Paul McCartney - Flowers In The Dirt album review

Extras-packed editions of a watershed release

Cover art for Paul McCartney - Flowers In The Dirt album

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Ending the decade on a high, at least partly motivated by a new co-writer and sparring partner, Macca’s 1989 album was the springboard for his first live shows since before John Lennon’s death. Elvis Costello’s input to the Fabs-friendly My Brace Face and the gospel-soaked That Day Is Done makes those songs clear highlights, but they aren’t the whole story.

Deluxe versions of this reissue contain a full disc of the pair’s working demos, including some tracks ultimately destined for Costello’s own records, notably So Like Candy and Playboy To A Man. An additional rendition of the former with a full band manages to evoke the Lennonesque grit of Wings favourite Let Me Roll It.

Even detractors might think soppy cuts (Put It There and We Got Married, odes to his dad and Linda respectively) carry impressive weight, the sound of a legend back on the top of his game, and actually trying again.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.