Sunday, 3 June 2018
Paul McCartney - Tug Of War (1982)
Released April 1982
Recorded in London and Montserrat
From 1982, this has been one of McCartney's albums I have not paid too much attention to, to be honest (compared to "Band On The Run", Red Rose Speedway", "Wild Life" or "Venus And Mars", which I know far better). So, I am giving this new remaster a chance to get myself reacquainted with it.
Firstly, I have to concur, unfortunately, with some of my fellow reviewers regarding the sound quality of this particular remaster. While "Band" and "Venus" were excellent remasters, I have to say both this, and "Ram", have been remastered too harshly for my personal taste. A bit tinny, I find. Nowhere near the bassy warmth that "Venus" has, for example.
As for the music, the title track is an orchestrated opener that ends as a rock ballad. "Take It Away" is an immensely catchy singalong pop song of the highest quality. The first duet with Stevie Wonder, "What's That You're Doing?" is six minutes of funky brilliance. Strange to hear McCartney diversifying like this, but enjoyable. The second one, "Ebony And Ivory" is well-known to everyone, and, despite the cliched lyrics, their hearts were in the right place, so let the criticism go, eh?
"Here Today" written to the recently-departed John Lennon (this was McCartney's first album since Lennon's murder) is as sad as one would expect. "Ballroom Dancing", the start of the old "side two" is a suitably upbeat, fun, mood changer. "The Pound Is Sinking" is a catchy ditty about the world's money markets and gets a bit silly in its pompous vocal delivery at times. Typical McCartney, "mannerisms" indeed. This is one that is spoiled by the tinny, trebly sound.
"Wanderlust", however, is just a beautiful song. Nicely orchestrated and impressively sung. The duet with Carl Perkins, "Get It" is enjoyable in a 1950s sort of way. Nice bass on this one. "Dress Me Up As A Robber" sees McCartney in falsetto vocal style, this also has a nice bass sound and an appealing upbeat tune. Some nice Spanish guitar too, as indeed there is on the lovely, laid-back "Somebody Who Cares", a typical slow, thoughtful McCartney number.