Wednesday, 22 September 2010

To see how the other half lived! - Ex-Macca Rep to write The Beatles Fanathology

I urge you all to support Geoff Baker in this project. Geoff did good work for Paul and Linda professionally and personally and has acted with dignity since they parted their ways. 

This looks like a Beatles project which is slightly different for once. It can cover the period from the day John met Paul right up until today. 

Therefore, all ages and many sorts of different people can contribute, regardless if you were there the first time or are just a new fan.

So, get you thinking caps on 'Macca people' and help Geoff have a best seller on his hands. Remember, this is not just Geoff's book - it is your book too, and you could be part of a best seller!

We know enough from the eye of the hurricane and we will now be able 'to see how the other half lived' from the perspective of the millions of lovers in the greatest romance of the 20th century.


Geoff Baker, former PR to Linda and Paul McCartney and The Beatles, is to write a history of Beatles fans - using the fans' own words and calling it The Beatles Fanthology.

Baker, who worked at Apple Corps as press assistant under Derek Taylor on the actual Beatles Anthology projects, is asking Beatles fans around the globe to send him their stories, memories and moments about their love for the world's most-enduring rock band.

Baker will edit anecdotes and observations from the fans into the first full and illustrated biography of The Beatles fan phenomenon.

'I have a lot of respect for them, there is absolutely nothing like a Beatles fan and I love 'em,' said Baker, who worked for 15 years as Paul McCartney's publicity chief.

'The fans made the band and they have continued to make the band through five decades - but I feel their crucial side of the story that Derek called 'the 20th century's greatest romance' has never been told properly before. I'm reasonably qualified to write this book and it is the only Beatles book that I shall ever write.'

Baker said he was spurred to do the book after a Beatles fan wrote to him and suggested that he did it.

'I've always been fascinated by the fans. I did three world tours with Paul McCartney and on each one it was the dancing fans with their cheeky banners, friendly faces and expert knowledge who made each show a smash. I have no interest in the posh people who buy the expensive seats and then just sit in them throughout the gig. (edit: good line)

'The kind of things I'm interested in are what was it like for a Beatles fan in the Sixties, what was it like seeing them in Liverpool, what's it like being a Beatles fan now, what's it like having a son as a Beatles fan, or a grand-daughter, what's special about them above every other band, how did they affect your life - I want to know what the fans think about The Beatles, not the biographers' opinion or the critics', the fans. Other than forever admiring their screaming, we've not paid enough attention to their voice.'

Baker is asking fans who want to put their voice in the book to tell him their stories - by email to

'I want to cover the whole Beatles period, from the beginning of the birth of the band in 1957 up to the current day. The fans can send me as much or as little as they like. Email me pix or anything they want, but don't send me originals because everybody knows I'll lose them,' said Baker. 'I'm looking for those little moments that may be personal to one but will be understood by us all. I want to get in as many voices as possible from as many places as possible.'

Although Baker has been kicking fan-related book ideas around in himself for years, it was his business partner Jill Newton who came up with the name The Beatles Fanthology after the fan's prompt. The pair, both former journalists, recently formed a books-writing partnership, Newton & Baker Books. The Fanthology will be their fourth book currently in production.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

John/George more than most harmed Paul's reputation post Beatles

I think their comments post Beatles contributed in creating the 'Paul is lightweight and rubbish myth, whereas, John and George seem to come out of it very well and are lauded for their post Beatle work. That is not to say that they did not deserve praise - just that theirs is too great and Paul's is not enough.

In interviews, they were both often very critical of Paul musically. We know all about John's many comments and digs, but George could be just as cutting. I paraphrase 'I'd join a band with John any day, but not with Paul, that's from a musical point of view' Even in the late 80's when a rumour went round that Paul was going to record some of John's songs, he said something along the lines of 'Perhaps it's because he has no good one's of his own'. George could be very funny and dry, but some of it was unnecessary.

