Release Date: Sep 13, 2005
Record label: Capitol
Quiet though it may be, Paul McCartney experienced something of a late-career renaissance with the release of his 1997 album Flaming Pie. With that record, he shook off years of coyness and half-baked ideas and delivered an album that, for whatever its slight flaws, was both ambitious and cohesive, and it started a streak that continued through the driving rock & roll album Run Devil Run and its 2001 follow-up, Driving Rain. For Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, the follow-up to that record, McCartney tried a different tactic, returning to the one-man band aesthetic of his debut album, McCartney, its latter-day sequel, McCartney II, and, to a lesser extent, the home-spun second album, Ram.
For a moment, let us banish the nagging suspicion that the world may house people more deserving of our sympathy than a happily married knight of the realm, globally acknowledged as a peerless genius and with a rumoured personal fortune of £762m, and spare a thought for Paul McCartney. Despite his reputation for irrepressible chirpiness - the man who, for a generation of 1980s Smash Hits readers, will always be Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft - it can't be easy being him at 63. Your best work was completed four decades ago.