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Ranking Paul's Studio Albums
27 March 2014
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acmac
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meanmistermustard said I may get slaughtered but i don't think a lot of the Wings material says anything of note, it's great to listen to, Paul can write melodies and create great songs, but little of it makes you put down your cocoa and ponder what is being sung. Who sits down and thinks hard about Jet , My Love, Mull Of Kintyre (3 big Macca songs)? Silly Loves Songs is a huge "fuck you" to the critics but nothing else (that intro is up there for me). There must be some that make you, not that i can think of many, Dear Friend, Too Many People , but thats '71, must have been a couple between those and Here Today a-hard-days-night-paul-7

I agree the Wings years were something of a fallow period for Paul, lyrics-wise. Probably because he was spreading himself too thin (and maybe smoking too much?) and something had to give (similar observations have been made about his bass parts during the '70s).

But there are some gems in there. "Little Lamb Dragonfly" is a stunning portrait of love and regret. "I'm Carrying" is so odd and touching -- what is he "carrying"? Gifts? A ring? A "torch"? Drugs? The lyrics are playful yet melancholy, and in the last refrain when that bass doubles up under the string section it somehow sounds like a vow, given eye-to-eye in absolute solemnity. Sometimes it makes me cry. "London Town " has some intriguing lyrics, sadly undercut by the horrible "toot toot" and lackluster melody. "After the Ball/Million Miles" is a song of my soul (that's probably just me, though). "San Ferry Ann" is another good Lonely People song. Also, and I am usually met with blank stares when I say this, but the "Temporary Secretary " lyrics? BRILLIANT. 

And then of course there's always the Different Strokes thang... to use a George example I've been discussing recently: "Brainwashed." I'm not knocking it for the many fans who dig it, but for me it all amounts to this: "We're all brainwashed by everything. God is the answer." It's not that I disagree with that, necessarily, but... it's just not a particularly nuanced or interesting statement to me? It's like, "Yeah. ...And?" I'm much more stimulated by "Jet "-esque word-salad, by the Angry!Secrets-vibe of "The Note You Never Wrote", by non-sequiturs like "No one even left alive in nineteen-hundred and eighty-five will ever do."

What it comes down to, perhaps: For me, the best and most powerful way to artistically approach Big Issues is through the "back door" -- through imagery, through characters, through implicit rather than explicit meaning, through observation of people and relationships. The old "finding the extraordinary in the ordinary" thing.

All that said, yes, Paul was generally in better nick lyrics-wise pre-Wings ("Amazed," "Junk," "Monkberry," etc.) and post-Wings (starting with McCartney II ). 

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Von Bontee
26 October 2016
4.51pm
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William Shears Campbell
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Here | There | Everywhere

The one and only Billy Shears (AKA Paul's Replacement)

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2017:S2016MSKCTA.jpg"He still remains active while being away."

26 October 2016
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sir walter raleigh
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Solo/Wings

Ram

Band On The Run

McCartney

Flaming Pie

At the Speed Of Sound

Red Rose Speedway

NEW

Tug Of War

Chaos And Creation In The Backyard

Wild Life

London Town

Back To The Egg

McCartney II

Pipes Of Peace

Venus And Mars

Memory Almost Full

Off The Ground  

Flowers In The Dirt

Press To Play

Driving Rain

 

@William Shears Campbell I can't believe Band On The Run is so low! I personally love that album. A lot of your top ranked albums I'm indifferent about, but I respect the choices. 

For me, the bottom five are all pretty low quality and in no particular order, however from Ram to Venus And Mars is pure gold. 

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

26 October 2016
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William Shears Campbell
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@sir walter raleigh, if it makes you feel better, I really like At The Speed Of Sound

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The one and only Billy Shears (AKA Paul's Replacement)

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2017:S2016MSKCTA.jpg"He still remains active while being away."

28 September 2018
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Pancho
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I find that ranking his studio albums is not an easy task. The differences between some are razor thin. The only one I'm sure of is NEW, which I rank number one. To rank the rest will require more thought than I have time to give this topic right at the moment.

