Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Listen to what the fans said....

To mark the continuing re-issue programme of the Paul McCartney archives, we are delighted to announce that Paul is set to promote the series with a very special set of concerts in 2012. Full details of these concerts will be announced shortly.

However, fans will have a unique opportunity to see Paul play songs only selected from his solo and Wings years and to make these special concerts even more special Paul's fans will have the opportunity to help choose the set-list.

Paul's solo career is the envy of many with multiple number one albums and singles around the world and now is your chance to relive memories and hear some of these massive hits and lesser known fans favourites live. Many of these songs have never been played live before and their time has come for the the live arena.

Paul is splitting his concert into to 5 sections and will be allowing fans to choose songs from a short list in each section. The songs with the most votes will then be played and Paul will decide on the order within each section.

Polls can be found in the right hand column of the blog.

Section 1 - Full band opening 'rock' set (8 to be selected from 18) 
Section 2 - Paul at Piano with band (5 to be selected from 8) 
Section 3 - Acoustic based set (7 to be selected from 11)
Section 4 - Full band set (10 to be selected from 18)
Section 5 - Encores (6 to be selected from 9) 

Voting will end in 60 days and further details on 'Listen to what the fans said' tour will follow as well as the results.









Please note that this posting is entirely made-up.


Great little video on Paul's guitars...


 

 And a tiny little bit of hope for the Rick too...

Monday, 12 December 2011

Sunday, 16 October 2011

My thoughts on the latest and potentially new Paul McCartney albums

Well Paul has been a busy boy!
  • Ballet album
  • Getting married (congratulations!)
  • Forthcoming standards album
  • Possible album with Dave Grohl
  • Perhaps a separate solo album
  • More solo remasters
But is it the new music that I would like to focus on.

Oceans Kingdom
Paul's classical stuff I have never really given the chance to get into, but the snippets that I have heard of 'Oceans Kingdom' actually sound quite pleasant and enjoyable - more pleasant and enjoyable than the quality of the actual ballet itself, or, so it seems from the reviews.

Nevertheless, he likes doing this kind of thing and I think it probably helps the way he looks at music generally. So fair play to him.

Standards Album
I do have serious issues with Paul and this album but I will reserve complete judgement until I hear the results, but I just see it as a waste of time and not the correct move at this stage in his career. I would much rather have new 'Paul' music than Paul recording lesser versions of bygone classics.

I understand that it will bring back childhood memories and will be fun for him to do, but my main concern is if Paul has the voice these days to pull it off. My view is a 'no' and it will do him no favours. His voice is just not able to carry that sort of music these days.

However, he is teaming up with Diana Krall so is a chance things might turn out well and he may have a Christmas hit album to tell the grandchildren at his knee about.

My advice is simple. Keep the recordings and release as b-sides. Paul's critical stock is quite high at the moment and moves like this do him no good in gaining that respect he so craves from the critics and press. However, the showbiz side of Paul craves the opposite and wants another hit and mass public acclaim. The internal conflict is one of those things that makes Paul so interesting.

Dave Grohl
Elvis Costello revealed recently that Paul is making an album with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. This actually really excites me. It is bound to rock and be full of energy. I'm sure Dave will make this project great fun. It should open a newer audience and a larger appreciation of his music. Lets hope that this turns out to be a winner and comes out very soon to blow away all trace of that 'standards' album.

New Paul McCartney solo album
Perhaps the supposed Grohl tracks will form songs that become part of the next solo Macca album or perhaps they're two separate projects.

Some of Paul's recent solo albums (Flaming Pie, Driving Rain and Chaos and Creation in the Backyard particularly) have produced some of Paul's best and/or interesting music of his career. Add the that the fantastic Fireman album then it is a silly McCartney fan who would rather another live album or the aforemention standards album, and even, to be honest the classical albums.

Watch this space and all will be revealed.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

In appreciation of...No.20 - We All Stand Together

Can be found on: All the best (UK version)

Well I bet you all did not think I'd choose this one!?

Although a huge hit in the UK, this is always a track that Paul gets ridiculed for - very unfairly.

It is a children's song with a reason and not dressed up in any other way. I could understand the stick that 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' got - wrong move, wrong time and frankly a poor song with a cringeworthy promotional film. However, this is possibly the best children's song ever.

The song reminds of my childhood and brings happy and warm memories of family Christmases. It is a real feel good song, but that is to ignore its quality.

