http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/b67280e550468fe12f43104c69695e32f9ee36c5.jpg Run Devil Run

Paul McCartney

Run Devil Run

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
October 28, 1999

Some of the greatest rock rock concerts I ever witnessed were Paul McCartney sound checks. Few touring artists get loose like the former Fab, who warms up for his slick stadium and arena shows with long sets of rock and R&B standards — material that recaptures some of the Beatles' Hamburg-club-era roughness. Over the years, McCartney has repeatedly revisited his musical roots (perhaps most notably on his Choba B CCP act of musical glasnost). Now, in the wake of personal tragedy, having lost the love of his life, McCartney seems to have found some solace in his earliest passions.

The resulting album is a vivid reminder of McCartney's massive natural charm and innate musicality. It's impossible not to be affected by the intimate way in which he invests himself in these primal songs of loss and love, especially "No Other Baby," a minor hit for Chad and Jeremy, and Ricky Nelson's "Lonesome Town." McCartney also successfully tackles two Elvis gems, "All Shook Up" and "I Got Stung." This is timeless teen music performed with youthful abandon but with added adult resonance. Other offerings don't require any context whatsoever — just an open ear — such as his delicious, Cajun-flavored cover of "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and a tough take on "She Said Yeah." It's a testament to the quality of McCartney's three original songs — the title track, "Try Not to Cry" and "What It Is" — that they don't sound out of place with these short but sweet chestnuts.

Run Devil Run — produced by McCartney with Chris Thomas and featuring backing by, among others, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice — is simultaneously heartbreaking and life affirming. It's a hint that the upbeat optimism that has caused this man to so often be critically undervalued is tied to the same strength that is seeing him through. As for the rest of us, we get a great, unpretentious rock & roll record into the bargain.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »