Paul McCartney felt invigorated after working on the Beatles’ Anthology project in the mid-Nineties, and that spilled over into his 1997 album, Flaming Pie, which remains his second-highest-charting album of the past 25 years. An upcoming box set will contain previously unreleased demos, outtakes, and rehearsal tapes, offering a holistic look at the LP.
One of the collection’s more interesting curios is “Broomstick,” a tune McCartney cut with Steve Miller, who played guitar on most of the album. It came out as a B side to Flaming Pie’s “Young Boy” (which Miller also co-wrote) but has since drifted into obscurity. On the released version of “Broomstick,” McCartney sings, “As long as we’re together, it’s gonna be just fine/Well, I heard it on the broomstick, dashing through the middle of the night.” It’s a smooth, easy jam on which Miller plays a bluesy solo.
The previously unreleased version of “Broomstick” premiering here, which will not appear on the box set, is an all-acoustic instrumental jam that features just McCartney and Miller. As he did on both of his McCartney albums — on which he tracked the guitar, bass, and drums himself — McCartney handles most of the heavy lifting, while Miller plays guitar. This version also lacks the sound effects that closed out the more-familiar version.
The massive Flaming Pie reissue, due out July 31st, contains dozens more previously unreleased recordings that McCartney made in the mid-Nineties, in addition to a newly remastered version of the album. One disc contains his personal home recordings, providing sketches of each of the songs from the album. Another features studio takes on the songs, varying from acoustic interpretations to live run-throughs. The fourth disc focuses on B sides, including “Broomstick,” and clips from McCartney’s Oobu Joobu radio show at the time. And the final disc of audio is a tour through McCartney’s studio, on which he plays several instruments that he’s used going all the way back to his time with the Beatles.
“[The Anthology] reminded me of the Beatles’ standards and the standards that we reached with the songs,” McCartney said around the time of Flaming Pie’s original release. “So in a way, it was a refresher course that set the framework for this album.”