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krista4

In this thread I rank my favorite post-Beatles Beatles songs: 290-1. On to the top 100 - WE DID IT!

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1 hour ago, Morton Muffley said:

Would be happy to.  Will think about how best to execute this so that I am not posting a minimally updated list every day. Maybe at each quarter point (i.e. when you reach Paul's #75, #50, #25, and #1). 

That's sort of what I did in the Neil thread when unveiling how Rolling Stone's rankings compared to mine. 

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---IMPORTANT-LUDE – In Praise of Ringo---

“Ringo is Ringo, that’s all there is to it.  And he’s every bloody bit as warm, unassuming, funny and kind as he seems.  He was quite simply the heart of the Beatles.” – John Lennon

“Play like Ringo.” – John Lennon to Andy Newmark during the Double Fantasy sessions

“I remember the moment, standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like, '#### you. What is this?' And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles." – Paul McCartney, describing the first time Ringo sat in to play with the Beatles

“Ringo's got the best back beat I've ever heard and he can play great 24-hours a day." – George Harrison

He was the most influential Beatle.  … And he really believed in peace and love." – Yoko Ono

In 2011, Rolling Stone readers voted Starr the fifth-greatest drummer of all time.

“He had the greatest conception of tempo I've ever heard in my life. I have never heard anybody play that steady in my life, and that's a long time." – Drummer D. J. Fontana, who played on Beaucoups of Blues

“Ringo is vastly underrated. The drum fills on the song "A Day in the Life" are very complex things. You could take a great drummer today and say, 'I want it like that.' He wouldn't know what to do.” – Drummer Phil Collins

“Before Ringo, drum stars were measured by their soloing ability and virtuosity. Ringo's popularity brought forth a new paradigm in how the public saw drummers. We started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect. One of Ringo's great qualities was that he composed unique, stylistic drum parts for the Beatles' songs. His parts are so signature to the songs that you can listen to a Ringo drum part without the rest of the music and still identify the song.” – Drummer Steve Smith

“Technique is great, and you need it to execute your ideas — but what I like most in a musician is ideas and feeling. What’s in your heart and soul, and how you use that power to express it.” Drummer Dennis Diken, waxing poetic about Ringo over the course of 10 minutes

“Ringo Starr is one of the greatest drummers of all time.  But like many of the greats, he made it look so easy. That's what happens with true originals and innovators, and as a result, people take for granted the artistry behind what they do." – Drummer Rich Pagano

"I cannot count the number of drummers who have told me that Ringo inspired their passion for drums.” – Robyn Flans, the Percussive Arts Society

“There were fewer than a dozen occasions in the Beatles' eight-year recording career where session breakdowns were caused by Starr making a mistake, while the vast majority of takes were stopped due to mistakes by the other Beatles.” – Mark Lewisohn, The Complete Beatles Recordings

“I consider him one of the greatest innovators of rock drumming and believe that he has been one of the greatest influences on rock drumming today... Ringo has influenced drummers more than they will ever realize or admit. Ringo laid down the fundamental rock beat that drummers are playing today and they probably don't even realize it.” – Drummer Kenny Aronoff

“He was the guy that we all tried to play like in the studio." – Drummer Jim Keltner

“No one needs to defend Ringo Starr—he's ####### Ringo Starr. ... Without him the Beatles wouldn't have sounded like the Beatles. And if the Beatles didn't sound like the Beatles, there would be no Beatles.”  Drummer Dave Grohl

“Define ‘best drummer in the world’.  Is it someone that’s technically proficient? Or is it someone that sits in the song with their own feel? Ringo was the king of feel.” – Also Drummer Dave Grohl

"I am the foundation, and then I put a bit of glow here and there ... If there's a gap, I want to be good enough to fill it." – Ringo

 

Beatlemania

Ringo was a star in Liverpool before anyone knew what a John, Paul or George was, a sought-after drummer with Rory and the Hurricanes; Ringo was constantly getting offers to join other bands.  The Beatles opened for Rory and the Hurricanes in Hamburg, which is how Ringo met the band.

During their heyday, Ringo received five times the fan mail of any other Beatle, and more than all three other Beatles combined. 

In 1964, "I love Ringo" lapel pins were the bestselling of all Beatles merchandise.

The prominent placing of the Ludwig logo on the bass drum of his American import drum kit gave the company such a burst of publicity that it became the dominant drum manufacturer in North America for the next twenty years.

After the release of the Beatles' second feature film, Help! (1965), Starr won a Melody Maker poll against his fellow Beatles for his performance as the central character in the film.

