CDP-580362 Off The Ground
Produced by Paul McCartney & Julian Mendelsohn
Released on February 2, 1993
UK CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #17 . . .
GOLD RECORD . . . PLATINUM RECORD (MEXICO)
Find it at GEMM
CDP-580362 cover
[high resolution scan]

H istorically, I’ve roused this disc from its sleep just to hear “Hope of Deliverance” and then slipped it back into bed. Sometimes I’d honor it with an encore of “The Lovers That Never Were” and “Peace In The Neighbourhood,” but that was the extent of my interest. It occurs to me now (at 3 in the morning) that I’ve done this a disservice. Off The Ground marked Paul’s first new disc in four years, unless you want to count Liverpool Oratorio (and you probably don’t). I wouldn’t call it a comeback, but you can’t in good conscience dismiss this album and tout Tug of War at the same time–-there’s not much that separates the two. You have the brilliant pop song that makes the hair stand up on your head (“Hope of Deliverance”), a return to the old haunts (“Golden Earth Girl,” which sounds a lot like “Warm And Beautiful”), the Carl Perkins-fashioned rave-up (“Get Out of My Way”), et cetera. As with Tug, the production on here is outstanding, this time courtesy of Paul and coproducer Julian Mendelsohn. Tasteful orchestration from Carl Davis and George Martin elevate the discussion accordingly, as does the continued songwriting collaboration with Elvis Costello on “Mistress And Maid” and “The Lovers That Never Were” (although Paul doesn’t really have the teeth to pull of Mistress). For some reason, Press To Play got under my skin sooner, but Off The Ground is hardly a step behind it in terms of entertainment and quality. Some may have expected more from the disc because of Paul’s increasingly infrequent releases, but anyone hoping for a McCartney disc to deliver more at this stage is probably off their rocker.

CDP-580362 inner gatefold CDP-580362 booklet back cover
CDP-580362 inner gatefold CDP-580362 booklet back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. OFF THE GROUND
  2. LOOKING FOR CHANGES
  3. HOPE OF DELIVERANCE
  4. MISTRESS AND MAID    (Paul McCartney/Declan Mac Manus)
  5. I OWE IT ALL TO YOU
  6. BIKER LIKE AN ICON
  7. PEACE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
  8. GOLDEN EARTH GIRL
  9. THE LOVERS THAT NEVER WERE    (Paul McCartney/Declan Mac Manus)
  10. GET OUT OF MY WAY
  11. WINEDARK OPEN SEA
  12. C'MON PEOPLE (including COSMICALLY CONSCIOUS at the end as a kind of hidden track)

    JPN bonus 3-inch CD single
  13. LONG LEATHER COAT
  14. KICKED AROUND NO MORE

    All songs written by Paul McCartney unless noted

CREDITS

PAUL McCARTNEY -- lead vocals, bass, electric, acoustic and Spanish guitars, piano, drums, mellotron, Wurlitzer, celeste, sitar, ocarina, congas, percussion, backing vocals, creative consultant
BLAIR CUNNINGHAM -- drums, percussion, congas, backing vocals
LINDA McCARTNEY -- second vocals, auto harp, celeste, Moog, harmonium, percussion, backing vocals, train whistle, band photography, creative consultant
ROBBIE McINTOSH -- electric, acoustic, Spanish and slide guitars, mandolin, backing vocals
HAMISH STUART -- second vocals, electric, acoustic, bass and 12 string guitars, piano, percussion, backing vocals
WIX WICKENS -- piano, clavinet, Hammond organ, accordion, drum programming, synthesiser, percussion, backing vocals
Carl Davis -- co-arranger and conductor (4,8) Davide Giovanini -- percussion (3)
Gordon Hunt -- oboe (8)
George Martin -- co-arranger and conductor (12)
The Midnight Horns -- horn section (10)
Susan Milan -- flute (8)
David Puttman -- percussion (3)
Maurice Ravalico -- percussion (3)
Bob Kraushaar -- engineer
Clive Arrowsmith -- cover photography
Eduardo Paolozzi -- centrefold collage
Olivier Rabb -- Biker Like An Icon painting
Aubrey Powell -- art director

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK February 2, 1993 Parlophone LP/CD/CS PCSD/CDPCSD/TCPCSD-125 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
US/CAN February 9, 1993 Capitol CD/CS CDP-5/C4-80362 lyric sleeve
US 1993 Capitol CDm 80362-8 MiniDisk
BRA/FRA/GRC 1993 Parlophone LP/CS 780362-1/4 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
COL 1993 EMI LP 11001523  
JPN 1993 EMI 2CD TOCP-7580 w. bonus CD single

 

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