Sunday, 29 May 2011

In appreciation of...No. 1 - Dear Friend

Can be found on: Wild Life

Dear Friend is a song that destroys everything that the public perception of Paul McCartney is.

It is not shallow and superficial. It is not sugar coating the truth. It is the truth and from the heart, both painful and beautiful and perhaps the most heart wrenching song Paul has ever recorded.

The sparse arrangement draws the attention to an aching vocal expressing; love, heartache, regret, sadness, hope, sorrow, confusion and understanding. This is the sound of a man confused and needing clarification and reassurance. You are hearing Paul's inner soul and turmoil like never before. It demands your attention and is one of the saddest and most beautiful pieces of music you are ever likely to hear.

The vocal is not only emotive but of such high technical quality, I can think of very few who could begin to match it. The simple piano backing complements the mood perfectly and the sweeping strings build to the tension and at one point, dare I say, is similar to 'How do you sleep?'.

Although, the song was an olive branch to John, I am still not sure if the recording chronology means it is an answer to 'How do you sleep?' but whatever, the message is plain to see. A friendship and relationship in tatters.

This song deserves so much more appreciation. It is as honest and as bare as anything on Plastic Ono Band album.


  1. It's too bad this song is on an album that gets so little attention these days because Dear Friend is absolutely gorgeous and heart breaking.

    Great idea for this series, by the way.

  2. It is a gorgeous song, on a criminally underrated album. Probably the best track on there. What a set of lyrics!

  3. PSM,
    An interesting list--some real unrecognized gems. What is it a list of?

  4. On the first listening (in '71) it was quite stunning coming from Paul. At 11 years old I think I might've thought it about didn't seem like a direct message to him at the time. What meant that much to him? (John) Actually the Beatles meant that much to Paul didn't they. John questioned his messages in interviews. John said, "What lucky break" referring to the lyrics in Too many People, thinking it was aimed at him.