There are many more digs - even in the 'Anthology' project where George often seemed to ignore or be indifferent to Paul in many of the interviews they did together. I think that was just what George was like sometimes. I think Paul had to walk on egg shells trying not to upset him and this would have made things feel a little forced. That is not to say that there were not lovely tender moments in this project - the 'Real Love' video has evidence of this.

In the film 'Let it Be', Paul has a go at George in a petty argument - although Paul does come across as a little condescending, I have always thought that Paul also came across as being diplomatic and considerate to George, whilst admitting his previous errors. Perhaps, more importantly, he was also right in what he was saying. George comes across as being a bit of a bore, although I can understand his frustration at having collected his backlog of songs and The Beatles not being the vehicle to get them all out. Of course, it would cause some resentment, as would Paul's sometimes second hand treatment of him. Ultimately, I guess being in a band with Lennon and McCartney was pretty hard.

Even with the Allen Klein arguments; Paul was right in his thoughts and the other three were wrong. OK, you could see the others 'concern' if they had gone with Paul's father in law, but that was not the main point, securing a financially clear Beatles' future was.

Anyway, back to 'Let it Be', George is mistreated and the band almost split and Paul is painted as the villain, but John and George came to blows (many sources including George Martin state this) at the same sessions and have a massive argument - and it is not mentioned in most of the history books when discussing their problems and reasons behind the split.

I know John and George often they had their tongues firmly in their cheeks and it was often was just childish p**s-taking, but why did they feel they had to constantly demean Paul? I know they said some pro-Paul things too, but the negative grossly outweighed those, certainly the comments made in public. That is the nature of the media and they knew this. It was like it was revenge or sabotage. Justified? I doubt it.

It is not as though both of them were churning out album after album of high quality stuff from 1972 onwards, in fact, much of it was very poor. No moral high ground there then. I know Paul sometimes did not/doesn't help himself with his decisions and releases, but come on, did he really deserve all this criticism? - on occasion I guess (Mary Had a Little Lamb an obvious example) Was it jealously? Was Paul really such a git to them in the break up? Were they just being vindictive? Why did they feel the need to do this? Money?

Sometimes you criticise the family, but if an outsider does the same then you back them to the hilt, but surely they knew what they were doing.

It is to Paul's credit that he never really reacted and kept his dignity, in public anyway. He could have said a lot about them if he wanted, I'm sure. I think Paul was actually very forgiving to them and knew deep down that they were his soul brothers.

What is clear from other comments is that G&P and J&P did love and respect each other and always had that bond. I think in 1982 Paul was asked who his best friend was, and he paused for a moment and said 'George and Ringo'. That speaks volumes.

A load of rubbish went on between all of them, but I just think some of John's comments were uncalled for, regardless if Yoko egged him on or not, and George was not that much better.

In many ways Paul could not win. His perfectionist nature, work ethic and ability to see, hear and do things so quickly probably did not help to make him the best to work with. However, I think J & G should be a little bit ashamed of themselves, but hey they all lived through it, not us.

John and George fell out with each other too, but that is glossed over. It is like it was always three against one. John did not see George as a threat, so John did not make as big a thing about it. In many ways, I think GH treated Yoko worse than Paul did at the end of the Beatles' period, but this is also rarely mentioned. Paul let them both live in his house FFS!

George and John had the argument over the Bangledesh gig, GH's 74 tour, the Beatles' signing for the break-up agreement, when he could not come from his house across the road as the stars weren't roght, and also on the content of the 'I Me Mine' book. However, it is just not as interesting or as public as John's and Paul's feud. Again, George seems to always come out of things well, and Paul does not.

My main gripe is that although Paul has/had many faults and I am sure he is not the easiest to work with, John and George's behaviour and actions with and out of the Beatles was often worse worse than Paul's, but they are forgiven as they are 'artists', 'torchered souls' etc. Whereas Paul is either a git or a self-publicist.

Paul once said 'I'll never fall out with anyone ever again without making up' (paraphrased). Although, I don't think Paul has lived quite true to this, in the end, he was the one who made sure that he continued to have a relationship with the others.

