Friday, 30 July 2010

Red Rose Speedway Album Review

Release Date: May 1973

Artwork: Personally I hate this cover. It looks cheap and tacky. The overall LP packaging though was quite interesting with lots to look at.

General Comments: I guess this is the album when Paul started to get it back together commercially and with the public.  It was the start of the period 73-77 when Wings became one of the biggest bands in the world. It has some hidden gems, some experimental stuff, some Macca standards and some lazy drivel. Despite the negative aspects there is something that I find very endearing about this LP and I like the sound and production too.

Track by Track:

1. Big Barn Bed
A good solid rocker to start the album. Quite raw, reminds me a little of 'Mumbo' from 'Wild Life'. Enjoyable but disposable. Check out the start to James Paul McCartney TV special on YouTube for a great performance of this track. 6/10.
2. My Love
A lush epic timeless ballad. Enjoyable and a Paul classic. However, there is something that I just can't put my finger on that stops me really loving it and actively seeking it out to play. Of course it has that wonderful guitar solo. 7/10.
3. Get on the Right Thing
I enjoy this track every time I hear it. I would like this live as it is a good 'band' song which really builds to a good climax. Another one of those McCartney tracks that gets in your system. 7/10.
4. One More Kiss
Not one of my favourites but OK I suppose. Has a country feel to it but I would often skip when this comes on. Could do better. 5/10.
5. Little Lamb Dragonfly
I always put this and 'Some People Never Know' in the same bracket. Both truly wonderful songs, although both a little over long. This is two songs made into one and eats into you mind and won't let go. Sweet, mellow and addictive. Some of the vocals near the start sound just like John. A big high of the album. 9/10.
6. Single Pigeon
This really is a hidden gem. Great melody, great fun, good lyrics, great sound and vocals. I just love this song. If you don't know it, seek it out and make it your friend. Short but wonderful. 9/10.
7. When the Night
Another song that has its moments but does not really do much for me. Lazy as it could have been a really good track. 5/10.
8. Loup (1st Indian on the Moon)
A nice little experimental piece. A little bit of Floyd in this one. Quite brave to put this on the album. Mellow and nice to relax to with a cuppa. 5/10.
9. Hold Me Tight
As we are into the medley now it is hard to separate them all. I actually love Hold Me Tight. I really enjoy the vocals and the piano sound. 6/10.
10. Lazy Dynamite
Great link from 'Hold Me Tight' and another great little track with sweet mellow guitar. All that was good about the 1970's. 7/10.
11. Hand of Love
Another track that is just so catchy and great fun. I am sure Paul makes these up in his sleep. Effortless. 6/10.
12. Power Cut
Last part of the medley and it is again enjoyable. Ties up the other songs nicely. Too long though. 5/10.

Overall score: 78/130
Overall score indexed: 60% 

Monday, 26 July 2010

VOTE NOW!!!!!!!

Paul and Denny back together  in 2007 at
Wembley for a UB40 concert
As I am reviewing Paul's albums are the remastering/reissue campaign looms you can vote for your favourite Paul LP (with a little help from Denny and Linda!) at the right of this Blog page.

So vote now!


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Wildlife Album Review

Release Date: December 1971

Artwork: The photo on this shot is a nice picture of the band in beautiful countryside surroundings near a river. They look like a 1960's folk band or something. Always reminded me a little of John's Plastic Ono Band cover. No mention of who it is on the sleeve. Does look dated now. OK, but not one of my favourite covers.

General Comments: Wings first really does sound like a new band starting out. Quickly produced and although raw not particularly well recorded. A big hit and miss affair this one. Some 'must have' McCartney and some wish it never existed McCartney. Worth a listen and nowhere near as bad as people have made out. Half of the album is excellent.

