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Linda McCartney Songs (Wide Prairie)
21 May 2016
6.46pm
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meanmistermustard
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I cannot find a specific thread for Linda's own music so I'm creating one as I like some of her songs - yes the lyrics aren't profound and Linda wasn't the greatest singer but music doesnt have to be. 

Not heard all 'Wide Prairie' in one go but one of my favourite ever singles is 'Seaside Woman ' b/w 'B-Side To Seaside'. Both are as catchy as anything, wonderfully recorded and so much fun to listen to. Never get tired of hearing either. I remember seeing the cartoon of 'Seaside Woman ' and loving the song, that's the first time I heard the song.

I love the "More than an a-side, less than a c-side. My little b-side, b-side to seaside" section of 'B-Side To Seaside'. 

'New Orleans' is incredibly catchy and after one listen is stuck in my head for ages.

 

Anyone else heard the album or any of her other songs?

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22 May 2016
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apple01, mmm.  Probably like most people, I always thought Linda was just like me--couldn't sing at all.  Whether she rose to the occasion here or it's some studio smoke and mirrors, she sounds pretty good.

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22 May 2016
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Jaunty little tunes, both. Thanks for posting. mal-evans

I don't know if it's just this particular mix, but I hear Paul's vocal just as much, if not more more, than Linda's on 'Seaside Woman ' as if he's covering for her poor vocals. The lyrics are catchy and a bit clever in spots. I chuckled when I heard:

Dainty little Mama, smile all day
Cook your sweet potato, at night she lay lay

To me that sounded like a play on the word shillelagh. The writing credit goes to Linda, but if there is anyone who thinks Paul did not contribute mightily, please stand on your head.

Her bad singing voice - actually more talking than singing - is front and center on the second one. Still, they are fun toe tapping songs that are easy to sing along with. I can see what you like about them. 

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22 May 2016
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Ron Nasty
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I've been listening to quite a lot of her efforts recently because I've been collecting dave's remarkable Ultimate Archive Collection, as I know you have.

Overall, I find her vocals dreadful. She makes Yoko sound like Edith Piaf. Barely any of her songs have any creative merit, which cannot be said of Yoko's work whether you like it or not. There's not a whole bunch of successful artists out there citing Linda as a major influence.

Dreadful!

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22 May 2016
12.35pm
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Ron Nasty said
I've been listening to quite a lot of her efforts recently because I've been collecting dave's remarkable Ultimate Archive Collection, as I know you have.

Overall, I find her vocals dreadful. She makes Yoko sound like Edith Piaf. Barely any of her songs have any creative merit, which cannot be said of Yoko's work whether you like it or not. There's not a whole bunch of successful artists out there citing Linda as a major influence.

Dreadful!

An unrewarding vanity project.  

Didn't realise a persons influence and amount of creative merit were a factor in whether or not the music should ever be recorded, released, heard, disliked or enjoyed. 

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22 May 2016
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Ron Nasty said
Barely any of her songs have any creative merit, which cannot be said of Yoko's work whether you like it or not. 

Then how come I've heard it said? ahdn_george_01 

Of course, it's said by Yoko-bashers who are already prejudiced... 
 

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22 May 2016
2.59pm
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meanmistermustard
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And what has Linda's music got to do with Yoko anyway? Just because they are two wives of Beatles!

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22 May 2016
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I think Linda was a lovely woman with a big heart, who shouldn't have been made to sing. And I say that as a generally nice person with (believe it or not) a good heart who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a recording studio, either.

My singing is comparable to Linda's, although I have a wider range and a different voice type, but that's a moot point. What good is a 4-octave range when you don't have the voice or the skills to make it sound good? Nothing, so I'm not a good singer. And neither was Linda. I don't see why it's such a taboo to say her talents lay elsewhere. Is it the st. Linda narrative? Is it because Paul likes her voice? Is it because she was his wife? If it's okay to say Yoko doesn't sing well, why can't we say the same of Linda?

Anyway, I would have liked to meet her (and not sing together). She seemed like a really kind and loving lady, and she was a great photographer.

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22 May 2016
4.12pm
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Its fine saying Linda cannot sing; her vocal range is very/incredibly limited and many find it basic to say the least. I just fail to see what critical merit, influence or Yoko have to do with it so why bring any of it up.

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22 May 2016
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I like Linda's voice. I like it even more because she knew that she couldn't sing well, it makes her relatable. 

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22 May 2016
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You don't hear the creativity in Seaside Woman ? I listened and I enjoyed it. Fits right into the phase I'm going through, where I've been listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell/ Linda Ronstadt as of late, and I'm beginning to appreciate female vocalists more and more. That includes Linda (especially on RAM).

