Paul Collins Beat - Flying High
1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Shoes
3. Afton Place
4. Will You Be a Woman
5. All Over Town
6. I’m on Fire
7. More than Yesterday
9. Paco & Juan
11. Silly Love
12. Flying High
Flying High Press Release
Paul Collins' Beat Releases First New Studio Album in Twelve Years
Flying High, Paul Collins’ 11th album since The Beat, marks an end to a nearly 12-year musical quest and the start of a creative period that will generate several more releases, including more full-length studio albums, a live album, a concert DVD and a surprise that is sure to thrill fans of Collins’ entire body of work. The new 12-track album was recorded in Madrid, Spain over the course of four days.
Flying High is a return to the basics for Collins. The album successfully fuses Collins' undeniable songwriting talents with his unparalleled musicianship. In fact, the bulk of the album was recorded live, with many songs largely completed in the first take. The album’s 12 songs showcase Paul Collins' Beat’s undeniable skill and musical versatility.
Flying High is a mix of up-tempo guitar driven Collins instant classics such as “More Than Yesterday” and “Helen” and more introspective darker tracks such as “Bobby,” “I’m On Fire” and “Flying High.” One of the many highlights is a track entitled, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Shoes,” which Paul describes as “the daughter” of The Beat’s classic anthem “Rock ‘n’ Roll Girl.”
But Flying High would not have flown if not for the knowledge and wisdom Paul gained from his friendships with such legendary rockers as Dee Dee Ramone. He formed an admiration for Dee Dee during his early days touring with The Nerves and soon the two became friends. “Dee Dee and I would often hang out after shows and discuss songwriting and music in general,” enthused Collins. “I was always impressed with his attitude toward writing, stressing the importance of having sincere emotions at the core of every song. That really stuck with me and I was acutely aware of it throughout the many years of writing the songs for Flying High.”
Collins also formed a valuable friendship with rock icon Eddie Money during his days in The Nerves, the quintessential rock band in which Jack Lee and Peter Case joined Collins to create some of the most influential rock and roll music of the genre.
“Eddie took me under his wing when I was just starting out,” explained Collins. “He taught me a lot about the showbiz industry, songwriting, and performing. His advice has been invaluable to everything I have done since.”
“While I was working on Flying High I drew heavily from the knowledge I gained in knowing such professionals,” Collins added. “Jack Lee and Peter Case also had an enormous impact on me as an artist. They are all such great musicians. I think their influence is evident throughout all of my music.”
The years of writing for “Flying High” in secrecy began to near a decade and rumors began swirling. Nobody quite knew what to expect from this long period of creative gestation.
Collins deliberately took his time. “I wanted to give the songs the time they needed to grow and take on a life of their own,” said Collins, who insisted the actual recording sessions for the album be done as quickly as possible in order to maintain each song’s identity. “I didn’t want us to start second guessing the songs. After twelve years, they had progressed to a point where over-producing them would have destroyed their integrity. We just wanted to capture them in their most honest form. I think it was worth the wait. The music speaks for itself and I’m really proud of what we did.”
The results are evident throughout. The songs are sonically robust, the instrumentation and shimmering vocals first rate and the chemistry between Paul and his band apparent. The album has an organic feel reminiscent of Paul's early solo releases, and some of The Beat’s later recordings.
“The album is a story,” added Collins. “Musically, the songs represent the spectrum of emotions we all face in day to day life, so it is really your story as much as it is mine.”
“The songs aren’t overblown or exaggerated. It’s a rock band playing music together with no gimmicks between us and the listener,” concludes Collins. “We wanted to make a great album that was true to us as a band. I think that’s exactly what we did.”
