Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paul McCartney - Give My Regards to Broad Street

Today (October 22nd) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Give My Regards to Broad Street, the soundtrack album to the film of the same name starring Paul McCartney. While the film did not fare well, the album was big across the globe. It went to number 25 in Germany and New Zealand, number 24 in the Netherlands, number 23 in Canada, number 21 on the US Billboard Album chart (with eighteen weeks total on the chart), number 15 in Italy, number 10 in Australia, number 9 in Sweden, number 6 in Japan, number 4 in Norway and Spain, and number 1 in the UK.

Side one begins with the ballad version of “No More Lonely Nights”. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd plays lead guitar on the track. As a single, it went to number 30 in Germany, number 19 in New Zealand, number 11 in Canada, number 9 in Australia, number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 in the UK and on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

“Good Day Sunshine” is a new take on the song from the Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver. I prefer the vocal harmonies on the original.

A nineteen second instrumental called “Corridor Music” follows.

“Yesterday” is a new version from the Beatles’ 1965 album Help!. This version has a bit of an echoing sound to it vocally that gives it a very distant feel. The backing orchestration is also lighter and loftier.

“Here, There and Everywhere” also first appeared on Revolver.

Next up are versions of two tracks from McCartney’s 1982 album Tug of War - “Wanderlust” and “Ballroom Dancing”.

The side closes with a version of the 1976 hit “Silly Love Songs”, from Wings at the Speed of Sound. The lead guitar riff here gives the verses just enough difference to make it stand out.

Side two of the vinyl starts with a synth heavy “Silly Love Songs (reprise)”, to tie the two halves together. When this album shifted to CD, it ends up being kind of redundant.

“Not Such a Bad Boy” is the second original song from the film. With the help of Dave Edmunds, it mixes classic rock with a then-current sound. It is good, but not great.

The final original “No Values” is next, followed by a thirteen second “No More Lonely Nights (Ballad/Reprise)”.

Another trio of songs from Revolver are next. “For No One”, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Eleanor’s Dream” (the original version of “Eleanor Rigby”). The elements that the latter adds in are kind of interesting to me, since I was always a fan of “Rigby” from as far back as my childhood. Something about the sadness she kept to herself really spoke to me. It still does.

1970’s Let It Be was the source of the original version of “The Long and Winding Road”. Here we get a jazzy, lounge remake.

The vinyl album ends with “No More Lonely Nights (Playout Version)”. I guess when you have a new song that you predicate will be such a hit, you want to make the most of it. This version is more up-tempo and adds in a strong synth line.

The cassette version included a version of “So Bad” from McCartney’s 1983 album Pipes of Peace and “Goodnight Princess”. The 1993 CD version included both of those and also added two additional tracks – an eight minute extended version of “No More Lonely Nights” and a shorter four twenty one dance mix of the song. For true fans, I would strongly recommend getting the CD version for the most bang for your buck.

Outside of the lead single, I had not heard the rest of Give My Regards to Broad Street before. Sure, I knew the songs included by not the specific versions that came out of the film. I also have not seen the film. Even so, this collection shows a nice sample of the many songs in McCartney’s catalog. Most people can surely find a favorite or two among the collection.

For more Paul McCartney, click here.

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