Do you think the other Beatles loved Ringo?  Well, when he temporarily quit the band during the White Album sessions, the others put their differences aside long enough to beg Ringo to come back, promising that they’d act better.  When Ringo returned, George had sprinkled flowers all over his drum kit.  When George threatened to quit, or John disappeared for days at a time, no one put this much effort into getting them back.

I think the most compelling evidence of how much everyone valued Ringo is this chart of post-Beatles collaborations among the lads.  Notice anything?

 

Innovations and Examples of Ringo’s Mastery, shamelessly cribbed word-for-word from other sites

-         In his book The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn says Starr influenced various modern drumming techniques, such as the matched grip, tuning the drums lower, and using muffling devices on tonal rings. 

-        According to Ken Micallef and Donnie Marshall, co-authors of Classic Rock Drummers: "Ringo's fat tom sounds and delicate cymbal work were imitated by thousands of drummers."

-        Take She Loves You, the song that kicked off Beatlemania. Ringo’s brief introductory tom roll is the shot of adrenaline that gets the heart of the song thumping; it is teen mania in sound, and one of the most important drum rolls in recorded music history.  On Can’t Buy Me Love, Ringo’s drumming is the primal force that drives the song’s hormonal energy, all whipcrack snare and floor-tom bombast, wrapped up in Ringo’s signature sound: a wall-of-sound hi-hat thrash that sounds like five drummers at once. His drumming here is not complicated but – as numerous live versions of the song attest – it is lethally exact with not a note out of place...

-        Consider Tomorrow Never Knows, one of the most influential Beatles songs. How would it sound without Ringo’s beautifully lopsided breakbeat, his unexpected twitching snare pattern emphasising the song’s feel of psychedelic discombobulation? How would Strawberry Fields Forever feel without Ringo’s fantastically weary tom fills, which seems to drag the listener down into Lennon’s nostalgia?

-        Some people consider Ringo to be a terrible drummer because he doesn’t play solos. But who, apart from other drummers, really enjoys a solo? Ringo knew this and for years resisted all attempts to get him to play them, eventually giving in for the 15-second break on Abbey Road’s The End. It’s not flashy or difficult, but it has an understated funky charm and when it turned up on Beastie Boys’ The Sounds of Science 20 years later, it was hard to resist a smile.

-        Though he was often underappreciated during the flamboyant late Sixties that produced Keith Moon and Mitch Mitchell, Ringo didn't just ground the greatest band of all time, he helped give their music shape and focus — listen to the ecstatic rolls that open "She Loves You," the crisp buoyancy of "Ticket to Ride," the slippery cymbal work and languid concision of "Rain," or the way he threw cute, memorable "rhythmic hooks" into many more of the Beatles beloved tunes. As a left-handed drummer playing a right-handed kit, Starr came up with his own unique style of creating crisp exuberant "funny fills," and his steady reliability became an early gold standard for no-nonsense rock players, serving each song with feel, swing and unswerving reliability.

-        From his early ’60s tenure with Rory Storm And The Hurricanes—who rampaged their way through marathon sets in Hamburg, as had The Beatles—Starr became a relentless dynamo, able to swing, rock, and lay down a backbeat that wouldn’t quit. He kept that same driving beat with The Beatles, but as the band progressed through each exhilarating, earth-moving change, he blossomed too, providing artful, extravagant musical hooks whose worth would prove both incalculable and indelible.

-        What Starr did was so deceptively simple. It didn’t sound difficult—it wasn’t exhaustive or athletic enough—so it couldn’t have been hard. But what he achieved was more seamless and meaningful than mechanical flash: He played the perfect part at the perfect time.

-        An example: the odd pattern he plays at the very beginning (and many other places in the song) of “Come Together.” There’s nothing particularly difficult about it. And yet nothing like it was ever put on record before. It’s interesting and strange and tasteful and fits beautifully—a rare and magical combination.

-        Another example: the odd and restrained pattern he plays on “In My Life,” where he doesn’t play quarter-notes or eighth-notes on the hi-hat, as would every other drummer in the world. Instead he merely plays whole notes, hitting the hi-hat once per measure, just before the 4. So unusual, so tasteful, so perfect. Not difficult, just rare beyond words, and yet absolutely ideal for the song.  “Rain,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Ticket to Ride,” “She Said She Said,” “Get Back,” “Two of Us”—these songs have nothing in common save exceptional Ringo performances, imaginatively conceived and absolutely flawlessly executed.

-      Check out this article about 10 of his greatest performances

 

Funnest of Fun Fact:  Ringo's favorite drummer is Jim Keltner.

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I'm sure you guys have found that just one little drum part can make an otherwise decent-enough song approximately 59% better.  Exhibit A is "Thank You Girl", which is a nice enough song, but enters another pantheon simply because Ringo loses his mind at the end and just starts going to town on the drum fills.  

