Sunday, 19 December 2010

McCartney at Hammersmith Apollo Review

Well a couple of weeks ago, I wouldn't have expected to be writing a review of Paul live in concert at the relatively intimate Hammersmith Odeon (or Apollo as it is now called).

The announcement came out of the blue and then tickets came my way courtesy of a 'boardie' on the official Paul fourm. Many thanks for that unexpected offer!

The weather seemed to be the only thing stopping us getting to the concert. To be honest it was a dangerous journey and in many ways I was a little surprised that the concert went ahead. However, once there, the weather was forgotten for a couple of hours and the tension built and we waited for the show to begin.

Of course, in these interactive days you pretty much know the set list before the gig, which does take some of the surprise away. However, Paul has been mixing up things a little recently so nothing was set in stone.

I have seen Paul a few times, but have pretty much decided that the big outdoor and indoor venues are not for me anymore, so this opportunity was not to be missed. A proper gig. How about a UK tour of these kind of venues Paul?!

Paul still puts on such a fantastic show, that you can't help enjoying every moment, even when you know what is coming next, even down to the 'ab-libs'. I think the WHOLE WORLD now knows George used to play the Ukulele or that Blackbird originated with Paul and George playing Bach on guitars. Oh well, time for some new tales Paul....but you still raise a smile and a chuckle, the guy is  charasmatic.

Listening to your musical heritage is always an emotional experience,  you feel proud to be there, watching the best show in town with songs that shaped lives. As Paul gets older is voice does not quite hold up like it once did but the experience is still fantastic and the majority of the songs still sound great.

However, songs like Jet, Band on the Run and Long and Winding Road can be hit and miss, with the misses getting more common, but when you are there the pure euphoria and joy takes you away from some of the imperfections. I still think they these need to be replaced though with other Macca gems, but tonight they sounded good. Paul really was on top form and vocals were strong throughout and the band tight and having fun. You could just come and watch Abe's antics. He is so funny!

Maybe I'm amazed made a return to the set list in these recent series of concerts, and being my favourite Paul song, I was a little concerned that he would not do it justice. However, to be fair, it was a very good and emotional performance and being played back to back with 1985, another one of my absolute favs, I was in my element.

Other big highlights were I'm Looking Through You (an underated gem), Sing the Changes (really great live), Here Today (nailed the vocal) and Back In The USSR (rocked the house). 

He played One after 909 from Let It Be (but of course it dates back to the very early Beatle days), it was fun to hear and nice to have a new addition to the set list. However, I can't help thinking that a 'Listen to what the man said', "'Juniors Farm' or 'No More Lonely Nights' would have been better. The same with the cover of 'Hitch Hike' too really, although it was another good fun moment. As was the quirky and jokey Petrushka.  Anyway, I'm being a little picky! I was singing along with the best of them.

Strangely two of my least favourite Paul songs, Dance Tonight and Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da are great fun live and the audience really enjoyed them, as did Macca.

I can't really complain about anything, great venue, great view, Paul and the band sang and played really well. The Christmas spirit was present and Wonderful Christmastime was so close to the record I thought he was miming! The choir that joined the band added to the good feelings of the evening.

Despite hearing them for the millionth time the reaction that he gets when Hey Jude, Yesterday and Let It Be are played speaks volumes. You forget that at each concert there is a good percentage seeing Paul for the first time and their reaction is there to be seen. Although, I'd still love a radical set list change and to try and keep some of these songs in but perhaps with some more rotation. I think it can be safely said that he has the back catalogue over the last 50 years to do that!

All in all a fantastic evening and when Paul nails it, he is unbeatable. He did that on this cold Saturday night and warmed everyone's spirits, the fireworks during Live and Let Die literally did!

Click here for set list.

McCartney Hammersmith Apollo Set list

Main set

  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • Jet
  • Got to get you into my life
  • All My Loving
  • One After 909
  • Drive My Car
  • Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady
  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five
  • Maybe I'm Amazed
  • Blackbird
  • Here Today
  • I'm Looking Through You
  • And I Love Her
  • Petrushka
  • Dance Tonight
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Hitch Hike
  • Sing The Changes
  • Something
  • Band on the Run
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Back In The USSR
  • A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance
  • Let It Be
  • Live And Let Die
  • Hey Jude

Encore 1

  • Wonderful Christmas Time
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Get Back

Encore 2

  • Yesterday
  • Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • The End

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Details of a new McCartney album - True or false?

