Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Neglected Hits - My Brave Face - Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney has already been featured once on my Neglected Hits segment, but I can't help but include him again thanks to this wonderful little gem from 1989.

Flowers In the Dirt was meant to be a comeback album of sorts for McCartney thanks to the poor reception of his previous two works, Give My Regards To Broad Street and Press To Play. There's a crossover between this record and Elvis Costello's Spike in that each artist co-wrote some songs together that appeared on each other's works. Costello wound up having a hit with "Veronica" and McCartney wound up with a lesser known hit in the form of "My Brave Face."


The track opens with McCartney's vocal harmonies and gives way to a plucky bassline and simple guitar riff. The production is very polished, as was typical of the late '80s, highlighting McCartney's voice and bass especially. 

Unlike many of his other songs with their lyrical absurdities, McCartney is grounded here by Costello's writing influence. When Paul sings, "Ever since you went away, I've had this sentimental inclination not to change a single thing..." the flow and style of the lyric is undeniably Costello. McCartney's influence on the other hand can be heard in the changes the song goes through and the hook after hook he throws at the listener. 

The highest this song ever got on the U.S. Billboard charts was #25, and #18 in the UK. It easily deserves more credit than its received over time, and the fact that I have not once heard it on the radio probably speaks more to the time it was recorded rather than its quality. Up until his collaborations with Kanye West and Rihanna, this was McCartney's last top 40 single in the states and there's no reason it shouldn't have been his last top 10 for the time.

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