Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
31 AUG 11 DAVID SHANNON
Years before the Beatles became synonymous with yellow submarines, blue meanies, strawberry fields and white albums, they played '50s rock 'n' roll covers in the cave-like clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg. Some 40 years later Paul McCartney revisited those early years with Run Devil Run, a paean to the roots music that launched the most popular band in the history of music.
The 12 covers on the album provide a tasteful review of tunes from the rock 'n' roll archives. McCartney playfully and reverentially pays tribute to the foundation of modern pop music -- from Elvis' "All Shook Up," which gets the full guitar rave-up treatment from none other than Pink Floyd alumnus David Gilmour, who appears on every song on the album; and Carl Perkins' "Movie Magg," which strips the original down even further; to an accordion-driven, lyric-shuffling, skiffle-esque version of the Chuck Berry classic "Brown Eyed Handsome Man."
McCartney's original compositions begin with the title track, which faithfully adheres to the raw sound of early rock 'n' roll, complete with an infectious hook, Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano banging courtesy of Pete Wingfield and a blistering solo from Gilmour. "Try Not To Cry" is a straight-ahead rocker that emphasizes McCartney's plaintive vocals, while "What It Is" sounds a lot like a revved-up Beatles track circa the mop-top era.
Most of these songs clock in at less than three minutes, which mimics the single format that ruled the radio airwaves in the '50s and '60s and helps make Run Devil Run a thrilling throwback for fans of the original rock 'n' roll.