Monday, 3 September 2018

Paul McCartney - Run Devil Run (1999)


  

Released October 1999

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London

This was Paul McCartney's equivalent of John Lennon's "Rock And Roll". He enthusiastically revisits his favourite rock 'n' roll songs, pretty convincingly.

Gene Vincent's "Blue Jean Bop" is an excellent, lively opener, full of vogue and a great bass sound. "She Said Yeah", most famously covered in the mid sixties by The Rolling Stones, sounds strangely muffled, it has to be said, as if it needs turning up. It is odd, because the next track, Elvis's "All Shook Up" sees a return to a normal volume level and a clarity of sound. McCartney rocks it up on this one, with another throbbing bass run and an excellent vocal. He continues the all-out rock vocal attack on his own composition, the rocking "Run Devil Run" which sounds just as if it were from the late fifties anyway. A lot of this album's tracks are relatively obscure covers, as opposed to "All Shook Up"-type tracks. A classic example is The Vipers' rumbling "No Other Baby", which has an air of some of Bruce Springsteen's contemporary material to it, in places. Ricky Nelson's "Lonesome Town" is sung in a typical late fifties/early sixties slow rock 'n' roll style, with echoes of The Beatles' "Oh! Darling".

"Try Not To Cry" is another McCartney original - a mid-paced bluesy rocker, while "Movie Magg" is an obscure Carl Perkins country song given a contemporary makeover, with some impressive guitar in the middle. Chuck Berry/Buddy Holly's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" also sounds a bit country, with some Cajun-style accordion. It is actually far less rocking than Holly's version, with a definite Cajun shuffle to it. "Why It Is" is the last of three McCartney songs and it is an upbeat, infectious number. All the self-penned tracks sound completely authentic to the era and suit the album perfectly.

"Coquette" is a rare Fats Domino 'b' side and has the slow piano-driven bluesy sound that he made his own. Elvis' obscure "I Got Stung" is given a full-on vocal and musical attack. McCartney's enthusiasm in recording this stuff comes across loud and clear. Big Joe Turner's "Honey Hush" was also covered by Elvis Costello on "Almost Blue". It is given a suitably big, bluesy rocking feel here too. Faye Adams' "Shake A Hand" is a slice of rock 'n roll blues and, although its production here is a bit cloudy, it still has a powerful bluesy feel to it. The album closes with a punky, breakneck version of Elvis's "Party". Great stuff.

This is a good album. Sooner this than more messing around with Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder anyway. McCartney revisits his roots, successfully.

B-

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