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Ranking Paul's Studio Albums
26 February 2014
7.16pm
Hannah
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There's a few I haven't got around to buying yet (though payday is coming up!) But of the ones I have:

1. Ram

2. Band on the Run

3. Venus and Mars

4. McCartney II (very unpopular but for some strange reason I love it)

5. New

6. Flaming Pie

7. Wings at the Speed of Sound

8. Red Rose Speedway

9. Wild Life

10. McCartney

I don't dislike any of the above. I'm a bit scared to buy Press to Play and Give my regards to Broad Street as I think I'll probably hate them from the songs I have actually heard. Not too keen on 80's Paul, bit too cheesy for my taste. 

 

26 February 2014
7.21pm
Hannah
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Sorry for the double post but I forgot Tug of War! Not too keen if I'm honest so it would probably go last. A few amazing tracks such as Here Today but on the whole not my cup of tea. And Ebony and Ivory is one of his worst ever songs in my opinion. How two such amazing songwriters came up with that drivel is beyond me. Give me the Frog Chorus over that any day. Don't understand the hate for it. It's a kids song, it's catchy, and when I was little I loved it! (It was at the end of my Rupert the Bear video. Ahhh memories!) 

16 March 2014
6.35pm
Mr Bellamy
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Since It was September since the last time I ranked the albums, my opinions have changed quite a bit. This time I have included the Fireman abums:

