Give My Regards To Broad Street (1984)
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Paul is more and more attracted by images. The success of his videos that were used to promote the Pipes Of Peace album encourage him to go further on this way.
He decides to produce, to write and to play a musical film built upon some of his songs. The original project targets a TV film, but it rapidly becomes a movie as Paul adds some more matter to the screenplay.
The Twentieth Century Fox even decides to finance and to distribute this movie entiteled Give My Regards To Broad Street.
Paul plays the leading role, his own role in fact. The starting point of the story is the disappearance of some new album's master tapes and that's the pretext for a whole series of musical and sometimes dreamlike sequences about Paul's songs.
Some well-known actors contribute to the movie, like Ralph Richardson (whose performance is the last one of his career) or Tracey Ullman. The movie also stars Ringo and his wife, Barbara Bach.
Give My Regards To Broad Street is issued in fall of 1984 and it's a big flop. It comes up against the lack of understanding from both the critics and the fans. The movie doesn't fit the usual rules of production: it has no real story and it looks more like a big video clip rather than a structured picture. Maybe it was also not presented the right way from a commercial point of view. It's a pity because Paul's movie is full of aesthetically pleasing scenes.
The original soundtrack music from the film is released on October 22nd, 1984. Tle LP includes 14 tracks, of which 3 are new songs and 11 are Beatles & Wings releases with a new orchestration. Like the movie from which it comes, this album disappoints most of the fans who confuse Paul's work with a song compilation.
Once again, Paul asked for the help of various famous musicians to record this album. Among others were Ringo, Dave Edmunds, Chris Spedding, Eric Stewart, David Gilmour, John Paul Jones and some musicians from Toto. George Martin also helped, mainly to manage the new orchestration of the songs... and of course to produce the album.
Edmunds, Spedding, Paul & Ringo: not such bad boys
The album opens with No More Lonely Nights (ballad), a beautiful ballad and one of the best songs ever written by Paul. David Gilmour holds the electric guitar and performs an efficient solo, as usual.
Next comes a series of Beatles covers. The first one is Good Day Sunshine with all instruments performed by Paul, except the piano which is played by George Martin. It's followed by Corridor Music, a short instrumental link. Afterwards comes a cover of the unforgettable Yesterday, which has the particularity to be orchestrated with a brass ensemble.
No More Lonely Nights movie's sequence...
Yesterday is followed without any interruption by Here, There And Everywhere and Wanderlust. The brass ensemble still orchestrates very efficiently these two covers.
Wanderlust, a song from the Tug Of War album, is followed by another title from that same album, Ballroom Dancing. This song is skilfully enhanced by the guitars from Chris Spedding and Dave Edmunds whose solo are very impressive.
Now Paul gets back to the Wings era with a cover of Silly Love Songs. This cover is enhanced by a strong and powerful bass line and a more jazzy rhythm; it is far better than the original work.
Track #8 features the second new song on this album, Not Such A Bad Boy, which is an enthusiastic and joyful rock'n roll with Ringo at the drums, Chris Spedding and Dave Edmunds joining their perfectly mastered electric guitars.
The next title is a cover of So Bad, a song taken from the Pipes Of Peace album. As for Silly Love Songs, the result is far better than the original work. Ringo is at the drums, of course, and Eric Stewart adds his guitar to these of Spedding and Edmunds. A beautiful performance for this great ballad.
Afterwards comes the third new composition on this album, No Values, a strong rock performed by Paul singing with his rough voice.
Silly Love Songs movie's sequence
Then follows two masterpieces by Beatle Paul, For No One and Eleanor Rigby. Both songs are very well orchestrated thanks to the contribution of a string quartet. Eleanor Rigby is directly followed by an instrumental development entitled Eleanor's Dream, which is a symphonic variation on the previous theme. It's a good omen at that time that Paul could probably explore more classical worlds in the future... Eleanor's Dream is a very dreamlike and aesthetic piece as its corresponding sequence in the movie. Paul and Ringo...in Eleanor's dream...
The next track is an opportunity for Paul to re-orchestrate The Long And Winding Road, one of his Beatles' greatest songs. Everybody knows that Paul was full of anger against Phil Spector when the Let It Be album was released, Paul complaining that Spector had added some extravagant strings onto the basic track of The Long And Winding Road.
The cover made here by Paul is a pleasant interpretation supported by a fine orchestration and by a nice saxophone solo. It is as good as the Beatles' release.
The album's last track is a reprise of No More Lonely Nights. This "playout" version is played with a faster tempo than the one used for the first track. It's a more jazzy and dancing version.
A bonus track is included on the CD release of Give My Regards To Broad Street in 1984 (not present on the LP): Good Night Princess, an instrumental written by Paul. With this title, Paul exhibits one more time his fondness for the music of the thirties and succeeds in orchestrating a nice composition with trumpet, sax, clarinet, piano and violin.
No More Lonely Nights is taken from the album and released as a single in September / October, 1984. Five different pressings are produced of which three are listed below:
No More Lonely Nights (extended playout version) / Silly Love Songs (France)
No More Lonely Nights (ballad) / No More Lonely Nights (playout version) (UK, US)
No More Lonely Nights (ballad) / No More Lonely Nights (disco) (US)
The song reaches #2 in the UK and #4 in the US.
The CD remastered release of Give My Regards To Broad Street in 1993 includes 2 extra bonus tracks which are two alternate versions of No More Lonely Nights: an extended version and an Arthur Baker's special dance mix .
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