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Run Devil Run
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Digitally remastered edition of this 1999 album. Run Devil Run features covers of both familiar and obscure 1950s Rock `n' Roll songs, along with three new McCartney songs written in the same style. As his first project following first wife Linda's death in 1998, McCartney felt the need to get back to his roots and perform some of the music he loved as a teenager. Wanting to keep things fresh, he cut the album as quickly as possible in order to capture the excitement of a live-in-the-studio performance. The album features Pink Floyd's David Gilmour on guitar, Mick Green also on guitar, keyboardists Pete Wingfield and Geraint Watkins, and drummers Ian Paice (Deep Purple) and Dave Mattacks. McCartney, naturally, played bass although he did play electric guitar in some instances.
Whenever Paul McCartney's storied life has hit personal or professional hard times, he's wisely returned--figuratively and literally--to his musical foundations. In the Beatles' final, troubled days, it was Get Back, the aborted return-to-roots project salvaged as Let It Be, and during his late-80s solo doldrums it was the 1950s rave-up CHOBA B CCCP (a.k.a. the "Russian Album"). In the wake of Linda's passing, McCartney "gets back" to a motley dozen 50s hits, B-sides and obscurities and pens three surprising originals that neatly fit their mould. Using a band of seasoned British vets (including Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour and Mick Green from Johnny Kidd & the Pirates on guitars, and Deep Purple's Ian Paice on drums) whose own unbridled affection for this music radiates from every track, McCartney tackles the familiar (Gene Vincent's "Blue Jean Bop," Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up") and unfamiliar (the Vipers' skiffle hit "No Other Baby," Carl Perkins's "Movie Magg") alike with enthusiasm, if not slavish devotion (as witnessed by his nifty zydeco revamp of Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man"). The Mac originals "Try Not to Cry" and "What It Is" (and the choice of Ricky Nelson's "Lonesome Town") seem to deal not-so-obliquely with his love and loss, yet are delivered with an upbeat confidence that seem to belie his mourning. In the end, Run Devil Run may be as much personal exorcism as it is loving musical recapitulation, and McCartney is in peak vocal form throughout. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
This is definitely a self conscious recreation of Paul, but one driven by grief and an equally fierce drive to live on. Paul is often (and often fairly) criticized for being slack or sentimental but the overriding sensation on this album is tautness. The music here is sharp, and very hard. It's as if Paul was recreating the youth who learned to play 7 hours a night in a Hamburg red light Star Club dive - only now he has 40 years of professionalism and accomplishment at his beck and call.
This is music that jabs and slashes. It is tight and metallic. There is a raucusness, but the control with which it is wielded is almost offputting until you realize what is behind it.
The song "No Other Baby" brings it all home. Paul uses this old cover from his youth to remind us how powerful control can be. It would be hypnotic and captivating even if we didn't know about his loss, but Paul's vocals with their calculated mastery can make pauses and hiccups just as emotive as primal screams. If "No Other Baby" takes your breath away, you will not find easy resolution on this album, but you might be grateful that the next number (Lonesome Town) is one of the only two tunes on this disk that could be felt as "relaxed".
I think what offends many about Paul is the often obvious insincerity of some of his glibber efforts. It's here too, but this is the WOUND UP off-hand gumchewing Paul that slugged a reporter in the days after John Lennon died.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
To me, this is McCartney the way I like him. No silly love songs here, just high octane rock & roll. Read morePublished 23 months ago by bruce
Although most songs are not McCartney originals it is one of my favorite McCartney albums. The songs have a sixties style rock sound that can't be beat.Published on April 28 2011 by Ken Burkholder
When a mediocre artist goes back to his supposed roots, he's affording himself of superior material to his own. Read morePublished on June 21 2004 by .
With Linda's passing, Paul needed a project to throw himself into. Paul threw everything he had into this recording. Who knew he could still sing like this? Read morePublished on July 15 2003 by bob turnley
At first, this wasn't really one of my favortie solo McCartney albums, since all the songs but three were covers.As I listened to it more, though, I really got to like it. Read morePublished on June 15 2003
I'll admit that Paul was never my favorite Beatle. Far from it, in fact, but I always liked his music. However, this album is just badly put together. Read morePublished on March 25 2003 by Ringo
This is by far one of the best Paul McCartney's 50's Rock N' Roll CD ever. With David Gilmour playing awesome guitar, and Paul and the whole band just getting into some great old... Read morePublished on March 15 2003 by Diane L. Hessel
Quite an enjoyable album. Probably his best since "Band on the Run". Paul does a good energetic job on the 50's rockers. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2003 by John_999