Track by Track:

1. Mumbo
This song is quite enjoyable really, quite raw and infectious. A solid track, nothing more. 5/10
2. Bip Bop
A harmless bit of fun which would have been better as a b-side or kept in the archives. 3/10
3. Love is Strange
A rarity for Paul on a standard album, a cover version. It does not really do anything for me though although it has a nice relaxed feel and sounds good played loud on a hot day in the sun. Should have been a b-side. 4/10
4. Wild Life
I really like this track. Raw, quite heavy and great vocals. One of Paul's hidden gems. 6.5/10
5. Some People Never Know
Beautiful track that may or may not be partly aimed at John. Regardless it is heartfelt and always interesting to play. Perhaps a little over long, but top notch McCartney. 8/10
6. I am Your Singer
I know a lot of people like this one, I just find is difficult to listen to. Somewhere there is the basis of a decent song though. 3/10
7. Tomorrow
Excellent song, but could have been recorded and produced better. However, that should not detract from what is a high quality track and very inventive. 8/10
8. Dear Friend
Haunting, mournful, emotional - all the things that people say Paul can't do. Paul stripped bare. I hope John listened. 9/10

Overall score: 46.5/80
Overall score indexed: 58%

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

RAM Album Review

Release date: May 1971

Artwork: All created by Paul with pics by Linda. Fits perfectly with the fun and clever nature of the album. Lots of little bits to look at too. Another one of his best covers.

General Comments: Wrongly slated at the time. This is just as much a work of genius as John's Plastic Ono Band album was, if not more so. The vocals on this album are possibly the best put to vinyl by anyone, anywhere, ever! The album just has a wonderful feel to it. After you have listened to it you feel blessed, chilled, exhausted but a better and happier person.

Track by Track:

1. Too Many People
A great opener, great riff, great verses, great chorus, great outro. Angry lyrics. Lennon should be proud that he inspired Paul to write some of this track. This is one of the tracks I always point anti Paul listeners to. It normally works. 10/10
2. 3 Legs
A pretty fine track. I love Paul's voice changes on this and it just gets better and better and heavier. After a few listens Linda's vocals really do add to the track. Another song John took exception too. Hugely enjoyable. 7/10
3. Ram On
Pure, simple, fun and addictive. Ram on indeed! 7/10
4. Dear Boy
This track is amazing. I do not think that there are many people who could produce a track like this. It is creative, clever but simple. Vocals, again are perfection. This is a track that just says genius. If you have not heard this track, find it and play it loud with headphones on. You will be lost in it. 10/10
5. Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey
I hate to call this a Paul novelty record but it is a fun song. However, it is charming, clever and keeps you interested. It is actually quite emotional, but not corny. The second half is a great sing-a-long. Paul, again shows his vocal talents and I must say I do rather like the results. 9/10
6. Smile Away
Another fun track, with funny lyrics. Very catchy if a little dated, however it works as part of the album. Not a fav of mine played in its own right though. 6/10
7. Heart of the Country
Effortless song about domestic bliss up in Scotland. Very melodic. A joy and does not outstay its welcome.  8/10
8. Monkberry Moon Delight
WTF was Paul on when he wrote this?!! Wacky, wonderful lyrics that make sense even though they make no sense! I want to meet Billy Budapest too! If ever anyone was in any doubt about his vocal talents then play this loud. He sings the arse off it. One of the highlights! Inventive, clever and fun - like most of the album. 9/10
9. Eat at Home
Effortless guitar riff. Brings a smile to the face. A little dated I guess, but like Smile Away works perfectly within context of the album. Love the middle 8. Very well crafted. 7/10
10. Long Haired Lady
Linda's most prominent vocal on the album and it makes the track. Does take a few listens though, but then it gets you. 7/10
11. Ram On (reprise)
A welcome return for this little ditty. 7/10
12. The Back Seat of My Car
Why this was not a massive hit I will never know. Possibly the best track on the album. Harmonies to die for, changes in structure to keep you interested and rocks towards the end. Lyrics that you want to follow too. Builds and builds. Wow! 10/10

Overall score: 97/120
Overall score indexed: 81%

Saturday, 17 July 2010

McCartney Album Review

Release date: April 1970

Artwork: Fantastic cover shot taken by Linda. One of his best album covers. Very Pink Floyd style.

