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Best post-Beatles McCartney songs
5 February 2012
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mr. Sun king coming together
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Oh, god, I think the 80's might have been Paul's worst decade. McCartney 2, Pipes, Press, and limited touring. (Although, Tug of War is excellent.) Pipes is okay, the title track great, The Jackson duets I love (because Paul lets me tolerate MJ – not an easy feat), but the rest is rubbish. Well, Side two is… don't remember Side 1 all to well.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
5 February 2012
1.36pm
meanmistermustard
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One of the reasons why Pauls career was hit heavily by GMRTBS was that there was the film, album and the game and Paul plugged the film and album heavily with the film premier in Liverpool, plus Ringo was in it so there is another Beatle to stoke the fire. One of the most difficult things to understand is how the majority of the GMRTB project is awful yet include No More Lonely Nights which is a classic Paul song, and both the ballad and dance versions are so different. 

Tug of War is a stong album however Ebony and Ivory has dated badly as has Say Say Say from Pipes of Peace which is a very inconsistant album. To then be followed by GMRTBS and PTP which were commercial disasters would have been really difficult for anyone to recover from (according to Wikipedia PTP got high praise from the critics so a lot of damage must have been caused by Broad Street for it not to have sold). Thankfully Paul found Elvis Costello as a successful, albeit brief, writing partner and together they wrote material that is strong,  many of which feature on Flowers In The Dirt or Off The Ground. And without doubt The Beatles Anthology heavily inspired and rejuvenated Paul not just in his attitude to the studio (Flaming Pie being one of Pauls best solo albums) but also his standing in the public's eye.

 

There is also the arguement that not touring was a contributor to Pauls mid-80's dip, not just being in the public eye but also the buzz of performing in front of an audience.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
5 February 2012
1.56pm
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Love this discussion.

What killed McC in this part of the world WERE his big hits. They were major commercial successes – but at a price: Seen as simplistic (dare I say "silly") fluff aimed at teenagers and younger, they (were perceived) to reflect a musically irrelevant has-been.

Many never bothered to buy the albums and therefore never got to see (IMO) the better stuff.

Thus the snub from the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame for many, many years despite huge sales throughout the '70s.

And yes, he recovered, and won the critics over again; but to many (most?) people around me he's been permanently branded as fluff.

"So Sad" …..

(Upon its release, I couldn't stomach the thought of buying or listening to Give my Regards… Maybe time to reconsider)

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5 February 2012
3.14pm
meanmistermustard
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ITSWD, it will never be time to reconsider GMRTBS. The Beatles covers are cringingly embarrassing as are the macca solo songs that were re-covered and the other 2 new songs, No Values and Not Such A Bad Boy, are dreadful. The only reason for owning this is for the mixes of NMLN if you are a collector.

And you're right, even in the beatles Paul has been branded as writing fluff and "granny shit" and being the soft lovey one as John put it whilst John was the hard writing, insightful, deep, meaningful one (which is complete bollocks) and that unfairly extends into his solo career. Tho Paul didnt help himself by writing Silly Love Songs to answer his accusers, a song that is so dated its ridiculous. Unfortunately there was a period when Paul was slated for writing love songs and basically being Paul but if he dared step out and do something, anything else he was equally criticised for daring to not be what people wanted or expected him to be.

 

Ive never understood why We All Stand Together is endlessly slated. The song is excellent, George Martin's score is beautiful, and the film Rupert and The Frog Song, from which it is featured, is a brilliant cartoon (if you havent seen its on youtube and well worth a viewing) plus it reached #3 in the UK charts. Is it because it features the word 'bum' a lot of times and the press are being puerile? Maybe its going back to the Yellow Submarine scenario?

 

And to go into a different area, the amount of times ive seen idiots write that the best 2 beatles died first and we're 'left' with Paul and Ringo? Seriously?! How sick and incredibly stupid can some people be? Yes John and George died way too young and both were huge losses in totally different ways but that totally pisses me off and infuriates and saddens me.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
5 February 2012
8.22pm
meanmistermustard
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This thread inspired me to listen to the whole of Off The Group, havent heard it complete for many a year, and its actually a better album than i remembered. Yes there are a handful of environmental and peace song (Looking For Changes, Peace In the Neighbourhood, C'mon People) but not to the extent of becoming preachy (for lack of a better word). Hope of Deliverance is still a great song, and a worthy single, and the album ends with 4 fab tracks (The Lovers That Never Were, Get Out Of My Way, Winedark Open Sea, C'mon People).

