By 1985, Paul McCartney is lost. The critical and commercial bomb of Give My Regards to Broad Street severely shook his confidence. Paul jumps right back in the studio to record his “comeback album” with then in-vogue producer Hugh Padgham (Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, The Police) to turn in Press to Play in 1986. This eccentric “high 80s” album scored a few slightly successful singles including the featherweight “Press” and the #1 smash hit “Spies Like Us” for the John Landis movie of the same name. Love it or hate it, we’re here to talk about it. One of the album’s B-sides says it best: “It’s got me confused, I’m split down the middle. Conflicting reviews of our life coming in. It’s tough on a tightrope.” Tune in to find if it’s (not) true.
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“Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun”
“Talk More Talk”
“Only Love Remains”
“Pretty Little Head”
“Move Over Busker”
“It’s Not True”
“Tough on a Tightrope”
“Spies Like Us”
“Simple As That”
“Yvonne’s The One”
“Let It Be (Live Aid 7/13/1985)”
Here is how I feel about the song “Press” –
It’s like an old lover whom I know I can’t be with, who is bad for me in every way, yet I continue to be drawn to because she is so damn sexy and knows exactly what I like.
On the one hand I despise the song (more on this later)… on the other, as a Paul fan, I love it and listen to it if it comes up in rotation, and was giddy when it was first released. But I know its garbage. But its so Paul.
I despise it because it was the first single and did such a poor job of representing the album – the 45 mix of “It’s Not True”, the long version of “Feel the Sun” , “Only Love Remains” – or the best song from the P2P sessions… “Yvonne” – Yvonne would have been a top 5 hit.
Anyway… Because I’m a sucker for Macca, I like the song.
Love the album, love the podcast. Well done for contextualising this LP. The only thing I do not like is the sax on the album opener.
“Press” is marvelous – a silly sex song for Linda – and y’all are mad. Much better than “My Love” and “Ebony and Ivory.” Deliberate whimsy >>>> failed profundity. Tell me to press!