It has a wonderful tune. a stunningly evocative and epic melody that any classical composer would be proud of. It is not tacky and could be seen as his best protest song in many ways. That is an interesting thought.

Forget the negative press and stick this song gets. It is fantastic, and, as a result, is his most underrated song ever. Ridicule at your peril. Children and adults should love this. It is simply fantastic.

Enjoy either the short or full version and be taken back to a time when nothing else mattered.

Edited Version


Full Version

Sunday, 24 July 2011

In appreciation of...No.19 - Little Lamb Dragonfly

Can be found on: Red Rose Speedway

This song is very well respected in McCartney circles but it still deserves to be much greater known and respected in the public domain.

It apears to be two songs made into one with cute lyrics about little lambs and dragonfly's. However, somehow it does not seem to be lightweight in its narrative. There is something much more meaningful buzzing around the surface fluff. There are many conspiracies that this could be about John or John and George and somehow I think we'll never know.

Paul is very reluctant to tell the public what his songs are really about. Sometimes this is because he has no idea himself, sometimes that his songs just working off a couplet of lines that go somewhere or nowhere in particular, sometimes he will tell a version of what the song is about that is not quite the truth just to keep us entertained or to promote the record and sometimes because it is none of our business or that it is up to us for the song to mean what we want.

This has been a double edged sword for Paul as it makes him seem more superficial in his lyric writing than his actually is. That is the public and critics perception. In my opinion it adds to the mystery and I like it that way. Keep us guessing and keep the real meaning personal.

Back to the song. This is a beautiful acoustic driven number with lovely chord changes, melodies and harmonies. The vocal is soulful and sad and it feels like the weight of the world is on Paul's shoulders.

The quality of the song is wonderful and is one of the best his has ever produced.

Perhaps, it is just about a fluffy little lamb though....







Saturday, 23 July 2011

In appreciation of...No. 18 - I Want You To Fly

Can be found on: Jenny Wren CD Single

The first time I heard this track I loved it and I still love it. I guess what I like so much about it, is that was a complete surprise and not what I was expecting. The song is interesting and is Paul at his imaginative and innovative best. It is an epic but understated.

The beautiful intro with Paul's voice and hammond organ is added to layer by layer as the song builds before changing pace. The song is very mellow and cosmic and has three distinct sections. It is almost an updated A Day In the Life.

Play loud with headphones and you may just fly.

In appreciation of...No. 17 - Kicked Around No More

Can be found on: Hope of Deliverance CD single

One of Paul's best b-sides and why this was not on the 'Off the Ground' album I'll never know. Why does he continue to have poor choices when it come to track selection?

This song meets the criteria of this series perfectly and is a true hidden gem.

'My life could be so sweet' sings Paul in this song and the general feel of the song brings a sense of sadness and resigned acceptance but with a firm determination to put things right.

Let this one get under your skin.

Friday, 15 July 2011

In appreciation of...No. 16 - Dear Boy

Can be found on: Ram

Ram is exhibit A in proving what how great Paul's voice is and showcases his vast imagination and ability to visualise a song and how it will end up.

Dear Boy is pretty much perfection. Vocals and harmonies of wonderous beauty and a song construction that is so clever it is simple. The song sounds surreal from a bygone age and has so much to listen to you always discover something new and quirky.

In appreciation of...No. 15 - House of Wax

Can be found on: Memory Almost Full

House of Wax is a latter day McCartney classic and is the best track on Memory Almost Full.

It has everything a Macca classic needs, great piano, melody, good lyrics, a song that builds and builds and a rip roaring vocal and guitar solo played by his good self. You become engrossed and part of this song and when played loud nothing else would distract your attention.

The song just blows you away, if you think Paul has done nothing of note then play this. Everything you hear is a myth. Worth the price of the album just for this track.

In appreciation of...No.14 - Great Day

Can be found on: Flaming Pie

This is Paul at his simplistic best. The first time you hear this song it is though you have known it for years.

It is very uplifting and does make you feel that the day will be a great one! Feature some of the last harmonies he recorded with Linda so it makes it extra special.

Great Day would have been perfect for the McCartney album as its simple, homemade melodic feel would have been ideal.

Play this first thing in the morning if you are a little down and your mood will change for the better. That is what music is about really.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

In appreciation of...No.13 - This One

Can be found on: Flowers in the Dirt

This is perfect pop! An exquisite single. Now this song is obviously well known with Paul fans but it is one of his best singles ever and should have been a huge worldwide Top 5 hit. It is that good.