The below was found from another site which in turn was found on an engineering blog site. Make of it what you will. Remember the 'Pizza and Fairy tales' leaked album news!?

Anyway, below is the post in full. Just in case.....

I am an asst engineer with a major studio in New York.  I had the privalege of sitting in (well, I was doing some equipment work in and out of the room, and made sure I was  mostly 'in' when I figured out what they were working on) on a remixing session where McCartney's people were polishing up several new songs for an album next year. I heard 8 songs - I have no  confirmation that these are all slated for a new album, but they were definitely newer recordings and not remixes of older tracks as Paul's voice sounded the way it has in recent live shows - still fantastic but showing its age, a little lower register, etc. Paul was supposed to be there, but did not arrive by the time I had to make my exit (darn!) I do not know titles on most, so will have to give it my best guess.

This is a confirmed title. Someone mentioned "title track" indicating this may be the title of album(?) They spent the most time (half the session) on this. They were lavishing the kind of detailed attention to this, trying out different mixes, the way you would for a potential single release, and they'd be fools not to make this the first single. Its lyrics are Eleanor Rigby meets Bruce Springsteen - about a baby, a graveyard, and a young mother looking to the sky (Radio Sky) for hope and then dancing(?) It starts off stark and becomes uptempo in chorus  and its one of those infectious McCartney songs that does not leave your head. Strings (sounds like Kahne's work, though he wasn't at the session), guitar heavy chorus. 

Rockabilly, Crazy Little Thing Called Love type song. Paul doing Elvis  (similar vibe as That Was Me, but with more guitar). Only heard 2/3 of this.

This is another good pop number. See Your Sunshine style - reminds of an early to mid 80s type song, but catchy as hell and like Sunshine,  great bass playing (they had it turned up to work on EQ of bass - main reason for playing this track).

Ska-reggae Ob La Di style track. Played through it once, I heard about half, again catchy as hell, didn't catch many of the lyrics. They were talking about overdubs needed and whether to use live brass.

Pretty sure of title. Accostic guitar number. A "this is where I am in my life" type number - "I have love, I have everything I ever could have wanted..." is the first line. 

Not "Sea" from Rupert sessions. Sounds like Beach Boy's Surf's Up in tempo. This was in pretty rough, demo form.

This is a musically solid, mid-tempo rocker. Of course, this is the rumored title of a third Threatles song but I seriously doubt that's what this is or where this came from - sounded like Paul and his band. Pretty generic lyrics, nothing special in that dept. Another song that may be more of a demo.

Good mid-tempo pop number, "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry feel, starts off being a pro-environment message song, turns into song about cleaning up your own life/emotions to be positive. This sounded almost finished/more polished than all but the first song we heard. Wouldn't make a bad single.

Your Favourite Paul McCartney or Wings Single - New Poll!

I have added a new poll in the right hand column of my blog. Please continue to vote in the other polls if you have not done already though.

This time I want to know your favourite Macca single. These are based on UK releases, so sorry no Uncle Albert.

Once again, and I know it is very tough, but you have one selection only, so use it wisely!

I have not included The Girl is Mine because it is shite! (that and I consider it an MJ single with Paul as a guest as opposed to Say Say Say which is a Macca single with MJ as a guest). I have also decided to leave off Birthday (Live) as it is a Beatle track.

You can add comments on this thread too.

In the future, I will have a poll of 50 non single Macca tracks so that you can vote for your favourite of those too.

Friday, 10 December 2010


Been thinking all week whether to comment on 8.12.80. My view is people like Sean and Julian don't want it shoved down their throats every year and should be left alone.

Thought I would just post this to mark the week for the message to us all. I think telling those you love that you love them this Christmas is good advice. So JFDI.

Thanks to NBC

Paul McCartney on Jimmy Fallon 'Scrambled Eggs'

The original version of Yesterday performed for the first time!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

McCartney in 2011 - Your wish list and why?

A chance for you all to interact with McCartnet. What would you all like Paul to do in 2011.

Paul has had a busy year, but mainly touring, or organising releases.

What should be different in 2011!

Tell me your thoughts!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Another bite of the Apple...

Just in case you have not already reached the core many times before...