Actually Get Out Of My Way would be excellent live nowadays and one he should go back to.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
6 February 2012
12.57am
kedame
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"Into the Sky with Diamonds" said:

 

Thus the snub from the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame for many, many years despite huge sales throughout the '70s.

Do you think that maybe had more to do with his not showing up to The Beatles' induction into the Hall of Fame? It was a mistake on his part, but I can see the reasoning- the others were suing him at the time, and he didn't want to appear as one big happy family while he was probably pretty angry with them. There is a snippet in Danny Fields's book, where he recorded the speeches and played them back to Paul and Linda over the phone. Needless to say, Paul was less than complimentary towards Yoko's speech ("If John were alive, there is no doubt he'd be here…" Yeah, right…John never snubbed anything that was considered an honor before. Though he probably would have been there with ole pal Jann Wenner.)

And meanmistermustard, I'm down with your explanation all the way. That's exactly how I see it. Paul had a little slump in the mid-80s when his life must have seemed like it was going to hell in a handbasket. The world gave Britney Spears another chance, but they can't give Paul one??? I love "We All Stand Together" and Rupert. I bought the dvd for my baby nephew. He likes the newer one, with Wirral the Squirrel.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
23 March 2012
2.43pm
meanmistermustard
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Another one to add the list is One of These Days from McCartney II.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
23 March 2012
11.03pm
kedame
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meanmistermustard said
Another one to add the list is One of These Days from McCartney II.

I LOVE that song. I think it is the most beautiful song on McCartney II. You might think I'm silly for thinking this, but I always see it as a dialogue to John because of the line, "when you've got time to please yourself." Around this time, Paul had been quoted as saying he thought John was not making music because he was just trying to be himself for once, instead of being what everyone wanted him to be. Of course, John responded that Paul didn't know anything about him anymore…only to then go on and say basically the same thing. It's hilarious to read all the different ways John contradicted himself in magazines, often in the same interview. What's even more amazing is that no one ever called him on it, and he is still thought of as being the most honest Beatle. Anyway, his little contradictions make him all the more lovable, if not infuriating.

Or, I could be reading more into it than is needed, which I frequently do…

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
24 March 2012
3.17am
RevolvingPiggies
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I really love She's My Baby and Tomorrow

I am very happy, and one reason is because I have The Beatles. Thank you!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3
24 March 2012
3.34am
kedame
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RevolvingPiggies said
I really love She's My Baby and Tomorrow

Ooooh…me, too. She's My Baby is delightfully dirty in a kind of sweet way. I also love San Ferry Anne from Speed of Sound. It's funny how you picked songs from the two Wings albums that most list as their worst, but I love both albums.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
24 March 2012
10.00pm
meanmistermustard
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She's My Baby is a fabulous song when played immediately before Beware My Love (which has a great Macca vocal). For some reason those two work amazingly well together and arent as good when on their own.

 

Always willing to repeat that Wings At The Speed Of Sound is a superb album, one of the best Paul albums when played the whole way thru. Tho as individual songs it does lose some of its greatness.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
25 March 2012
3.38am
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Speaking of  "San Ferry Anne"

I always wondered whether this was a play on the French "ça ne fait rien" ("it doesn't matter").

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25 March 2012
4.46pm
...ontherun
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Lately I seem to be playing "Friends to Go" a lot. Something about it really gets me.

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
25 March 2012
10.15pm
meanmistermustard
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Winedark Open Sea is an another unappreciated Paul song. A track that you can lie back, listen to, and be taken to another place.

 

One day the world will sit down, forget their preconceived ideas of Paul, and sit open mouthed at just how darn good he was whilst shaking their heads in sadness for having missed it for so many years. Theyve still got to get around to George.

 

(shakes head and sighs)a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
27 March 2012
2.19am
...ontherun
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meanmistermustard said

Winedark Open Sea is an another unappreciated Paul song. A track that you can lie back, listen to, and be taken to another place.

