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Author Topic: Press To Play  (Read 733 times)

Mervap

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Press To Play
« on: April 06, 2013, 03:34:09 PM »

I am puzzled that so many Paul fans do NOT like this record...I know, I know, the production is so 80's...well, it WAS the 80's and Macca was coming off the critical drubbing he took for "Give My Regards To Broad Street". The general consensus among rock 'critics' was that Paul had to break out of the rut he'd fallen into, that working with George Martin was not pushing him hard enough to make interesting, modern and vital music. I don't know if Macca listens to these folks, but for this album, he brought in Hugh Padgham, who'd produced Genesis and a host of other successful acts. The resulting album was greeted with a fairly warm reception by these 'critics' at the time (Rolling Stone gave it 3 1/2 stars). Personally, I was put off by Padgham's production style, and judging by the posts I've read elsewhere, so were many of Paul's fans...I thought it sounded false and slick...I can handle slick, Macca's been doing that periodically for years. I put this one away shortly after release and did not re-visit it much. My ears have 'matured' somewhat in the ensuing years and I'm able to get past the Padgham Prints! There are quite a few good tunes on this album...side one is very strong...I think "Only Love Remains" would play very well live. Side two..."Press" is fun, but doesn't really sound like a Macca track, at least not to me, and so it was with "Pretty Little Head", which always reminds me of the Jean-Claude Van Damm movie "Bloodsport"...the backround music during one of the fights is a knock-off of this track. From there, every song appeals to my ears...some good rock, some psychedelia and the bonus tracks are a great...er....bonus. All in all, a much better album than I ever gave it credit for and proof that snap judgements are not always correct.
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chris

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Re: Press To Play
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 07:36:03 PM »

this is a happy album for me. I was young, just out of high school. I was driving fast cars. I had the very best friend of my life listening to it with me. and I had girls pretending to put up with this album for me.

the production does scream 80's. and i'm okay with that. it's almost experimental or adventurous. has a nice vibe. and he rocks out a time or two. is it among his very best? no. but for some reason I hold this one dear to me.
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2 of 3

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Re: Press To Play
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 08:23:03 PM »

I really like Press and Pretty Little Head....the rest of the album....not so much.  :-\
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kylenz

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Re: Press To Play
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 04:00:15 AM »

This is one of my favourite Macca albums.. thrashed it on LP when it was first released. Used to love the 'sound pictures' on the inner sleeve showing where everything in the mix is panned.

The album is actually quite daring, and not easily-accessible at first. It takes a few listens to really get into the likes of Talk More Talk and Pretty Little Head. Really love the seque of 'Good Times Coming' into 'Feel The Sun' - what a great track! The instrumentation is superb. People diss the production but the shimmering gated delays and programmed synths make it sound alive and fresh even now. In fact, I think it sounds better than Flowers In The Dirt productionwise. Flowers is more conservative but has that over-trebly brittle 80s sound to it - everything I hated about 80s production. Press To Play has those Phil Collins-style huge snares but benefits from it. It also has good conventional rock production - sharp and clean ('Angry' is a good example, crisper and fresher than anything on Flowers in the Dirt, or Off The Ground). I also love the way the acoustic tracks have been produced. 'Footprints' is such an underrated track. The opener 'Stranglehold' has a winning combination of acoustic guitar and swinging brass. The closing track 'However Absurd' is amazing.. it's almost as if you close your eyes you hear John Lennon in those opening lines - channeling him to a tee. It is a psychedelic masterpiece - similarly like George Harrison's 'When We Was Fab', released the following year.

The only track I'm not so keen on with the passing of time, is actually the single 'Press'. It would benefit from having the programmed stuff stripped away and recorded more like how 'Stranglehold' was done. There is a tv documentry of Macca recording the album and you can hear him recording the live vocal of 'Press' in the studio, while playing an electric guitar and it sounds raw and completely different. It makes you wonder why they kept all that other garbage in the mix, why not strip it down to bass, guitar and drums, and the brass from 'Stranglehold' making a reappearance interjecting, instead of that clear chorused lead guitar in the verses. Love the gritty sound of the guitar solo in it though.

All in all, I still love this album. Not a fan of the bonus tracks, but I don't consider it to be part of the original album anyway. Press To Play will always end with 'However Absurd' - for that triumphant finish. Could you imagine Pepper ending with anything other than 'A Day In The Life'?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 04:02:22 AM by kylenz »
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Keri

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Re: Press To Play
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 05:19:13 PM »

Not a fan of the bonus tracks, but I don't consider it to be part of the original album anyway. Press To Play will always end with 'However Absurd' - for that triumphant finish. Could you imagine Pepper ending with anything other than 'A Day In The Life'?

Good point! For me bonus tracks misshape albums. If they're going to have them they should be on a bonus disc, so you can play the original album as it was intended.
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kylenz

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Re: Press To Play
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 08:31:03 AM »

I wonder if Macca still listens to 'Press To Play'? How does he feel about the album now, nearly some 30 years later? It would be cool to hear his thoughts on it and whether he would be interested in performing some of the material on it, like say 'Stranglehold' or 'Footprints'..
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Mervap

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Re: Press To Play
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 03:58:50 PM »

Quote
It would be cool to hear his thoughts on it and whether he would be interested in performing some of the material on it, like say 'Stranglehold' or 'Footprints'..

That would be so cool to hear....
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