CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4 Flaming Pie
Produced by Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, George Martin
Released on May 27, 1997
Find it at GEMM
CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4 cover
[high resolution scan]

I t’s been raining all day, but I’m fortified by a cup of strong tea, wrapped in the warm sounds of Flaming Pie like a favorite blanket. Every time I listen to this disc, it wraps a little tighter around me. At the moment, I’m convinced that even the silly “Flaming Pie” is a great song, and it reminds me that Paul McCartney’s best albums have a way of charming your brain of its senses. Remember the way “You Gave Me The Answer” or “Long Haired Lady” seemed to arrive after you were sure you were sated with the sweet stuff, and it just made a fine moment perfect? Well, it happens here on “Heaven on a Sunday,” and that hasn’t happened in a long time on a Paul McCartney album. Much was made at the time of The Beatles’ Anthology series and how the history lesson awakened the sleeping giant, but I’m not having any of it. There’s nothing in “If You Wanna” or “Young Boy” that wasn’t also there for Londontown and Off The Ground. There is merit in the less-is-more approach, however, since it reveals the melodies that have always been at the heart of McCartney’s muse. Suggesting that this is a return to Paul’s work with The Beatles would be a disservice to listeners, since that reference point is no longer on the map. Better to point to the more direct moments of Band on the Run or Tug of War; that’s what Flaming Pie reminds me of. It’s interesting that Jeff Lynne, who gilded the work of George and Ringo with a heavy hand, shows so much restraint here. The production isn’t minimal on Flaming Pie, it’s transparent. Of course the material is very good, capably played and multitracked with help from Lynne and Steve Miller. (Compare this to McCartney II and you’ll see the strides that Paul has made in the medium of multitracking.) “Beautiful Night” comes closest to invoking the old Beatles magic (and, yes, Ringo really is the world’s best drummer), shaped in the mould of masterworks like “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “Fool On The Hill.” I could tell you that this is Paul’s best album since Tug of War, make you feel like The Beatles were back on Earth for a moment, but that’s hyperbole and beside the point. What I can tell you is that, for the sixty minutes since I put this disc in my CD player, I’d have sworn it was sunny outside.

CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4 lyric gatefold CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4 back cover
CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4 lyric gatefold CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4 back cover


  2. THE WORLD TONIGHT    4:03
  3. IF YOU WANNA    4:36
  4. SOMEDAYS    4:11
  5. YOUNG BOY    3:54
  6. CALICO SKIES    2:29
  7. FLAMING PIE    2:27
  8. HEAVEN ON A SUNDAY    4:26
  9. USED TO BE BAD    (Steve Miller/Paul McCartney)    4:08
  10. SOUVENIR    3:38
  11. LITTLE WILLOW    2:55
  12. REALLY LOVE YOU    (Paul McCartney/Richard Starkey)    5:14
  13. BEAUTIFUL NIGHT    5:03
  14. GREAT DAY    2:06

    All songs written by Paul McCartney unless noted


PAUL McCARTNEY -- lead vocal, harmony vocal, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, double bass, harmonium, drums, piano, percussion, 12 string acoustic guitar, Spanish guitar, Hammond organ, knee slap/percussion, Fender Rhodes, harpsichord, vibraphone, mellotron, percussion effects, Wurlitzer piano
JEFF LYNNE -- harmony vocal, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, electric spinette harpsichord
Dave Bishop -- baritone saxophone
Chris "Snake" Davis -- saxophone
James McCartney -- electric guitar solo (8)
Linda McCartney -- backing vocals, all photography
Steve Miller -- backing vocal, electric guitar, rhythm guitar, lead vocal
George Martin -- orchestration
Kevin Robinson -- trumpet
David Snell -- conductor
Ringo Starr -- drums, backing vocal, additional percussion
Keith Pascoe, Jackie Hartley, Rita Manning, Peter Manning, Marcia Crawford, Adrian Levine, Belinda Bunt, Bernard Partridge, David Woodcock, Roger Garland, Julian Tear, Briony Shaw, Jeremy Williams, David Ogden, Bogustav Kostecki, Maciej Rakowski, Jonathan Rees -- violin
Christian Kampen, Martin Loveday, Anthony Pleeth, Stephen Otron, Robert Bailey -- cello
Peter Lale, Levine Andrade, Robert Smissen, Stephen Tees, Philip Dukes, Ivo Van Der Werff, Graeme Scott -- viola
Andy Findon -- alto flute
Martin Parry, Michael Cox, Susan Milan -- flute
Gary Kettel -- percussion
Skaila Kanga -- harp
Roy Carter, David Theodore -- oboe/cor anglais
Michael Thompson, Richard Bissill, Richard Watkins, John Pigneguy, Nigel Black -- french horn/horns
John Barclay, Andrew Crowley, Mark Bennett -- trumpet
Richard Edwards, Andy Fawbert -- trombone
Chris Laurencem, Robin McGee -- double bass
Geoff Emerick -- engineer
Jon Jacobs -- engineer
Bob Kraushaar -- engineer
Marc Mann -- digital sequencing
Mark Lewisohn, Geoff Baker -- sleevenotes
The Team -- design

UK May 27, 1997 MPL CD CDPCSD171  
US May 27, 1997 Capitol CD/CS 56500 lyric sleeve
EUR 1997 Parlophone CD 57523  
JPN 1997 EMI/Toshiba CD TOCP-50200  


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