  1. Venus And Mars: This has really grown on me after buying it on Vinyl. Highlights: Letting Go, Love In Song, Listen To What The Man Said. Weaker tracks: Spirits Of Anicent Eygpt.
  2. Band On The Run: Pure Masterpeice. Highlights: Band On The Run, 1985, Picasso's Last Worlds. Weaker Tracks: Let Me Roll It (drags on a bit), Bluebird.
  3. New: definitely his best album in years. Highlights: Alligator, New, I Can Bet, Queenie Eye. Weaker Tracks: Hosanna
  4. Red Rose Speedway: another album that has grown on me a lot recently. Highlights: Little Lamb Dragonfly, The Medley, Get On The Right Thing, Weaker tracks: Big Barn Bed, Loup
  5. Tug Of War: Highlights: Tug Of War, Ballroom Dancing, The Pound Is Sinking Weaker Tracks: Whats That Your Doing
  6. Flaming Pie: mostly brilliant tracks, but 2 i really dont care for. Highlights: The World Tonight, Calico Skies, Young Boy. Weaker Tracks: Used To Be Bad, Really Love You
  7. Chaos and Creation In The Backyard: although I ranked this 1st in September, my opinion has started to wane. Highlights: Friends To Go, Too Much Rain, Fine Line. Weaker Tracks: English Tea, A Certain Softness, This Never Happened Before
  8. Back To The Egg: would be higher if Goodnight tonight was on the album, Highlights: Old Siam Sir, Getting Closer, Again and Again and Again. Weaker Tracks: Baby's Request, Spin It On
  9. Memory Almost Full: this is a very solid album what should be given more recognition. Highlights: Ever Present Past, Mr Bellamy (hence my username) and Vintage Clothes. Weaker Tracks: Gratitude, Nod Your Head
  10. McCartney: recently purchased this and forgot how good it really is. Highlights: Every Night, Momma Miss America, Maybe I'm Amazed. Weaker Tracks: Kreen-Akore, That Would Be Something
  11. Off The Ground: another very underrated album imo. Highlights: Hope Of Deliverance, Mistress and Maid, Windark Open Sea. Weaker Tracks: Peace In The Neighborhood, Golden Earth Girl 
  12. Ram: very overrated nowadays: Highlights: Dear Boy, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Back Seat Of My Car, Weaker Tracks: Smile Away, 3 Legs, Monkberry Moon Delight. 
  13. Flowers In The Dirt: some brilliant stuff, but similarly some rubbish: Highlights: My Brave Face, This One, That Day is Done. Weaker Tracks: Motor Of Love, Rough Ride, Ou es le soli. 
  14. Electric Arguments: again quite a checkered album, but incredibly creative: Highlights: Dance Til Were High, Lifelong Passion, Sing The Changes. Weaker Tracks: Is This Love, Universal Here, Everlasting Now. 
  15. McCartney II: although a fun listen, its wouldn't be a good intro to Pauls career. Highlights: One Of These Days, Coming Up, Weaker Tracks: Darkroom, Temporary Secretary 
  16. London Town: Were now at the stage where the albums lack any real highlights. Good Songs: Cafe On The Left Bank, I've Had Enough. Weaker Tracks: Famous Groupies, Girlfriend.
  17. Driving Rain: simply too long. Good songs: Shes Given Up Taking, Heather, Lonely Road. Weaker Tracks: Riding Into Jaipur, Spinning On and Axis
  18. Pipes Of Peace: enjoyable and laughable album. Good Songs: Keep Under Cover, Through Our Love, Weaker Tracks: Tug Of Peace, Hey Hey
  19. Run Devil Run: I must admit, I haven't listen to this in full yet but of what ive heard I liked No Other Baby and All Shock Up
  20. Wings At The Speed Of Sound: definitely a let down after the almost perfect Venus And Mars. Good Tracks: She's My Baby, Beware My Love, Time To Hide. Weaker Tracks: Cook Of The House, San Ferry Ann
  21. Kisses On The Bottom: shows how versatile a performer Paul is  but this isn't to my fancy. Good Tracks: I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, My valentine, My Very Good Friend The Milkman
  22. Press To Play: very much stuck in its time (which unfortunately was the mid eighties). Good Tracks: Footprints, I quite enjoy Press aswell. Weaker Tracks: Talk More Talk, Angry, Pretty Little Head
  23. Rushes: I've listened to this one and it was rather forgettable so I wont say which tracks I like. 
  24. Choba B CCCP: Overall not a bad covers album but lacks something Run Devil Run has: Good Tracks: Twenty Flight Rock, That's Alright Mama. Weaker Tracks: Summertime, Crackin' Up, Bring It On Home To Me
  25. Wild Life: A real bore of an album only one good track which is tomorrow. The rest I can't bear.
  26. Give My Regards To Broad Street: McCartney manages to murder his own songs on this poor album. The good track is No More Lonely Nights which is a classic, but this is horribly let down by everything else
  27. Strawberries, Ships, Oceans, Forest: In all fairness this is basically nine version of the same dreary song. 

This is all my opinion so please feel free to object with any of my rankings or song choices 

"We can do what we want, we can live as we choose"

16 March 2014
9.03pm
meanmistermustard
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Pretty much in agreement with you but Wild Life and Wings At The Speed of Sound would be much higher, New and Memory Almost Full far lower – probably switch places with them.

Agree that Off The Ground is very underrated.

"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)
16 March 2014
11.48pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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The only album I've really changed my mind about is McCartney. When it came out, the Beatles were just (officially) breaking up. In fact, the album came out a month before Let It Be! So McCartney was measured up against a Beatle album – and of course the weakest Beatle album (save Yellow Submarine which IMO doesn't count) is stronger than McCartney. So I listened to it – and just as quickly put it away; and settled for "Maybe I'm Amazed" on the radio. But upon re-listening to it last year, I put up with the fact that although it's homey and raw with a few painful 'songs,' it's reasonably enjoyable throughout. (And I already liked "Every Night" and "Junk")

With that, 

Top category

New     Flaming Pie     Chaos and Creation

Overall quite reasonable (can move into the top category if I get nostalgic for that era)

Venus And Mars    Band On The Run   Tug of War    McCartney     Ram    Flowers in the Dirt     