And as much as his vocals can be cringey, I'd put his "Boys" vocal right up there with anything.  

He's the Tom Hanks of the music world.  No one has a bad thing to say about him.  Even when he plays under his pseudonym "Jim Keltner."  

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---INTERLUDE – McCartney (1970)---

Paul and a four-track!  What more do you need?  As it turned out, not really anything in terms of this first solo record from Paul, which saw him taking on all the instruments, with contributions from no one else other than an occasional Linda backing vocal.  He didn’t even have a mixing deck, and described the recording as, “Studer, one mike, and nerve.”  Critics disagreed that nothing more was needed, and the album was widely panned, in large part due to its one-man-band, DIY style, though some of the vitriol clearly emanated from the misconception that Paul had broken up the Beatles, as in “he did that for this?”.  John called the record “rubbish,” and George was also quite critical and suggested that Paul was suffering from having no one but Linda to tell him if something was good or bad.  While many of the retrospective reviews still maintain that this record is mediocre, others have appreciated it as an early example of intimate, lo-fi music that later became more popular and critically acclaimed.  On the public side, general demand for works from the Beatles resulted in this reaching #1 on the US charts and going double Platinum.   Interestingly, Paul refused to allow any singles from the record, and the version we all know of “Maybe I’m Amazed” is from the later live album from Wings.

Morton and others could correct me, but my impression is that Paul took the break-up of the Beatles much worse than the others.  After all, both Ringo and George had quit before (and George in particular was happy for an escape from the band), and it was John who actually quit the band first this time; Paul, on the other hand, was the one pushing hardest to keep it together.  Ironic, of course, that Paul then was the one who, at least in contemporary times, was blamed most for the band’s end, since an interview he gave regarding this record led to that conclusion.  Despondent, Paul withdrew into seclusion to his estate in Scotland, worrying Linda, who called this one of the most difficult times in their lives.  Paul, with Linda’s support, decided he didn’t want to be a “rock and roll casualty” and poured himself into this new project, just the best medicine for Paul.  He began recording of these tracks in 1969, and completed them by the end of February 1970.

The McCartney album itself led to more conflict among the band members, as Paul did not want to delay its release until after Let It Be had come out, as was requested by the rest of the band and the record company.  I guess “requested” is not entirely accurate, as instead Paul was told that his release was going to be delayed, as George and John had instructed EMI, and they dispatched Ringo to deliver the news in person to Paul.  Accounts of the delivery of that message differ between Ringo and Paul, but neither would say it was a successful meeting.  Most generously to Paul, one could say that he ordered Ringo out; less generously to Paul, one could say that Paul went crazy and threatened Ringo and the rest of the band:  “I’ll finish you now.  You’ll pay.”

The unfinished, back-to-basics nature of the works on this album led to its poor reviews, and the record can be a tougher listen than many of the more polished Paul works, but the structure of the songs is nearly always very solid.  If this album showed up today, we might hail it as a lo-fi pop masterpiece, in my opinion, with Paul’s experimentation simply being ahead of his time as always.  Although I don’t have a ton of the songs on my list, the OBP of those I do have is very high, and if more had been fully realized instead of fragmented, they’d have made it, too.  One that I think of in particular in this regard is “That Would Be Something,” which is a top-notch melodical thought, and if it were a “real” song instead of component, it…well, would be something, I guess.

I defer now to Pip’s friend Neil Young, speaking at Paul’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist:  "I loved that record because it was so simple. And there was so much to see and to hear. It was just Paul. There was no adornment at all ... There was no attempt made to compete with the things he had already done. And so out he stepped from the shadow of the Beatles."

Cover art is cherries?  And a bowl of cherry juice?  It’s pretty, but I don’t get it.  Other packaging included a bunch of new-family photos of Linda and Paul and their kids.  Cute stuff like Paul with baby Mary on the back cover.

Track listing:

  1. The Lovely Linda
  2. That Would Be Something
  3. Valentine Days
  4. Every Night
  5. Hot As Sun/Glasses
  6. Junk
  7. Man We Was Lonely
  8. Oo You
  9. Momma Miss America
  10. Teddy Boy
  11. Singalong Junk
  12. Maybe I’m Amazed
  13. Kreen-Akrore

 

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I mentioned in the other thread, Ringo is far and away my favorite Beatles personality / character. Just seems like a great person in general. He's not the greatest drummer ever. Like Grohl was quoted above, the Beatles wouldn't have been the Beatles without him. And that probably means more than being the greatest drummer ever. He made those songs as much as any of the other three, in the end, to me, music is about the whole song, not anyone's particular virtuosity.  He deserves all accolades sent his way.