Regardless of everything, the dynamics and bonds in that group will only ever be understood by those four and they know their true feelings of each other. I am sure that they are/were mainly very positive but it does not excuse some of the behaviour. I will say here, that I love John and George too, and will stick up for them, and, I also think Paul is not wholly innocent, but it still does not forgive the character and artistic deformation that they helped form. Paul deserves some support because some of the rubbish sticks to this day.

I like to think of them all happy together and do believe that they had got over most of their issues. I don't think Ringo really fell out with any of them though, although I am sure if Paul had slept with Ringo's wife (as George did), then Ringo would not have been so forgiving and neither would the press. I love all the pictures and stuff of them together post-split and hearing of their meetings and get togethers: the sentimental side of me likes that and really does see them as brothers who loved and fought in equal measures, but that is not the reason for this post, it is the effect on Paul's musical legacy and ultimately the music is what was and still is important.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Band on the Run - remastered issue details



Taken from
Paul's Epic #1 Album From 1973 Will Be Available In Multiple Configurations Featuring Remastered Rare Bonus Audio & Video Content 
With Special Exclusive Packaging
November 1st in the UK
November 2nd in the US

MPL and the Concord Music Group are pleased to announce the re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings’ iconic Band on the Run. Heralded as one of the greatest albums of all time, the GRAMMY winning, smash # 1 album - originally released December of 1973 - yielded the immortal title track and world-wide hit “Jet” becoming Wings’ most successful and celebrated album ever. 

Paul personally supervised all aspects of the Band on the Run reissue. The remastering work was done at Abbey Road using the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles’ catalog. 

Band on the Run will be available in a variety of formats originating with the single disc digitally remastered, essential 9-track standard edition. The 3 disc (2CD, 1 DVD) special edition features nine bonus audio tracks (including the top 10 smash “Helen Wheels”), rare footage of the McCartneys in Lagos and behind-the-scenes at the famous album cover shoot, original Band on the Run promotional video clips, the One Hand Clapping television special (highlighted by studio performances filmed at Abbey Road in 1974) all with beautifully enhanced packaging. Collectors will be especially thrilled by the 4 disc (3CD, 1 DVD) deluxe edition which adds an extraordinary 120-page hard bound book containing many unseen and unpublished photos by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith, album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, a full history of the album complete with a new interview with Paul and expanded track by track information for all four discs. The deluxe edition also includes a special Band on the Run audio documentary (originally produced for the 25th Anniversary edition.) The original remastered album and bonus audio content will also be issued in a 2 disc 180gm audiophile vinyl edition that comes with an MP3 download of all 18 tracks. Lastly, the standard and deluxe versions of Band on the Run will be available digitally worldwide.

The musical achievement of Band on the Run is nearly matched by the amazing story behind its creation. Intrigued with recording abroad in the summer of 1973, McCartney searched for a list of studios around the world. Spotting one in the remote location of Lagos, Nigeria, he became enthralled with the idea of recording in Africa. Days before departure, lead guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell quit the band leaving the entire project to the three core members, Paul, his wife Linda McCartney and band-member Denny Laine (along with recording engineer Geoff Emerick). Recorded in August and September of 1973 (with further work done at AIR Studios in London in October 1973), they persevered through a tumultuous, yet creatively invigorating 2 month recording process battling difficult studio conditions, oppressive heat and a dangerous mugging at knife point. The thieves made off with the demo tapes (among other valuables), forcing the band to record the entire album from memory. 

Band on the Run triumphed both critically and commercially. The album topped the US album chart 3 separate times, won a Grammy and went on to sell more than 7 million copies. Upon the release of Band on the Run, then Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau famously gushed, “The finest record yet released by any of the four musicians who were once called The Beatles.” 

Paul is currently playing five songs from the album on his ‘Up and Coming Tour’. Live favorites over the last 8 years of touring have included “Jet”, “Band on the Run” and “Let Me Roll It”. In 2008 when Paul played a free outdoor show to over 500,000 people in Kiev, a Ukrainian poll listed “Mrs Vandebilt” as their all time favorite Paul McCartney song. It’s been included in the set ever since. At the start of this tour Paul added “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” to the set. 