Taken from itunes

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Plastic Eastman Band - Paul's great lost album

I believe Paul could (and still can) often write very personal, honest and/or angry songs. I think this album could have been released and have been considered the equal of John's Plastic Ono Band album. Perhaps, it would have critically kick started Paul's solo career and resulted in some much needed respect in latter years.

This album reflects his life at that time, shows his state of mind, his bitterness, his love for, and the debt he owed his wife at that time, his loneliness, his forgiveness, his view on relationship's past and present, his passion and his humour. It is 11 tracks just like John's and would have been a little classic!

Available soon on McCarnet Records with added liner notes.

Side one
1. Every Night
2. Dear Boy
3. 3 Legs
4. Some People Never Know
5. Maybe I'm Amazed
Side two
1. Too Many People
2. Man We Were Lonely
3. Oh Woman, Oh Why
4. Oo You
5. Dear Friend
6. Ram On

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Paul to appear on Later...with Jools Holland

Good news has reached McCarnet that Paul will appear on 'Later...with Jools Holland' next week promoting the Band on the run remaster.

Let hope he pulls out a surprise and plays Bluebird or Picasso's Last Words!

Friday, 8 October 2010

It's Johnny's Birthday!

Tomorrow John Lennon would have been 70. Happy Birthday John.

John's star shone brightly on our lives whether we were alive when he was, too young to remember or just learnt about him since his death.

He was a one off. He said what he thought, although he often did not think what he said. He loved and hurt in equal measures. 

He was full of contradictions but we loved him all the same. We raised many an eyebrow as if to say 'what is he doing now?!' but some how we forgave him.

He was a genius and wrote some of the greatest music ever with his mate Paul. Afterwards he still amused us and kept our interest like a crazy old Uncle and still produced some musical gems, although to be fair some dross too.

He gave us his soul, he sold his soul, he took it away from us again. He was unhappy, he found himself, but somehow he was still lost. He gave so much, but still had much to give but did not know quite where to give it.

He loved his friends, but sometimes was afraid to show it. He made huge gestures of love but then also huge gestures of hypocrisy.

I am sure by now John would have come to terms with, and had redemption for his wrongs. He would also be comfortable with his success and adulation.  Peace would have been given a chance. 

His death made him a martyr, which he never was. That is not his fault. We should look back at his legacy with perspective and not let it be clouded by his early death. We should also remember others that have died for no reason, whether through guns or not. Taking away a human life is a tragic act.

John Lennon you were a special man who was human and we were wrong to think otherwise. You still shine brightly. Thank you for everything. I am sure Paul will be raising a glass and a loving curse or two!!!

And just for fun, my top ten John no particular order

  • Hey Bulldog
  • Watching the Wheels
  • Across The Universe
  • In My Life
  • Number 9 Dream
  • Happiness Is A Warm Gun
  • Come Together
  • Strawberry Fields Forever
  • I am The Walrus
  • Rain
Feel welcome to leave your thoughts.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

To see how the other half lived! - Ex-Macca Rep to write The Beatles Fanathology

I urge you all to support Geoff Baker in this project. Geoff did good work for Paul and Linda professionally and personally and has acted with dignity since they parted their ways. 

This looks like a Beatles project which is slightly different for once. It can cover the period from the day John met Paul right up until today. 

Therefore, all ages and many sorts of different people can contribute, regardless if you were there the first time or are just a new fan.

So, get you thinking caps on 'Macca people' and help Geoff have a best seller on his hands. Remember, this is not just Geoff's book - it is your book too, and you could be part of a best seller!

We know enough from the eye of the hurricane and we will now be able 'to see how the other half lived' from the perspective of the millions of lovers in the greatest romance of the 20th century.


Geoff Baker, former PR to Linda and Paul McCartney and The Beatles, is to write a history of Beatles fans - using the fans' own words and calling it The Beatles Fanthology.

Baker, who worked at Apple Corps as press assistant under Derek Taylor on the actual Beatles Anthology projects, is asking Beatles fans around the globe to send him their stories, memories and moments about their love for the world's most-enduring rock band.

Baker will edit anecdotes and observations from the fans into the first full and illustrated biography of The Beatles fan phenomenon.

'I have a lot of respect for them, there is absolutely nothing like a Beatles fan and I love 'em,' said Baker, who worked for 15 years as Paul McCartney's publicity chief.

'The fans made the band and they have continued to make the band through five decades - but I feel their crucial side of the story that Derek called 'the 20th century's greatest romance' has never been told properly before. I'm reasonably qualified to write this book and it is the only Beatles book that I shall ever write.'

