Driving Rain (2001)

Album Cover


DRIVING RAIN was recorded and mixed over two sessions totalling five weeks in February and June 2001 at The Henson Studios, Los Angeles. During the initial two weeks in February, Paul and the band - who had never even met before, let alone played together - recorded 18 tracks from which the album was made.
DRIVING RAIN
is the first studio of fresh Paul McCartney songs since the 1997 release of 'FLAMING PIE'. This new album doesn't ressemble any previous record composed by Paul. It's full of new sounds, new rhythms, new atmospheres... and this Macca's exploration of new areas results in a wonderful masterpiece which is one of his best.

All Tracks Performed By:
Paul McCartney (vocals, bass guitar, guitars, piano)
Rusty Anderson (guitars, backing vocals)
Abe Loboriel Jnr (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Gabe Dixon (keyboards, backing vocals)
Additional Musicians:
James McCartney (percussion/track 9, guitar/track 12)
Ralph Morrison (violin/track 11)
David Campbell, Matt Funes,
Joel Derouin, Larry Corbett (string quartet/track 13)

All tracks composed by Paul McCartney, except tracks 9 & 12 composed by Paul McCartney & James McCartney.
Produced by:
David Kahne and Paul McCartney


Paul McCartney chose David Kahne, who already worked with both Tony Bennett and Sugar Ray, to produce the album after asking staff in his New York office to supply him with CDs of possible producers. 
Paul mcCartney :"I listened to them all on a journey going up north, which is a good six hours in the car, and the one I liked best was this David Kahne which seemed like the kind of music I wanted to make - a little bit adventurous but not too pop. We worked very civilised hours, 11.30 in the morning until 6.30. 'That's it Dave we're going out'. We just left him (working) until 3 in the morning."

David Kahne:
"It was all very spontaneous. There were no rehearsals. He just brought the songs in and we started playing them. Basically, he'd show us a song on the acoustic guitar and we'd learn it. He wanted to do it very much in the way the Beatles used to record. Ringo and George never really heard the songs before the Beatles recorded them. So we just did it on the fly starting the first day."

 

 
Lonely Road    (3'16)
Recorded on 16th February 2001
Paul:
Abe:  
Rusty:  
Gabe: David:  
Hofner bass, Martin acoustic guitar, Epiphone electric guitar, vocal
drums, tambourine
Gibson SG electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, Gibson acoustic
Wurlitzer electric piano
Roland organ
Unsurprisingly, Driving Rain is heavily influenced by both the death of Paul's beloved wife Linda and his new relationship with Heather Mills whom he got engaged to earlier this year. 

The album opens to the mournful strains of Lonely Road, which begins: 
" I tried to get over you/ I tried to find something new/ But all I could do/ Was fill my time/ With thoughts of you."

The track is a stiff-upper-lip song about perseverance that gets the album off to promising start, his sound toughening up, then the end of the song sliding into a hymnlike ballad.

Lonely Road could be the best of his new tunes. With this song, Paul revisits that same emotional terrain he had already visited when making Run Devil Run, giving Lonely Road a bite that becomes a frenzied growl by song's end.

Lonely Road : a song we'd really like to hear live ! 

 
From A Lover To A Friend    (3'48)
Recorded on 20th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
piano, Hofner bass, vocal
drums
12-string electric guitar with capo, pedal steel guitar, Gibson acoustic
piano

Tribute To Linda McCartney Concert

This song is the first single from the DRIVING RAIN album and will probably be the earnest of all tracks, although Lonely Road would have also been an excellent choice for a first single release. 
From A Lover To A Friend
is a touching and melancholic tune which looks ahead with hymnlike wonder tempered by anxiety. It was first intended to appear in the upcoming Tom Cruise film, "Vanilla Sky."

Paul's composition echoes one of McCartney's favorite songs, Brian Wilson's Beach Boys classic God Only Knows.  

It has also been seen by many as a song to his late wife about his new relationship with Heather. "From a lover to a friend, let me love again," it pleads, although McCartney tells he did not write it with that in mind.