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184.  Man We Was Lonely (McCartney, 1970)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #87)

I won’t be surprised if some of you hate this one, and I get it.  The chorus can be a rough listen even though I have this song ranked well.  It certainly is believable that the chorus was written in bed, the middle eight at lunchtime, and then recorded in the course of a day, all of which it was.  There are two things that make me love this song, though.  First is that steel guitar sound in the intro and outro, which Paul produced by playing a Telecaster with a drum peg.  It sounds almost Spanish-influenced to me, rather than the hokey countrified sound of the choruses.  Second is the middle eight, which sounds like a beautiful Paul composition rather than a Johnny Cash song, which Paul has said was the sound he was going for in the choruses.  Third is that Paul is expressing genuine emotion - sorrow and pain – in this song; I think John is lauded for this but Paul is unfairly overlooked when he does it.  He might not be screaming for his mama, but the melancholy is clear from the first lines on that steel guitar, even though other parts of the song are tied up in a jaunty package.  I realize I said two things that make me love the song, and that is three.  I’m not going back to change it; do you have any idea how many songs I still need to write up?

Songs with titles lacking subject-verb agreement (running total):  1

 

Edited by krista4
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WARNING!  MORE BAGPIPES!

183.  Rainclouds (single, 1982)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #86)

I first mentioned this song in my write-up for Tug Of War.  As I noted there, this was the song Paul recorded on the morning he had learned of John’s murder.  It did not make the album, but became the b-side of the single, “Ebony And Ivory.”   The uilleann pipes on this song, played by Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains, are the highlight for me, expressing the sorrow and pain of the moment.  Despite having not a drop of Irish in me, I love traditional Irish music, and the Chieftains were monumental in introducing it to the world at large.  Moloney describes his experience coming in for the recording on the morning they’d learned the news:  “There were a lot of tears there in the studio…that day will never be forgotten. I hadn’t heard the track ‘Rainclouds’ before I got to the studio; I came up with a couple of ideas, and Paul said ‘Go on, play that.’ So I played what would be the bridge of the song. Then Paul asked, did I want to come down to his house, after the session? Did I want to stay over? …  I felt very emotional while I was playing ‘Rainclouds’, putting more into it than I usually did. A little lift from heaven, perhaps.”  :cry: 

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Hey, that was the b-side to "Ebony and Ivory"!  Will that a-side be showing up on your list?

Reminder:  NO.

"So strange that the nadirs of two brilliant artists were achieved in the exact same song.  Brilliant songwriters, brilliant musicians, responsible for my favorite music ever.  A song so forced, so contrived, a metaphor so obvious and lame and WRONG, JUST WRONG.  The black keys are not in harmony with the white keys.  That’s the point of them!  They’re dissonant; they’re in the harmony with each other.  And there are like four times as many white keys as black keys.  They’re larger and dominant.  It’s so wrong.  Stevie Wonder did a pretty good job exploring race in contemporary America, and Paul McCartney is not a racist, but we’re gonna cash in on the fact that we’re a white guy and a black guy.  That’s the thing about you guys?  Forget all the corny 80s oo-laa, the cheeseball instrumentation and the lite FM garbage.  It’s just hopelessly naïve and wrong.  It’s the 80s, a pogram on black America and urban America and we have this ####.  I think that song would be better just if Stevie Wonder just decided to cut Paul McCartney in it.  Get him before they get us all, and thwack.  I hate that song so much.  How he went from that John Lennon song earlier that I loved so much to this…I hate this almost as much as I loved the song I liked.  The Beatles basically integrated concerts in the south of the US, so it’s not like he’s ignorant of what went on here…but why can’t we live together like these keys on a piano?  Wtf?  Are you that far removed from…JFC.  Stevie, what are you ####### thinking, man?  That drives me ####### nuts.  That song is basically the Democratic party, right there.  So well-intentioned, so feckless, so wrong.  It’s like Jesse Helms says Jews are genetically are sneaky and black people shouldn’t have the right to buy meat on Wednesdays, and Paul McCartney is like “hey, ebony and ivory, man, why can’t we all get along?”  Bland music to let everyone feel good about “right thinking.”  I can’t be a racist, since I would also like to get along with Stevie Wonder.  I’m sorry, that song makes me want to overthrow governments."

Edited by krista4
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5 minutes ago, krista4 said:

WARNING!  MORE BAGPIPES!

