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Paul McCartney: Album, Run Devil Run

Updated on June 24, 2014

A gem from the McCartney Archives

While I have been a Beatles fan since I was a child, Paul McCartney has had only one album I have loved unconditionally: his 1999 'Run, Deviil, Run" I have always loved it when any Beatle covered classic rock 'n roll songs because they sounded as close to the way they would have sounded if they were sitting around playing for themselves and not worrying about anything else. This was true of John Lennon's "Rock 'n Rock" album and it's true of "Run Devil Run."

Finding comfort in his musical roots

When Paul's wife Linda died in 1998, he took a year off to mourn her. When he returned to recording, he felt a need to go back to his musical roots and record songs that he and the other Beatles had loved as teenagers. These were the sorts of songs they played at The Cavern in Liverpool and in Hamburg before they achieved fame. He also wanted to record the songs the way that The Beatles recorded their early work, quickly and without a lot of production. He found the title and cover from Miller's Rexall Drug Store in downtown Atlanta, which sold a number of hoodoo and herbal medicines, including one called "Run Devil Run."

The music

There were three original songs on the album, "Run Devil Run," "Try Not to Cry," and "What It Is." They were worthy competitions,but it was the covers that made this album so special. There were covers of songs by Little Richard, Wanda Jackson, Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson, Carl Perkins, Larry Williams, and other musicians that the young McCartney had admired and emulated.

Some of my favorite tracks are "Party (Let's Have a Party"), "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," "She Said Yeah," and "Honey Hush." But every song is enjoyable. It is obvious that Paul was having fun on this project, and he never veers over into pretentiousness as he sometimes seems to do, in my opinion, on many of his albums. He wasn't tryinig to impress anyone or make the next great hit. He was just playing music he loved and it shows.

Run Devil Run Rehearsal

With David Gilmour, Ian Pace of Deep Purple, and Mick Green

Run Devil Run on Amazon

The album was released in several different forms, some with a bonus EP and some with an extra interviews. All the different versions are available at Amazon and the music is just as much fun as it ever was.

Have you heard this album? What do you think?

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    • miriamyentraccm profile image

      Miriam Parker 3 years ago from Ontario, CA. 91761

      Yes, I have this album! Paul returns to his roots to play songs he cherished during his youth: 1950's rock'n'roll. Thanks!

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