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23 May 2016
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Ron Nasty said
Overall, I find her vocals dreadful. She makes Yoko sound like Edith Piaf. 

Cannot say I’ve heard a good Yoko song.  Seriously!!!! yoko-ono_01

 I think Linda’s backing vocals on Macca’s songs are acceptable.  Wouldn’t call them dreadful.  And I don’t mind "Seaside Woman ", "B Side To Seaside”  or "Cook Of The House" or even the not so good "Thank You Darling".a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

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23 May 2016
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I don't really see the need to compare her to Yoko in the first place.

Anyway, Linda never called herself a singer, and neither did she aspire to be known as one. She just said that she wanted to be by her husband's side because he asked her to be. She's been bashed enough for that during her lifetime. Kudos to her for having stood by his side in spite of all the vitriol that was directed towards her.

As far as this project goes, she was told by a fan that she liked Seaside Woman , and that she wanted to hear more from her side. So she came to record this...and Paul worked hard on it, too. I won't say it was solely Linda, I'm sure she had all the help which soooooo many better singers wish they could have, but hey, that's life. 

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I notice this topic kind of fizzled over a year ago; I've only recently gotten around to sitting back to listen to "Wide Prairie" all the way through.  I like many of the 16 songs listed (sure, about 2 or 3 I didn't care for, and just went on to the next tune).

The songs I like the best are Wide Prairie (I'd love to hear Emmylou Harris cover this), The White Coated Man, The Light Comes From Within (almost has a Neil Young sound to it), Seaside Woman (and the B side extension), Sugartime, and Appaloosa.

(The above list doesn't mean I don't like some of the others as well; only that these stand out.)

As for Linda's voice, I've heard Paul in interviews say that he liked her voice, and I do too. She has a pleasing tonality, and her sometimes slightly off-key delivery actually works most of the time.  In the promotional material that came out with Paul's Liverpool Oratorio piece, he remarked that the reason he liked the lead operatic singer chosen (New Zealand operatic star Kiri Te Kanawa) was because she tended to avoid the tremolo in her voice, and rather sang the notes plain.  I suspect he liked that also about Linda and encouraged her to sing that way.  I think of Linda's voice like vanilla (let's take back "vanilla" from all the unfortunate associations it's had in pop culture; it's a perfectly lovely flavor).

Other notable features of this effort are a lot of quite cool lead electric guitar work by Paul, and all-around kooky playfulness with background noises and voices.

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I always loved how Linda didn't take herself too seriously with her music-- like in "Wide Prairie". She's just having fun and making music for the fun of it with her husband's support! I find that very endearing and I respect her for that. 

Same reason why I love Paul's "shit granny music." With that situation, he's just making tunes that he loves because he grew up with his father playing that type of stuff in the house. I hold a lot of respect for people who just do what they have fun/love doing and don't give a hoot about what others think. 

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Agreed. It's perfect for when you're in a certain mood where you want something homely, cozy, funny, slightly kitschy, and as welcoming as a home-cooked meal.

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OK, I wanted to listen to this because (a) I've never heard it; (b) Linda was on everyone's mind a couple of days ago; and (c) I've been extensively listening to Stevie Wonder and comparing him to Paul. And since I'm also listening to the albums Wonder co-created with his then-wife Syreeta, I figured I'd better do the same with Paul and check out Wide Prairie - even though it's not really an *album* but a compilation spanning a quarter-century. I knew I wasn't going to enjoy this the way I do those Syreeta albums, and I don't: I enjoy it in a different way. Linda's voice is pretty weak; especially on the early tracks, she seems to have triple-stacked many of her vocals (or added some Paul sweetining) just to beef them up.  She has no authority to really belt out a rocker like "I Got Up" or "The Light Comes From Within". But her very amateurishness is kinda humane and loveable, just like the long-haired lady herself. And when she sings soft and high, backed by a Harrisonesque steel guitar on "Love's Full Glory", it's downright pretty. 

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Love's Full Glory is absolutely magic. heart

Important to note that she's not a musician, though; first and foremost she was a photographer, who also enjoyed making music as a hobby, so perhaps not comparable to Syreeta? Idk

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Yeah that's true, those women have different skill sets, and really are not at all comparable, except as fodder for my frivolous idiosyncratic ruminations...anyways, on it's own terms, and with a dose of general goodwill towards Linda, I find "Wide Prairie" about as enjoyable as "Wild Life ", a little better than "Red Rose Speedway " and maybe "Speed of Sound" too, but I certainly need to revisit that one.

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