183.  Rainclouds (single, 1982)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #86)

I first mentioned this song in my write-up for Tug Of War.  As I noted there, this was the song Paul recorded on the morning he had learned of John’s murder.  It did not make the album, but became the b-side of the single, “Ebony And Ivory.”   The uilleann pipes on this song, played by Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains, are the highlight for me, expressing the sorrow and pain of the moment.  Despite having not a drop of Irish in me, I love traditional Irish music, and the Chieftains were monumental in introducing it to the world at large.  Moloney describes his experience coming in for the recording on the morning they’d learned the news:  “There were a lot of tears there in the studio…that day will never be forgotten. I hadn’t heard the track ‘Rainclouds’ before I got to the studio; I came up with a couple of ideas, and Paul said ‘Go on, play that.’ So I played what would be the bridge of the song. Then Paul asked, did I want to come down to his house, after the session? Did I want to stay over? …  I felt very emotional while I was playing ‘Rainclouds’, putting more into it than I usually did. A little lift from heaven, perhaps.”  :cry: 

I am a well-documented sucker for harmonies.  These are sublime.  

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I'm traveling tomorrow to the Oregon coast where I will be soaking up the sunshine sitting in 60 degrees and rain for five days.  I will not complain since we desperately need the rain.  Anyway, I'm trying to finish all my write-ups through Sunday tonight, so I'll still be posting them but just might not be interacting as much during the day.  Then again, what else am I going to do?  Tomorrow there is a lot to get through with three ---INTERLUDES--- and three songs, so the posts might be scrunched up together in the morning before I leave around noon.

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14 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Hey, that was the b-side to "Ebony and Ivory"!  Will that a-side be showing up on your list?

Reminder:  NO.

"So strange that the nadirs of two brilliant artists were achieved in the exact same song.  Brilliant songwriters, brilliant musicians, responsible for my favorite music ever.  A song so forced, so contrived, a metaphor so obvious and lame and WRONG, JUST WRONG.  The black keys are not in harmony with the white keys.  That’s the point of them!  They’re dissonant; they’re in the harmony with each other.  And there are like four times as many white keys as black keys.  They’re larger and dominant.  It’s so wrong.  Stevie Wonder did a pretty good job exploring race in contemporary America, and Paul McCartney is not a racist, but we’re gonna cash in on the fact that we’re a white guy and a black guy.  That’s the thing about you guys?  Forget all the corny 80s oo-laa, the cheeseball instrumentation and the lite FM garbage.  It’s just hopelessly naïve and wrong.  It’s the 80s, a pogram on black America and urban America and we have this ####.  I think that song would be better just if Stevie Wonder just decided to cut Paul McCartney in it.  Get him before they get us all, and thwack.  I hate that song so much.  How he went from that John Lennon song earlier that I loved so much to this…I hate this almost as much as I loved the song I liked.  The Beatles basically integrated concerts in the south of the US, so it’s not like he’s ignorant of what went on here…but why can’t we live together like these keys on a piano?  Wtf?  Are you that far removed from…JFC.  Stevie, what are you ####### thinking, man?  That drives me ####### nuts.  That song is basically the Democratic party, right there.  So well-intentioned, so feckless, so wrong.  It’s like Jesse Helms says Jews are genetically are sneaky and black people shouldn’t have the right to buy meat on Wednesdays, and Paul McCartney is like “hey, ebony and ivory, man, why can’t we all get along?”  Bland music to let everyone feel good about “right thinking.”  I can’t be a racist, since I would also like to get along with Stevie Wonder.  I’m sorry, that song makes me want to overthrow governments."

While I only know of OH from his takes in this and the Beatles thread, I would have bet Junior's Farm that this would be his take on this song.  

While I can think of lots of both Paul and Stevie songs I'd rather here at any given time, including their other collaboration on this album, this song has a nostalgia factor for me that probably makes me appreciate it more.  My family moved when I was just shy of 5 years old, leaving behind a family we were very close to and we rarely got to see them for the next few years.  I distinctly remember visiting them at the height of E&I's popularity, and my brother and I and their two girls spent the afternoon playing this song over and over again on .45, taking turns lip-synching the Stevie and Paul parts until we perfected our act and later performed it for our parents.  As a recall, we even tried to get into costume and character, which I can only assume at this point involved sunglasses and a mullet, although I'm fairly certain no makeup was involved.  For friends who were reliving old times and reveling in new memories, it was the perfect song for the day, despite our complete Caucasianness.  Yeah, musically it's pretty pedestrian, and the message is over-simplified, but I still smile when I hear it.  

Enjoy your trip, Krista.  

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4 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

While I only know of OH from his takes in this and the Beatles thread, I would have bet Junior's Farm that this would be his take on this song.  