It has a nice sentiment, is as catchy as can be, has good changes of pace and would appeal to anyone!

On a personal note the words mean a lot and people should take note of the message.

This is Paul's great lost number one hit single

In appreciation of...No.12 - Riding to Vanity Fair

Can be found on: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

This song is so haunting it is unnerving. The atmosphere created is very heartfelt, honest and full of meaning and emotion. Nigel Godrich has to take lots of credit for this song as the production means the mood is given added impact.

Who is it about?...who cares. The lyrics do sound very personal and you do believe them.

It is very introspective, but still somehow comes out optimistic. A complete song that resolves itself. There is nothing in this song that needs changing.

This is exhibit no. 198 in the Paul has not produced anything of note since 1970 debate and exhibit 41 in the Paul can nail it with his lyrics debate.

Feel the tension and sorrow, bitterness, regret, hope and acceptance. Let this song take over you body as it shudders through every bone.




In appreciation of...No.11 - The Pound is Sinking

Can be found on: Tug of War

When I write these short reviews I have the song playing in the background and write for the duration and limit myself to that set writing time (bar some minor edits afterwards). This one I have to play loudly as there is so much to listen too. Everything holds your interest, there must be about 64 songs rolled into one! However, it works...perfectly.

Once again the vocal is stunning. His heart certainly was in this song. The best passage is the 'oh it didn't happen' bit. A vocal to die for with perfect production.

If you are a Macca novice, give it a spin!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

In appreciation of...No. 10 - This Loving Game

Can be found on: Jenny Wren CD single

The Chaos and Creation sessions produced music of such high quality that almost every track was worthy of making the album, some more than the one's that actually did. In my opinion English Tea and A Certain Softness could have been replaced with any of the following that ended up as b-sides. 'I Want You To Fly' (remarkable), 'Growing Up, Falling Down' (emotional, could have been a Fireman track), 'Comfort of Love', 'She Is So Beautiful', 'Summer of '59' and this one, 'This Loving Game'

Some how Nigel Godrich worked Paul hard and the best came out of him in most cases. The music had so much more simplicity and depth and you could tell the songs has been thought about and worked on, but without losing their character. Basically, he improved the songs and ironed out the creases and pushed Paul just that little bit harder.

'This Loving Game' is actually quite a simple ballad, but in the best McCartney style and for someone just to leave this as an extra track on a CD single shows how good he is! The best thing about this song is you know it before it is finished, but it sustains repeated listens.

In appreciation of...No. 9 - Getting Closer

Can be found on: Back to the Egg

This song was another single that flopped! Why, I cannot say. Paul was still very big at the time. Perhaps it was because it rocked quite hard or that punk and disco fans were buying most of the records at the time?

However, this songs does not mess about and takes you by the scruff of the neck within 5 seconds. It still sounds pretty fresh and powerful and would sound great live.

Paul is in good voice and the song is a great rock single.

Enjoy and get closer!

Friday, 24 June 2011

In appreciation of...No.8 - Back On My Feet

Can be found on: Once Upon A Long Ago CD Single / Flowers in the Dirt (1993 re-issue)

This was the first song released of the excellent collaboration between McCartney and Elvis Costello. Tucked away as the b-side of Once Upon A Long Ago, the expectations were that it must just be a throwaway. How wrong could I have been! I played this song more than the lead track.

The lyrical quality and care had gone up a notch, the song was complete and was inspiring and very powerful. It is song that you don't get bored of and when Paul screams 'I'm back' towards the end of this song, you knew he meant it! That sums it up. This song you believe in and it is not superficial.

Monday, 20 June 2011

In appreciation of...No. 7 - Back Seat of My Car

Can be found on: Ram

This was a single and amazingly a flop, the first of his career. It just scrapped the UK Top 40. Amazing really as it is one of the best pieces he has ever released.

Well known by most big McCartney fans but certainly not by the general public or even some McCartney fans. This song started life during the last Beatle sessions and found its way onto the RAM album.

The harmonies, vocals, arrangements and different sections of this song are outstanding. The song just builds and builds and then rocks out. I can't think of anyone else would could write, sing and arrange a song like this. A vision in his head perfectly realised.

Should have been massive and should be appreciated by the masses. Share with all you know.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

In appreciation of...No. 6 - Wanderlust

Can be found on: Tug of War

This most striking thing about this song along with the wonderful melody, is the quality of the vocal, and the stunning production by his old mucker with the dodgy tie, Mr Martin.