Baker said he was spurred to do the book after a Beatles fan wrote to him and suggested that he did it.

'I've always been fascinated by the fans. I did three world tours with Paul McCartney and on each one it was the dancing fans with their cheeky banners, friendly faces and expert knowledge who made each show a smash. I have no interest in the posh people who buy the expensive seats and then just sit in them throughout the gig. (edit: good line)

'The kind of things I'm interested in are what was it like for a Beatles fan in the Sixties, what was it like seeing them in Liverpool, what's it like being a Beatles fan now, what's it like having a son as a Beatles fan, or a grand-daughter, what's special about them above every other band, how did they affect your life - I want to know what the fans think about The Beatles, not the biographers' opinion or the critics', the fans. Other than forever admiring their screaming, we've not paid enough attention to their voice.'

Baker is asking fans who want to put their voice in the book to tell him their stories - by email to

'I want to cover the whole Beatles period, from the beginning of the birth of the band in 1957 up to the current day. The fans can send me as much or as little as they like. Email me pix or anything they want, but don't send me originals because everybody knows I'll lose them,' said Baker. 'I'm looking for those little moments that may be personal to one but will be understood by us all. I want to get in as many voices as possible from as many places as possible.'

Although Baker has been kicking fan-related book ideas around in himself for years, it was his business partner Jill Newton who came up with the name The Beatles Fanthology after the fan's prompt. The pair, both former journalists, recently formed a books-writing partnership, Newton & Baker Books. The Fanthology will be their fourth book currently in production.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

John/George more than most harmed Paul's reputation post Beatles

I think their comments post Beatles contributed in creating the 'Paul is lightweight and rubbish myth, whereas, John and George seem to come out of it very well and are lauded for their post Beatle work. That is not to say that they did not deserve praise - just that theirs is too great and Paul's is not enough.

In interviews, they were both often very critical of Paul musically. We know all about John's many comments and digs, but George could be just as cutting. I paraphrase 'I'd join a band with John any day, but not with Paul, that's from a musical point of view' Even in the late 80's when a rumour went round that Paul was going to record some of John's songs, he said something along the lines of 'Perhaps it's because he has no good one's of his own'. George could be very funny and dry, but some of it was unnecessary.

There are many more digs - even in the 'Anthology' project where George often seemed to ignore or be indifferent to Paul in many of the interviews they did together. I think that was just what George was like sometimes. I think Paul had to walk on egg shells trying not to upset him and this would have made things feel a little forced. That is not to say that there were not lovely tender moments in this project - the 'Real Love' video has evidence of this.

In the film 'Let it Be', Paul has a go at George in a petty argument - although Paul does come across as a little condescending, I have always thought that Paul also came across as being diplomatic and considerate to George, whilst admitting his previous errors. Perhaps, more importantly, he was also right in what he was saying. George comes across as being a bit of a bore, although I can understand his frustration at having collected his backlog of songs and The Beatles not being the vehicle to get them all out. Of course, it would cause some resentment, as would Paul's sometimes second hand treatment of him. Ultimately, I guess being in a band with Lennon and McCartney was pretty hard.

Even with the Allen Klein arguments; Paul was right in his thoughts and the other three were wrong. OK, you could see the others 'concern' if they had gone with Paul's father in law, but that was not the main point, securing a financially clear Beatles' future was.

Anyway, back to 'Let it Be', George is mistreated and the band almost split and Paul is painted as the villain, but John and George came to blows (many sources including George Martin state this) at the same sessions and have a massive argument - and it is not mentioned in most of the history books when discussing their problems and reasons behind the split.

I know John and George often they had their tongues firmly in their cheeks and it was often was just childish p**s-taking, but why did they feel they had to constantly demean Paul? I know they said some pro-Paul things too, but the negative grossly outweighed those, certainly the comments made in public. That is the nature of the media and they knew this. It was like it was revenge or sabotage. Justified? I doubt it.

It is not as though both of them were churning out album after album of high quality stuff from 1972 onwards, in fact, much of it was very poor. No moral high ground there then. I know Paul sometimes did not/doesn't help himself with his decisions and releases, but come on, did he really deserve all this criticism? - on occasion I guess (Mary Had a Little Lamb an obvious example) Was it jealously? Was Paul really such a git to them in the break up? Were they just being vindictive? Why did they feel the need to do this? Money?