While I can think of lots of both Paul and Stevie songs I'd rather here at any given time, including their other collaboration on this album, this song has a nostalgia factor for me that probably makes me appreciate it more.  My family moved when I was just shy of 5 years old, leaving behind a family we were very close to and we rarely got to see them for the next few years.  I distinctly remember visiting them at the height of E&I's popularity, and my brother and I and their two girls spent the afternoon playing this song over and over again on .45, taking turns lip-synching the Stevie and Paul parts until we perfected our act and later performed it for our parents.  As a recall, we even tried to get into costume and character, which I can only assume at this point involved sunglasses and a mullet, although I'm fairly certain no makeup was involved.  For friends who were reliving old times and reveling in new memories, it was the perfect song for the day, despite our complete Caucasianness.  Yeah, musically it's pretty pedestrian, and the message is over-simplified, but I still smile when I hear it.  

Enjoy your trip, Krista.  

Aw, sweet story.  That's a perfectly good reason to be fond of this song.  And speaking of love for harmonies, these are excellent.  It didn't make even my first cut, but I don't dislike it nearly as much as OH does.  Of course, that's true of...everything.

My only association with the song is the Joe Piscopo/Eddie Murphy skit on SNL.  :lol: 

 

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

Hey, that was the b-side to "Ebony and Ivory"!  Will that a-side be showing up on your list?

Reminder:  NO.

:clap:

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On 9/21/2020 at 1:27 PM, krista4 said:

188.  Plug Me In (All Things Must Pass, 1970)  Spotify  YouTube

(George #53)

A lot of people might not spend much time on the instrumentals comprising sides 5 and 6 of All Things Must Pass, what with some of the best songs ever written being available on the first two records in the set.  I fall into that category, too, but I wanted to highlight my favorite of the jam tracks.  That’s George on guitar along with Clapton and Dave Mason, all of them just sizzling.  The star of this show for me, though, is Jim Gordon on drums.  As much as I love Ringo, when I listen to this album, every time I think, “Who the hell is just killing it on drums,” it’s Jim Gordon. 

Love this!!!!!!

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3 hours ago, krista4 said:

Hey, that was the b-side to "Ebony and Ivory"!  Will that a-side be showing up on your list?

Reminder:  NO.

"So strange that the nadirs of two brilliant artists were achieved in the exact same song.  Brilliant songwriters, brilliant musicians, responsible for my favorite music ever.  A song so forced, so contrived, a metaphor so obvious and lame and WRONG, JUST WRONG.  The black keys are not in harmony with the white keys.  That’s the point of them!  They’re dissonant; they’re in the harmony with each other.  And there are like four times as many white keys as black keys.  They’re larger and dominant.  It’s so wrong.  Stevie Wonder did a pretty good job exploring race in contemporary America, and Paul McCartney is not a racist, but we’re gonna cash in on the fact that we’re a white guy and a black guy.  That’s the thing about you guys?  Forget all the corny 80s oo-laa, the cheeseball instrumentation and the lite FM garbage.  It’s just hopelessly naïve and wrong.  It’s the 80s, a pogram on black America and urban America and we have this ####.  I think that song would be better just if Stevie Wonder just decided to cut Paul McCartney in it.  Get him before they get us all, and thwack.  I hate that song so much.  How he went from that John Lennon song earlier that I loved so much to this…I hate this almost as much as I loved the song I liked.  The Beatles basically integrated concerts in the south of the US, so it’s not like he’s ignorant of what went on here…but why can’t we live together like these keys on a piano?  Wtf?  Are you that far removed from…JFC.  Stevie, what are you ####### thinking, man?  That drives me ####### nuts.  That song is basically the Democratic party, right there.  So well-intentioned, so feckless, so wrong.  It’s like Jesse Helms says Jews are genetically are sneaky and black people shouldn’t have the right to buy meat on Wednesdays, and Paul McCartney is like “hey, ebony and ivory, man, why can’t we all get along?”  Bland music to let everyone feel good about “right thinking.”  I can’t be a racist, since I would also like to get along with Stevie Wonder.  I’m sorry, that song makes me want to overthrow governments."

Still better than My Love. 

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1 minute ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Still better than My Love. 

I'm not sure if OH agrees or not.  What's your interpretation?

OH re My Love:  "That song is garbage.  There are so many lame-###, facile rhymes in that, like “ask me why I say goodbye.”  C’mon man.  The best thing you can say about this song is that it would be perfect for a couples’ skate at a kid’s birthday party.  It’s like Long and Winding Road, but somehow more pointless."

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I'm not sure if OH agrees or not.  What's your interpretation?