Paul McCartney: "It could have been subconscious. Only years later it was suggested 'Yesterday' could have been written about my dead mother."
 
She's Given Up Talking    (4'57)
Recorded on 17th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
David:
Martin acoustic guitar, Hofner bass (fuzz), drums (Ludwig kit), lead vocal
Roland Handsonic electronic percussion
Gibson SG electric guitar (Leslie pedal)
Hammond organ
Electric guitar

This is a strange song which starts whith an acoustic guitar's arpeggio. Then a slide guitar rushes in, a sound which reminds Dave Gilmour's one. 

In a few points, it's really "obscured by clouds"resulting in a heavy atmosphere. It's a very particular and interesting song. 

Paul McCartney: "She's Given Up Talking was about someone I 
know whose kid had gone to school and wouldn't talk all day that she was in school. For a year she wouldn't talk at school and his idea of her giving up talking seemed like a good title to me. I wrote the song a couple of years ago; when I was on holiday in Jamaica and remembered this story of this girl who wouldn't talk to the teachers or anything - which I ended up thinking that was a pretty good strategy for school, I wish I'd have thought of that. Of course I would have just got caned, they were wise to that kind of shit, my school."
September 4th, 2001
 
Driving Rain    (3'27)
Recorded on 27th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
David:
Martin acoustic guitar, Hofner bass, vocal
his own drums, Paul's Ludwig drums
Gibson 12-string guitar, Dan Electro electric guitar
Wurlitzer electric piano
Synthesizers

McCartney's bass-line percolates throughout the next snappy title, Driving Rain, on which Paul deals once again with getting over his wife's death and entering a new relationship with his current fiance, Heather Mills.The song was written during the recording in LA. in February and it was raining endlessly at the time.
Paul McCartney: "We had this one day off while we were
 recording, and it rained a lot in February in L.A. But we didn't mind because it was still nice. So I hired a little black Corvette, which is one of my little perks. I was enjoying myself driving around....Heather and I took off up the Pacific Coast High way past Malibu, in the rain..... And we got back to the studio and said, "Wov, we had a great day yesterday"... So after this lovely day, this very free day, I was playing the piano in the evening. I kind of did this song, which was Driving Rain. And I started off quite sort of low and ballady. By the time I got into the studio we started moving. I ended up singing it up the octave and it got a bit faster and we redid the drums. And so it's really nice. It's a bit of a driving song".
 
I Do   (2'56)
Recorded on 17th February 2001, mixed by David Leonard
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
David:
Martin acoustic guitar, Hofner bass, lead vocal
Paul's Ludwig drum kit, tambourine
Gibson SG electric guitar
Piano
orchestral samples 

Like
Lonely Road and About You, this song was written during Paul and Heather's vacation in India/Goa, January 2001.  

Paul McCartney:

"It was one of those 'if you only knew' 
songs, like just talking to someone; 'if you only knew, that it's OK from my side'. It's like a communicative statement to someone - 'whatever you think at any given time, remember this - I do'. Like I may be goofing off but essentially I wrote this song to say it's OK. That was another afternoon in Goa song; my three little Goaers. As I said I started singing it low but then, as a vocal trick to kick the song along in the second verse, I found I could actually easily lift it an octave and a nice little moment happened that I like on this song, when I'm catching my breath in order to go up the octave. It's a little signature thing that happened which I didn't mean to happen, but it's good that there are those little accidents."
 
Tiny Bubble    (4'21)
Recorded on 25th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
Fender Rhodes, Hofner bass, Epiphone electric guitar, vocal
DW drum kit
Gibson 335 electric guitar, Dan Electro electric guitar
Hammond organ

This is one of my favourites tracks on this album, a fresh ballad with a jazzy atmosphere and a nice melody.

Paul McCartney:

"
Tiny Bubble was a demo that I made
up at my little studio in Scotland. It was just a stream of consciousness thing about all the world's a tiny bubble. It started as a bit more ballady, but as happened with a few of the songs when you bring them to a band, as now you've got a drummer they hip up a bit. So this one went more towards Al Green or something and on the record we've left in a few of the rough edges, a few of the studio noises, which makes for a good sort of atmosphere. We hadn't tried to tidy this album up too much, it's still got a sort of raw freshness to it."
 
