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!