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Paul McCartney—playlists

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LC   

It's amazing that you can run into people who say they don't like Paul McCartney—to which I always say, "What's not to love?" What an incredible archive of songs he's built:

• Those early Beatles classics with John Lennon.
• The genius of his (and John's) innovative Rubber Soul- and Revolver-era work.
• The unique and groundbreaking material from the Sgt. Pepper era.
• The "White Album" masterpieces—which, if you take them out and play as a McCartney "solo," make for a great album (although why would you want to edit out Lennon, Harrison, and Starr?).
• "Hey Jude," a single made around the same time as the "White Album," and, for my money, the best pop music song ever.
• The Let It Be and Abbey Road achievements, which wouldn't have happened if not for Paul's drive. (I love the Ringo quote where he said that the Beatles never would have finished those last three albums if it weren't the way McCartney enthusiastically pushed the others.) 
• The solo material in the early 1970s (love Ram especially).
• The Wings era—that alone would be a heckuva career.
• All the post-Wings music, which is taken for granted but which has lots of definitive high points.... IMHO, there are songs that stand up to his earlier work but get lost in the shadow of that same work (understandably so): "The Songs We Were Singing," "Flaming Pie," "Dance Tonight," "Queenie Eye," "Fine Line," "Sing the Changes" (even better live than on McCartney's Firemen album), and—from my favorite 21st-century Macca album, Driving Rain—"From a Lover to a Friend," "Lonely Road," "Driving Rain," the extremely atmospheric, cool, and odd "Riding in Jaipur," and... an awesome and wild 10-minute song called "Rinse the Raindrops." 

All of which brings me to the theme here: You could make any number of Macca playlists of 10 or 12 songs and there'd be no wrong answer. 

So, I give you a playlist of a certain type of McCartney song that you wouldn't necessarily dial up first: songs influenced by the love of show tunes he learned growing up:

1. "Your Mother Should Know" (From the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour. This is actually my cell phone ring tone. Seriously.)

2. "Honey Pie" (From the Beatles' "White Album.")

3. "Goodbye" (From Anthology III, an unreleased song from the White Album era... and the song he wrote for Mary Hopkins.)

4. "When I'm 64" (From the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's.)

5. "Baby's Request" (From Wings' Back to the Egg.)

6. "Waterfalls" (From McCartney II.).

7. "Winter Rose/Love Awakening" (From Back to the Egg.)

8. "Warm and Beautiful" (From Wings at the Speed of Sound.)

9. "Here There and Everywhere" (From the Beatles' Revolver.)

10. "The Fool on the Hill" (From the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour.)

11. "After the Ball/Million Miles" (From Back to the Egg.)

12. "She's Leaving Home" (From the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.)

13. "Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People" (From Paul McCartney's Venus & Mars.)

14. "Your Mother Should Know," alternate version (Take 27, from Anthology II.)

I know I'm missing an obvious one or two or three in this sub-genre. So, weigh in if you've gone deep into McCartney's catalog. And/or toss in another Macca themed playlist.

A sampling from the above...

 

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Kirk   

I don't know how anyone who appreciates music can not like Macca, either.  What I don't like are the people who think Macca can do no wrong.  Let's face it- Paul wrote some clinkers over the years, yet some Paulophites refuse to acknowledge this.  I prefer my artists to have a little less output and produce an album with 9 out of 10 songs that are keepers (re: Eric).  Perhaps that is where the "I don't like Paul" crowd is coming from?

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LC   

Er, I’m part of the “Paul can do no wrong” crowd! 

Or at least “almost no wrong.” 

Seriously, I know what you’re saying and can’t argue that not every little thing he’s done is awesome. The thing is, at Paul’s  level, the bar is so high. I mean, he was a Beatle! (and for many, THE Beatle)! So part of this divergence of opinions is: Some feel that a Paul “wrong” is anything not up to the level of “All My Loving” or “I’m Down” or “Yesterday” or “Eleanor Rigby” or “Penny Lane” or Let It Be” or “The Long and Wind Road,” or countless others.

But despite the challenge of matching his own standards, Macca has refused to rest on his laurels. And I love that. Resting on one’s laurels... well, some artists do that, or just aren’t inspired, or don’t wanna do music anymore.

I admire Paul’s drive to keep creating...  As I said, i do get your viewpoint (clunkers are in every artist’s catalog). I’m just saying that within Paul’s post-Beatles, post-Wings body of work, there’s stronger output than he’s credited for creating. :-)

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I just recently made a little project playlist of my favorite post-Beatle solo songs. I chose my Top 10 favorite from each Beatle, but I decided to limit myself to only choosing Paul's stuff outside of Wings. What would be your Top 10 McCartney songs that he did while not with the Beatles or Wings?

