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Paul McCartney's "Flaming Pie" in Kiev's historic Independence Square

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Flaming Pie on Wikipedia
Flaming Pie
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released5 May 1997 (UK)
20 May 1997 (US)
Recorded3 September 1992, at Abbey Road Studios, London ("Calico Skies" and "Great Day")
22 February 1995 – 14 February 1997, at Sun Valley, Idaho;
The Mill, Sussex; Abbey Road Studios, London
LabelParlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
ProducerPaul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, George Martin
Paul McCartney chronology
Singles from Flaming Pie
  1. "Young Boy"
    Released: 28 April 1997 (UK)
  2. "The World Tonight"
    Released: 6 May 1997
  3. "Beautiful Night"
    Released: 15 December 1997 (UK)

Flaming Pie is the tenth solo studio album by Paul McCartney, first released in 1997. His first studio album in over four years, it was mostly recorded following McCartney's involvement in the highly successful The Beatles Anthology project.[1] The album was recorded over two years, 1995 and 1997, and with 2 songs dating from 1992. In Flaming Pie's liner notes McCartney said: "[The Beatles Anthology] reminded me of The Beatles' standards and the standards that we reached with the songs. So in a way it was a refresher course that set the framework for this album."[2]


"Calico Skies",[nb 1] which Paul McCartney had written when Hurricane Bob had hit while McCartney was staying on Long Island in 1991,[3][4] and "Great Day", which features backing vocal from his wife Linda McCartney,[4] hailed from a 1992 session,[nb 2][3] recorded even before Off the Ground had come out. In mid-1995, as the Anthology albums were starting to be released over a two year-period, EMI didn't want McCartney to release a solo album in the meantime.[1] McCartney said that he "was almost insulted at first" before then realising that "it would be silly to go out against yourself in the form of the Beatles. so I fell in with the idea and thought, 'Great, I don't even have to think about an album.'"[1] McCartney was occupied with working on Standing Stone in the interim.[1]

Recording and structure

Beginning in February 1995, McCartney teamed up with Jeff Lynne,[6] Electric Light Orchestra lead singer and guitarist, an ardent Beatles fan who had previously worked with George Harrison on his 1987 album Cloud Nine, while both were members of the Traveling Wilburys, and who had also co-produced "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" for the Anthology project. With a keen sense to produce something pure and easy — and without indulging in elaborate productions — McCartney sporadically recorded the entire album in a space of two years, working not only with Lynne, but with Steve Miller,[nb 3] George Martin, Ringo Starr and his own son, James McCartney,[1] who plays lead guitar on "Heaven on a Sunday".[4] McCartney wrote the song "Young Boy" while his wife Linda was making lunch for a New York Times feature on 18 August 1994.[3] McCartney and Miller started recording "Young Boy" on 22 February 1995 in Sun Valley, Idaho,[3] later reconvening a few months afterwards in May at McCartney's home studio, The Mill, recording – a song described as a "road song" – "If You Wanna" and the jam track, "Used to Be Bad" in the process.[1][7]

The duo also recorded the B-side "Broomstick", and 3 unreleased tracks: "(Sweet Home) Country Girl", "Soul Boy", and an untitled song.[7] Also in May, McCartney, by himself, recorded the unreleased tracks: "Stella May Day", for his daughter Stella McCartney, which would be used playing over loud speakers at her fashion shows, and "Whole Life" with Dave Stewart.[nb 4][7] "Somedays", which was written while McCartney was escorting Linda to Kent for a photo shoot,[3] features an orchestration score by George Martin.[1][4] "The Song We Were Singing",[nb 5] which was about the times McCartney and his former-songwriting partner John Lennon were at 20 Forthlin Road,[6] was recorded in 3/4 time.[4] "Little Willow" was written for the children[4] of Starr's first wife, Maureen Starkey Tigrett, who had recently died of cancer.[8] "Souvenir" features the sound of a 78rpm record towards the end of the track.[4] The title track, recorded in a four hour-session,[4] is in similar style to the Beatles' "Lady Madonna".[9]

In May 1996, Starr and McCartney were working on a track that McCartney had started a decade previously, "Beautiful Night".[1][4] Lynne showed up the next day and the trio, with McCartney on bass, Starr on drums, and Lynne on guitar, jammed, with the finished results being the track "Really Love You", the first track credited to McCartney–Starkey.[1][4] McCartney and Starr also recorded the B-side "Looking for You", and an untitled song.[10] "Heaven on a Sunday", which was written while McCartney was in the US sailing on holiday, recorded on 16 September 1996, and features backing vocals by both Linda and James.[9] Martin added orchestration to "Beautiful Night",[4] on 14 February 1997 at Abbey Road Studios.[11] An unreleased song was recorded with Lynne producing, titled "Cello in the Ruins",[12] had its copyright being registered in 1994,[13] despite work on the song only getting started a year later, in May 1995.[7] The track was nearly issued as a single for War Child's The Help Album in 1995, but ultimately shelved.[12] This album would also be the last Paul McCartney studio album to feature vocals and participation from Linda McCartney,[1] who would succumb to breast cancer in 1998.[14]