Band on the Run marks the first release from the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, an ambitious reissue program that encompasses 40 years of cherished, classic material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist in music history. It’s also the initial physical release of the recently announced agreement between McCartney’s MPL and Concord Music Group to globally market and distribute Paul’s venerated solo and Wings catalogue. 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

John and Paul Together after the split - new pic

A new picture of John and Paul from the 1970's. From the Patti Daley archive. Then just for interest the one released by May Pang a couple of years ago from her book.

I am convinced there must be more pictures of John and Paul together post split. Linda always seemed to have a camera with her and there are at least 5 or 6 documented times that they met in the 1970's.

In addition, there must be more pictures of Paul, Ringo and George at Eric Clapton's wedding than the two that have been published. One day pictures of them jamming on stage will come to light.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My reviews are now complete - PHEW!

According to all MY reviews these are my fav Macca albums in order! Thanks for reading the reviews. 

I look forward to what YOU think when the voting ends at the year end. Remember to vote if you have not done so yet!

Think it is not far off what I thought it would be at the start. My comments in despatches:
  • Broad Street should not be so high, but I never really think of it as a proper album anyway
  • Driving Rain is higher than I thought - but quite pleased about that
  • I have a real soft spot for 'McCartney' and I am sad it is not a little higher
  • I would have put my top 3 without the scoring system as the same 3 but in a different order 1. Ram 2. Chaos 3. Band on the Run.
  • Back to the Egg, Flowers in the Dirt and Flaming Pie are the one's I enjoy most after the top three
  • Would have liked London Town to have done a little better
  • Red Rose for some reason I have stages when I just love it, but I guess it is in about the right position
  • McCartney II does have some good tracks and interesting one's too so I am pleased it was not quite rock bottom!
  • Forgotten how great 'Flowers' is played loud
  • I wish Wild Life had been an EP - would have been a really great EP too
This is not the end of my regular blogging, comment and reviews. There is more to come! So stay tuned to McCartnet Macca fans!

All the best!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Choba B CCCP Album Review

Choba B CCCP reviewed on following link - inserted in its chronological postion

Memory Almost Full Album Review

Release date: June 2007

Artwork: A pretty uninspiring cover really but nicely done if that is not a contradiction. Overall quite well packaged though. It has a good picture of Paul with all the TV screens. I always think Paul's albums lack interesting liner notes and information though.

General Comments: An album that divides fans opinions. I am sat firmly in the against camp, however this is more due to frustration as there are some great songs on here.

The production is not very appealing to the listener and does not make you want to play the album too often and some of the tracks are lightweight and should not have made the producers cull. Basically Paul was being a little lazy.

However, it was one of his most successful recent albums, so what do I know?! Anyway, I am going to re-listen with an open mind. Before I do, I just want to mention that the extra tracks which are not on the album proper are again either more interesting or better than some of the lesser tracks on the album.