Written about a possible drug bust on the good ship Wanderlust whilst recording the London Town album, the music gives the words much more resonance than their subject matter. It actually carries a wonderful emotional quality.

With simple piano and brass backing the vocal passages and blending are near perfection. It has subtle changes of tempo and the results are a work of pure beauty.

There is such talent in this man and this is proof. You know if this was on Revolver it would be considered very very highly.




In appreciation of...No.5 - Don't Let It Bring You Down

Can be found on: London Town

London Town is a very underrated album. Full of different styles and high quality songs. It is a very mellow album. One of the highlights is this track. In many ways you would not think it is Paul, it was actually a co-write with Denny, and the results are fantastic.

The song has a very long introduction before the vocal kicks in. It is a folk song with inspiring lyrics. The musical backing fits the mood and the swampy electrical guitar really adds to the interest.

Some of the songs in this series are chosen to prove the point that Paul produces music with real depth and mood. This is a case in point. This is a lost acoustic folk classic with a celtic blues feel.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Take me down....'Rusty'!

We all know what this means....

In appreciation of...No. 4 - Single Pigeon

Can be found on: Rose Rose Speedway

Now this is a real little gem. This is the track, that I feel could have replaced English Tea on Chaos and been perfect for that album. A shame is was released 32 years earlier!

The point I am making is Paul can produce sheer magic in this kind of song without resorting to the likes of 'You gave me the answer', 'Baby's Request', English Tea' etc. Here he does a song that could have come from a bygone era with sheer class.

Single Pigeon has a beautiful melody and is played in an understated way. It conveys sadness and is a really lonely song which involves you from the outset.

It is fill of lovely little tempo changes and the whole song glides along effortlessley. Single Pigeon is sincere and has meaning rather than coming across clever and tacky like some of Paul's can do. This one IS clever and the polar opposite of tacky.

The lyrics are good and contains one of my favourite couplets. 'Sunday morning fight about Saturday night'

Wonderful.

In appreciation of...No. 3 - To You

Can be found on: Back to the Egg

This is one of those McCartney songs that just slowly gets into your system and you find the groove just vibrating in your head. It is very much what you would call a grower.

It is an unusual style for Paul. It rocks but with an understated chorus that gives it that lasting appeal. The vocals are raspy and gives it soul.

It actually sounds very much a mixture between some of the post Punk New Wave bands with a little bit of pomp thrown in.

Well worth allowing into your system and a very untypical Paul song.



Saturday, 4 June 2011

In appreciation of...No. 2 - Love in Song

Can be found on: Venus and Mars

One of the highlights of this album. Once again Paul sings with emotion and sincerity. It has a reflective and sad quality and is beautifully constructed with stunning little musical layers and quirks. However, it seems simple despite its complexity.

It would be deserving a place on any album Paul has been involved in throughout his career. It has a slight country feel to it and a lovely melody. The middle eight part is wonderful.

I really love the lyrics to this song, they work perfectly. If you don't know this song, you really should. It should be better known. If you are just getting into Macca, it is great when you discover complete gems like this.


Sunday, 29 May 2011

In appreciation of...No. 1 - Dear Friend

Can be found on: Wild Life

Dear Friend is a song that destroys everything that the public perception of Paul McCartney is.

It is not shallow and superficial. It is not sugar coating the truth. It is the truth and from the heart, both painful and beautiful and perhaps the most heart wrenching song Paul has ever recorded.

The sparse arrangement draws the attention to an aching vocal expressing; love, heartache, regret, sadness, hope, sorrow, confusion and understanding. This is the sound of a man confused and needing clarification and reassurance. You are hearing Paul's inner soul and turmoil like never before. It demands your attention and is one of the saddest and most beautiful pieces of music you are ever likely to hear.

The vocal is not only emotive but of such high technical quality, I can think of very few who could begin to match it. The simple piano backing complements the mood perfectly and the sweeping strings build to the tension and at one point, dare I say, is similar to 'How do you sleep?'.

Although, the song was an olive branch to John, I am still not sure if the recording chronology means it is an answer to 'How do you sleep?' but whatever, the message is plain to see. A friendship and relationship in tatters.

This song deserves so much more appreciation. It is as honest and as bare as anything on Plastic Ono Band album.




Sunday, 1 May 2011

Paul McCartney and Denny Seiwell

A nice pic of Paul and the drummer on RAM and the first two Wings albums, Denny Seiwell. Taken in 2001. Taken at Paul's studio.