Release and reception

Upon its May 1997 release, on the 5th in the UK on Parlophone[nb 6] and on the 20th in the US on Capitol,[nb 7][1] the critical reaction to Flaming Pie was very strong, with McCartney achieving his best reviews since 1982's Tug of War. The commercial reaction was everything McCartney could have hoped for. With fresh credibility even with young fans who had been introduced to him through the Anthology project,[1] and anticipation raised with the excellent reviews, Flaming Pie debuted at number 2 in the UK in May, giving McCartney his best new entry since Flowers in the Dirt eight years before. It was kept off the top spot there by the Spice Girls' album Spice.[22] In the US, reaction was also very positive.[23] The album debuted at number 2 with 121,000 copies sold in its first week, also behind the Spice album that sold only 16,500 more copies that week.[23][24]

In both the UK and the US Flaming Pie managed to be the best new entry of the week, and also reach gold in both countries. Reception of the album was relatively weaker than its predecessor in other countries, however, managed to be certified gold in Norway.[25] According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album had sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide up to June 2007.[26] Singles "Young Boy",[nb 8][nb 9] "The World Tonight"[nb 10][nb 11] and "Beautiful Night",[nb 12][nb 13] all of which were released as picture discs, became UK hits, all making the top 40 in the sales charts. The only single in the US from the album was "The World Tonight",[nb 14] on 17 April 1997,[1] a top 30 entry on the Billboard mainstream rock listing.[34] The album was also released on vinyl.[nb 15][nb 16] To promote the album, McCartney held an online chat party, and consequently, the event entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people in an online chatroom at once.[24]

In the World Tonight, a film about the making of the album, was broadcast in the UK on ITV, and on VH1 in the US, around the release of the album.[23] Also broadcast was an hour-long radio show about the album on 5 May 1997 on BBC Radio 2.[23] Some consider Flaming Pie to be one of McCartney's finest solo outings. It did, indeed, receive a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year, although Bob Dylan won the award with his back-to-form album Time Out of Mind.[37] The title Flaming Pie (also given to one of the album's songs) is a reference to a humorous story John Lennon told in a story in Mersey Beat in 1961 on the origin of the Beatles'.[1][38] "Young Boy" and "The World Tonight" appeared in the 1997 Ivan Reitman comedy Fathers' Day.[23]

Track listing

All songs written by Paul McCartney, except where noted.

  1. "The Song We Were Singing" – 3:55
  2. "The World Tonight" – 4:06
  3. "If You Wanna" – 4:38
  4. "Somedays" – 4:15
  5. "Young Boy" – 3:54
  6. "Calico Skies" – 2:32
  7. "Flaming Pie" – 2:30
  8. "Heaven on a Sunday" – 4:27
  9. "Used to Be Bad" (Steve Miller, McCartney) – 4:12
  10. "Souvenir" – 3:41
  11. "Little Willow" – 2:58
  12. "Really Love You" (McCartney, Richard Starkey) – 5:18
  13. "Beautiful Night" – 5:09
  14. "Great Day" – 2:09


  • Paul McCartney – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, harmonium, vibes
  • Dave Bishop – saxophone
  • Richard Bissill – French horn
  • Chris "Snake" Davis – saxophone
  • Jeff Lynne – vocals, guitars, keyboards
  • George Martin – orchestral arrangement
  • James McCartney – guitar
  • Linda McCartney – vocals
  • Steve Miller – vocals, guitar
  • John Pigneguy – French horn
  • Kevin Robinson – trumpet
  • Ringo Starr – drums, vocals, percussion
  • Michael Thompson – French horn
  • Richard Watkins – French horn
  • Geoff Emerick – recording engineer
  • Roy Carter – oboe, cor anglais[39]


