C/D Paul McCartney Solo

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Well, how about simply going through his solo output then (oratorios and electronica not counted):

Somewhat patchy stuff. Extremely underproduced, but certainly contains some great stuff. "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Junk" remain among his classics.

Already on his second solo effort he was able to come up with a truly great album. "Ram" is great most of the way through, with the title track, "Uncle Albert", "Too Many People" and others all among his best work. Classic!

"Wild Life"
Helpless stuff. Kind of charming in how he tries to pull it off, but he ends up helplessly lame through most of the album. "Dear Friend" is an OK response to "How Do You Sleep", and also the best tune on the album. The rest is rubbish. Dud, although the CD version includes "Give Ireland Back To The Irish" which helps a lot.

"Red Rose Speedway"
Not my favourite moment, although it was a huge leap in the right direction from "Wild Life". The medley at the end is kind of weird. "My Love" is of course a classic, but there's not a lot of classic stuff. Also here, however, the CD bonus tracks helps a lot, "C Moon" and "Hi Hi Hi" both being great songs.

"Band On The Run"
Sort of generally recognized as his best solo moment. Personally, I cannot quite agree with that, but still, this is a great album. "Jet" and the title track are sort of the recognized classics here, but I would also like to throw in a word for "Bluebird" and "Mrs. Vanderbilt". And, yes, btw, classic!

"Venus And Mars"
The only way he has ever managed to follow up a great solo album with another great one. "Venus And Mars" isn't a lot behind, maybe somewhat more patchy, but it contains such gems as "Rock Show", the beautiful (but way too short) title track, "Listen To What The Man Said" and "Love In Song". Classic!

"Wings At The Speed Of Sound"
"Silly Love Songs" is not my favourite McCartney moment. "Let'em In" is kind of OK, but with the non-singles being so obviously below-par, this is not classic stuff. The other members had way too much input here, and their tracks are dragging the entire effort down. Dud!

"London Town"
His most sonically polished effort so far, and actually not too bad. Certainly, there are moments that aren't quite up there, but tracks such as "With a Little Luck" and the title track are among his best.

"Back To The Egg"
Following an OK effort with another OK effort. I am not to keen on Christ Thomas' way too raunchy production, but there are some great songs in here. I am particularly fond of "Baby's Request", one of his better ballads.

"McCartney II"
McCartney doing synthpop might not have been that much of a bad idea, but the trouble he just doesn't cope. "Temporary Secretary" is a nice attempt that simply just doesn't work. "Coming Up" is annoying and his possibly most overrated moment since "Helter Skelter". "Waterfalls" saves the album though, bad production, but still great tune.

"Tug Of War"
IMO, this is his best ever moment as a soloist. George Martin's polished production gave sort of a 10cc feel to it that really fit his music. The songs are his best ever, and there is hardly a weak track here. "Here Today", "Somebody Who Cares", "The Pound Is Sinking", "Wanderlust" and the title track are all among the best he ever wrote (and I also count his best Beatles efforts here). Absolutely classic!!!

"Pipes Of Peace"
A failed attempt to followup "Tug Of War". Most of the songs here lack character and sound like any MOR song would. There are exceptions though, with "The Man" (a lot better than "Say Say Say", the other Michael Jackson duet on the album) and the title tracks being obvious highlights.

"Press To Play"
An attempt at a "different" album that just didn't work out. Most of the tracks here are rubbish. Still, even at his worst, McCartney managed to come up with a great leadoff single in "Press", and one of his best ever ballads in "Only Love Remains". Still, dud!

"Flowers In The Dirt"
Other than "Tug Of War" I rank this as his best album. Somewhat more patchy, but with highlights that are up there with his best. "My Brave Face" may be one of his best ever solo singles, "This One", "You Want Her Too", "Put It There", "Distractions" and "Rough Ride" are all great songs. And it even contains a great mock-reggae song in "How Many People". Classic!

"Off The Ground"
Like "Back To The Egg", it suffers from a production somewhat too raunchy for my liking. And the tracks are weaker here too. I have never been into the rock'n'roll McCartney, and there is way too much of him here. At least "Golden Earth Girl" and "C'Mon People" are two classic McCartney ballad that leaves this album worth checking out anyway.

