:
Backing vocals, Keyboards, Producer
Mitchell Froom:
Keyboards, Producer
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Peter Henderson:
Engineer
Richard Moakes:
Assistant engineer
Tchad Blake:
Engineer

Session Recording:
January - February 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
September 1988
Studio:
Unknown location

Session Overdubs:
October 28th-29th, 1988
Studio:
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


10.

That Day Is Done

Written by Paul McCartney, Declan MacManus / Elvis Costello

4:20 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Producer, Vocals
Robbie McIntosh:
Electric guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Chris Whitten:
Drums, Tambourine
Elvis Costello:
Backing vocals, Producer
Mitchell Froom:
Keyboards, Producer
Neil Dorfsman:
Engineer, Producer
Peter Henderson:
Engineer
Nicky Hopkins:
Piano
John Taylor:
Horn
Tony Goddard:
Horn
Ian Peters:
Euphonium
Ian Harper:
Trumpet
Richard Moakes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
January - February 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Overdubs:
September - November 1988
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


11.

How Many People

Written by Paul McCartney

4:15 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Flugelhorn, Mellotron, Piano, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Vocals
Chris Whitten:
Backing vocals, Cymbals, Drums synth
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Steve Lipson:
Drum programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Backing vocals, Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer
Jab Bunny:
Percussion

Session Recording:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


12.

Motor Of Love

Written by Paul McCartney

6:25 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Greg Hawkes:
Keyboards
Chris Hughes:
Computer programming, Drums, Producer
Ross Cullum:
Engineer, Producer

Session Recording:
January 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989 ?
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


13.

Ou Est Le Soleil?

Written by Paul McCartney

4:54 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bongos, Drums, Electric guitar, Producer, Violin keyboard, Vocals, Woodsaw
Hamish Stuart:
Electric guitar
Chris Whitten:
Tom-toms
Eddie Klein:
Computer programming
Steve Lipson:
Bass, Computer and drum programming, Engineer, Keyboards, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Computered drums, Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Dec 10, 1988
Studio:
Sarm West Studios, London, UK

About

From Wikipedia:

Flowers in the Dirt is the eighth studio solo album by Paul McCartney, it was released in 1989 on Parlophone. Upon release, It was considered a major return to form for McCartney because he was embarking on his first world tour since the Wings Over the World tour in 1975–76. Flowers in the Dirt was also celebrated due to its musical quality, which earned McCartney some of his best reviews in years. The album gained number 1 status in the United Kingdom and Norway

The album was successful, and produced several hit singles (particularly the debut single “My Brave Face“).

Background and recording

After the meagre sales that greeted Press to Play, McCartney realised that he needed to work much harder on his follow-up. Thus, he not only teamed up with several different producers, but also spent the better part of 18 months perfecting Flowers in the Dirt. A highlight of the sessions was McCartney’s productive alliance with Elvis Costello, with whom he composed many new songs. McCartney greatly enjoyed the new partnership, even finding that Costello mirrored John Lennon in certain aspects of his personality. Costello would also appear on the album, even co-singing “You Want Her Too” with McCartney. Another celebrity guest included was his friend David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, who plays the guitar on “We Got Married“. On “Put It There“, McCartney used an old Buddy Holly trick, the knee-percussion, that McCartney recorded on the same day as the backing track.

Release

Knowing full well he intended to launch the biggest tour of his career thus far, McCartney also put together a regular band to take out on the road, and who would appear in various forms on Flowers in the Dirt. Hamish Stuart was best known for his tenure in Average White Band, while Robbie McIntosh had been a member of the Pretenders. Filling out the sound would be Chris Whitten on drums and Paul “Wix” Wickens joining McCartney’s wife Linda McCartney on keyboards.

Finally, early in 1989, the project was ready for release. In May, the Beatlesque “My Brave Face” was released as a single and promptly gave McCartney a US hit, reaching number 25, while reaching number 18 in the UK. In June, Flowers in the Dirt was released to high anticipation and immediately entered the UK charts at number 1, garnering very positive reviews from all around. In the US, the reaction was better than Press to Play, with the album reaching number 21, staying on the charts for a year and going gold, though it still sold beneath expectations. The second single, “This One“, also reached number 18 in the UK. The follow-ups “Figure of Eight“/”Où est le Soleil?” and “Put It There” would all be minor UK hits.

The Paul McCartney World Tour opened on 26 September 1989 and featured concerts in North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil until the following July.

The album cover artwork was photographed by Linda McCartney. The background canvas was painted by the British artist Brian Clarke, who was also responsible for designing stage backdrops for the world tour.

A limited-edition “World Tour Pack” of Flowers in the Dirt, sold in a facsimile trunk, was issued in Britain in October 1989, and America (with British catalogue numbers) in January 1990. The set included a bonus single of “Party Party” (mixed by Bruce Forest and released on a one-sided 7″ single in vinyl editions of the “World Tour Pack” and a 3″ CD-single in compact disc editions of the “World Tour Pack“). In March 1990, another limited edition of the album that featured a bonus disc was released exclusively in Japan and re-entered the country’s chart. A remastered CD was released in 1993.

Another reissue has been announced for release, as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection.

Critical reception

Reviewing for AllMusic, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote of the album: “Paul McCartney must not only have been conscious of his slipping commercial fortunes, he must have realized that his records hadn’t been treated seriously for years, so he decided to make a full-fledged comeback effort with Flowers in the Dirt.

Writing for Chicago Tribune, David Silverman wrote that the album was “a welcome, if not wholly fantastic, return from the fabbest of the Fab Four“. […]

Paul at a promotional shoot for the album ‘Flowers In The Dirt’, 1989. Photo by Peter Mountain

Last updated on March 18, 2017


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