Thrillington

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Thrillington
Thrillington album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 April 1977 (UK)
17 May 1977 (US)
RecordedJune 1971
Studio Abbey Road, London
Genre Easy listening, jazz, lounge
Length44:50
Label Regal Zonophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Producer Percy "Thrills" Thrillington
Paul McCartney chronology
Wings over America
(1976)
Thrillington
(1977)
London Town
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
MusicHound 2/5 [2]
Rolling Stone unfavourable [3]

Thrillington is an album produced by English musician Paul McCartney, under the pseudonym Percy "Thrills" Thrillington. It was released in April 1977 in the UK and in May 1977 in the US. It is an instrumental covers album of Paul and Linda McCartney's 1971 album Ram .

Contents

Recorded in June 1971, the album was shelved upon the formation of Wings, and not released for nearly six years. When Thrillington was finally issued, it did not attract much attention, and did not chart. McCartney initially kept his involvement with the project a secret; nevertheless, the project's nature and the rather bizarre pseudonym chosen for the credited artist led the few contemporary reviewers who wrote about Thrillington to conclude that "Percy Thrillington" was in fact McCartney working incognito. McCartney formally revealed himself to be Percy Thrillington in 1989, and the following year also admitted to being "Clint Harrigan", who wrote the album's liner notes.

In addition to reissues in 1995 and 2018, Thrillington was re-issued as part of the deluxe edition of Ram in 2012.

History

The album was recorded in June 1971 and with an intended release shortly thereafter. Paul McCartney produced the sessions, although he did not play or sing at all on the album, and all arrangements were by Richard Anthony Hewson, who was asked to work on the orchestration before Ram had yet been released. [4] The album was completed in three days of recording sessions, but when Paul and Linda decided to form Wings, the (at that point untitled) Thrillington album was shelved.

Years later, in late 1976, McCartney decided to release the long-in-storage project, and devised a plan to publicize the album while obscuring his own involvement with it. In preparation for the release of Thrillington, McCartney invented the fictitious socialite Percy Thrillington, and even took out ads in various UK music papers announcing Thrillington's so-called comings and goings to generate curiosity and interest.

Released in April 1977, McCartney's name was mentioned only in the main liner notes where he is described as a friend of Percy. Thrillington went mostly unnoticed upon its release although it was reviewed by Rolling Stone magazine and mentioned in the "Random Notes" section. [5] Variety also reviewed the album, noting that "Whether Percy Thrillington is Paul McCartney or not is really irrelevant. What matters is that he (they) is (are) having fun." [6]

Because it was widely assumed that Thrillington was the product of McCartney working under a pseudonym, the album became a collector's item. McCartney finally admitted his role to journalist Peter Palmiere at a Los Angeles press conference on 27 November 1989 during his world tour: "What a great question to end the conference. The world needs to know! But seriously it was me and Linda – and we kept it a secret for a long time but now the world knows! – you blew it!" [7]

In 1990 Paul McCartney also admitted to Palmiere, via an autograph request, that he was indeed Clint Harrigan – the liner notes writer for Thrillington and Paul McCartney and Wings' Wild Life album. The first person to reveal the identity of Clint Harrigan was John Lennon, who stated as much during a well-publicised letter feud with McCartney in the New Musical Express in 1972.[ citation needed ]

The full story of the Thrillington album was told in detail in 1995 in Beatles fanzine Good Day Sunshine [8] and in music journalist Ian Peel's book The Unknown Paul McCartney (Reynolds & Hearn, 2002). Peel tracked down various musicians who brought McCartney's vision to life – including Richard Hewson, Herbie Flowers and the Mike Sammes Singers – as well as those that were involved in creating its mythology.

Re-release

Thrillington was issued on CD in 1995 and 2018, the latter with an accompanying vinyl version.

Thrillington was re-issued as part of the deluxe edition of Ram on 21 May 2012. [9] To coincide with this release, McCartney started a Twitter account under the Thrillington name, posting tweets in a manner similar to the original newspaper announcements. The album was re-issued on CD, vinyl, and limited edition coloured vinyl on 18 May 2018. [10]

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Too Many People" Paul McCartney 4:31
2."3 Legs"Paul McCartney3:41
3."Ram On"Paul McCartney2:49
4."Dear Boy"Paul & Linda McCartney 2:50
5."Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"Paul & Linda McCartney4:56
6."Smile Away"Paul McCartney4:39
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Heart of the Country"Paul & Linda McCartney2:27
2."Monkberry Moon Delight"Paul & Linda McCartney4:36
3."Eat at Home"Paul & Linda McCartney3:28
4."Long Haired Lady"Paul & Linda McCartney5:44
5."The Back Seat of My Car"Paul McCartney4:51

Personnel

Musicians

Production

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References

  1. Eder, Bruce. "Thrillington – Percy Thrillington". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 8 August 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  2. Gary Graff & Daniel Durcholz, MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999), p. 731.
  3. Swenson, John. "The rock heard 'round the world" Rolling Stone 30 June 1977: 94, 97
  4. Sounes, Howard (2010). Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. London: HarperCollins. p. 284. ISBN   9780007321551.
  5. "Random Notes" Rolling Stone 2 June 1977: 37
  6. "Album Reviews" Variety 3 August 1977: 59
  7. Sounes, Howard (2010). Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. London: HarperCollins. p. 284. ISBN   9780007321551.
  8. "Thrillington", by Matt Hurwitz, Good Day Sunshine Magazine, 1995
  9. "Paul and Linda McCartney's Legendary Album RAM Set for Deluxe Reissue". paulmccartney.com. 2 June 2013. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  10. "Paul to Reissue Four Catalogue Titles". PaulMcCartney.com. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. "Thrillington," by Matt Hurwitz, Good Day Sunshine Magazine, 1995
  12. Richard Hewson, personal interview with Matt Hurwitz, July 2015