29 September 2018
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Ahhh Girl
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^New is fantastic, @Pancho. Have you heard Egypt Station yet? I think both albums are truly gear!

Welcome to our happy forum.

29 September 2018
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sir walter raleigh
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"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

13 October 2018
2.18pm
Pancho
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@Ahhh Girl, yes, I got Egypt Station via a pre-order, and while I agree that it's quite good, I couldn't rank it just yet. That will take a little more time, although it seems at least in the top half.

A friend once mused that it was a shame McCartney had "lost it," wasn't very good anymore, and his best years were behind him. I couldn't disagree at the time because the conversation took place in 2007 and I had stopped keeping up with him after Off The Ground . But when my daughter gave me Chaos and Creation for my birthday in 2013 and I later bought NEW, I knew my friend's assessment was not only wrong, but possibly the opposite was true. After hearing Chaos, I caught up completely, and I will never miss another release of his as long as he's alive. I even bought the remastered CD of Wings At The Speed Of Sound , which I had previously eschewed, even though I had bought the record back in '76. It turns out it's actually not too bad. I'd place it far down the list, maybe at the bottom, but it's really not too bad an album.

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Ahhh Girl
13 October 2018
8.29pm
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Mr Mustard
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Mine from worst to best:

NO THANK YOU!
25. Press To Play
24. Kisses On The Bottom
23. Wild Life
22. CHOBA B CCCP
21. Give My Regards To Broad Street

WELL, IF I MUST...
20. Back To The Egg
19. Run Devil Run
18. Red Rose Speedway
17. Chaos And Creation In The Backyard
16. Wings At The Speed Of Sound

HMMM...OK THEN
15. Driving Rain
14. McCartney
13. Off The Ground
12. McCartney II
11. Venus And Mars

SURE, LET'S GO!
10. London Town
  9. Flaming Pie
  8. Memory Almost Full
  7. Pipes Of Peace
  6. Flowers In The Dirt

WOW! YES PLEASE!!
  5. Egypt Station
  4. New
  3. Ram
  2. Band On The Run
  1. Tug Of War

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
14 October 2018
9.00am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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I discovered an ironic aspect to my musical tastes:

a) Outside of Band On The Run , my favorite albums are all outside the 70s: Tug Of War , Flowers ITD, Flaming Pie , Chaos ACITB, NEW.

BUT my favorite songs are by and large from the 70s: 1985 (pardon the abbreviation), Monkberry Moon Delight , Maybe I'm Amazed , Every Night , Junk, Live And Let Die , ... (don't get me wrong: I really like a number of post 70s songs  (Sing the Changes, Lonely Road, The Lovers that never Were, Beautiful Night, Save Us,...)

b) Every album has at least one song I really like - except Wild Life

[How lucky are we to have so many albums to choose from?]

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Ahhh Girl

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16 October 2018
9.28am
cyril sneer
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I don't really understand the flack McCartney I gets. Its not ground breaking as a whole album sure, but it still contains some decent songs on it to make it a decent album. Its probably my 2nd fav of Paul's; 1) Band On The Run , 2) McCartney I, 3) Ram . The rest of his solo work I find incredibly difficult to listen to though. 

28 August 2019
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Elementary Penguin
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I haven't listened to all of his solo albums yet but I will have a go at ranking the Wings albums so here we go:

 

Band On The Run

Venus And Mars  

Wild Life  

Red Rose Speedway  

Back To The Egg  

London Town  

Wings At The Speed Of Sound

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William Shears Campbell

And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

28 August 2019
12.32pm
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vonbontee
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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

 

  

I like it, though not nearly as much as I did at age 12. It's nicely cinematic, the way it xplodes into big-screen production values, and the shift to reggae in the bridge is amusing and surprising, but my favourite bits are ultimately the instrumental ones. I'd call the whole more of a triumph for GM than PM.

GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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30 August 2019
2.03pm
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Kaniffee
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The memes spawned from that song are great

Why yes that is a picture of Paul dabbing. Deal with it.

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