Thursday, 31 December 2009

Noughtie Paul McCartney PART TWO!

Rumours started in late 2004 that Macca was working with Nigel Godrich of Radiohead and Beck fame. This gave many fans hope for a really great piece of work. I am pleased to say that the results were fantastic. 'Chaos and creation in the backyard' is possibly his best album EVER, certainly in the top 3. It has melody, emotion, humour, introspection, hope, positiveness and bitterness - basically Paul doing everything well. Even the twee (English Tea) seems to work and does not completely out stay its welcome, still rather it was not included mind. It works as a cohesive album and much of that has to be down to his producer. It is a CD that four years later, for me, still gets a regular play and not just selected tracks, but all the way through. Everything around this album was perfect; the b-sides were wonderful, especially 'This Loving Game' and 'I Want You To Fly' and a great TV and radio special to co-inside with its release.

Touring continued in the States including a couple of interesting additions (Too Many People for starters) but the 18th million time of listening to Let it Be, Hey Jude, Jet, Get Back etc. was beginning to grate. His shows were still hugely enjoyable but the special spark for the dedicated fan was ebbing away. The element of surprise and the wow factor has been lost. Special special songs were being diluted by over exposure. This is why Disney only re-release their classics every 7 years or so and either don't release a DVD or deleted them very quickly. Paul should follow suit, he has the biggest and best back catalogue to draw from in the world from the 1960's to the present day. It is a crying shame many classic and high quality songs are not played and given the exposure that they deserve. Paul was turning into the Bootleg McCartney. Maybe a little harsh, but true nevertheless. Even the 'ad libs' were wearing thin and needed a change. We know the Blackbird story, the C'Moon story, the ukulele story with GH, and how many times do we need to be told that 'you were great' at the end of Hey Jude?!

However, his band still rocks and he still has so much energy and for his age his voice stands up pretty well although not a patch on his 66-76 peak.

2006 was a year of personal problems and not the kind of publicity that is becoming of Paul.

The Beatles Love project was a welcome distraction and allowed Paul again to remind us and the world how great and innovative 'that band' were. Relationships between ex band mates and wives seems the best it has ever been.

In 2007 another album and a new label and some small gigs! Some variety and increased exposure. Memory Almost Full seems to catch the publics imagination with the Starbucks promotion helping greatly. A lame but catchy single "Dance Tonight' gave Paul his most widely recognised hit in a many a year. The album was a hit and miss affair. A handful of very good songs saved the day (Only Mamma Knows, House of Wax and End of the End). Overall it was a bit of a disappointment and rarely gets played in this household. The production was poor and lacked the warmth of Chaos.

The 'secret gigs' were great fun and saw Paul enjoy himself and the audience responded, although even the most ardent of Paul fans could not help to be concerned about his voice going down hill fast since Live8 in 2005. The song choices remained too samey and the chat likewise. Paul is such a charmer and a storyteller he really should mix things up a bit. However, I was front row at the Electric Proms and had the time of my life, so he must have done something right!

More of the same in 2008 on the 'live' front just bigger venues and very little change to the set list. However, the introduction of Mrs Vanderbilt and the joy the band and audience got out of it should be noted for more of the same. However, I must say his voice went back up a notch.

The highlight of the year was the return of The Fireman. The Electric Arguements album was a joyful surprise from start to finish and really deserves a wider audience. I hate it when people say Paul has done nothing since 1970. Boy is that wrong and he is still producing the goods. However, Paul does not help with his continued live policy...which means I am not going to bother with 2009 bar a mention for another lovely new song 'I Want to Come Home'

Lets hope in probably the last 'busy' few years of his career will see continued genius on record and an acknowledgement of 45 years of genius in his live shows and TV appearances.

Thanks Paul.

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