Monday, 28 December 2009

Noughtie Paul McCartney! PART ONE!

As the decade comes to an end the age old tradition is to both look back and forward. Lets have a quick look back of the last 10 years of Paul's career and life.

Paul entered the decade back in the public eye after the sad death of Linda in 1998. Towards the end of 1999 Paul released Run Devil Run (a rocking little covers (mainly) album), went back to the Cavern and did a couple of major TV interviews (Parkinson and Frost). This activity was a nice low key way to come back and these events set Paul up for an interesting first part of the decade.

Of course, there was Heather, Paul's new love - many said he was mad, or it was too early after Linda or that was just thinking with his trousers rather than his head. Much has been written about their relationship and it is pointless to go over old ground really here, but for the record I think Paul was misguided but had the right intentions. Good and bad, Heather shaped his decade personally, financially and professionally.

A new album (Driving Rain) was soon to appear, although not one of my personal top all time favourites it is still very underrated and very very good. It was quite an important album for him. The songs seemed to be more personal, he was pushing some musical boundries again, he had a young(ish!) raw band with him and it seemed to make him think about touring again. It gave him that drive again (no pun intended!).

The album was the biggest flop of his career, which was a little harsh as it has lots to offer. The album was poorly marketed and the single choice brave but not appropriate for the mainstream. The late addition to the album of 'Freedom' written in the aftermarth of 9/11 a dreadful 'protest' song and in my opinion far worse than anything that he normally gets ridiculed for like the 'The Frog Chorus' did not do anything to help and an already over long album. However, the Concert for New York was a great success and set the format for a decade of touring.

Sadly there was also the sad death of his old band mate Georgie H. Despite all their issues over the years the love and support Paul showed during this time proved really how much they loved each other. Paul acted with great credit throughout this time. RIP George.

His tours of 2002/3 and 2004 saw a great buzz from fans and the critics and after a 9 year gap from live performance it was good to see him back. The Beatles Live - read one review!

This period also saw the sad departure of the wonderful Geoff Baker as Paul's publicist and loyal friend. Good to hear that they have built bridges. I think Geoff was good for Paul and personally and professionally.

Paul was now entirely comfortable with his past (if not his other band!). Many unplayed Beatles songs were added to his set list and although more solo stuff would have been welcome, the concerts, songs, stage, pre-show, chat between songs were a joy to watch and hear. A triumphant concert at the Glastonbury festival helped re-establish Paul in the 'cool' bracket with the critics and the public. Gems like 'Helter Skelter' were even played. This should have been the start of a 'live' decade to remember and develop - but more of that later!

One thing it did set up Paul for was the creative kick to produce one of his best albums in his whole career........more of that in Part 2 soon!

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