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"The early feedback from Pop and Adult radio has been great. Orders at retail are up exponentially due to the stripping of the song on the record."
—--Dan Hubbert, Capitol
CAPITOL, SIR PAUL ARE
"FREEDOM" FIGHTERS
Pop Legend's VH1 "Concert" Anthem Added to Album, Rushed to Radio
Music fans are yearning for "Freedom."

That's the thinking behind Capitol's last-minute decision to include "Freedom," Sir Paul McCartney's anthemic new song from the VH1 "Concert for New York City," on his upcoming album, Driving Rain.

The live track—with swiftly re-recorded vocals—has been stripped onto Rain in time for its 11/13 street date. The revised version of the CD was pressed over the weekend.

The track is the first song penned by a major artist in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to resonate with a mass audience—though it undoubtedly won't be the last. It's also evidence of the ability of music icons like McCartney to both reassure and inspire audiences in troubled times.

"We weren't even expecting 'Freedom' to come out of all this," insisted VH1 topper John Sykes. "It was something Paul wrote the weekend before the concert, which just shows what a genius songwriter he is."

The ex-Beatle's new song, a straightforward, determined ode with the refrain "I will fight for the right to live in freedom," received a delirious response from the "Concert" crowd and shows signs of having a similar impact at radio, video and retail.

"Freedom" was rush-released to all formats on Friday for a Tuesday impact date; a video, which will probably incorporate concert footage, is anticipated shortly. Capitol plans to ship an initial 500k of Driving Rain.

"We have received overwhelming demand for Freedom' based on the performance at the 'Concert for New York,'" related Capitol promo whiz Dan Hubbert. "The early feedback from Pop and Adult radio has been great. Orders at retail are up exponentially due to the stripping of the song on the record. We are all very excited at the prospect of breaking a Paul McCartney song."

Meanwhile, the previously appointed single, "From a Lover to a Friend," will go to retail as part of a two-song disc with "Freedom." The earlier version of the single was recalled, making it an instant collector's item for a lucky few.

McCartney shares production credit on the track with David Kahne.

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