"Flaming Pie"
Although it lacks the classic song, this album is a pleasant collection of pleasant pop songs, shaped a lot by Jeff Lynne. While it is not my favourite McCartney album, it is not hard to understand why this became his bestselling solo album in years.

"Driving Rain"
Somewhat more patchy again, although this album too has its moment. The title track is notably strong, and there are also (as usual) a couple nice ballads here. Still not a classic though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 27 November 2004 00:33 (fifteen years ago) link

"Baby's Request" is horrible! One of those horrible attempts at writing and oldtimey song for old people, ergh. A lot of the rest of "Back to the Egg" turned out to be a bit of a revelation, what w/its awful cover/name I'd mentally filed it as his worst record, in fact about half of it's great ("Getting Closer", "Arrow Through Me", "To You", the Rockestra stuff, "Old Siam, Sir", prob one of those medley songs is Ok but I don't get why he did that on EVERY rec). And suddenly I realise I'm gonna end up buying all his damn postBeatles recs, cos they're prob at least Ok and HE IS PAUL MCCARTNEY. Oh well.

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Saturday, 27 November 2004 02:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Can we get NTI back in here to do a similar rundown?

Ken L (Ken L), Saturday, 27 November 2004 03:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Ha ha ha, my pleasure:

Fucking brilliant. Some say underproduced, I say an absolute masterpiece of minimalist pop songcraft. In addition to perhaps the only solo track worthy of The Beatles ("Maybe I'm Amazed", of course), it has several minor gems--"Every Night", "Singalong Junk" (better as this instrumental version, I think)--but also tracks like "Hot As Sun/Glasses", which reveal a keen grasp of impressionist abstraction. A remarkable deconstruction of The Beatles' lavish pop structures.

In which McCartney very consciously puts it back together again. Not a bad thing, though, because the songwriting is sharp and the maximalist lo-fi production enticing. In addition to the pop prog of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and "Back Seat of My Car", the record has almost too many highlights: the stomping "Too Many People", the additive layers of "Ram On" and "Dear Boy", the slapback nonsense of "Eat At Home" and rustic whimsy of "Heart of the Country" and "Long Haired Lady" -- track for track, his melodic acuity would rarely be this consistent again. The worst that can be said about it is that its pleasures are a touch superficial. Still, one of his best.

"Wild Life"
Charming in places, but tossed-off and inessential. Opening improv, "Mumbo", is a smoking rocker, but the best tracks are, surprisingly, simple duets with Linda: "Some People Never Know", "Tomorrow", as well as "Dear Friend" (which goes on a bit long). Best song is the UK bonus track, "Mama's Little Girl", a ghostly, staggeringly beautiful ballad not unlike "Blackbird", but with lush Wings vocals, if you like that sort of thing. I kinda do.

"Red Rose Speedway"
A favorite of Macca fanatics. None of the songs mean a goddamn thing, and Paul was almost audibly stoned to the gills on this one, but almost all the tracks are melodically sharp. "Big Barn Bed" has a great ensemble vocal chorus, "My Love" is shimmering, "Get On The Right Thing" is Little Richard at run through the Gold Star reverb chamber. Elsewhere, there's a serviceable C&W riff ("One More Kiss"), an appealing light ballad ("Single Pigeon"), a lazy lite one ("When the Night"), and two medleys -- one ("Little Lamb/Dragonfly") utterly gorgeous, with the other sounding like he orchestrated a worktape. Not a bad thing, really.

"Band On The Run"
Honestly? The least exciting of his "classic" solo records, largely because it lacks almost any trace of the carelessness that makes his solo work frustrating but exciting, given that we're talking about someone with the skills of McCartney. Still, "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" is a blast, as is the "If we ever get out of here" section of the title track, and "Let Me Roll It" positively aches. Other moments are enjoyable, but oddly hollow.

