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Flowers in the Dirt is an album by Paul McCartney, released in 1989. It was considered a major return upon release for McCartney due to the fact that 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 realised 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 eighteen 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 one track.

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 whom 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 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"/"Ou Est Le Soleil?" and "Put It There" would all be minor UK hits.

The Paul McCartney World Tour opened on 26 September 1989 and would travel the globe (including Japanmarker) until the following July, becoming one of the highest grossing and best reviewed tours of all time.

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" (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.

Track listing

All songs by Paul McCartney, except where noted.

  1. "My Brave Face" (Paul McCartney/Declan MacManus) – 3:18
  2. "Rough Ride" – 4:43
  3. "You Want Her Too" (McCartney/MacManus) – 3:11
  4. "Distractions" – 4:39
  5. "We Got Married" – 4:57
  6. "Put It There" – 2:07
    • Based upon a saying of McCartney's father, James McCartney
  7. "Figure of Eight" – 3:25
    • Re-recorded in September 1989 for its single release as a double A-Side with "Ou Est Le Soleil?"
  8. "This One" – 4:10
  9. "Don't Be Careless Love" (McCartney/MacManus) – 3:18
  10. "That Day Is Done" (McCartney/MacManus) – 4:19
  11. "How Many People" – 4:14
    • Dedicated to the memory of Chico Mendes, Brazilian Rain Forest Campaigner
  12. "Motor of Love" – 6:18

Additional track on CD and CT editions

  1. "Ou est le Soleil?" – 4:45

Bonus tracks on 1993 reissue

  1. "Back on My Feet" (McCartney/MacManus) – 4:24
  2. "Flying to My Home" – 4:15
  3. "Loveliest Thing" – 3:58

Special Package (1990 Japanese tour edition)

Following tracks are included on bonus disc.
  1. "Message" - 0:28
    • A environmental message from Paul to the Japanese fans.
  2. "The Long and Winding Road" (John Lennon/McCartney) (sic) - 3:51
    • From the video "Put It There".
  3. "Loveliest Thing" - 3:59
  4. "Rough Ride" - 4:53
  5. "Ou est le Soleil (7" Mix)" - 4:50
  6. "Mama's Little Girl" - 3:41
    • an outtake from the 1972 "Red Rose Speedway" sessions.
  7. "Same Time Next Year" - 3:06
  8. "Party, Party" (McCartney/Linda McCartney/Robbie McIntosh/Hamish Stuart/Chris Whitten/Paul "Wix" Wickens) - 5:35
  9. "P.S. Love Me Do" (McCartney/Lennon) - 3:40
    • The studio version of the combination of two of the Beatle songs owned by MPL Communications. The live version is found on the "Birthday" CD single.

iTunes exclusive track

  1. "This One (Club Lovejoys mix)" - 6:12
    • In 2007, upon adding McCartney's catalog of music, the iTunes Store added a never before released on CD version of "This One", the "Club Lovejoys mix". This extended version is the version released on the "This One" 12" maxi single in 1989.
    • Remixed by Matt Butler.

Chart positions and certifications


Year Country Chart Position Weeks Certification (if any) Sales/shipments
1989 Norwaymarker VG-lista 1 (x4) 21
1989 United Kingdommarker UK Albums Chart (Top 100) 1 20 Platinum 300,000+
1989 Swedenmarker 2 10
1989 Japanmarker Oricon Weekly CD Albums Chart (Top 100) 9 8 70,000+
1989 Switzerlandmarker 13 9 Gold 25,000+
1989 United Statesmarker The Billboard 200 21 49 Gold 500,000+
1989 Austriamarker Austria Top 40 18 8
1989 Australia ARIA Charts 18 7

Country Charts (1990 JP 2CD deluxe edition)
Peak position Weeks
Japan 27 4


Year Single UKmarker USmarker NOmarker ATmarker SEmarker CHmarker DEmarker AU FRmarker
1989 "My Brave Face" 18 25 4 - 19 25 29 30 31
1989 "This One" 18 94 - 8 - - 40 - -
1989 "Figure of Eight" 42 92 - - - - - - -
1989 "Ou Est Le Soleil?" - - - - - - - - -
1990 "Put It There" 32 - - - - - 60 - -


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