||From the Vault...
"Off The Ground"
© Capitol Records
Year of Release: 1993
Off The Ground
Hope Of Deliverance
Mistress And Maid
I Owe It All To You
Bike Like An Icon
Peace In The Neighbourhood
Golden Earth Girl
The Lovers That
Get Out Of My Way
Winedark Open Sea
Paul McCartney related sites:
"Off The Ground"
Last week, the Beatles "fifth member,"
Billy Preston was our album pick of the week, with his "The Best"
compilation. This week, it's a coincidence that one of the Fab Four gets the nod for review -- Sir Paul McCartney. He returns with what maybe
classified as one of his lesser-known (or not as popular) albums -- 1993's Off The Ground. It was the follow-up to his Flowers In The Dirt,
which was much popular. Although there were single releases from Off The Ground, they weren't as memorable, and not as popular. "My Brave Face"
was the most remembered from Flowers. And, as reported from the Off The Ground Wikipedia page, "Hope Of Deliverance" seemed to be the
most popular, it just didn't ring those memory bells as I listened to this album for review.
Billy Preston. His music may or may not have been long and extensive as others, but he did accomplish some great songs that would reach #1 on the
Billboard singles chart: Two songs in particular, "Will It Go Round In Circles" and "NOthing From Nothing." As a "Beatle" he was
best known as the keyboardist on the Let It Be sessions. Most importanly, the piano player on "Get Back." He would later appear in the
movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (based on the Beatles album, and starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton). Preston's version of
this Beatles classic is on this compilation, assuming it was from the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack.
It begins with the title track, and yet it does sound like a very different familiar sounding McCartney tune. Then there are the typical-sounding
McCartney'ish tunes, such as "Looking For Changes." "Mistress and Maid" has an early 1970s solo Paul sound. "I Owe It All To You"
is a nice and peaceful song, just as Paul would normally compose it.
"Biker Like An Icon" is just an "ok" tune, whereas "Peace In The Neighbourhood" has a nice Pop sound. The piano intro of "Golden Earth
Girl" may sound familar to another Paul solo song -- "Baby I'm Amazed"; where the rest of the tune is familiar to Paul's song he wrote for
John Lennon, after he died, from his Tug of War album, "Here Today."
For Paul McCartney fans familar with his music, the sound of "The Lovers That Never Were" is recognizable as a "Paul song" with it's style.
"Get Out Of My Way" is considered the "rocking song," compared to the other tracks. "Winedark Open Sea" is a laid back tune, and another
just "ok" tune. Likewise "ok" for "C'mon People." There is a hidden track after "C'mon People." A short little excerpt from the song
"Cosmically Conscious," that was originally written in 1968 during the Beatles' stay in Rishikesh, India, where they were visiting with
Off The Ground is basically a mediocre album by Paul. It's not a bad album, nor is it a great album. They tracks are good, and easily
recognizable for the Paul fans. However, McCartney was interest in more social issues. Such as with the anti-animal cruelty "Looking For Changes."
Another issue, paens for a better world on "Hope Of Deliverance" and "C'mon People." One track that did not make the original album tracks
was "Big Boys Bickering" where Paul used cuss words, which was so unfamilar in his songs. "Long Leather Coat" was another track that didn't
make the original track list, which was a protest song. Another one was "I Can't Imagine." Most of these songs were B-sides to the singles
released from the album. These B-sides (as well as previous B-sides from Paul were unreleased tracks.) These songs and more (with the complete
"Cosmically Conscious" are found on the Off The Ground: The Complete Works album. The four singles from this album were: "Hope
Of Deliverance," "C'mon People," "Off The Ground," "Biker Like An Icon." A note on "C'mon People" -- it was only a released single in the UK.
Sir Paul McCartney has always released good-to-excellent albums. Of course, some albums are better than others. Off The Ground has its moments,
yet it is not considered a better album, in comparing to his previous releases.
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