Magic   (3'58)
Recorded on 25th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
David:
Epiphone electric guitar, Martin acoustic guitar, Hofner bass, vocal
Paul's Ludwig drum kit
Gibson SG electric guitar, Martin acoustic guitar
Fender Rhodes
Synthesizer 

Then
Magic arrives, a poignant farewell to Linda McCartney that describes not her final days, but how she and her future husband first met. A very melodic song that
looks back in poignant reverie. Probably my favourite track on this album.

Paul McCartney:

"This was basically the first night I met 
Linda in the Sixties. It was the first night we heard 'Whiter Shade Of Pale', so you can tell how long ago that was, and we met in a club and she had been taking pictures of The Animals and we were watching Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. As she was leaving I said to her 'My name is Paul. What's yours?' and I thought I can't believe I said that. Years later I said to the kids 'If I hadn't done that you wouldn't be here'."
 
Your Way    (2'55)
Recorded on 18th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
Fender Rhodes, Hofner bass, Epiphone electric guitar, vocal
DW drum kit
Gibson 335 electric guitar, Dan Electro electric guitar
Hammond organ

This sweet acoustic track features a catchy tune on a pleasant country music background.

Paul McCartney:

"
Your Way was a song that I wrote
at the same time as I wrote She's Given Up Talking, on holiday in Jamaica. It's got a little country feel to it; it's the first song with which we tried harmonies with the guys in the band and the nice thing about the guys is they can all sing. That was a real good bonus for me. It's another one of those that goes up the octave, so in a way it's a bit like two sides of a personality singing to each other, like a man and a woman - 'I like it, please don't take my heart away. It's happy, where it is, so let it stay'."
 
Spinning On An Axis    (5'16)
Recorded on 21st February 2001
Paul:
Abe:  
Rusty:  
Gabe:  
David:
James:
 
Rickenbacker bass, Martin acoustic guitar, Epiphone electric guitar, percussion, vocal
drums, Roland Handsonic, percussion
Danelectro electric guitar,
Martin acoustic guitar, percussion
percussion
Wurlitzer piano
percussion
This is the first published song which Paul wrote with his son James, who by the way played guitar on Paul's Flaming Pie album. Spinning On An Axis drifts lazily on philosophical lyrics and on a surprising rhythm reminiscent of rap style.

Paul McCartney:
" I was sitting in New Hampshire, visiting American relatives. The sun was going down and me and James, my son, were talking about how the sun actually isn't going down, we're turning around away from it. We had a little keyboard thing there and James was playing a little riff on it and I was doing a parody rap thing, just goofing off with no real melody, on those thoughts of spinning on an axis. I had my little cassette with me and I happened to tape that as a little reminder. "

 
About You    (2'54)
Recorded on 16th February 2001
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
Pignose electric guitar, vocal
Paul's Ludwig drum kit
Gibson 12-string electric guitar, Vox bass guitar
Wurlitzer piano, Hammond organ

Next comes this strong rock piece with short lyrics and a sharp rhythm on electric guitar. Paul at his best in his rocker's suit. The kind of song we would all like to hear performed live by Paul on stage.

Tribute To Linda McCartney Concert


Paul McCartney:
"About You was written in India, in Goa. We had such a relaxing start to an Indian holiday which was at the beginning of 2001. It was exciting, I hadn't been back to India since the Mararishi days, which was 25 years or so ago. It was great to look around a bit more; I'd only seen Rishikesh, north of Delhi, before. We started off in Goa, relaxed beach time, and one afternoon I wrote About You on a little travel guitar I've got which has it's own amp in it. I picked some words out for the song after seeing a copy of The India Times which was lying around."
 