One or two top-level songs

Red Rose Speedway   Back to the Egg ("Rockestra")   Memory Almost Full   Off The Ground ("Hope of Deliverance"  "The Lovers that Never were")    Electric Arguments ("Sing the Changes" "Highway")   McCartney 2 ("Summer Day's Song" perhaps "Temporary Secretary" and "Coming up")   Driving Rain ("Lonely Road")   

Wings at the Speed of Sound   Press to Play ("Good Times Comin'/Feel the Sun"  "Footprints")    London Town

Hardly a quality song

Wild Life   Give my Regards… Pipes of Peace (Seems I'm always the polar opposite of meanmistermustard)

Honorable mention: Unplugged (this album somehow never comes up; admittedly, there are many Beatle covers)

Not counted: Run Devil Run, Kisses on the Bottom, Choba cccp [covers], Rushes, Strawberries… (Haven't heard these)

That said, a significant number of his best songs did not initially appear on any album. Imagine "Live and Let Die" on one of those early albums…

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
17 March 2014
12.55am
meanmistermustard
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Well not that far off. Give My Regards has No More Lonely Night (one of my favourite Paul tracks ever, both versions) and Goodnight Princess (cd only this but its a nice listen, nothing to get excited about and if it didn't exist i wouldnt be pining for it) and Pipes of Peace has the title track and So Bad so agree over those having few good songs. My attitude to Broad Street is that it gets a couple of points for NMLN but loses them all immediately for having such a good song amongst such total rubbish that i can't just throw the whole damn project into a bottomless pit, concrete over it and forget it ever existed.

I honestly don't get why Wild Life gets such poor reviews. Ever since i first heard it i've loved the album, very rough and raw and yeah Paul could have spent weeks and months over it, getting into shape but thats what i love about it. Its not your normal Paul album and there is plenty of energy. Wild Life, Love Is Strange, Tomorrow, Dear Friend, I Am Your Singer, Some People Never Know – i love them all. Even Mumbo i get caught up in. 

 

I'm currently listening to WatSoS outtakes in my trip thru Paul's solo career album by album. How i fear the mid-80's.

The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:

acmac
"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)
18 March 2014
5.03pm
acmac
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meanmistermustard said
My attitude to Broad Street is that it gets a couple of points for NMLN but loses them all immediately for having such a good song amongst such total rubbish that i can't just throw the whole damn project into a bottomless pit, concrete over it and forget it ever existed.

LOL! My sentiments exactly. Broadstreet was such an epic display of hubris. The product of some unholy brew of frustration, ego, grief, and pot. A mid-life crisis to end all mid-life crises.

It's odd; "NMLN" is a really good song, but somehow I never really want to listen to it. Tainted by association?

meanmistermustard said 
I honestly don't get why Wild Life gets such poor reviews. Ever since i first heard it i've loved the album, very rough and raw and yeah Paul could have spent weeks and months over it, getting into shape but thats what i love about it. Its not your normal Paul album and there is plenty of energy. Wild Life, Love Is Strange, Tomorrow, Dear Friend, I Am Your Singer, Some People Never Know – i love them all. Even Mumbo i get caught up in. 

I love "Tomorrow," "Dear Friend," and "Some People"; "Love Is Strange" is a cool cover and very summery. The rest are meh for me. Except for "Wild Life" and "Bip Bop," which I hate! Even Paul hates the latter; there's some interview where he's all "OMG, what a crap song! It doesn't GO anywhere!"

Unlike Into the Sky with Diamonds above, I have absolutely zero use for "Live and Let Die" and am very glad it's not on an album. A lot of Paul's singles are that way for me; "My Love" springs to mind.

18 March 2014
5.45pm
Bungalow Bob
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My favorite track on "Wild Life" is the short instrumental throwaway, not even listed on the album credits, but known as… "Bip Bop Link." It consists of exquisite acoustic guitar noodling, that Paul apparently couldn't be bothered with developing further; he couldn't even be bothered giving the instrumental fragment a proper title. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fQMs3VTi6g

18 March 2014
6.48pm
meanmistermustard
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Acmac, My Love is on the Red Rose Speedway LP, and one of the better songs. 

 

Bungalow Bob. I don't mind the link tracks, thankfully they are short so don't outstay their welcome. If that was the only Bip Bob i'd be delighted.

"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)
18 March 2014
7.40pm
Bungalow Bob
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meanmistermustard said
 

 …If that was the only Bip Bob i'd be delighted.

mmm, your phrase "Bip Bob" made me laugh. Whether it was an unintended typo, or an extremely clever interweaving of "Bop" and "Bob," I can't say. But it made me laugh, so that's a good thing. :)

"Wild Life" is one of those albums that I think could have been really good, if Paul had made more of an effort. For example, Bob would quip: "Drop Bip Bop."

18 March 2014
9.13pm
Billy Rhythm
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"Ranking Paul's Studio Albums" is pretty cut & dry for me.  In my opinion, and yes I've heard them all, only 2 of them are even worth ranking as albums because almost all of them are comprised of mainly second-rate material ("throwaways" or "filler", whichever is your preferred coin phrase) with few bright spots scattered throughout his collections.  Had he been anybody else he would've been hard pressed to even find a recording contract after the first two to even have had the opportunity to make another crappy album like 'Wild Life' or 'Red Rose Speedway', let alone have any of them go to number one.  The only two albums that Paul has made post-Beatles that contain equal amounts of greatness and forgettables (50/50 ain't my idea of a "Great Album"), in my opinion, are 'Band On The Run' & 'NEW', and if you own all of his solo material you may be able to squeak out a highly customized double album of bright spots that garners repeat listening over an extended period of time, but the vast amounts of pointless, uninspiring and pretentious tracks far and away outweighs any gems, in fact, I'd probably call the compilation 'Far & Away' for a number of reasons…:-) 

18 March 2014
9.30pm
Von Bontee
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Strong words!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
18 March 2014
9.44pm
Billy Rhythm
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Von Bontee said
Strong words!

 

It's just one person's opinion, for what it's worth….:-) 

19 March 2014
1.39am
parlance
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acmac said
Unlike Into the Sky with Diamonds above, I have absolutely zero use for "Live and Let Die" and am very glad it's not on an album.

Interesting. You might be the only person I've come across who dislikes that song. It's one of my favorites, and my experience is that people who don't like Paul at least like that one.

parlance

 

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

19 March 2014
2.31am
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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parlance said

acmac said
Unlike Into the Sky with Diamonds above, I have absolutely zero use for "Live and Let Die" and am very glad it's not on an album.

Interesting. You might be the only person I've come across who dislikes that song. It's one of my favorites, and my experience is that people who don't like Paul at least like that one.

parlance

 

It's not his finest work, but it's fun.

(This signature brought to you by Winter. Coming for an abnormally long amount of time.)
19 March 2014
3.15am
Musketeer Gripweed (kezron9)
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1. Band on the Run

2. Venus and Mars

3.Flaming Pie

4. Ram

5. New

6. Tug of War

7. Wings at the Speed of Sound

8. McCartney II 

9. McCartney

10. Red Rose Speedway 

Amazing career considering doing all of this after The Beatles. Could listen to BOTR over and over. 

 

 

19 March 2014
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acmac
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meanmistermustard said
Acmac, My Love is on the Red Rose Speedway LP, and one of the better songs. 

Oh, was it not a single then?

19 March 2014
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parlance
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acmac said

meanmistermustard said
Acmac, My Love is on the Red Rose Speedway LP, and one of the better songs. 

Oh, was it not a single then?

It was. When you said you were glad LaLD isn't on an album, and a lot of Paul's singles are like that for you, it looked like you were saying "My Love" isn't on an album. I had the same confusion at first.

parlance

 

The following people thank parlance for this post:

acmac

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

19 March 2014
8.27am
Atlas
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Billy Rhythm said
"Ranking Paul's Studio Albums" is pretty cut & dry for me.  In my opinion, and yes I've heard them all, only 2 of them are even worth ranking as albums because almost all of them are comprised of mainly second-rate material ("throwaways" or "filler", whichever is your preferred coin phrase) with few bright spots scattered throughout his collections.  Had he been anybody else he would've been hard pressed to even find a recording contract after the first two to even have had the opportunity to make another crappy album like 'Wild Life' or 'Red Rose Speedway', let alone have any of them go to number one.  The only two albums that Paul has made post-Beatles that contain equal amounts of greatness and forgettables (50/50 ain't my idea of a "Great Album"), in my opinion, are 'Band On The Run' & 'NEW', and if you own all of his solo material you may be able to squeak out a highly customized double album of bright spots that garners repeat listening over an extended period of time, but the vast amounts of pointless, uninspiring and pretentious tracks far and away outweighs any gems, in fact, I'd probably call the compilation 'Far & Away' for a number of reasons…:-) 

 

Indeed……..pretty strong and seemingly heartfelt opinion.

 

I have most of Paul's solo albums……. Missing 4 or 5 I suppose.

My view is that if The Beatles had never happened……If 'Eleanor Rigby' 'Yesterday' et al had never been written, I think over his solo career Paul's produced enough strong material on each album to have carved for himself an almost peerless reputation and be rated as one of the best singer songwriter, performers ever.

 

 

19 March 2014
1.53pm
Billy Rhythm
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Atlas said 

 
My view is that if The Beatles had never happened……If 'Eleanor Rigby' 'Yesterday' et al had never been written, I think over his solo career Paul's produced enough strong material on each album to have carved for himself an almost peerless reputation and be rated as one of the best singer songwriter, performers ever.
 
  
 
  

We'll never know for certain, but it's pretty hard for me to accept that he could still sell out Fenway Park in a few minutes at 70+ years of age playing 'My Love', 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' and the likes.  Listen, I'm not all that big on any of their solo careers to be honest.  John came up with atleast two excellent and concise records while George's swansong album is really brilliant, in my opinion, but Paul appeared to me to had suffered the most from the breakup of the band and spent 1970 onwards desperately trying to recapture something that he'd never recover again.  There's no denying his commercial successes post-Beatles, but most of his solo work is difficult for me to digest after I grew accustomed to 'For No One', 'Golden Slumbers', 'Let It Be', etc.  Take a song like 'Silly Love Songs' which I believe spent more weeks at number one on the Billboard Charts than any of his other solo singles.  While John was better known as a lyricist than Paul when The Beatles were still making music together, Paul had shown that he was every bit as accomplished back then, but this?!

 

First of all, he asks a pretty straight forward question in direct response to his critics who'd pointed out how "wimpy" his solo music had become since the Beatles' breakup:

Some people wanna fill the world with Silly Love Songs
And what's wrong with that?

After further underscoring that the critics had clearly hit a nerve with him with:

What's wrong with that?
I need to know, cause here I go again
I love you, I love you

He then actually answers his own question by stating:

It isn't silly, no, it isn't silly, love isn't silly at all

Which should put the "silly" question to rest and make him realise that his more elegant approach to "love" before sounded much better.  The fact that he was even responding to the critics so directly speaks volumes, he'd clearly become a follower and was no longer the leader he was to contemporary music.  Even his bass playing on this song wreaked of him attempting to emulate the funky disco lines that were dominating the charts of the day, he seemed to have forgotten that he was all ready "funky" long before the craze had hit.  Yet, 'Silly Love Songs' is to be one of the highlights of the 'At The Speed of Sound' album?  This is Paul McCartney at the height of his solo career?!  Hmmm, can't wait to hear what 'Cook of The House' sounds like…:-)

 

   

 

 

 

 

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