OH re My Love:  "That song is garbage.  There are so many lame-###, facile rhymes in that, like “ask me why I say goodbye.”  C’mon man.  The best thing you can say about this song is that it would be perfect for a couples’ skate at a kid’s birthday party.  It’s like Long and Winding Road, but somehow more pointless."

Depends on whether length/exuberance of response correlates to hatred. 

He's more passionate about his dislike for E&I than he is for ML, but the question is why. If ML isn't worth much effort to trash, does that indifference speak worse about ML than whatever it was that sparked him to screed (is that a verb?) about E&I? 

(I also think he's overstating ML's value to a roller rink.) 

I'm not going to link but search it out yourselves if you must. Going by the E&I file on Paul's Youtube channel, the passage* between 1:22 and 1:45 is orders of magnitude better than the entirety of My Love or any segment thereof. That's why I like it better.

* - note that aside from a couple of stray vocodered words at the end, no lyrics are heard during these 23 seconds. 

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6 hours ago, krista4 said:

---INTERLUDE – McCartney (1970)---

Ironic, of course, that Paul then was the one who, at least in contemporary times, was blamed most for the band’s end, since an interview he gave regarding this record led to that conclusion.  

The McCartney album itself led to more conflict among the band members, as Paul did not want to delay its release until after Let It Be had come out, as was requested by the rest of the band and the record company.  I guess “requested” is not entirely accurate, as instead Paul was told that his release was going to be delayed, as George and John had instructed EMI, and they dispatched Ringo to deliver the news in person to Paul.  

The unfinished, back-to-basics nature of the works on this album led to its poor reviews, and the record can be a tougher listen than many of the more polished Paul works, but the structure of the songs is nearly always very solid. 

Cover art is cherries?  And a bowl of cherry juice?  It’s pretty, but I don’t get it.  Other packaging included a bunch of new-family photos of Linda and Paul and their kids.  Cute stuff like Paul with baby Mary on the back cover.

 

Well, to be fair, Paul was blamed because the "interview" in which Paul disclosed the break-up of the Beatles was actually a Q&A in which Paul wrote both the questions AND the answers and packaged them up WITH the album.  I'm as big of a Paul defender as there is, but even I can't find a way to see this as anything OTHER than a publicity stunt in which Paul took advantage of the break-up news.  

And I enjoy the fact that John and George sent Ringo to deliver the news.  Who among us hasn't taken similar advantage of some innocent messenger...or worse been completely pissed off when we realize that some messenger has been sent our way to do someone else's bidding.  Anyway, makes me chuckle thinking about it.

As for the cover photo.  I always assumed it was an unsubtle attack on the other three Beatles: life is a bowl of cherries but you three screwed up a good thing and now it's just a bowl of juice with cherries strewn about.  Anyway, just my interpretation.

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Didn't quote the Important Lude due to length but found it informative and confusing. I've never played an instrument or learned anything about music so the second half might as well have been in Russian. There would be no use trying to explain half or quarter notes, meter or fills to me so I'll just take the experts word on that stuff. What I don't understand that seems simple is this-  how is there a left/right handed drum kit? Can't you just set up the drums in whatever arrangement you want?

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Through Krista's hard work on both threads I have discovered songs I never heard before, rediscovered some songs I had forgotten about and learned a lot more about the Beatles. But more than anything else, I have a much deeper appreciation for Ringo.   :thumbup:

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1 hour ago, Raging weasel said:

Didn't quote the Important Lude due to length but found it informative and confusing. I've never played an instrument or learned anything about music so the second half might as well have been in Russian. There would be no use trying to explain half or quarter notes, meter or fills to me so I'll just take the experts word on that stuff. What I don't understand that seems simple is this-  how is there a left/right handed drum kit? Can't you just set up the drums in whatever arrangement you want?

For the most part you could (there’s a double pedal that I’m not sure about but most people don’t use anyway).  I think what happened with Ringo is simply that he learned to play on the right-handed setup for whatever reason, despite being left-handed. 
 

If you want to listen to how good his fills are, by the way, I suggest Strawberry Fields and A Day In The Life as his best.

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1 hour ago, Raging weasel said:

Didn't quote the Important Lude due to length but found it informative and confusing. I've never played an instrument or learned anything about music so the second half might as well have been in Russian. There would be no use trying to explain half or quarter notes, meter or fills to me so I'll just take the experts word on that stuff. What I don't understand that seems simple is this-  how is there a left/right handed drum kit? Can't you just set up the drums in whatever arrangement you want?

I was thinking of that too, and I have no idea. Hopefully someone who actually plays drums reads this thread. 