Heather   (3'25)
Recorded on 2nd March 2001 (uses Paul's demo recorded before the session...)
Paul:
Abe:  
Rusty:  
Gabe: 
David:
Ralph:
 
piano, electric & acoustic & bass guitar, vocal
Paul's Ludwig drums
backing vocals
backing vocals
sampled strings
violin
This is mostly an instrumental song written by Paul for his new love, "his queen of his heart". The tune is very touching and gives you the shivers. For longtime fans, the tune is likely to recall an earlier ode, The Lovely Linda

Paul McCartney:
" There's a funny story about this track. It actually came about early one morning. I'd got up and was just jamming on the piano and Heather, who doesn't know all of The Beatles songs because she's young, said 'That's great - which Beatles song is that?'. I said 'It's not, I'm just making it up'. And she's like 'What? Now? Making it up now?' Yeah. Suddenly she's saying 'Get it down! You've got to get that down, get it on a tape, now!' I'm saying 'No, it's OK, I'm just noodling', but she's insisting 'get it down!', so we found a little dictaphone and played it into that. And then she said 'By the way, what's it called?'
'Oh', I said, 'It's called
Heather'. "

 
Back In The Sunshine Again    (4'22)
Recorded on 28th February 2001, mixed by David Leonard
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
James:
Epiphone electric guitar, Hofner bass, vocal
drums
Gibson SG electric guitar
piano
Parker electric guitar

This is the second tune written by Paul and his son James. There are no less than three wonderful guitars for this great moment of blues. This track is a strong composition by Paul who still perfectly masters those entrancing 'jazz' atmospheres.


Paul McCartney:
"Back In The Sunshine Again was written in Arizona about five years ago; the idea of getting out of the English winter and into the Arizona sun was very appealing, so I started writing it - with the help of my son James, who contributed to the riff and the bridge. I finished the song in California, shortly before I started the album. It's a good time, back in the sun song - about leaving behind all our troubles and moving forward into the sunshine, which also fits with my present mood in life, my present situation. James came and played rhythm guitar on the session with the band, he was the only guest artist on the album - which was fitting, as he had helped me write it."
 
 
Your Loving Flame   (3'43)
Recorded on 19th June 2001, mixed by David Leonard
Paul:
Abe:  
Rusty:  
Gabe:  
David:
(+
String Quartet)
piano, Hofner bass, tambourine, vocal
Paul's Ludwig drum kit, backing vocals
Les Paul electric guitar, acoustic guitar with capo, backing vocals
Hammond organ, backing vocals
sampled orchestra
Here comes another sweet and great epic ballad composed by Paul. His new love Heather provides the inspiration for this beautiful anthem that could well be the musical highlight of the album, a classic Macca ballad with the adequate orchestration...

Paul McCartney:
" Your Loving Flame was written on the 36th floor of the Carlyle Hotel in New York, just because I thought I was walking into a Cole Porter movie - the room had a grand piano and a plate glass window overlooking Central Park. I wrote that really fast. "

 
Riding To Jaipur    (4'07)
Recorded on 16th February 2001, mixed by David Leonard
Paul: 
Abe:  
Rusty: 
Gabe:  
David:
Martin "BackPacker" acoustic guitar, Hofner bass, vocal
Roland Handsonic, African drums samples
Tampoura, Gibson electric 12-string guitar
piano
synthesizer

Surprisingly, this is Paul's first attempt ever in Indian style music, with sitar sounds and ethnical instruments.


Paul McCartney:
"Riding Into Jaipur : funnily enough the melody for this was written outside of India. I had a back-packing guitar, a little Martin travel guitar that is absolutely slimmed down to nothing and weighs sort of zero ounces. I had one of those that Linda had got me as a prezzie; and I took it when she and I went to The Maldives for a holiday. My particular back-packer - and I haven't noticed this on other people's - seems to have a bit of a sound on certain frets like a sitar, and because I was in the middle of The Indian Ocean, the two came together in that song. I didn't have a title for the song, but when I went to India this year I took a train to Jaipur. It was a very exotic over-night train journey and I did some words that were in the same vein as that original melody. So those two things came together."
 