Sometimes you criticise the family, but if an outsider does the same then you back them to the hilt, but surely they knew what they were doing.

It is to Paul's credit that he never really reacted and kept his dignity, in public anyway. He could have said a lot about them if he wanted, I'm sure. I think Paul was actually very forgiving to them and knew deep down that they were his soul brothers.

What is clear from other comments is that G&P and J&P did love and respect each other and always had that bond. I think in 1982 Paul was asked who his best friend was, and he paused for a moment and said 'George and Ringo'. That speaks volumes.

A load of rubbish went on between all of them, but I just think some of John's comments were uncalled for, regardless if Yoko egged him on or not, and George was not that much better.

In many ways Paul could not win. His perfectionist nature, work ethic and ability to see, hear and do things so quickly probably did not help to make him the best to work with. However, I think J & G should be a little bit ashamed of themselves, but hey they all lived through it, not us.

John and George fell out with each other too, but that is glossed over. It is like it was always three against one. John did not see George as a threat, so John did not make as big a thing about it. In many ways, I think GH treated Yoko worse than Paul did at the end of the Beatles' period, but this is also rarely mentioned. Paul let them both live in his house FFS!

George and John had the argument over the Bangledesh gig, GH's 74 tour, the Beatles' signing for the break-up agreement, when he could not come from his house across the road as the stars weren't roght, and also on the content of the 'I Me Mine' book. However, it is just not as interesting or as public as John's and Paul's feud. Again, George seems to always come out of things well, and Paul does not.

My main gripe is that although Paul has/had many faults and I am sure he is not the easiest to work with, John and George's behaviour and actions with and out of the Beatles was often worse worse than Paul's, but they are forgiven as they are 'artists', 'torchered souls' etc. Whereas Paul is either a git or a self-publicist.

Paul once said 'I'll never fall out with anyone ever again without making up' (paraphrased). Although, I don't think Paul has lived quite true to this, in the end, he was the one who made sure that he continued to have a relationship with the others.

Regardless of everything, the dynamics and bonds in that group will only ever be understood by those four and they know their true feelings of each other. I am sure that they are/were mainly very positive but it does not excuse some of the behaviour. I will say here, that I love John and George too, and will stick up for them, and, I also think Paul is not wholly innocent, but it still does not forgive the character and artistic deformation that they helped form. Paul deserves some support because some of the rubbish sticks to this day.

I like to think of them all happy together and do believe that they had got over most of their issues. I don't think Ringo really fell out with any of them though, although I am sure if Paul had slept with Ringo's wife (as George did), then Ringo would not have been so forgiving and neither would the press. I love all the pictures and stuff of them together post-split and hearing of their meetings and get togethers: the sentimental side of me likes that and really does see them as brothers who loved and fought in equal measures, but that is not the reason for this post, it is the effect on Paul's musical legacy and ultimately the music is what was and still is important.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Band on the Run - remastered issue details



Taken from
Paul's Epic #1 Album From 1973 Will Be Available In Multiple Configurations Featuring Remastered Rare Bonus Audio & Video Content 
With Special Exclusive Packaging
November 1st in the UK
November 2nd in the US

MPL and the Concord Music Group are pleased to announce the re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings’ iconic Band on the Run. Heralded as one of the greatest albums of all time, the GRAMMY winning, smash # 1 album - originally released December of 1973 - yielded the immortal title track and world-wide hit “Jet” becoming Wings’ most successful and celebrated album ever. 

Paul personally supervised all aspects of the Band on the Run reissue. The remastering work was done at Abbey Road using the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles’ catalog. 

Band on the Run will be available in a variety of formats originating with the single disc digitally remastered, essential 9-track standard edition. The 3 disc (2CD, 1 DVD) special edition features nine bonus audio tracks (including the top 10 smash “Helen Wheels”), rare footage of the McCartneys in Lagos and behind-the-scenes at the famous album cover shoot, original Band on the Run promotional video clips, the One Hand Clapping television special (highlighted by studio performances filmed at Abbey Road in 1974) all with beautifully enhanced packaging. Collectors will be especially thrilled by the 4 disc (3CD, 1 DVD) deluxe edition which adds an extraordinary 120-page hard bound book containing many unseen and unpublished photos by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith, album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, a full history of the album complete with a new interview with Paul and expanded track by track information for all four discs. The deluxe edition also includes a special Band on the Run audio documentary (originally produced for the 25th Anniversary edition.) The original remastered album and bonus audio content will also be issued in a 2 disc 180gm audiophile vinyl edition that comes with an MP3 download of all 18 tracks. Lastly, the standard and deluxe versions of Band on the Run will be available digitally worldwide.

