Last week’s ‘Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket’ featured ‘Dear Boy’ from RAM and one of Paul’s most elegant and precise counterpoint arrangements. This week we’re stripping it right back with the song ‘Warm And Beautiful’ taken from the 1976 Wings album At The Speed Of Sound.
We rediscovered this ‘deep cut’ ourselves back in 2014 when At The Speed Of Sound was reissued as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, and it’s been a favourite ever since. As we were putting together that release, we also discovered that it’s one of Paul’s favourites too who commented in the liner notes for the reissue: "I like 'Warm and Beautiful' very much, I think it’s one of my very good songs.”
The ‘Warm And Beautiful’ arrangement is so different from ‘Dear Boy’ that apart from Paul’s singing and piano, the listener gets halfway through the song before any other instrument is heard. Here’s Paul again,
"I find it a very emotional melody, and in the middle there’s a sort of slide guitar in the instrumental thing where it suddenly goes into harmonies. And it’s funny I always think of that song in close harmony, but the rest of the song isn’t – it’s pretty much just a solo – me and a piano. So actually listening to it I thought it would be great to work up a close harmony version of that, because it’s very emotional and it would really work almost as an acapella thing. I like that tune and I’ve done various side projects like Working Classical which has a string quartet doing that, and they do it very nicely. But it is a nice melody... he said modestly! One of my favourite melodies."
To achieve those close harmonies, Paul worked with arranger Fiachra Trench, who also arranged the strings on songs such as Boomtown Rats’ ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and The Pogues ‘Fairytale of New York’.
Paul: "Over the years I’ve worked with some very good arrangers whose work I’ve heard here, there and everywhere. And if I like the work of someone I’ll ring them up and say, ‘I’ve got a song.’ Fee, (we called him Fee), he was around at the time and I knew he was a good arranger, so I asked him to help me on that one, which he did."
Listen to ‘Warm And Beautiful’ below:
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