Rinse The Raindrops   (10'12)
Recorded on 19th February 2001
Paul:
Abe:  
Rusty:  
Gabe:  
Hofner bass, spanish guitar, lead vocal
Paul's Ludwig drum kit, accordion
Gibson 335 electric guitar, Stratocaster electric guitar 
piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ
Here comes a tremendous 10-minute experimental epic and rave-up track. This wondefull composition is based upon a jam with further overdubs. This is my favourite track on DRIVING RAIN. The rhythm goes from a syncopated beat at the beginning to a spatial, psychedelic and hypnotic stream in the second part of the song. Lot of guitars and keyboards make this song perfect to be performed live.

"That's just one verse repeated over and over, but he never sings it the same way twice," Kahne said. "The song goes through different cuts back and forth between different takes. It's a very aggressive, pushy song where he sings real low then real high all over the place. It's a great vocal performance. The whole record is really great."


Paul McCartney:
" Rinse The Raindrops : I've only ever written a couple of songs where the lyrics came first. All My Loving with The Beatles was the first one of those. We were on a tour bus and I didn't have a guitar or, obviously, a piano with me. So I wrote the words on the bus and finished the song when I found a piano at the gig. This was a similar thing - I was sailing and some words came to me that I wasn't sure whether they were a poem or a song. I liked them and sort of wrote a rough melody for them in my head. But then we were in the studio one day and I fancied doing something different with the guys. We'd come to the end of my more prepared tunes, so I thought I'd do something crazy with this. I took the two verses, it's only got two verses, and very hastily wrote a bridge and an instrumental bridge for it. I showed them the bits on an acoustic and then got onto bass and we just jammed the song for half an hour or so. David reckoned I sang the verse about 48 times. Because I was doing just the same lyric, I just sang it every way I could think of so that hopefully he could get something out of that.
We went home and left him to stay up until four in the morning to work on it. We came in the next day and David said 'I couldn't get it down any shorter than this', he'd collaged together all the bits he liked, and it's like a ten-minute song. It reminds me of festivals in summer, hippies and bands jamming. There's a good energy to it. "
 
Freedom    (3'33)
Recorded on 20th & 21st October 2001

This song was written by Paul after the 11st September terrorist attack on New York and performed live during the all-star benefit concert at the Madison Square Garden. This concert was initiated and headlined by Sir Paul, who performed I'm Down, Lonely Road, From A Lover To A Friend, Yesterday, Let It Be and Freedom

Freedom is a strong and anthemic song that perfectly fits DRIVING RAIN's affirmative tenor. It was hastily appended to the DRIVING RAIN disc in advance of its North American release (the track title doesn't even appear in the track list of the CD cover). The version of Freedom featured on the album is the live performance of the New York concert with vocal overdubs recorded by Paul the day after.

Paul and Heather on 10th September, a day before the terrorist attack


Paul McCartney:
"I was planning to do a concert of my own. Originally, I was due to go back to England and then start planning a concert in Russia. That suddenly seemed not very appropriate, so I thought, well, I'd like to do a concert here. And it was just going to be me. Then I heard that there were a lot of other concerts, a lot of efforts that were being mounted. And a friend of mine persuaded me to do this one. So we've all pooled our resources. We're just going to do one big show instead lots of little ones.... 
.... I wrote a little song that was just about freedom. It seemed to me that what the attack was on, besides the physical things of the buildings, was on the freedom that you enjoy in America. After World War II, you know, give me your huddled masses: This is where people came for a new life and for this freedom. You talk to women, women are equal here. Sometimes more than equal. Well, that's great. It's based on merit, this country. But the main thing is it's freedom. So, yeah, I wrote a song about freedom, about how it's my right, and anyone who would take it away would have to answer. And it's not a sort of war song in as much it's a defense of democracy and freedom."
 

 


- THE SINGLES -

  • From A Lover To A Friend / 
    From A Lover To A Friend
    (David Kahne Remix 1)
    From A Lover To A Friend
    (David Kahne Remix 2)


 

The background midi file 'Your Loving Flame' was composed by Tiberio (His Majesty)


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