The musical achievement of Band on the Run is nearly matched by the amazing story behind its creation. Intrigued with recording abroad in the summer of 1973, McCartney searched for a list of studios around the world. Spotting one in the remote location of Lagos, Nigeria, he became enthralled with the idea of recording in Africa. Days before departure, lead guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell quit the band leaving the entire project to the three core members, Paul, his wife Linda McCartney and band-member Denny Laine (along with recording engineer Geoff Emerick). Recorded in August and September of 1973 (with further work done at AIR Studios in London in October 1973), they persevered through a tumultuous, yet creatively invigorating 2 month recording process battling difficult studio conditions, oppressive heat and a dangerous mugging at knife point. The thieves made off with the demo tapes (among other valuables), forcing the band to record the entire album from memory. 

Band on the Run triumphed both critically and commercially. The album topped the US album chart 3 separate times, won a Grammy and went on to sell more than 7 million copies. Upon the release of Band on the Run, then Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau famously gushed, “The finest record yet released by any of the four musicians who were once called The Beatles.” 

Paul is currently playing five songs from the album on his ‘Up and Coming Tour’. Live favorites over the last 8 years of touring have included “Jet”, “Band on the Run” and “Let Me Roll It”. In 2008 when Paul played a free outdoor show to over 500,000 people in Kiev, a Ukrainian poll listed “Mrs Vandebilt” as their all time favorite Paul McCartney song. It’s been included in the set ever since. At the start of this tour Paul added “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” to the set. 

Band on the Run marks the first release from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, an ambitious reissue program that encompasses 40 years of cherished, classic material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist in music history. It’s also the initial physical release of the recently announced agreement between McCartney’s MPL and Concord Music Group to globally market and distribute Paul’s venerated solo and Wings catalogue. 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

John and Paul Together after the split - new pic

A new picture of John and Paul from the 1970's. From the Patti Daley archive. Then just for interest the one released by May Pang a couple of years ago from her book.

I am convinced there must be more pictures of John and Paul together post split. Linda always seemed to have a camera with her and there are at least 5 or 6 documented times that they met in the 1970's.

In addition, there must be more pictures of Paul, Ringo and George at Eric Clapton's wedding than the two that have been published. One day pictures of them jamming on stage will come to light.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My reviews are now complete - PHEW!

According to all MY reviews these are my fav Macca albums in order! Thanks for reading the reviews. 

I look forward to what YOU think when the voting ends at the year end. Remember to vote if you have not done so yet!

Think it is not far off what I thought it would be at the start. My comments in despatches:
  • Broad Street should not be so high, but I never really think of it as a proper album anyway
  • Driving Rain is higher than I thought - but quite pleased about that
  • I have a real soft spot for 'McCartney' and I am sad it is not a little higher
  • I would have put my top 3 without the scoring system as the same 3 but in a different order 1. Ram 2. Chaos 3. Band on the Run.
  • Back to the Egg, Flowers in the Dirt and Flaming Pie are the one's I enjoy most after the top three
  • Would have liked London Town to have done a little better
  • Red Rose for some reason I have stages when I just love it, but I guess it is in about the right position
  • McCartney II does have some good tracks and interesting one's too so I am pleased it was not quite rock bottom!
  • Forgotten how great 'Flowers' is played loud
  • I wish Wild Life had been an EP - would have been a really great EP too
This is not the end of my regular blogging, comment and reviews. There is more to come! So stay tuned to McCartnet Macca fans!

All the best!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Choba B CCCP Album Review

Choba B CCCP reviewed on following link - inserted in its chronological postion

Memory Almost Full Album Review

Release date: June 2007

Artwork: A pretty uninspiring cover really but nicely done if that is not a contradiction. Overall quite well packaged though. It has a good picture of Paul with all the TV screens. I always think Paul's albums lack interesting liner notes and information though.

General Comments: An album that divides fans opinions. I am sat firmly in the against camp, however this is more due to frustration as there are some great songs on here.

The production is not very appealing to the listener and does not make you want to play the album too often and some of the tracks are lightweight and should not have made the producers cull. Basically Paul was being a little lazy.

