Album no. 202/1001
We’ve had John, we’ve had George, and now guess what? Not Ringo, sorry everybody.
This was the first album to be released following The Beatles split. Fans reacted a bit poorly, often blaming Paul for breaking everything up. That didn’t hurt sales, as it spent 3 weeks at number one on the billboard charts and got up to number 2 in the UK.
Apart from some backing vocals from Linda, Paul does everything on this. All the vocals, all the writing, and plays every instrument. Have to get points for that.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: Pretty sure I haven’t heard a single song off this.
CL: No! But after sitting through both John Lennon and George Harrison doing the solo thing, I’m excited to hear from Paul aka my favourite Beatle.
NK: I really like the opener, ‘Lovely Linda’. It’s really short and weird, just a little acoustic sketch of a song, but really nice. I sort of hoped there would be more stuff in that style. ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ is pretty good, that one stands out as the only one that really sounds finished.
CL: ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ will always remind me of The OC at the wedding – I do really like that cover, but I ~suppose~ the original goes alright. So many key changes – but not in a contrived way. On the 2011 remastered version (the one that’s on Spotify) there’s a slightly different version with an electric keyboard that I think may ALMOST be better than the one on the original release. Is that a controversial opinion? I don’t really care.
NK: I never watched The OC, but I think that cover is pretty bad.
CL: I think you’re pretty bad. It’s not all smooth sailing though. ‘Kreen-Akore’ has this weird heavy breathing about three quarters of the way through it. I was listening through headphones and felt a little violated. I mean, I’m into that, but give me some context Paul.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: This works as a quick listen when you’re getting ready to go out. Short, if not sharp or shiny.
CL: It’s all over so quickly you really could miss it if you’re not paying attention. I’d suggest putting aside some time especially for a listen.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: I think it gets a billing as the first solo effort from a Beatle, but it’s pretty interesting. It definitely sounds a bit unfinished. Just about every song has something to make you think, yeah, this could be good. Alas, apart from ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, they tend towards potential rather than actually being good. If only he’d had somebody to work on the songs with…
CL: This really reminds me of an audio scrapbook. Most of the songs run under 2 minutes, and they’re just these little musical snippets – like they were ideas for larger songs that never quite took flight. I’m all for short musical interludes, but some of these really did have potential for longer songs! He needed his Beatle friends to help him.
Will you be listening again?
NK: Maybe? I didn’t mind this! I like how short and weird the songs are, I am pretty impressed that he did the whole thing himself, and there are some really nice moments here. However, I wish he’d had at least a producer, just to pull everything together a bit more.
CL: Hmm. Aside from ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, probably not.
Listen to McCartney on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.