October 1983. I know it was a long time ago but do any of you out there who were alive at the time remember what you were doing?
I for one was in my senior year in high school and as was typical of me then, and now quite frankly, I was eagerly awaiting the release of a brand new Paul McCartney album which was to be released on October 17, 1983.
That album, called “Pipes of Peace”, was the sequel to his very successful and acclaimed album “Tug of War” from 1982 and I was chomping at the bit to hear it.
I already loved and owned the first single from the album, “Say Say Say” the duet with Micheal Jackson, and knew that the upcoming “Pipes of Peace” was pretty much recorded at the same sessions as “Tug of War” and was also produced by George Martin.
Enough said, I’m in, take my money I remember feeling as the release date approached. Of course that’s usually my attitude toward new McCartney releases it was just more heightened at that time and that age.
Now I also distinctly remember being quite surprised by both the critical and commercial reception that greeted “Pipes of Peace” which was not what I was expecting and seemed to come out of nowhere.
Don’t get me wrong I loved the album, still do in fact, but the critics were less than kind to the album in many of the reviews that I read and I was quite shocked when the album stalled at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 200 albums after entering at 16 the week before – truly weird.
The single “Say Say Say” was an out and out smash hitting number one for several weeks so it was truly strange to see the album kind of not tank really but not do as well as I had expected.
To this day a lot of McCartney fans are lukewarm at best to this album but from day one I’ve always loved it. Granted the “Tug of War” album is a much stronger collection of songs but I’ve always enjoyed this lighter sounding sequel and it never fails to put me in a calmer peace of mind whenever I play it.
“Pipes of Peace” holds many happy memories for me and remains one of my my all-time favorite McCartney albums. In fact the title song as well as “Keep Under Cover”, “So Bad” and especially “Through Our Love” are songs I return to frequently and have enjoyed quite often throughout the years.
In honor of this lovely album I thought I would post some photos of the first CD issue of the album from the UK from 1983 as well as the last CD issue, I’m guessing anyway, from 2017 on Capitol Records which contains the latest remaster of the album from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection.
I must say both CDs sound quite good but I may give the slight edge to the newer remaster as it has a bit more punch than the original. The original CD is definitely warmer and has great acoustics but sounds slightly softer and less detailed than the remaster.
Both are quite good and every time I play the Made in Japan original UK CD it really takes me back in time as that’s how I remember the album sounding in 1983.
Can it really be over thirty-seven years ago, yikes!
As usual take a gander above at the two CD issues as well as a bonus ad I cut out from some magazine at the time (Rolling Stone magazine most likely) and if you’ve never heard the “Pipes of Peace” album you should definitely check it out as it’s stood the test of time.
(Note: Just for grins I also added a couple of photos of the first US CD issue of the album on Columbia Records – one made in Japan and one made in the US. Both of these CDs sound pretty much the same as the UK first issue but may sound even a tad bit better.)
Anyway, enjoy this quick peak at Paul McCartney’s “Pipes of Peace” and until next time be well and more of my musings coming soon …