Run Devil Run (1999)

Front Cover


"In March 1999, Paul hand-picked a small band and repaired to Studio 2, Abbey Road. In a week, working flat out, Paul McCartney (bass, guitar, vocals) -accompanied by David Gilmour (guitar), Mick Green (guitar), Ian Paice (drums), Pete Wingfield (keyborads), Dave Mattacks (drums) and Geraint Watkin (keyboard) - recreated that golden age of rock'n'roll." (excerpt fom album booklet).

Paul McCartney's new album, Run Devil Run, is released on 5 October, 1999. The purpose here is to cover some retro tunes by Elvis Presley, Big Joe Turner, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, and Chuck Berry, along with three new original songs that nicely combine the musical style of the '50s and today's rock sound.



Track listing:

Blue Jean Bop (Vincent-Levy)
She Said Yeah (Williams)
All Shook Up (Blackwell-Presley)
Run Devil Run (McCartney)
No Other Baby (Bishop-Watson)
Lonesome Town (Knight)
Try Not To Cry (McCartney)
Movie Magg (Perkins)
Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Berry)
What It Is (McCartney)
Coquette (Green-Kahn-Lombardo)
I Got Stung (Schroeder-Hill)
Honey Hush (Turner)
Shake A Hand (Morris)
Party (Robinson)


1. Bluejean Bop (Vincent-Levy)

With Be-Bop-A-Lula selling like hot cakes, Ken Nelson wanted Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps back in the studio to record enough material for an album and another hit single. He got both. During the four day session in Nashville from June 24th to 27th, 1956, Gene cut sixteen tracks including Bluejean Bop which became not only the title of his first album, but also the A-side of his third single and which, like Be-Bop-A-Lula, also went Gold.
Gene Vincent
Be-Bop-A-Lula was already covered by Paul McCartney on his Unplugged album from 1991.

Paul McCartney : 
I remember hearing Blue Jean Bop on an album that I think John had; going to a place near Penny Lane for the afternoon, having a ciggy, and just listening to records. Blue Jean Bop was always one of my favourites. The first record I ever bought was Be Bop A Lula. We loved Gene. "
John, Paul and Gene in the Cavern...
John, Paul and Gene in the Cavern...

2. She Said Yeah (Williams)

Between 1957 and 1958, Larry Williams recorded many songs which became standards like
She Said Yeah, Bony Moronie or Short Fat Fannie.
She Said Yeah was covered later on by The Stones and The Animals.

Paul McCartney : " Me and John particularly loved Larry Williams... Bony Moronie... John did Slow Down. I was always gonna do She Said Yeah. "

Elvis McCartney: drawing by Klaus Voorman.

3. All Shook Up (Blackwell-Presley)

Another song which became famous because of its Elvis' interpretation. This song was Elvis' first British N 1, in June 1957.

Paul McCartney : 
Me and a mate used to go around the fairgrounds of Liverpool trying to pick up girls; we got the blues 'cause we couldn't even get arrested. We'd go home depressed, and put on this record and it lifted us, got rid of the blues. "

4. Run Devil Run

First of Paul's three new songs on this album.

Paul McCartney : 
I saw this herbal medicine shop in Atlanta selling Run Devil Run products. I thought that is a great rock'n'roll title. So I did a story, Chuck Berry style. "
Elvis McCartney: drawing by Klaus Voorman.

5. No Other Baby (Bishop-Watson)

This song entered the charts through Bobby Helms in 1958. Bobby was a 50's Pop & Rock icon who sang the famous hit title Jingle Bell Rock. It was also released as a single in 1958 by a British skiffle group, The Vipers.

No Other Baby was also covered by Spencer Davis Group and by Chad & Jeremy, a folkish duo who performed between 1964 and 1968.

It seems that Paul McCartney covered this song too during the CHOB B CCCP sessions, but the title was left as an outtake. Another Paul's cover exists through the live recording which was made during the concert's soundcheck at the Tokyo Dome, Japan, December 14, 1993. This recording has been bootlegged and can be found on Magical Mistery Tokyo.

Paul McCartney : 
I have no idea how this one got so embedded in my memory... I never had the record, still haven't. "

6. Lonesome Town (Knight)

Ricky Nelson's single, Lonesome Town backed with I Got A Feeling, was an immediate smash hit when it was released in September 1958. With this title, Ricky Nelson earned his fifth gold platter. Baker Knight wrote over 20 songs for Ricky Nelson including There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You in 1959.
Lonesome Town was recently used for the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.

Paul McCartney : " I liked Ricky Nelson... Stood Up, Believe What You Say... but I loved Lonesome Town. It's like Heartbreak Hotel, it's a place we all know. "
Some of the band's instruments...
Some of the band's instruments...


7. Try Not To Cry (McCartney)

Second of Paul's new songs on this album...

Paul McCartney :  " I just wrote a bluesy song that never gets in the way of the snare. It was actually that simple. "

8. Movie Magg (Perkins)

At age 13 Carl Perkins performed a song that he had written, Movie Magg, at a local talent show and won. Carl signed a recording contract with Flip Records, a subsidiary of Sun in Memphis, in 1954. His first release was Movie Magg the following year, and it was followed by other songs such as Gone, Gone, Gone and Blue Suede Shoes. He finally put all these titles on his first album released in 1957 and called Dance Album.