Track by Track:
1. Dance Tonight
This album had more promotion than the last couple of Paul albums put together but the lead single was a disappointment really. Yes, it was catchy and yes it is quite fun and harmless but the quality is not really there. If Paul really wants the credibility his craves then he needs to keep the popular adulation he craves in check too. This should have been kept as a private family bit of fun or a b-side where it would have worked well. Surprisingly quite enjoyable live though.  5/10
2. Ever Present Past
The first song that was previewed from the album and the buzz was that it sounded like it came from 'McCartney II'. I guess that there are some signs from that 79-80 period, a heavy guitar like in Back to the Egg and some electronic influence like on Temporary Secretary. This is an enjoyable and good song with some good ideas and passages. I can't help thinking though with a little more effort that this could have gone up a notch or two. Still pretty good though. 6.5/10
3. See Your Sunshine
God knows I have tried to like this song but just can't. It is corny and lazy. The middle eight holds a little bit of interest and is the only reason I scored it 2/10. The backing vocals are dreadful, the lyrics poor and it lacks any emotion, soul or sincerity. 2/10
4. Only Mamma Knows
It needed something good to make up for the previous track and this certainly does. One of Paul's best rockers ever. This was dying to be played live and happily it was! This is loud, gritty, fun and interesting. It is pretty catchy and should have been a single. 8.5/10
5. You Tell Me
This is a beautiful song of time gone and memories past. I did not like this on the first few listens, but it is a real grower. At the start though I keep thinking it is about to turn into Stairway to Heaven! It is quite a stripped down acoustic song and Paul's higher register voice is laid bare and there are some strains showing - I am still undecided if this adds to, or distracts from, the song. Very good nonetheless. 8/10
6. Mr Bellamy
This was the big hyped song and the vibe was that it was 'Beatle' quality. It is not. Although is a pretty good, interesting song and one of the better one's on the album I find it a little irritating. Having said that I don't skip it and it deserves to make the album. 6/10
7. Gratitude
Oh dear. This is another real low point on the album for me. It has a gospel soul feel to it with a pretty good vocal. However, it does not express any emotion or sign of personal or spiritual belief. The only sign of graitude I'd have was if Paul had not written this song. Again it has a relatively interesting middle eight. 3 minutes 19 seconds too long. 2/10
8. Vintage Clothes
This is perhaps the most instant song on the album and along with Only Mamma Knows would have been a good choice as the first single. Driven by a happy piano melody that sounds a little like Fleetwood Mac, it is a truly upbeat song that bounds along with fun and interest. A really good track. 7/10
9. That Was Me
An average song that is made better due to the general faults of the album overall. A sort of a rock'n roll style in the modern era with autobiographical lyrics. Actually very good live on his small venue 2007 tour. However, should have still only been a b-side, a quite good b-side though. 6/10
10. Feet in the Clouds
This is the sort of song that I am sure Paul can write in his sleep. Lazy lyrics and a lazy song. The producer should have told Paul to go away and start again with it. This is lightweight and I find it very very very very hard to to listen too. It sounds like a demo that needs work. 5/10
11. House of Wax
The best song on the album by far. Great lyrics, great tune, great tension and atmosphere, fantastic guitar solo and a really good vocal full of emotion. This is one of the best songs of his career. It builds from the simple piano introduction into an epic. I wish this was on Chaos - especially with the 'hidden in the yard' lyrics. 10/10
12. End of the End
Another track that got a lot of interest on release due to its subject matter. This is one of the better songs on the album. Paul has this way of making sad songs better and he achieves it here. He gets the feeling just right on this one and it has some nice lyrics too. It is a perfect way to end the album.  8/10
13. Nod Your Head
Oh....there is another track! Although I understand Paul wanting to lift the mood for the listener after the previous track, he actually got me in a mood! This is just a throwaway song. The sort of thing that as a party piece he may decide to play live - at a private party mind, but not mine! Yes, the vocal is pretty good, but it is really pointless. Another track that would have just about been acceptable in the days of the 12" single of being the extra 3rd b-side!  3/10

Overall score: 77/130
Overall score indexed: 59%

Monday, 13 September 2010

Chaos and Creation in the Backyard Album Review

Release date: September 2005

Artwork: The simple use of an old b/w photo of Paul in the backyard taken by his brother works perfectly. We look back on Paul and Paul looks forward at us. No need for anything else. A brilliant cover.

General Comments: There seemed to be a feeling that this was going to be a good album as soon as Nigel Godrich was announced as a producer. Would it live up to the expectation? Too right it would! This is a truly wonderful album and an album in every sense of the word, most of the songs work well together and the production is warm, real, live and classy.

The songwriting is good and the playing excellent. This really is a Paul album to sit back, relax and listen to all the way through. It is Paul at his mature best. Some albums have great tracks but this has a great overall feel and togetherness that help it achieve greatness. The b-sides and associated tracks related to this album are stunning too, particularly 'I Want You to Fly', 'This Loving Game', 'She is so Beautiful' and 'Comfort of Love'. If a couple of those tracks replaced a couple of the weaker tracks on this album then I would probably have died in the knowledge that Paul has produced the final complete masterpiece that I always knew he could.