"Venus And Mars"
A prototypical McCartney record -- brilliant and fun in places, it's also larded with utter garbage. The brilliant stuff starts with the title track, its reprise in particular, which ends with a lysergic vocal tag that fucking shimmers with a Wilsonian grace. In addition, the eastern-tinged "Love In Song" is gorgeous, "Magneto and Titaneum Man" a shuffling blast, and "Listen To What the Man Said" fun. But where "Letting Go" shows Macca embracing 70s rock with gusto, "Rock Show" is fairly plodding arena rock fare expressly designed for the then-upcoming Wings Over America tour. Oh, and there's the first of his "Old people make me sad" songs. Still, significantly more good than bad.

"Wings At The Speed Of Sound"
Totally disagree with Geir here, because "Let 'Em In" might be the quintessential McCartney single -- in addition to a sharp lyric and sticky tune, the unrelenting piano ostinato and revolutionary war piccolo riff are weird to the point of obsessive. What's the best fuck you to critics in history? An easy listening smash -- "Silly Love Songs". Both tracks are just fucking subversive. Other than these and the startling ballad "Warm And Beautiful", things are thin -- "The Note You Never Wrote" would be great if it were McCartney not Denny singing, "Beware My Love" seems like it should be better than it is, and the otherwise snappy "She's My Baby" errs in repeating "Moppin' it up!" a bit too much -- ick. The idea of letting the band chime in was...not good.

I'll get to the rest in a few...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 27 November 2004 07:41 (fifteen years ago) link

"London Town"
All over the map, but largely in a good way. McCartney's definitely settling into a groove here, with a lush, orchestrated sound that aims less for transcendence than straightforward pop appeal with dabs of experimentation here and there. Highlights include the stately title track and "With A Little Luck", a classic MOR ballad, but also the oddball "Backwards Traveller" and "I'm Carrying", one of his most moving acoustic guitar ballads.

"Back To the Egg"
Though its quasi-conceptual ambitions are far from fully realized, this is probably the best Wings record. He just does everything here--Armed Forces-era Elvis C. ("Getting Closer"), Aja-era Steely Dan ("Arrow Through Me"), Ray Charles ("After the Ball")--and his voice never sounded better. Even the failures are interesting (in theory, anyway), particularly his rock orchestra experiment ("Rockestra" which includes the likes of Pete Townshend and John Paul Jones), as well as the two impressionistic medleys on side two. Another favorite amongst McCartney fanatics and for good reason.

"McCartney II"
Where the first McCartney record embraced a rustic back-to-basics approach, the second volume reflected the advancement of the DIY aesthetic he had unknowingly midwifed. A decade before, Emmitt Rhodes had mimicked McCartney's go-it-alone approach and sound; by 1980, synthesizers were beginning to make possible albums that were truly "solo," from Eno to post-punk to Steve Winwood, whose Arc of a Diver would take its cue from this record in proving that an artist could make a complete pop statement (however minor) all by his lonesome.

Continuing the experimental tack of Egg, McCartney II reflects an awareness of these developments and includes at least four McCartney classics -- the snappy "Coming Up", the melancholy (and bizarre) "Waterfalls", the Eno-flavored "Summer's Day Song" and haunting ballad "One Of These Days". For all the excitement surround the experiments that work, the record also has a collection of interesting-to-mediocre synth instrumentals and aimless drum box jams that don't, making it clear he had an affinity for some DIY developments and merely an interest in others.

Gotta go to bed. I'll try to do "Tug of War", "Press To Play" and "Flowers In the Dirt McGirt" tomorrow...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 27 November 2004 08:39 (fifteen years ago) link

"Tug Of War"
Possibly his most overrated record, but that's understandable given its origins (produced by George Martin) and proximity to Lennon's death. In reality, the record's only differentiating characteristic with its predecessors is its questionable quality. There are undeniable moments of beauty and grace ("Wanderlust", the opening of the title track), as well as inspired eclecticism ("The Pound Is Sinking", the wistful rockabilly of "Get It" with Carl Perkins segue into vocoder link track "Be What You See"). But there is also uncomfortably hamfisted balladry ("Ebony", the plodding middle section of the title track, the disappointing Lennon tribute "Here Today" among others). Part of the blame goes to Martin, who even on the super-catchy hit single, "Take It Away", imposes a supersession lite MOR production that does the material no favors. Frustrating in a lot of ways, because it feels like it should be better than it is.

"Pipes of Peace"
I don't really know it, and what I've heard hasn't really inspired me to pick it up.