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susie b   

I'm with Kirk.

Although I am a Lennonist, I do like some of Paul's work, just not the middle-of-the-road/made for the masses schlock.

 

 

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James   

McCartney has the melody genius gene.....up their with Richard Rodgers, B Wilson, Gershwin etc for greatest melody writer of the century.

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James   

Since we're jumping around a little, at Craig's kinda suggestion, my top 10 post Beatles solo and Wings tunes:

1. My Sweet Lord, GH

2. What is life, GH

3. Photograph, RS

4. Beware My Love, Mc

5. Junior's Farm, Mc

6. Venus & Mars/Rock Show, Mc

7. You're 16, RS

8.  Uncle Albert....Mc

9 With A Little Luck, Mc

10. Mind Games, JL

Disclaimer: not familiar with most of their post Beatles deep cuts

 

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LC   

Susie, I guess I haven't felt like I had to choose between Lennon and McCartney. We're just lucky that they found each other, because neither would have made the same impact without the competitive fire they gave each other. So... I love Lennon, I love McCartney, and I love Harrison, too. (When you listen to the Beatles' output from 1963 through 1970, it's so interesting how George watched, absorbed, and learned from John and Paul over a short period of time—to the point where, by Abbey Road in 1969, was matching or exceeding the work of the other two). Also, I love Ringo as the perfect glue with that backbeat... and the occasional nice vocal and song contribution.

Per Kirk, as I said, Paul has had clunkers in his catalog, as did Lennon, Harrison, and everybody else who's ever recorded. (I'm sure Eric would find a clunker or two in his canon, too....) But as fans, we pick who we love, and we might be more forgiving than non-fans. So it is with Paul and me. (And Lennon, too.)

 

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James   

Re: clunkers......for me Eric Carmen (at least his Raspberries penned songs and 1st 4 solo albums).... and the Eagles ....are the most clunker free artists I've listened to.

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LC,

Interesting post...but I'd take "Here There and Everywhere" off your list! I can't imagine ANYONE could find fault with that one!

Bernie

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LC   

But Bernie... it's not a list of flawed songs.... It's just a playlist of themed songs. I love 'em all. I wonder if the later talk of clunkers might have given you the impression that my playlist was a clunker one. Not at all. They're just songs that seem (to me) to reflect McCartney's love of show tunes. (I love "Here There and Everywhere.")

Now if you want a list of clunkers, I'd put "Ebony and Ivory" right at the top! 

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AnneNR   

Yeah, I don't get the "this artist can do no wrong" mindset.

I watched a program within the past year that was documenting John Lennon, and in one scene he is on his property (the white house with the big windows and white piano), where he is talking to some random guy that wandered there and was talking with him and Yoko at the front door. The wanderer was asking John how he knew to write some of the songs about him (the wanderer) ... how did John know??  John was saying he just wrote about his own experiences, and if someone found it could be applied to them, that's okay --- "but how could I possibly write one about you? I don't know you!" Then they invited him inside for something to eat.

So, I don't think even John wanted to be put on a pedestal, so why do so many people worldwide do that?  Or to Elvis Presley? Or to any other artist that had a mass following of people who appreciated the music they created? These are just ordinary people making use of a God-given talent that may seem extra-ordinary if I may not have the same talent, or the same talent to that extent. Don't get me wrong, I very much like Elvis Presley (but not everything he did); I very much like John Lennon (mostly the Beatle era stuff, but not everything he did); I like Prince ( but not everything he did ).  Even though I recognize their talent, I refuse to put anyone up so high in my estimation that they become inhuman. I think all of them would like to be appreciated for their talent and enjoy the adulation, but in the end, they would like to have normal lives like the rest of us.

How many of you have been guilty of interrupting a publicly-known personality in public when the attention for an audience was not scheduled?  For instance, they are at a restaurant and you go hurrying over to their table to beg for an autograph and practically trip over your own feet and drool while doing so because you are in the their "presence".  I have a sister-in-law who went up to Tom Fogerty (member of Creedence Clearwater Revival, now passed away)  in public at a baseball game to beg for an autograph and saw nothing wrong with interrupting his time with his family to do it. NOW THAT'S ONE HECK OF A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT!! My sister-in-law is not one of my favorite in-laws for this and several other pushy-type reasons (fortunately she lives far enough away I don't have to tolerate her but once a year).

Many of our favorite celebrities would probably have a better time of it emotionally and mentally if the public would just cool it a bit. Some of them like the recognition out in public, but the ones who don't say one way or the other, perhaps they should be left to live their lives off screen or off stage without rabid fans dogging their existence.

What say you?

AnneNR

 

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