Personnel includes: Paul McCartney (vocals, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars, electric guitar, Spanish guitar, piano, Wurlitzer piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Mellotron, Hammond organ, harpsichord, harmonium, vibraphone, acoustic & electric basses, drums, percussion); Steve Miller (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Jeff Lynne (acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, electric harpischord, background vocals); James McCartney (electric guitar); Chris "Snake" Davis (saxophone); Dave Bishop (baritone saxophone); Kevin Robinson (trumpet); Michael Thompson, Richard Bissill, Richard Watkins, John Pigneguy (French horn); Ringo Starr (drums, percussion, background vocals); Linda McCartney (background vocals).
Producers: George Martin, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney.
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Jon Jacobs, Bob Kraushaar.
Includes liner notes by Paul McCartney, Mark Lewisohn and Geoff Baker.
FLAMING PIE was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Album Of The Year.
Explaining how the Beatles got their name, John Lennon once wrote, "A Man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them 'From this day on, you are Beatles with an 'A.'" Paul McCartney obviously has the Beatles on his mind on his first album since the BEATLES ANTHOLOGY blitz, and, as the title suggests, he's also keeping a healthy sense of humor about it. The songs on FLAMING PIE include a couple of quintessential Paul love ballads; some perky, Everly Brothers-style pop-rock; a stab at Aretha Franklin soul balladry of the sort the Beatles might well have tried in their later days; a screaming R&B throwaway that emerged from a jam with Ringo Starr; and, what the heck, a Texas blues number that features Paul and not-even-close-to-a-Beatle Steve Miller trading vocal lines. Some tunes feature Paul solo; others find him and Beatles disciple Jeff Lynne sharing the instruments and production. A couple add sweet orchestrations by Beatles producer George Martin, and one features Paul's son James on lead guitar.
It's a little bitta this and a little bitta that--sometimes silly, as on the title cut, which is a barrage of John Lennonesque nonsense lines, and sometimes touching, as on the acoustic love ballads "Somedays" and "Calico Skies." The former faintly echoes the melody of the Beatles' "For No One"; the latter is as unabashed (and un-silly) a love song as McCartney has ever written.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (6/26/97, p.54) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...Musically, the album is sparer than McCartney's recent efforts. Jeff Lynne and George Martin are sensitive collaborators in their co-productions with the singer....finds McCartney grappling with history, both personal and public, in intriguing ways..."
Q (1/98, p.113) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."
Q (6/97, p.130) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...FLAMING PIE isn't the work of a careerist looking over his shoulder or worrying about his reputation, it's the sound of a pop genius remembering that his primary gift is that of an instinctive simplicity..."
- Song We Were Singing, The
- World Tonight, The
- If You Wanna
- Young Boy
- Calico Skies
- Flaming Pie
- Heaven On A Sunday
- Used To Be Bad
- Little Willow
- Really Love You
- Beautiful Night
- Great Day