Nice to see Paul see friendly with his ex Wings band mate.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

BAKERBACK WRITER! BEATLES EX-PR PUBLISHES RUDE ROCK ‘N’ WOE BOOK

I am sure all Macca, Beatle and music fans will enjoy the new Geoff Baker book.  And I've got a feeling that it won't be long before this paperback writer will be selling loads across the universe and with a little luck will be back in the sunshine again very soon (edit. sorry!)


Note to the timid - if your not keen on naughty girls who have let their knickers down then just let it be!


After a six-year struggle to get it into print, Geoff Baker - former PR to Paul McCartney, The Beatles and Oasis - is finally publishing his rude, racy and irreverent novel about the music industry.


Rock Bottom is Baker’s black-humoured but fond satire which pokes a tongue behind the scenes and between the sheets at almost every aspect of the record business.


The first, limited edition of 1,000 copies will be available on Amazon from February 14th, priced £7.99. It will be published by Ragabond Press, a micro publisher that Baker set up with another former journalist, Jill Newton, after the UK’s mainstream publishers refused to touch his book.


Baker says Rock Bottom is ‘a work of complete and utter fiction’. The 400-page paperback romps and ruts through the conjoined stories of a flagging rock star, his demented PR and a blackmailing fan who threatens to ruin the pop idol’s reputation by unmasking a long-hidden sexual secret.


‘The star, Birmingham-born genius Ian Taylor, is not remotely based on anyone I’ve known,’ said Baker, ‘I made him up and he is as fictional as Henry the Horse who dances the waltz.’


‘Instead of writing about actual people I’ve worked with, it was more interesting for me to create fictional types of that rock world – the musicians, managers, record company execs – and to have a laugh at what fame can do to people and how it can disastrously affect those who work around the famous.


‘But what was of most interest to me was to make the fan the central character of the book; the fans’ feelings are often overlooked in the music game so I made the fan the heroine for a change.


‘Rock Bottom is basically a celebrity love story, but it’s quite sad in parts – rock ‘n woe, we call it. It is also the flipside of The X-Factor, revealing the madness and misery of making it big, so in some ways it’s a cautionary tale for those who long to see their name in lights.


MORE
‘The book is also rather rude. We were thinking of having a Parental Advisory sticker on it as the vernacular of the business is certainly not kids’ stuff and as a wordsearch revealed there are 864 f-words in the book those who dislike bad language might be better off reading Trainspotting instead.’


Although Ian Taylor’s genius but mercurial temperament was drawn from Baker’s imagination, he admits that various journalist characters who play supporting roles in the lurid drama were partly inspired by old pals from his newspaper days on Fleet Street.


‘I’ll be interested to see if any mates from the hack pack that I used to run with recognise anything of themselves in the book,’ said Baker, 54, ‘A number of them are editors now.’


It has taken Baker more than six years to publish his novel.


‘I wrote the original story in three months, back in 2004. I got a leading literary agent and he enthusiastically sent the manuscript to every major publisher – but none of them would touch it with a bargepole. Four years of rewrites followed, my funds ran out and if it hadn’t been for the support and belief of my wife Amanda throughout it all, I’d be rotting in debtor’s prison.’


‘Pissed off but unbowed’, Baker and Newton – an old Lyme Regis schoolpal - formed their own micro publishing company, Ragabond Press.


‘Jill and I re-met by chance after having not seen each other for more than 35 years. We talked about the book and realised that as she was trained as an editor and a sub and I was trained as a hack, maybe we could combine our skills for the book’ said Baker.


‘So between us we took on every aspect of getting a book done – editing, proofing, type-setting, layout, design, photography, distribution, marketing, PR, the lot.’


Now Ragabond Press, which is based in Newton and Baker’s home town of Lyme Regis, has seven self-penned books in production and is considering publishing other writers.


‘Rock Bottom comes out on Amazon on February 14 and we’re going to take several months to slowly plug it, just like I used to with a rock album,’ said Baker, whose next project is Ragabond Press’s The Beatles Fanthology, the story of the Fab Four told through the memories and stories of Beatles fans.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
Geoff Baker 
07966 473 919 or 01297 443932 
geoffbaker@dsl.pipex.com 
Jill Newton
07533 900 537 or 01892 864 520
jillnewton@btinternet.com

Monday, 24 January 2011

You can still vote Macca fans!

Look down the right hand side of my blog page and vote on all things Macca. The results are going to the Macca team - so you might just influence future decisions!!!!