"Press To Play"
Ah, the sleeper in his catalogue. The concept was simple: Paul McCartney does mid-80s synth rock a la Genesis and Phil Collins — a terrible idea that ultimately sold like crap. But clearly McCartney heard something symphonic in the production of those records, so he the man responsible for them, Hugh Padgham. Assembling a veritable who's who of the scene (including Collins, SNL saxman Lenny Pickett, Pete Townshend, as well as arrangers Tony Visconti and Art of Noise orchestrator Anne Dudley), writing a patch of tracks with 10cc's Eric Stewart, he set about making his Invisible Touch.

And in truth, unlike Tug of War, most of it works, though in a dated kind of way. "Good Times Comin'/Feel the Sun" bristles with energy and "Only Love Remains" is a solid McCartney piano ballad, while "Press" (about pleasuring his wife) and "Talk More Talk" show Paul excelling at pre-sequenced synth textures. Still, it's the tracks with Stewart that shine brightest; "Stranglehold" and "Footprints" are an ebbulient rocker and haunting atmospheric ballad respectively, but "However Absurd", with its helium bridge and pounding metallic piano, is stunning. There are misfires—the quasi-aboriginal "Pretty Little Head", the pointless "Angry"—but as genre exercises go, the record is fairly brilliant.

"Flowers In The Dirt"
Where Press To Play felt inspired, this feels a bit aimless, as if he didn't know what he wanted to do exactly. Apart from the brilliant Irish gospel of "That Day Is Done", the much-heralded Costello collaborations are overhyped, while those with Trevor Horn are outright disappointing. Plus, several tracks employ plodding arena rock productions that ruin the material. Still, there are moments where McCartney's songwriting shines through: the ebbulient "This One" has a sharp tune, "Put It There" is a charming ode to fatherhood, and "My Brave Face" almost transcends its overproduction. But it's all over the place, and not in a good way.

Beyond that, I don't really know any of his 90s records more than to say "Off the Ground" sounded fairly dreadful, "Flaming Pie" flat and "Driving Rain"...okay. I still haven't quite given up on him, though.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 27 November 2004 17:23 (fifteen years ago) link

This makes me want to hear Press To Play:

"However Absurd", with its helium bridge and pounding metallic piano, is stunning

This doesn't:

"Press" (about pleasuring his wife)

Alba (Alba), Saturday, 27 November 2004 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I have heard "All the Best" and "Flaming Pie" and they're quite nice

"Some say he was best with the Beatles" - classic

tremendoid (tremendoid), Saturday, 27 November 2004 21:05 (fifteen years ago) link

Matthew you omitted major non-album singles

you maniac

(Jon L), Saturday, 27 November 2004 22:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Right. In summary, "Spies Like Us" eats ass.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 27 November 2004 23:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Hey! Stopp dissing Mitchell Froom! He is, like the best producer of the past 15 years, and his productions on "Flowers In The Dirt" were really, really brilliant. I love how he would mix the drums in just one channel, reminiscent of 60s stereo sound, also love how he used a lot of mellotron and old electric pianos. Indeed, I love the entire classic vintage melodic pop approach that is found in his productions. He did even better with Crowded House, but "My Brave Face" is also an absolutely brilliant production!

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 28 November 2004 00:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Geir, I suppose you think his work with Richard Thompson was also "brilliant," ikke sant?

Ken L (Ken L), Sunday, 28 November 2004 01:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Indeed, I feel some of his work with Richard Thompson was maybe a bit too early. He hadn't quite found his style yet by then. The first Crowded House album isn't too strong production-wise either.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 28 November 2004 02:37 (fifteen years ago) link

I like Rumour and Sigh quite a bit, actually. It's before Mitch's clank and drang production style hit full-tilt.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 30 November 2004 05:51 (fifteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
new album news is out (maybe it's been out for a while). So what happened to Jason Faulkner?

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 05:26 (fourteen years ago) link

(side story, think i've told it on ILM before?) my friend in LA had a big crush on Faulkner. at a bar she was wasted and told him she wanted to taste his fuck

The Amazing Jaxon! (jaxon), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 05:28 (fourteen years ago) link


yuengling participle (rotten03), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 06:10 (fourteen years ago) link

i've hung out with jason a few years ago while he was in paris to work with air and have been friend with his brother, ryan (bez-like dancer with beck these days), since then and last time i met him, he told me jason was working with macca on the album, so...