Track by Track:
1. Fine Line
A strong opening track and single that simply bounces along with joy. When I first heard this I played it about 30 times in a row as I found all the little different sections fascinating. I particularly like the outro. Strangely though it does seem a little out of place on this album as it does not quite fit with its overall feeling. Very good live. 7.5/10
2. How Kind of You
Quite a nice track with some really nice sounds. It also has a nice sentiment. In fact 'nice' is the right word. Nothing more nothing less. Fits very well as part of the album. 6.5/10
3. Jenny Wren
The Blackbird comparisons were justified as this is a very high quality song too. It has a gorgeous melody and a lovely vocal. It is beautiful and sooooooooo relaxing. 8/10
4. At the Mercy
This song is simply wonderful. It is personal and full of melancholy, you become engrossed in the song and in Paul's world. It has a great little burst of energy in the middle and this is the first track that really shows what a great producer can get out of Paul.  9/10
5. Friends to Go
Would not have been out of place on 'London Town'.  You can tell why Paul said this reminded him of George H's songs. I had been waiting for songs like this from Paul. Good lyrics, not over long in length, not trying to be over clever and the acoustic guitar being prominent. A nice folky feel. 7.5/10
6. English Tea
My mum likes this one. 5/10
7. Too Much Rain
This song is so uplifting. It is one of the best on the album. Again everything is right, a subtle piano, understated acoustic guitar and a gentle build up in instrumental back up and support and atmosphere. Perfectly constructed and not just a little gem but a big gleaming one that really does make you happy when you're sad. 10/10
8. A Certain Softness
This is so laid back and sets a very chilled mood for the listener. Has a sort of Spanish feel about it. I was not so keen on this one for the first few listens but I have finally come to really enjoy it. 6.5/10
9. Riding to Vanity Fair
The mood and tension that is created on this track again shows the role of a good producer. It really comes across as dark, bitter, regretful, hopeful, confident and of someone coming to terms with a relationship. Finally they have seen through someone and know what really counts. It is a sad song that is complete in its lyric and music. Excellent. 9/10
10. Follow Me
A nice little acoustic number which has many of Paul's trademarks. I like it as it is simple and quite uplifting. A good middle eight and for some reason some of the phrasing reminds me of Paul's work in The Beatles. 7/10
11. Promise to You Girl
A change of pace with a fantastic song. A wonderful introduction and then followed by harmonies straight from a Wings album before turning into a chugging piano rocker of very high quality. I can't tell you how much this songs just grows and grows on me. It is wonderful and I would love to hear it played live in between 1985 and Listen to What the Man Said. Great guitar solo and great everything. It sounds like the great lost Wings track. The end is as good as the start. Wow! 10/10
12. This Never Happened Before
The best out and out piano ballad Paul has written for years. Simple lyrics that actually do not end up sounding twee. Beautiful, I almost want to get married right now just to play this track. 8/10
13. Anyway/I've Only Got Two Hands
Another wonderful track of such quality you wonder is there is anything left in the tank. Again this is a mainly piano driven song which just puts a big arm around you and makes you feel warm and content. Then it moves into the hidden track that would have been great on 'McCartney' - the last 2 minutes of Paul's experimenting has enough quality melodies and sounds that would make most songwriters die happy!  9/10

Overall score: 103/130
Overall score indexed: 79%

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Driving Rain Album Review

Release date: November 2001

Artwork: Taken no doubt due to the camera phone craze that was starting around about that time - although the camera's were not of great quality yet. This cover is oft criticised but to be honest I don't mind it and have always loved photos in black and white. However, that does not mean it is great. The booklet contained lots of similar shots and the 'idea' works better in the inside packaging.

General Comments: Paul's first release of all original material since Linda's death and since he fell in lust again. It produced one of Paul's most underrated albums. Paul is shown coming out of the comfort zone and experimenting again as well as rocking harder than since Back to the Egg (another one of Paul's big underrated albums). It is a shame that Paul felt the urge to tag 'Freedom' onto the end and I also think that it is 2 or 3 tracks too long. Otherwise this is a cracking album that should have more credit.

