From the Vault...


Paul McCartney
"Driving Rain"

© Capitol Records

Year of Release: 2001

track listing
  • Lonely Road
  • From A Lover
    To A Friend
  • She's Given Up Talking
  • Driving Rain
  • I Do
  • Tiny Bubble
  • Magic
  • Your Way
  • Spinning On An Axis
  • About You
  • Heather
  • Back In The
    Sunshine Again
  • Your Loving Flame
  • Riding Into Jaipur
  • Rinse The Raindrops
  • Freedom

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    Paul McCartney
    "Driving Rain"

    Sir Paul McCartney returns this week, with his 2001 release, Driving Rain. This album is a different album, than your usual Paul from his peak solo years. Although his best years were already behind him, McCartney still continues recording, and I don't think he was looking for another "hit record," yet his credit as a distinguished musician and songwriter still continues onward. Driving Rain is different, yet as the continuing years emerge, music does change, and Paul does take his music in his own direction.

    The opening track, "Lonely Road" shows a harder rock "road" for Paul. Even on the next track, "From A Lover To A Friend," what starts out as your common nice/soft ballad Paul, yet there's some roughness in Paul's voice here and there. Compared to "Lonely Road," "She's Given Up Talking" also brings Paul to that different "road"; another darker side to the usual Paul we're so used to.

    But then, we discover Paul is kind of going back to what we were used to. "Driving Rain" could be an album track to Paul McCartney & Wings, if they still existed in 2001. The soft sounding Paul is on "I Do," your "usual Paul." "Tiny Bubble" is also another good Paul tune, but there are others that are better. (Note: "Tiny Bubble" was remarkably similar to George Harrison's "Piggies." Yes, I can hear this similarity in the chorus of the song. It is not exactly that, to "Piggies," but yes, the similarity is there. And in going back and re-listening to this song to this similarity, "Tiny Bubble" gets more recognition that it deserves. It's a good song, and this song is better than others. Such as On "Magic," it is another good song, and this song does idenitfy as what Paul is known for. Paul is coming to age, and on "Your Way," this is "oh-so-Paul" -- Musically, it's in fine Paul form. Paul's voice does show for his age -- a little worn, but it's recognized as how we have known Paul.

    "Spinning On An Axis" was co-written by Paul and his son James, and it's different again than your usual Paul; an updated Paul McCartney with the times? More on that, follows. Read on...

    Then it's the moment we've all been waiting for -- "About You" -- YES! This is the Paul we're used to! This one works out extremely well. Definitely the "updated Paul." And it fits with the other "different than your usual Paul songs" throughout this album.

    "Heather" is another one of those "updated" songs for Paul. Musically, it's just sounds fantastic, as it is more of an instrumental Rock gem, with background singing, yet when the actual lyrics arrive towards the end of the song, it also works well. Another good update song for Paul.

    "Back In The Sunshine" was also co-written by Father & Son McCartney, as in "Spinning On An Axis." "Back In The Sunshine" is better than the "Axis" tune. And again, it's the updated Paul on this track, and it all works out well again. It has an almost blues feel to it. "Your Loving Flame" is another soft ballad by Paul, and this one is has Paul's name on it. It's way better than the other ballad-type songs on this album, and it's a another great updated Paul McCartney Rock ballad.

    "Riding Into Jaipur" has a George Harrison feel, with its Indian-sounding instrumentation and atmosphere. (George passed away in November, 2001; as was the release of Driving Rain). "Rinse The Raindrops" is a harder rock-styled track, and Paul's voice is in good range for the song's rock sound, and it's band instrumentation is a great jam. This song is definitely a stand-out, as it clocks in over 10 minutes in length.

    Although it was not listed in the song credits, the last track, "Freedom" was a last-minute addition for the album, as it is a "hidden track." "Freedom" was recorded live during The Concert For New York City with later studio overdubs. There are some coies of the CD that were issued with an outerbox and a different cover and the track listings featured "Freedom" a an official track. "Freedom" has a patriotic feel to it. One of those "stand up and cheer" songs. As this song does stand out for the live crowd; The Concert For New York City was a benefit concert, in response to the 9/11 attacks, that happened on September 11, 2001. Many famous musicians played at this concert, click here for the Wikipedia article.

    Paul McCartney's "Driving Rain" is one of those albums that starts out differently, a little rough around the edges. Yet towards the end, it gradually builds into an exceptional listen. Driving Rain will an album that will grow on you. Yet, the album's original closing song "Rinse The Raindrops" is a Rock powerhouse force to reckon with. (And interesting to point out, when you first hear "Rinse The Raindrops" -- doesn't it kind of sound like the intro to the song "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, from the 8 Mile movie/soundtrack? That movie was released the following year, 2002. So who is really credited for that opening riff? Paul, or Eminem?

    Paul McCartney still has it, he brings his own on each album. Driving Rain may not be one of his finest, compared to his other solo albums, yet it's Paul MCCartney; a remarkable musical artist, a member of The Beatles, where no other band or artist have come close (maybe Elvis, but that's it). Paul McCartney is still recording studio and live albums. His latest studio album was released in 2020, McCartney III, which was also remixed as McCartney III Imagined. What is also to mention, is that Paul has released 5 Classical albums, and 3 Electronic music albums, credited as The Fireman, with a musician by the name of Youth. Another electronic album (uncredited), was his 2000 album Liverpool Sound Collage. And for those who remember his 1971 album Ram (with wife Linda), it was redone as Ram instrumental album, entitled Thrillington in 1977. The album's artist name was Percy "Thrills" Thrillington, a pseudonym name Paul used for the album. Also to his credits is his 2012 album of big band jazz songs, Kisses On The Bottom. It reached #1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. Some of his solo/Wings albums reached #1 album on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart, and his most recent #1 on that chart was Egypt Station in 2018. At age 79, Paul is still going strong.

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