However, it was one of his most successful recent albums, so what do I know?! Anyway, I am going to re-listen with an open mind. Before I do, I just want to mention that the extra tracks which are not on the album proper are again either more interesting or better than some of the lesser tracks on the album.

Track by Track:
1. Dance Tonight
This album had more promotion than the last couple of Paul albums put together but the lead single was a disappointment really. Yes, it was catchy and yes it is quite fun and harmless but the quality is not really there. If Paul really wants the credibility his craves then he needs to keep the popular adulation he craves in check too. This should have been kept as a private family bit of fun or a b-side where it would have worked well. Surprisingly quite enjoyable live though.  5/10
2. Ever Present Past
The first song that was previewed from the album and the buzz was that it sounded like it came from 'McCartney II'. I guess that there are some signs from that 79-80 period, a heavy guitar like in Back to the Egg and some electronic influence like on Temporary Secretary. This is an enjoyable and good song with some good ideas and passages. I can't help thinking though with a little more effort that this could have gone up a notch or two. Still pretty good though. 6.5/10
3. See Your Sunshine
God knows I have tried to like this song but just can't. It is corny and lazy. The middle eight holds a little bit of interest and is the only reason I scored it 2/10. The backing vocals are dreadful, the lyrics poor and it lacks any emotion, soul or sincerity. 2/10
4. Only Mamma Knows
It needed something good to make up for the previous track and this certainly does. One of Paul's best rockers ever. This was dying to be played live and happily it was! This is loud, gritty, fun and interesting. It is pretty catchy and should have been a single. 8.5/10
5. You Tell Me
This is a beautiful song of time gone and memories past. I did not like this on the first few listens, but it is a real grower. At the start though I keep thinking it is about to turn into Stairway to Heaven! It is quite a stripped down acoustic song and Paul's higher register voice is laid bare and there are some strains showing - I am still undecided if this adds to, or distracts from, the song. Very good nonetheless. 8/10
6. Mr Bellamy
This was the big hyped song and the vibe was that it was 'Beatle' quality. It is not. Although is a pretty good, interesting song and one of the better one's on the album I find it a little irritating. Having said that I don't skip it and it deserves to make the album. 6/10
7. Gratitude
Oh dear. This is another real low point on the album for me. It has a gospel soul feel to it with a pretty good vocal. However, it does not express any emotion or sign of personal or spiritual belief. The only sign of graitude I'd have was if Paul had not written this song. Again it has a relatively interesting middle eight. 3 minutes 19 seconds too long. 2/10
8. Vintage Clothes
This is perhaps the most instant song on the album and along with Only Mamma Knows would have been a good choice as the first single. Driven by a happy piano melody that sounds a little like Fleetwood Mac, it is a truly upbeat song that bounds along with fun and interest. A really good track. 7/10
9. That Was Me
An average song that is made better due to the general faults of the album overall. A sort of a rock'n roll style in the modern era with autobiographical lyrics. Actually very good live on his small venue 2007 tour. However, should have still only been a b-side, a quite good b-side though. 6/10
10. Feet in the Clouds
This is the sort of song that I am sure Paul can write in his sleep. Lazy lyrics and a lazy song. The producer should have told Paul to go away and start again with it. This is lightweight and I find it very very very very hard to to listen too. It sounds like a demo that needs work. 5/10
11. House of Wax
The best song on the album by far. Great lyrics, great tune, great tension and atmosphere, fantastic guitar solo and a really good vocal full of emotion. This is one of the best songs of his career. It builds from the simple piano introduction into an epic. I wish this was on Chaos - especially with the 'hidden in the yard' lyrics. 10/10
12. End of the End
Another track that got a lot of interest on release due to its subject matter. This is one of the better songs on the album. Paul has this way of making sad songs better and he achieves it here. He gets the feeling just right on this one and it has some nice lyrics too. It is a perfect way to end the album.  8/10
13. Nod Your Head
Oh....there is another track! Although I understand Paul wanting to lift the mood for the listener after the previous track, he actually got me in a mood! This is just a throwaway song. The sort of thing that as a party piece he may decide to play live - at a private party mind, but not mine! Yes, the vocal is pretty good, but it is really pointless. Another track that would have just about been acceptable in the days of the 12" single of being the extra 3rd b-side!  3/10

Overall score: 77/130
Overall score indexed: 59%

Monday, 13 September 2010

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard Album Review

Release date: September 2005

Artwork: The simple use of an old b/w photo of Paul in the backyard taken by his brother works perfectly. We look back on Paul and Paul looks forward at us. No need for anything else. A brilliant cover.

