Personnel: Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitar, tambourine, percussion, synthesizer, celeste, sitar, harmonium, mellotron, flugelhorn), Elvis Costello (vocals, keyboards), Hamish Stuart (guitar, vocals), Robbie McIntosh, David Gilmour (guitar), David Rhodes (e-bow guitar), Judd Lander (harmonica), Chris Davis, Chris White, Dave Bishop (saxophone), Guy Barker (trumpet), John Taylor, Tony Goddard (cornet), Ian Peters (euphonium), Ian Harper (horn), Nicky Hopkins (piano), Greg Hawks, David Foster, Mitchell Froom, Trevor Horn (keyboards), Steve Lipson (bass, programming, guitar), Dave Mattacks (drums), Chris Whitten (drums, percussion, tambourine), Chris Hughes, Peter Henderson (programming), Linda McCartney (background vocals, miniMoog).
Producers: Paul McCartney, Mitchell Froom, Neil Dorfsman, Trevor Horn, Steve Lipson, Elvis Costello, David Foster, Chris Hughes, Ross Cullum.
Engineers: Neil Dorfsman, Steve Lipson, Geoff Emrick, Arne Frager, Jon Kelly, Jon Jacobs, Peter Henderson, Tchad Blake, Ross Cullum.
All songs written by Paul McCartney except "My Brave Face", "You Want Her Too", "Don't Be Careless Love" and "That Day Is Done" (McCartney/MacManus).
This includes the "Flowers In The Dirt" CD, a family tree poster for the current line-up going back to The Quarrymen days, a tour itinerary, post cards, a bumper sticker and a CD3 of "Party, Party, Party" available only in this set.
FLOWERS IN THE DIRT is arguably McCartney's finest album of the '80s (and '90s, for that matter). A large part of the credit is due to Elvis Costello, who cowrote several of the album's tracks. Costello provided the necessary artistic contrast that had been missing in McCartney's compositional process ever since his parting with Lennon. It doesn't hurt either that McCartney's melodic bass figures are at the heart of many arrangements here, a crucial element lacking in much of his previous solo work.
The Costello collaborations are predictably the strongest offerings: the opening "My Brave Face" is a cheeky, upbeat post-breakup tune, and "You Want Her Too" is an infectious expression of romantic rivalry. McCartney's own tunes are none too shabby, though. The warm, sentimental "Put It There" and the rocking "Figure of Eight" are among the solo-composed standouts.