General Comments: A 'lovely little album' as Paul would no doubt call it. As everyone knows it was very homemade and Paul plays all the instruments himself. Half of this album is amongst the best Paul ever did, in any guise, and half of it is throwaway, but sometimes very endearing.

Released very close to Let it Be and is forever linked with the self interview inside that to the media signaled the end of the Beatles. As a result it was the start of a little bit of a Paul backlash with both the public and the media. High profile albums from John and George which were the best of their career somewhat hindered this little gem. But the music is what is important...

Track by Track:
1. The Lovely Linda
A very short piece of love to Linda. In my opinion a nice statement to mark his split with the other 3, but not too twee and sickly. Does not outstay it welcome. Charming really. 6/10
2. That Would Be Something
Echoes of the late 1950's sound. Very simple song which is very catchy. Could have been worked on more to make it a classic, but still a nice piece. 7/10
3. Valentine Day
A fun little instrumental which has nice guitar and riff, no need for this on the LP though. 5/10
4. Every Night.
One of Paul's best songs. Great vocal, great drums, great acoustic guitar and personal lyrics. Beautiful. 9/10
5. Hot as Sun / Glasses
A much better instrumental than Valentine Day. The glasses parts show Paul's avant garde side by making sounds with glasses. Includes a little sneak of the unreleased Suicide. 5/10
6. Junk
Gorgeous, haunting, beautiful, sad. Paul at is moving best. 9/10
7. Man We Was Lonely
Another very good song that seems to be more of a personal song. Shows two of Paul's many voices. 7/10
8. Oo You
Great track. Good fun, great guitar riff and quite soulful. One criticism, more guitar! 7/10
9. Momma Miss America
Paul has great fun on drums here and of course all the other instruments. Yes we know you are talented! 5/10
10. Teddy Boy
A track that never made it on Let it Be. OK, but I never really liked this one. Hate the lyrics. 6/10
11. Singalong Junk
Actually having an instrumental version of Junk later on in the album works very well and it is lovely. 8/10
12. Maybe I'm Amazed
Possibly his best ever song. Vocals to die for. Personal, heart felt, soulful, fantastic guitar. Good lyrics. Stunning, a true masterpiece. 10/10
13. Kreen-Akrore
Oh dear. Skip it. 1/10

Overall score: 85/130
Overall score indexed: 65%
Advice: BUY

Solo and Wings album reviews

With the remasters of all his albums 'up and coming' I thought over the next few weeks I would review and mark them all and at the end we will find out my fav Macca album!


Well they say its your Birthday!!!

Paul and Ringo get back for the first time since, well last year! Still great to see and the love shines through.

Belated Happy 70th Rings!

Click here to see the fun!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Up and coming Tour

Well I think Paul's current tour has gone some way to pleasing the people wanting some changes to the set list. It is much improved and more balanced. I think the second half is still a bit samey, but understand it will always be Beatle heavy,  some changes are needed there, or even a change of order would help.

Why not move tracks like Get Back and Lady Madonna to earlier in the set. Bring back Golden Slumbers/Carry that weight/The End for the final encore. I think Hello Goodbye might be good choice as a first encore. Bring back I saw her standing there too. Just some tweaks and maybe even a surprise in Uncle Albert or something rocking like Juniors Farm or The Night Before, although I think they would be better earlier replacing Jet and Highway early doors.

Anyway, generally really pretty happy - 1985 and Letting Go rock. Ob-la-di-ob-la-da is surprisingly good and fun. Good too that he alternates sets a little too. How about new song stories inbetween songs too though? I have always thought that he would love telling the Dustin Hoffman story before playing Picasso's last words.

Watch Paul play Hyde Park here!