General Comments: There seemed to be a feeling that this was going to be a good album as soon as Nigel Godrich was announced as a producer. Would it live up to the expectation? Too right it would! This is a truly wonderful album and an album in every sense of the word, most of the songs work well together and the production is warm, real, live and classy.

The songwriting is good and the playing excellent. This really is a Paul album to sit back, relax and listen to all the way through. It is Paul at his mature best. Some albums have great tracks but this has a great overall feel and togetherness that help it achieve greatness. The b-sides and associated tracks related to this album are stunning too, particularly 'I Want You to Fly', 'This Loving Game', 'She is so Beautiful' and 'Comfort of Love'. If a couple of those tracks replaced a couple of the weaker tracks on this album then I would probably have died in the knowledge that Paul has produced the final complete masterpiece that I always knew he could.

Track by Track:
1. Fine Line
A strong opening track and single that simply bounces along with joy. When I first heard this I played it about 30 times in a row as I found all the little different sections fascinating. I particularly like the outro. Strangely though it does seem a little out of place on this album as it does not quite fit with its overall feeling. Very good live. 7.5/10
2. How Kind of You
Quite a nice track with some really nice sounds. It also has a nice sentiment. In fact 'nice' is the right word. Nothing more nothing less. Fits very well as part of the album. 6.5/10
3. Jenny Wren
The Blackbird comparisons were justified as this is a very high quality song too. It has a gorgeous melody and a lovely vocal. It is beautiful and sooooooooo relaxing. 8/10
4. At the Mercy
This song is simply wonderful. It is personal and full of melancholy, you become engrossed in the song and in Paul's world. It has a great little burst of energy in the middle and this is the first track that really shows what a great producer can get out of Paul.  9/10
5. Friends to Go
Would not have been out of place on 'London Town'.  You can tell why Paul said this reminded him of George H's songs. I had been waiting for songs like this from Paul. Good lyrics, not over long in length, not trying to be over clever and the acoustic guitar being prominent. A nice folky feel. 7.5/10
6. English Tea
My mum likes this one. 5/10
7. Too Much Rain
This song is so uplifting. It is one of the best on the album. Again everything is right, a subtle piano, understated acoustic guitar and a gentle build up in instrumental back up and support and atmosphere. Perfectly constructed and not just a little gem but a big gleaming one that really does make you happy when you're sad. 10/10
8. A Certain Softness
This is so laid back and sets a very chilled mood for the listener. Has a sort of Spanish feel about it. I was not so keen on this one for the first few listens but I have finally come to really enjoy it. 6.5/10
9. Riding to Vanity Fair
The mood and tension that is created on this track again shows the role of a good producer. It really comes across as dark, bitter, regretful, hopeful, confident and of someone coming to terms with a relationship. Finally they have seen through someone and know what really counts. It is a sad song that is complete in its lyric and music. Excellent. 9/10
10. Follow Me
A nice little acoustic number which has many of Paul's trademarks. I like it as it is simple and quite uplifting. A good middle eight and for some reason some of the phrasing reminds me of Paul's work in The Beatles. 7/10
11. Promise to You Girl
A change of pace with a fantastic song. A wonderful introduction and then followed by harmonies straight from a Wings album before turning into a chugging piano rocker of very high quality. I can't tell you how much this songs just grows and grows on me. It is wonderful and I would love to hear it played live in between 1985 and Listen to What the Man Said. Great guitar solo and great everything. It sounds like the great lost Wings track. The end is as good as the start. Wow! 10/10
12. This Never Happened Before
The best out and out piano ballad Paul has written for years. Simple lyrics that actually do not end up sounding twee. Beautiful, I almost want to get married right now just to play this track. 8/10
13. Anyway/I've Only Got Two Hands
Another wonderful track of such quality you wonder is there is anything left in the tank. Again this is a mainly piano driven song which just puts a big arm around you and makes you feel warm and content. Then it moves into the hidden track that would have been great on 'McCartney' - the last 2 minutes of Paul's experimenting has enough quality melodies and sounds that would make most songwriters die happy!  9/10

Overall score: 103/130
Overall score indexed: 79%