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Author Topic: Tug of War  (Read 564 times)

Keri

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Tug of War
« on: June 11, 2014, 04:19:09 AM »

Interested to hear what people think of this one. It's a really slick album, nicely produced and i thinks it's pretty good. "Take it Away" is a strong song, Ebony and Ivory divides fans a bit but I like it fine, I love Stevie Wonder so that helps and it has strong hooks.

I find this a good rather than a great album, the performances are good, but I don't think it's his best batch of songs, on the other hand I find them all OK, I can listen to the album right through which has to be a bonus.

I am lead to comment that i find it crazy that so much of Paul's catalogue is out of print. There are a number of his albums that i want to buy and can't and his re issue programme is deathly slow.
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Mervap

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 02:51:18 PM »

Keri , I am blown away that I have not posted to this album! More to come on that soon!
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If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?

kylenz

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 05:53:24 AM »

Yeah, this album is becoming overlooked even though it was tremendously successful for him at the time. It's almost as if he is completely disowning this 80s period in his live shows, focusing on Beatles songs, a few Wings numbers and then fast-forwarding to more recent works, completely leaving the likes of 'Take It Away' behind in the dust. You could also argue 'No More Lonely Nights' on the Broadstreet album suffers from the same fate. I think he could've done a great job playing these songs in a touring situation.

I'm also a big fan of 'Ebony and Ivory', simply one of the classics.. he did so many great duets with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson in the early 80s - again, it's like he prefers to act as if that era never existed - it's a shame.. it brought him some of his biggest hits as a solo artist, it would be great to hear them again, done with a full live band.

Some of the other standouts on Tug of War for me include 'The Pound Is Sinking' and 'Somebody Who Cares' (the acoustic guitar solo in it is superb). While I think 'Ballroom Dancing' and 'Wanderlust' are great songs, they suffer from an overly trebly thin production (much like Venus and Mars) and I am glad Macca re-recorded them and improved them significantly on the Broad Street album. He gave the snare drum sound a lot more presence (the TOW snares have very little ambience) and the sound mix just feels a lot warmer and fuller on Broad Street compared to TOW where at times it all feels a bit brittle and 'digital' (this album of course was one of the first to be digitally mixed).

There are times the digital mixing sounds wonderful ('Take It Away', especially the drum intro!), but at other times the album sorely needed more fullness. While the other Stevie Wonder collaboration 'What's That You're Doing' is a groovy song, it almost sounds like a demo with that drum machine rhythm furiously tick-tocking away in the background.

Overall it's a solid album - I just hope it gets properly remastered one day.
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kylenz

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 04:34:52 AM »

Well I recently got the new deluxe remix edition, very impressed with it for the most part. Macca seems to have approximated the positions of the original instruments in the sound picture with great accuracy, but has given more fullness to the sound. In particular, 'What's That You're Doing' (which I referred to in that previous post as sounding thin and like a demo) now sounds SOLID and kicks butt! The bass is now deep on it.

The only song I wish had a bit more fullness in the remix was 'Take It Away' - I was expecting a bit more bass in it as it has such an exquisite bass line.

Other songs like 'Here Today' sound so clear and wonderful in the remix. 'Wanderlust' and 'Ballroom Dancing' still sound like inferior recordings to the recuts Macca did on 'Broad Street', but on the whole it's good to hear them fresh again.

The bonus rare cuts weren't such a shock to me as I'd heard them before on various bootlegs. But good to hear them nonetheless.
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2 of 3

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 06:26:04 AM »

I had not heard all the demo's before so I enjoyed them. It's always nice to hear how a song progresses.
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Greg

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2015, 11:09:19 AM »

Thx for the review.  This album has always been a fav of mine.  I could have done with him leaving Ebony as just a single.  That, to me, is a horrible song. Great message.  Hate the song though.
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kylenz

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 03:56:37 AM »

I love Ebony and Ivory! I honestly don't know what people hate about it. The melody is sublime and timeless, the lyrics are pure in sentiment (if trite), and it's Stevie and Macca singing together! What more would you want?  ;D
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Greg

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Re: Tug of War
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 05:21:52 AM »

I always understand why people like, and don't like, certain songs, food, colors, whatever.  Some things register in certain ways with us.
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