 

One day the world will sit down, forget their preconceived ideas of Paul, and sit open mouthed at just how darn good he was whilst shaking their heads in sadness for having missed it for so many years. Theyve still got to get around to George.

 

(shakes head and sighs)a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

Nothing to add but I felt it deserved saying twice.

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
27 March 2012
3.07am
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meanmistermustard said
Winedark Open Sea is an another unappreciated Paul song. A track that you can lie back, listen to, and be taken to another place.

 One day the world will sit down, forget their preconceived ideas of Paul, and sit open mouthed at just how darn good he was whilst shaking their heads in sadness for having missed it for so many years. Theyve still got to get around to George.

 

Thanks for getting me to listen to Winedark again. But the only place this song takes me to is the "next" button on my iPod. Neither melody, lyrics or production move me particularly.

Having said that, I'll gladly move up 2 spots on the album and listen to "The Lovers That Never Were" with the inventive melody and killer Elvis Costello lyrics.

Also totally agree with the second paragraph.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
27 March 2012
5.50am
kedame
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I'll third the love for Winedark Open Sea, and second the love for The Lovers that Never Were. Ever heard the demo version?

http://youtu.be/6hD8S49UpLQ

That's apparently the version that blew Elvis Costello off his feet.

I find that there is some really underrate songs on Driving Rain. Most people overlook it because it comes right before the smashing Chaos and Creation. I love She's Given Up Talking, Magic, About You, Tiny Bubble, Spinning on an Axis, Lonely Road, From a Lover to a Friend, Riding to Jaipur, and Your Way. It does feature the dismal Driving Rain and the much maligned Freedom, though.

Also, from around this time is the unreleased India:

God, I love Paul!paul-mccartney

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
27 March 2012
10.35am
meanmistermustard
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The Lovers That Never Were is by far the highlight of Off The The Ground and possibly Pauls best song in the last 20 years.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
28 March 2012
2.13am
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Nice duet with E Costello.

Wonder why he was vocally left off all the McCartney-McManus compositions (except "You Want her too" or whatever it's called).

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28 March 2012
4.39am
Michael B
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When I first heard Ram, I thought it was quite "meh."  But for reasons I cannot pinpoint, the more I've heard it the more it has grown on me.   I think George and John both put out terrific post-Beatles work, and I don't think their work ought to be viewed as a competitive sport.  That being said, I think Ram is simply stunningly good in its diversity, its free-spiritedness and its inventiveness.  It's right up there as one of the best post-Beatles albums, and I'd say it's as good as several Beatles albums.  It may be lacking a straight-forward flat-out masterpiece, but I venture to say it may be the best album ever made without a masterpiece song.  If I were forced to nominate a masterpiece from Ram, I'd choose "Back Seat of My Car."   Again, the same story.  The first time I heard it struck me as meandering and tough to follow and plagued with odd chord segues.   But now I think it's simply gorgeous, for simple beauty among the best stuff in rock.  

Here's a question.  What's so terrible about Silly Love Songs?  The lyrics are no better than average, admittedly, but he has three catchy melodies, and he joins them quite creatively.  Now there's no doubt I like Paul (and the other Beatles as well) far more than the average rock fan, but I don't give any of them, including Paul, an absolute free ride.  I personally think Wonderful Christmas Time ranks among the worst pop pieces ever written.  Indeed, Paul's written perhaps a half-dozen post-Beatles songs that are beyond cringe-worthy.  (I even quite dislike "Dear Friend," which is quite inconceivable for some.) But given the hundreds of songs he's written, that's not so surprising.  But back to my question, can someone explain what makes Silly Love Songs subject a giant target of derision?  Is it simply the subject matter?  The lyrics?  Surely it's not the music. 

Other favorite post-Beatles McCartney songs:

That Would Be Something

Maybe I'm Amazed

Most everything on Ram

My Love (brings back good memories of hearing it on am radio as a kid)

Hi Hi Hi (pure fun)

Band on the Run

1985

Let me roll it

Jet

You Gave Me the Answer (very underrated song)

 Baby's Request (Okay, so I have a weakness for his Dance Hall music, the music that John derided.)

Coming Up

Wanderlust  (one of the prettiest melodies he wrote)

 

Okay…so I'll end here and return to finish on another post. 

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