AleXTC (AleXTC), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 08:41 (fourteen years ago) link

at a bar she was wasted and told him she wanted to taste his fuck

Did he let her?

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 12:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Ha ha ha — that article says it ain't out until September.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 13:33 (fourteen years ago) link

My dad had a copy of the first McCartney LP so I grew up listening to that as much as the Beatles stuff. *Very* soft spot for it.

Billy Pilgrim (Billy Pilgrim), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 13:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Looking forward to this.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 14:51 (fourteen years ago) link


Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 14:55 (fourteen years ago) link

McCartney III!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 14:57 (fourteen years ago) link


Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 15:01 (fourteen years ago) link

McCartney III - reloaded !

AleXTC (AleXTC), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 15:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Paul should start doing Brian Wilson style tours where he does a whole album in its entirety as part of the show. Ram should be first up.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 12 July 2005 22:39 (fourteen years ago) link

...except it would almost certainly be Band On the Run instead. Boo...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 13 July 2005 19:44 (fourteen years ago) link

mc cartney going back behind the drum skins for the first time since the "spies like us" video!

ZionTrain (ZionTrain), Wednesday, 13 July 2005 23:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Paul McCartney II is one of the best albums of the 80s. I listened to it today -- Temporary Secretary is just flat-out incredible.

David Allen (David Allen), Thursday, 14 July 2005 00:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I once said "Temporary Secretary" sounds like Suicide.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 14 July 2005 00:21 (fourteen years ago) link

that out of tune guitar and keyboard loop is genius. i used to put that tune on mix tapes all the time.

ZionTrain (ZionTrain), Thursday, 14 July 2005 00:25 (fourteen years ago) link

You guys gotta hear the bootleg of the originally intended double album version of McCartney II!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 14 July 2005 01:51 (fourteen years ago) link

"Temporary Secretary"'s backing track sounds like a sped-up version of Kraftwerk's "Numbers," which didn't even come out until the following year!

that one's a search, definitely

Mike O. (Mike Ouderkirk), Thursday, 14 July 2005 02:21 (fourteen years ago) link

in some other thread there is mention of a remix album someone has done of McCartney II tracks

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 14 July 2005 02:42 (fourteen years ago) link

there is a "temporary secretary" remix that someone did. i heard that also. anyone know anything?

ZionTrain (ZionTrain), Thursday, 14 July 2005 02:52 (fourteen years ago) link

How the heck is Here Today disappointing? That song is brilliant. both lyrically and musically it's beautiful!

MerkinMuffley (MerkinMuffley), Thursday, 14 July 2005 05:15 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
His website - http://www.paulmccartney.com/main.html - has a track from the new album to consider: "Fine Line".

Must say, the song seems rather excellent, as if he really has upped his game. A more frenetic "Let 'Em In" for these times; typically McCartneyesque, yet with more intensity than he's had for decades. Fantastic ominous piano part... This is without question looks likely to be his finest album since "Tug of War".

Tom May (Tom May), Sunday, 7 August 2005 19:34 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...
"Rock Show" is fairly plodding arena rock fare expressly designed for the then-upcoming Wings Over America tour.

I'd rather call it Badfinger-like powerpop. Which is a good thing.

Generally McCartney solo is at his best with a perfect and polished production, and at his worst when he overdoes his "do it yourself" aesthetic.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 24 November 2006 00:18 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...
"Arrow Through Me" is genius, GENIUS. Matthew Weiner OTM.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 12 January 2007 01:19 (thirteen years ago) link

i've been loving the light disco of Goodnight Tonight lately

jaxon (jaxon), Friday, 12 January 2007 01:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Use of the word "genius" reminds me of this...

