Friday, March 9, 2012

From a Lover to a Friend


From a Lover to a Friend paulmccartney.filminspector.com
Paul McCartney in his "From a Lover to a Friend" video.



"From a Lover to a Friend" was a single from Paul McCartney's "Driving Rain" album in 2001. With "Riding into Jaipur" as its flip side, "From a Lover to a Friend" managed to reach No. 45 in the United Kingdom and somehow a shocking No. 6 in Canada.  Somewhat inexplicably, that makes "From a Lover to a Friend" Paul's last single as the primary artist to date to crack the top 40 in North America (McCartney hasn't been back on the Canadian singles chart at all since). Perhaps the best thing about "From a Lover to a Friend" is that Heather Mills, who was on Paul's preceding 1999 single "Vo!ce," doesn't make an appearance. Hey, just speaking the truth here.

From a Lover to a Friend paulmccartney.filminspector.com


There is a positive aspect to "From a Lover to a Friend," but it has little to do with the composition itself. Abe Laboriel, Jr. plays drums while Rusty Anderson chips in with his 12-string electric guitar. McCartney fans will instantly recognize those two men as permanent members of Paul's unnamed backing band ever since, and "From a Lover to a Friend" is the first single on which they participate. Later in the year, they backed Paul live at The Concert for New York City" in October 2001, and they've been backing McCartney ever since.

From a Lover to a Friend paulmccartney.filminspector.com


While it is dangerous to read things into someone else's songs, "From a Lover to a Friend" has a definite dirge-like quality that may reflect things going on in McCartney's personal life. Sure, "From a Lover to a Friend" has a typical tuneful McCartney melody, but Paul sounds more like he's trying to convince himself of something (exactly what is a bit unclear, perhaps that it is okay to love again as the song says) than communicating some definite feeling. Trying to be charitable, some ascribe the song's mournful vibe to Paul's lingering sadness about the death of Linda McCartney, but Paul has had chances to confirm this interpretation and passed. It is hard not to pinpoint the years 1998 to 2005 as a true low point in both McCartney's private and personal life, and "From a Lover to a Friend" is the smoking gun. Of course, Paul bounced back as he always does, and "From a Lover to a Friend" is merely a sad reminder of that dark period and what it would take to get out of it. "From a Lover to a Friend" is a good song to play at someone's funeral, perhaps.


From a Lover to a Friend paulmccartney.filminspector.com


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