Paul Collins' Beat continues to tour and perform around the world. Paul Collins’ two previous bands The Beat and The Nerves helped inspire what would become the sound of today’s foremost artists from Green Day to Everclear. - LUCINDA RECORDS
Paul Collins was the drummer for the Nerves when they had their one and only hit, the new wave anthem “Hanging on the Telephone” covered by Blondie. Later, in his own band, The Beat, he recorded one of the definitive power pop albums of the late 1970s , the band’s self-titled debut in 1979. Other albums, line-up changes, break-ups, solo recordings, reunions followed, but Flying High is the first album of new material from Collins in more than a decade. It is a rather low-key affair, recorded in about a day and a half, with friends and mostly acoustic instruments, and Collins’ son sings back-up on the opening song. The difference between this and a million other self-recorded albums is the careful construction of the songs, nearly all of which have something special to offer. “Rock ‘N Roll Shoes”, co-written with a since-deceased friend Neil Grossman, has the stinging guitars and soaring harmonies of British Invasion pop, while “Paco & Juan” channels a little of Mark Knopfler’s dark romanticism. “Bobby”, written about a childhood friend who died in a mental institution, is the darkest song on the album, an unsentimental reminiscence set to folk guitars. But there’s plenty of sunshine here, as well. “Afton Place” rings out with Kinks-like chords and sweeping choruses, and “Silly Love” is a countrified ode to no-strings hook-ups. ("Let’s not get too deep/Let’s not talk too much/Let’s have a cocktail/And then make love.") This is not the kind of album that changes anyone’s life....it’s just good, relaxed fun, from a guy who’s forgotten more than you’ll ever know about chord changes. - POPMATTERS
With his late-’70s LA troupes The Nerves and The Beat, Paul Collins essentially invented the genre of punk-infused power-pop. The Beat’s eponymous 1979 Columbia debut, with its skittering guitar-and-adrenaline stompers like “Rock and Roll Girl” and “Walking Out On Love,” arguably remains the style’s apex, and established an archetype that lesser bands like The Romantics and The Knack parlayed into mass successes. The modest Flying High, Collins’ first solo turn in 12 years, proves his gift for a hook is still intact, even if the rhythms are gentler, the songs more reflective. “Afton Place,” a catchy-as-hell highlight, looks back on the early years with empathy and passion. - LUKE TORN / UNCUT MAGAZINE
Paul Collins will always be remembered for delivering unto the world the most perfect pop-punk song, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Girl.” Unfortunately, for the most part, it was a pretty cloth-eared world that never paid enough attention and certainly didn’t buy enough records. The few,mostly located in mainland Europe, who did recognise his talent have been lucky enough to play host to Mr Collins on and off for the past couple of decades. During this period he has quite schizophrenically split his time between being a country troubadour and a power pop rocker. He succeeds at both having a powerful voice matched by a passionate delivery. His latest album, Flying High, focuses far more on his rock/pop side. With songs like “Rock 'n' Roll Shoes,” “Helen,” “Afton Place” and “All Over Town” harking back to his late-’70s heyday. His time in Spain is felt strongly on “Paco & Juan” with its Spanish-influenced guitar (and subject matter), and his Americana stylings are to the fore on the moody “FDR” and the musically simple but emotionally powerful title track. But it’s his conversational story telling, most in evidence on the sad tale of “Bobby,” that holds the show together, and makes this an album to be proud of. - TERRY HERMON / BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS
Paul Collins’ Beat produced some great power-pop/punk records over 25 years ago. It’s heartening to discover that Paul decided to carry on in 1989, and has been recording and gigging in Spain virtually ever since. Collins always had a knack for power pop melodies and hooks, and it hasn’t deserted him. The punkier stylings of the earlier recordings have been replaced by a lighter, more acoustic approach. The songs are well supported by a Spanish band and Paul’s son (?) On backing vocals. Octavio Vinck deserves special mention for tasteful, economic lead guitar parts and backing vocals. The websites are short of information, but I presume that Paul now lives in Spain, where pure pop gets a warm welcome. Whilst the twelve songs here are not instant classics, they all have nifty hooks and catchy choruses. Let’s hope Paul keeps writing and playing stuff like this for another 25 years. - SHINDIG