Paul recording Run Devil Run. Paul McCartney, whose former band The Beatles recorded seven Perkins tunes, asked Carl for joining him in the Tug Of War recording sessions. Together they performed Get It, a Paul's composition. Another title, My Old Friend, was written by Carl and performed with Paul during these sessions. This out-take has been remaining in the vault until its release on Carl's Go Cat Go album in 1996.
Paul performed live another Perkins' title during "The Paul McCartney's World Tour" in 1989/90: the big hit Matchbox whose recording can be found on Paul's Tripping The Live Fantastic album.

Paul McCartney :  " I knew Carl, he was a great old country boy who used to pick cotton and he'd have all these stories. This one is about his girlfriend Maggie, who he'd sometimes take to the movies on his mule, old Becky. They had no car so they rode to the movie show. And it's true. "
Paul recording Run Devil Run.

9. Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Berry)

This is a Chuck Berry's song from the After School Session album. This was his first album in 1958, after two single releases in 1957, Rock And Roll Music and Sweet Little Sixteen.
This title was also covered by Buddy Holly ... and by Nina Simone in 1966 for her album called High Priestess of Soul released in1967.

Paul McCartney : 
We wanted to put an accordion on our version, make it slightly cajun, just to get it away from Buddy's a bit. "

10. What It Is (McCartney)

Third of Paul's new releases on this album...

Paul McCartney :  " I was playing bluesy riffs on the piano and this song started to come out. Linda was there and I enjoyed it just for that, for the feedback she gave. So I thought I'll do that as sort of my little tribute to Linda. "

11. Coquette (Green-Kahn-Lombardo)

Coquette was mainly written by Guy Lombardo. "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven" was the logo of Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, who by 1930 had established themselves as America's top dance band; By the early '30s, Lombardo was an international celebrity, having hit records and appearing in films like "Many Happy Returns". During this time, not only Lombardo's records were massively popular, but so were his radio broadcasts; it was his annual New Year's Eve show that made Auld Lang Syne a national standard.

Coquette was covered by Bill Coleman, Django Reinhardt and Fats Domino.

Paul McCartney :  " It's just me singing Fats. We tried fixing little bits of it because I thought 'God, this is too much like a pub singer'... but we ended up going back to the earliest mix, it just has the feeling. "
Gilmour and Green's guitars...
Gilmour and Green's guitars...

12. I Got Stung (Aaron Schroeder/ David Hill)

It was first released as a single by Elvis Presley who recorded it in October 1958.

Paul McCartney :  " It wasn't my favourite Elvis song, but I kept hearing 'Holy smoke landsakes alive, I never thought this would happen to me'. That intro kept grabbing me. I thought I'll do it a bit more raucous than Elvis. "

13. Honey Hush (Turner)

Big Joe Turner was one of the best blues shouters and a critical link between rhythm & blues and rock & roll. With a big, husky voice that he projected with amazing power and clarity, and a blues sensibility with which he sank into most every song he sang, Turner was a major figure in black music from the late 1930s until his death in 1985. He sang with some of the greatest bandleaders of the swing and R&B eras and made successful transitions from boogie-woogie to rhythm & blues to early rock & roll with remarkable ease.

When interest in boogie-woogie began to wane, Turner shifted into rhythm & blues, working once again with Basie, as well as with R&B guitarists In 1951 Turner signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and cut a string of R&B classics that would lead the way straight into rock & roll. 

Early years... His most famous hit, Shake, Rattle and Roll, released in 1954, made it to number 1 and was covered shortly thereafter by Bill Haley and The Comets. A cover of this song by the Beatles can be found on Anthology 3.

Honey Hush can be found on Big Joe Turner's Rhythm & Blues Years album released in 1951.

Paul McCartney :  
John and Stuart used to have a flat in Gambier Terrace. I remember waking up, burning eyes job,and one of the guys put on 'Come into this house, stop all that yakety yak'. I's my favourite on the whole album to sing. "
Early years...

14. Shake A Hand (Morris)

Faye Adams joined Joe Morris' band in 1952 as featured singer. A year later, she was a star, thanks to her moving ballad Shake A Hand. This song was also performed by Little Richard on his two albums from 1959, called Fabulous Little Richard and Well Alright!
Another cover was recorded by
Elvis Presley in November 1975 for the Today album.

Paul McCartney :  
I have this image of being in Hamburg; there was one bar that had a pool table and a great jukebox. And that was the only place I ever heard Shake A Hand. Every time we went there, I put it on. I never had the record, but I knew I wanted to do it. It always takes me back to that bar. "
Paul live in 1962?
Paul live in the early '60s

Run Devil Run back cover 15. Party (Robinson)

This one was recorded by Wanda Jackson under the title of Let's Have A Party for her Rockin' With Wanda album which was released in 1960.

The same song (under the title of Party) was also recorded by Elvis Presley for his Loving You album of 1957.

Paul McCartney :  
Whenever we used to try and get the words, we'd get stuck on the verse... 'Never kissed a bear, never kissed a goo!' We could never get it. At the end, that's me going 'I'm not giving up man'. It seemed like a good idea to end the album on that. "
Run Devil Run back cover.


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