Flowers in the Dirt is the eighth solo studio album by Paul McCartney, released in 1989. It was considered a major return upon release for McCartney because he was embarking on his first world tour since the Wings Over the World jaunt back in 1975/1976. Flowers in the Dirt was also celebrated due to its musical quality, which earned McCartney his best reviews in years.
After the meagre sales that greeted Press to Play, McCartney realized that he needed to work much harder on his follow-up. Thus, he not only teamed up with several different producers, but also spent the better part of 18 months perfecting Flowers in the Dirt. A highlight of the sessions was McCartney's productive alliance with Elvis Costello, with whom he composed many new songs. McCartney greatly enjoyed the partnership, even finding that Costello mirrored John Lennon in certain aspects of his personality. Costello would also appear on the album, even co-singing "You Want Her Too" with Paul. Another celebrity guest included was friend David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, who plays guitar on "We Got Married".
Knowing full well he intended to launch the biggest tour of his career thus far, McCartney also put together a regular band to take out on the road, and who would appear in various forms on Flowers in the Dirt. Hamish Stuart was best known for his tenure in Average White Band, while Robbie McIntosh had been a member of the Pretenders. Filling out the sound would be Chris Whitten on drums and Paul "Wix" Wickens joining McCartney's wife Linda McCartney on keyboards.
Finally, early in 1989, the project was ready. In May, the Beatlesque "My Brave Face" was released as a single and promptly gave McCartney a US hit, reaching #25, while reaching #18 in the UK. In June, Flowers in the Dirt was released to high anticipation and immediately entered the UK charts at #1, garnering very receptive reviews from all around. In the US, the reaction was better than Press to Play, with the album reaching #21, staying on the charts for a year and going gold, though it still sold beneath expectations. The second single, "This One" reached #18 in the UK, as did "My Brave Face". The follow-ups "Figure of Eight"/"Où est le Soleil?" and "Put It There" would all be minor UK hits.
The Paul McCartney World Tour opened on 26 September 1989 and featured concerts in North America, Europe, Japan and Brazil until the following July.
The album cover artwork was photographed by Linda McCartney. The background canvas was painted by the British artist Brian Clarke, who was also responsible for designing stage backdrops for the world tour.
A limited-edition "World Tour Pack" of Flowers in the Dirt, sold in a facsimile trunk, was issued in Britain in October 1989, and America (with British catalogue numbers) in January 1990. The set included a bonus single of "Party Party" (Mixed by Bruce Forest and released on a one-sided 7" single in vinyl editions of the "World Tour Pack" and a 3" CD-single in compact disc editions of the "World Tour Pack"). In March 1990, another limited edition of the album that featured a bonus disc was released exclusively in Japan and re-entered the country's chart. A remastered CD was released in 1993.
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