  1. ^ "Calico Skies" was written when McCartney tried to write something similar to the Beatles' "Blackbird".[3]
  2. ^ Also recorded during this session is the unreleased song "When Winter Comes".[5]
  3. ^ Miller and McCartney had worked together once before, on 1969's "My Dark Hour" at Abbey Road Studios.[1] After finding out his son, James, was a fan of Miller, McCartney decided to renew their friendship.[1]
  4. ^ McCartney would later re-recorded "Whole Life" in 2003.[7]
  5. ^ McCartney plays a stand-up bass on the track. The bass originally belonged to Elvis Presley's bassist, Bill Black.[4]
  6. ^ UK Parlophone 724385650024/CDPCSD 171[20]
  7. ^ US Capitol CDP 7243 8 56500 2 4[21]
  8. ^ UK Parlophone CDRS 6462/724388395120[27]
  9. ^ UK Parlophone RP 6462/7243 88378673[28]
  10. ^ UK Parlophone CDRS 6472/7243 8 84298 2 5[29]
  11. ^ UK Parlophone PP 6472/7243 8 84298 7 0[30]
  12. ^ UK Parlophone 7243 8 84921 2 6[31]
  13. ^ UK Parlophone RP 6489/7243 8 84970 7 7[32]
  14. ^ US Capitol C2 7243 8 58650 2 2[33]
  15. ^ UK Parlophone 7243 8 56500 1 7/PCSD171[35]
  16. ^ US Capitol C1 7243 8 56500 1 7[36]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Duffy, Thom (12 April 1997). "McCartney Let Loose On Capitol's 'Flaming Pie' Set". Billboard 109 (15): 76.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ Flaming Pie (booklet). Paul McCartney. Parlophone, EMI. 1997.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Benitez, Vincent P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger. p. 146. ISBN 9780313349690. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Duffy, Thom (12 April 1997). "Album Track Previews". Billboard 109 (15): 76.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ "The McCartney Recording Sessions - 1992". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Carlin, Peter Ames (2010). Paul McCartney: A Life (illustrated ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 306. ISBN 9781416562238. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "The McCartney Recording Sessions - 1995". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames (2010). Paul McCartney: A Life (illustrated ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 305. ISBN 9781416562238. 
  9. ^ a b Benitez, Vincent P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger. p. 147. ISBN 9780313349690. 
  10. ^ "The McCartney Recording Sessions - 1996". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "The McCartney Recording Sessions - 1997". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Porter, Robert. "Jeff Lynne Song Database - 1990s Songs". Retrieved 28 February 2013.  Scroll down to the section header Flaming Pie sessions click Cello In The Ruins then click Unreleased Studio Recording.
  13. ^ "The McCartney Recording Sessions - 1994". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Tributes to Linda McCartney". BBC News. 21 April 1998. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Flaming Pie at Allmusic
  16. ^ Boren, Ray (1989-06-18). "McCartney's 'Flaming Pie' sparkles with retro-Beatles pop-rock charm". Deseret News. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Gardner, Elysa (25 May 1997). "McCartney Bounces Back in Fab Form". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Strauss, Neil (20 May 1997). "Stars Adrift: Further Out, Further In (Page 2)". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  19. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (6 June 1997). "Flaming Pie by Paul McCartney". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie (CD, Album)". Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie (CD, Album)". Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "UK Albums Chart - 17 May 1997". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  23. ^ a b c d e Taylor, Chuck (14 June 1997). "Capitol, EMI Ignite Global Charts With McCartney's 'Pie'". Billboard 109 (24): 87.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  24. ^ a b "'Flaming Pie' Is Hot". The Los Angeles Times. 5 June 1997. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje". Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  26. ^ a b "Paul McCartney's new album "Memory Almost Full" will be released June 5 in North America". Billboard. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  27. ^ "Paul McCartney - Young Boy (CD)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  28. ^ "Paul McCartney - Young Boy (Vinyl)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Paul McCartney - The World Tonight (CD)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Paul McCartney - The World Tonight (Vinyl)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  31. ^ "Paul McCartney - Beautiful Night (CD)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  32. ^ "Paul McCartney - Beautiful Night (Vinyl)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "Paul McCartney - The World Tonight (CD)". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  34. ^ "Paul McCartney - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  35. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie (Vinyl, LP)". Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  36. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie (Vinyl, LP)". Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  37. ^ "Grammy Nominations Yield Surprises, Including Newcomer's Success". The New York Times. 7 January 1998. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  38. ^ Sennett, Sean; Groth, Simon, ed. (2010). Off the Record: 25 Years of Music Street Press ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press. p. 232. ISBN 9780702246531. 
  39. ^ "Track Notes: Somedays - 1997". Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  40. ^ " Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  41. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie -" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  42. ^ " - Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP)., Hung Medien. Ultratop. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  43. ^ " - Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP)., Hung Medien. Ultratop. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  44. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard: 44. 14 June 1997. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  45. ^ a b c d "Hits of the World". Billboard: 64. 14 June 1997. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  46. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP). (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  47. ^ "Paul McCartney - Chaos And Creation In The Backyard" (ASP). Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  48. ^ " Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP). SNEP. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  49. ^ "Album Search: Paul McCartney" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  50. ^ ポール・マッカートニー-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Flaming Pie by Paul McCartney". Oricon Style. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  51. ^ " - Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  52. ^ " Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP). Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  53. ^ " Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  54. ^ "Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie -" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  55. ^ "Chart Stats Paul McCartney - Flaming pie" (PHP). The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  56. ^ "allmusic ((( Flaming Pie > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  57. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1997" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  58. ^ a b "UK best albums 1997". Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  59. ^ "1997 Top Billboard 200 Albums". Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  60. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flaming Pie" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  61. ^ "British album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flaming Pie". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter 'Flaming Pie' in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  62. ^ "American album certifications – Paul McCartney – Flaming Pie". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  63. ^ "Paul McCartney Japanese Album Chart listings". Retrieved 1 July 2008. 

External links

  • Flaming Pie at Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages

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