McCartney II [Columbia, 1980]
Paulie's 1970 DIY sounded homemade--its unfinished musings intimated an appealingly modest freedom. This one was recorded on a sixteen-track with an engineer in attendance. The instrumentals are doodles, the songs demos by a man who scores the occasional hit only to prove he's genius. Which he isn't. C

Tim Ellison = NUMBER ONE ADVOCATE OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT ON NU-ILX!!! (Tim Ellison), Friday, 12 January 2007 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link


Tim Ellison = NUMBER ONE ADVOCATE OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT ON NU-ILX!!! (Tim Ellison), Friday, 12 January 2007 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link

Next you'll have me defend "Pretty Little Head."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Matthew, you had me until "'Mumbo is a smoking rocker..." "A" for effort, though.

Matthew you omitted major non-album singles

1971-85 only:

Yes: "Hi Hi Hi," "Live and Let Die," "I Lie Around," "Country Dreamer," "Junior's Farm," "Mull of Kintyre," "Daytime Nighttime Suffering," "Coming Up (live at Glasgow)," "I'll Give You a Ring," "My Carnival."

Ehh: "Another Day," "Little Woman Love," "C Moon," "Sally G," "Girls School," "Goodnight Tonight," "Lunch Box/Odd Sox," "Rainclouds," "Spies Like Us."

Nae: "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "The Mess," "Zoo Gang."

Dan Heilman (The Deacon), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:29 (thirteen years ago) link


Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Oops, forgot "Oh Woman, Oh Why." Hearty Yes to that one.

Dan Heilman (The Deacon), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:34 (thirteen years ago) link

Next you'll have me defend "Pretty Little Head."

Not me. I think he was at a low ebb compositionally on that album and the album before.

Tim Ellison = NUMBER ONE ADVOCATE OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT ON NU-ILX!!! (Tim Ellison), Friday, 12 January 2007 05:00 (thirteen years ago) link

(Don't know if he came out of it after. I've never heard Flowers in the Dirt or Off the Ground.)

Tim Ellison = NUMBER ONE ADVOCATE OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT ON NU-ILX!!! (Tim Ellison), Friday, 12 January 2007 05:09 (thirteen years ago) link

I have no idea how I've not posted on this thread. Huge, huge huge classic. NTI's album rundown kind of captures why, I think - moreso than any other rocker of his generation (exception perhaps Stevie Wonder?) Paul managed to keep knocking out middling-hit (at least) singles in support of middling-good albums that managed to each be distinctive in their own way.

For the fan, his discography is rich with oddities, one-offs, half-baked experiments, overly self-conscious experiments, fully successful experiments, frankly brilliant fusions, unexpected detours, really expected detours, shockingly good rockers, embarassingly boneheaded rockers, sappy ballads, crappy ballads, convincing instant-classic ballads, odes to mooses that use Morse Code, and "The cat in the satin trousers said it's oily." The guy is a one-man landscape of gut pop instincts crossed with idiosyncratic overthought left turns. And if you're satisfied by swingin' tunes and enthusiasm there's so, so, so much to love.

Since his albums have been pretty well-discussed here, let me give a heads-up to a few of his many, MANY unreleased gems and uncollected b-sides. In the category of rockers (whether of the pop, stomp, or 'blooze' variety) there's "Oh Woman Oh Why," ("Oh Darling" done right) "Girls' School," "A Love For You" (tho it goes on too long), "Rode All Night" (ditto), "Daytime Nighttime Suffering," "I'll Give You A Ring," "Back on My Feet" (really dated but great), "Cage" (love the calliope!), "Soily"....etc, etc, etc.....

Ballads: "Suicide" (fragmentary though it is), "Lindiana" (don't mind the awful title), "Love Come Tumbling Down," "My Little Koala Bear," (!!!), "Tragedy" (I think this is a cover),

For weird experiments etc, go for "Boil Crisis," followed immediately by "Waterspout," then "Robber's Ball," then all the unused McCartney II stuff, especially "Secret Friend" and "Mr. H Atom." The unused dancey stuff from the mid-80s is mostly dire (eg "PS Love Me Do") but there are some interesting diversions - "Atlantic Ocean" and "Ou Est Le Soleil" for example. At this point we're starting to get into stuff that's enjoyable mainly for how it adds to the "the man's insane" portrait: "B-Side To Seaside," "Little Woman Love," "Big Boys Bickering," and on and on....

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Friday, 12 January 2007 05:45 (thirteen years ago) link

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