In the UK it was the start of a slow change of opinion that Paul could still produce relevant music - not that is has gone far enough yet though. This album coupled with a successful tour, and then Glastonbury, Chaos and Electric Arguments really did Paul a lot of good in his general standing. Therefore, I see this as quite an important album in his career. Sales and chart position were dire as was the promotion/support by EMI.

Track by Track:
1. Lonely Road
Wow! that deep bass that starts this song and the album seems to announce that 'I'm back, I'm Paul and I really CAN play the bass'. There is something about this song that I never tire of and in fact it grows in quality in each listen.  The swampy, grungy, bluesy but somehow upbeat atmosphere created is great, the lyrics are really good and the vocals sound like they mean it. This is a driving song of high quality. A great opener and I can't find fault about anything on it.  9/10
2. From a Lover to a Friend
Perhaps not the best of choices commercially as a single but this song is excellent. Why Paul is considered lightweight when he writes like this I'll never know. This is honest, emotional and from the heart. You can tell the passion and sincerity in Paul's voice. The 'la la la's' work for me they show the inner turmoil perfectly. If John had produced this it would have been considered a classic. As far as I am concerned this is as good as anything on Plastic Ono Band / Imagine album's. Part of this song is actually reminiscent of 'How' or at least the lyrics are. However, that should not take anything away from the quality of this track. 8.5/10
3. She's Giving Up Talking
This brings to a close three fantastic opening tracks to this album and all very different in style but still working perfectly together. Interesting production, effects, vocal style and subject matter on this one. This was my favourite on first listen to this album and is still one of the tracks I put on a compilation CD if I am trying to prove Paul's solo work is just as interesting and creative as his 1960's work. 7/10
4. Driving Rain
This is a typical example of when Paul needs a really good and strong producer who just says 'there is a good song somewhere there Paul,  the lyrics are dreadful and the song needs some work, go away and come back'. If this was done there would have been a really good song at the end of it. Instead the whole album is built round it and promoted in its name. However, I really like the ending of this track. 5/10
5. I Do
A really pretty enjoyable ballad. Again it has reflective sad but upbeat lyrics - Paul manages to do this quite often somehow. Another very good heartfelt song of love, life and loss. 7/10
6. Tiny Bubble
Not so good this one. Sounds to me like an left over from 'Pipes of Peace'. Still quite listenable though, but one that should not have made the cut. A solid b-side though. 5/10
7. Magic
Clearly this is an ode to Linda and their meeting. Not quite as magic as it could have been and I would have loved to have seen this song had more work on it and maybe stripped down a little bit. It meanders a little too much without going anywhere. Interesting ending though, in fact many songs of this album have nice little intro's and outro's. Still a not a bad track. 6/10
8. Your Way
This is a nice almost country style acoustic love song that would have fitted on Paul's early solo albums.  Enjoyable and again heartfelt. This overall seems to be quite a personal album. 6/10
9. Spinning on an Axis
Maximum points for effort in trying something different here but it is not that good really. I think Paul is trying to be too modern. Has some good moments, but way over long, does not go anywhere and already sounds dated. 5/10
10. About You
One of the best rockers of Paul's career. This should be played live it is that good. The band sound great and Paul sings great too. Another track to play to the disbelievers! 8/10
11. Heather
I think it would not be far wrong to say that this is the best instrumental (OK - I know there are a couple of lines towards the end) of Paul's career. It is so uplifting, the melody beautiful and the changes of pace inspiring. It is a joy. Sadly the subject matter means that Paul will never play this live or do anything with it again. Please get to know this track. I think it is pure simplicity and a sign of genius. 8/10
12. Back in the Sunshine Again
A half decent track but with knowing there are still another 4 tracks to go you are beginning to need a little break from the album which is why I think the album could do with a little edit. Another very good vocal. Actually this could be really interesting done in a soul jazz arrangement by another artist.  6/10
13. Your Loving Flame
A classic McCartney style piano based ballad and a good quality one too. It does not 100% fit with the style of the album, but still pleased of its inclusion. 7/10
14. Riding to Jaipur
Yet another different and interesting sound and style for the album. Indian themed and mantra like. GH would have been proud and a little jealous.  7/10
15. Rinse the Raindrops
Well, if there was any doubt that Paul could not still rock then this 10 minutes of sheer gritty, dirty, heavy music needs to be exhibit number one. The vocal, music and various different passages of this track are both intense and great. Should have been the last track on the album and was until the events of 9/11 and the addition of a bonus track.  8/10
16. Freedom
I suppose this quickly knocked off song is harmless enough. However, I wish it had just been played at that concert and remembered as part of that day and the people it meant something too. Paul is not great at protest songs and sadly this song has been misread with the use of the word 'fight' I bet Paul wrote this in about 10 minutes though which I guess shows that he is very talented but should really on occasion work that little harder. 3.5/10

Overall score: 112/160
Overall score indexed: 70%

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Run Devil Run Album Review

Release date: October 1999

Artwork: This cover is great. Sometimes just a great photograph says it all and needs nothing else. Reminds of the Beastie Boys album 'Pauls Boutique' cover.

General Comments: Paul's first release after Linda's sad death is a real blast and an explosion of energy and I imagine, emotion. I am not a massive fan of 1950's rock'n roll, I enjoy but don't love or rush out to play, but this album of mainly covers played by a stellar band is very good and does give you an uplifting experience. Much better than Paul's Russian rock'n roll album and also than John's one too. Paul's vocals are really good on this album as he sings the arse of some of these tunes proving that his voice for this kind of music was still pretty fine. This is a difficult album to review track by track really so I am sorry for a pretty bland review. The album is really a single piece of work to be played loud and for an enjoyable 30 minutes or so of fun. However, I hardly play it.

Track by Track:
1. Blue Jean Bop
A great start to the album with the beautiful naked rawness sweetness of Paul's voice on its own with a little echo before building into a really good track. Just under 2 minutes, exactly how a rock'n roll single should be. 7/10
2. She Said Yeah
The first track of several that really rock hard. You can tell this band are having lots of fun. 6/10
3. All Shook Up
A solid upbeat version of the Elvis classic. Nothing particularly wonderful but OK. 6/10
4. Run Devil Run
A new Paul song here and it rocks. It sounds like it was written in 1957 and that is a big compliment. 7/10
5. No Other Baby
A subtle quietly sung ballad that gradually builds without you noticing. A very good interpretation and has a lovely atmospheric bass. 7/10
6. Lonesome Town
A lovely ballad that brings one of Paul's must emotionally driven performances ever. You believe every word. Beautiful. 8/10
7. Try Not To Cry
Another new 'old' song written by Paul. This songs fits in perfectly on this album too. Not a typical standard rock'n and roll song but still has elements. 6/10
8. Movie Magg
A bit of harmless fun. A double bass and Paul's vocal basically carry this song. Not one of my favourites on the album, but its sequence on the album helps pace the album perfectly. 5/10
9. Brown Eyed Handsome Man
A stomping joyous track that makes you want to dance. Again you can tell all are having fun. Paul makes this song his own (crikey I sound like Simon Cowell!). 7/10
10. What It Is
The final new 'old' Paul song and it is a good one which grows on you. 7/10
11. Coquette
I get a little bored of this one and often skip it. 5/10
12. I Got Stung
This was one of the first Elvis songs that I heard and have always liked it, Paul rocks it harder and it is a good version. 6/10
13. Honey Hush
This is loud and rocks. This really is old rock'n and roll played hard, fast and loud. This has energy and probably is an example of the vibrancy that must have been brought to people growing up in that era. 7/10
14. Shake a Hand
I like Paul's vocals on this one and it is of a little bit of a different style than some of the other tracks. More bluesy.  6/10
15. Party
Really the comments on Honey Hush apply here.  Well Paul would be great to play at a party. He certainly would rock the house. 7/10

Overall score: 95/150
Overall score indexed: 63%