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41 minutes ago, Tom Hagen said:

Through Krista's hard work on both threads I have discovered songs I never heard before, rediscovered some songs I had forgotten about and learned a lot more about the Beatles. But more than anything else, I have a much deeper appreciation for Ringo.   :thumbup:

Same goes for me!

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Fun Fact:  Ringo (and drumming in general) is absent from "Blackbird" because Ringo had misplaced his left-hand drumstick that day.  

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Big day in the thread with three new albums, and I'm leaving my house at noon.  Let's get going!

---INTERLUDE - Memory Almost Full (2007)---

As I mentioned in my discussion of Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, Paul actually began in 2003 the recordings of many of the songs for what became this album.  After recording nine songs, Paul changed producers from David Kahne to Nigel Godrich, with whom he put out Chaos.  He only used one of the previously recorded songs for Chaos, though, leaving many songs available for this record, when he again partnered with Kahne as producer.  Sufficiently confusing?  Maybe Paul can explain it better:  “I actually started this album, Memory Almost Full, before my last album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, released September 2005. ... When I was just finishing up everything concerned with Chaos and had just got the Grammy nominations, I realized I had this album to go back to and finish off. So I got it out to listen to it again, wondering if I would enjoy it, but actually I really loved it. All I did at first was just listen to a couple of things and then I began to think, 'OK, I like that track – now, what is wrong with it?' And it might be something like a drum sound, so then I would re-drum and see where we would get to.”  When Paul re-visited these songs and continued work on the album, he didn’t include his band, resulting in many of these songs being just him on all the instruments.

What resulted was a very successful album, which reached #3 on the US charts, achieved Platinum status, and was nominated for four Grammy awards (though it was shut out in wins).  Interestingly (and apparently smartly), the album was the first release on the Starbucks “Hear Music” label, and nearly half of its first-week sales came at Starbucks locations, possibly from the fact that all of its stores played nothing but this album on its first day of release.  In addition to the overwhelmingly positive public reception, the album received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the strong melodies and the album’s unsentimental self-reflection. 

Many of the songs here are appraisals of various points of Paul’s life, and some are clearly focused on his aging and mortality, but all are presented as a meditation that’s realistic and thoughtful, not sappy or maudlin.  He doesn’t sound like a aged man who has it all figured out, but someone who appreciates all the different aspects of his life, from his childhood through his marriage to Heather, from his failures (did I mention the marriage to Heather?) to his best times, but who’s giving an honest appraisal of the ups and downs of life.  That aspect of this record is especially apparent to me in the five-song medley on side two, which I discussed previously in my interlude on medleys and suites.  First a word about that, because Morton commented at that time that he doesn’t consider it a medley.  I’m sure he’s not alone, in that it doesn’t necessarily sound on its face like a medley.  My reason for considering it a medley is simple:  it’s because Paul does.  In contemporaneous print interviews, as well as in the audio interview included with the extended version of the CDs, he speaks of how he put together a medley, including a comparison of it to what he did on Abbey Road.  (Note:  it’s nowhere near that quality, though it’s mostly very good.)  If Paul intended this as a medley, that’s good enough for me.  In any case, the medley – comprising the songs from “Vintage Clothes” through “The End Of The End” – are described by Paul as a walk through his life, purely autobiographical, and I find it representative of the content and feel of the album.  Starbucks even marketed this album as a “concept” album that was about getting to know Paul’s life.  Like the medley, the rest of the album is also very good in my opinion, though I do have one small complaint.  This album, more than any other of Paul’s, seems to me to suffer from that early-aughts tendency toward super-compression.  The result of this mastery is not just to make it ridiculously loud, but it makes the sound of everything much mushier, less crisp.  These songs deserved better than that.

I usually don’t discuss titles much, but I find this one pretty cool, as Paul thought it was a good summary of modern life, though it came from a pop-up on his phone.  I think it also fits with the “older man evaluating his life" theme of the album.  Some dorks noticed that the title is an anagram of “for my soulmate LLM” (Linda’s initials).  I mean, who the hell spends time figuring out something like that.  Wait, I’m the person discussing 290 songs and all the albums of the Beatle solo careers.  Nevermind.  Anyway, Paul has said that anagram was just a coincidence. 

Cover art is lovely, and the CD had a fold-out corner that’s hard to explain but was innovative and interesting, specifically designed to look like a potential flaw in the design, so that people would be curious and pick it up. 

Track listing:

  1. Dance Tonight
  2. Ever Present Past
  3. See Your Sunshine
  4. Only Mama Knows
  5. You Tell Me
  6. Mr Bellamy
  7. Gratitude
  8. Vintage Clothes
  9. That Was Me
  10. Feet In The Clouds
  11. House of Wax
  12. The End Of The End
  13. Nod Your Head
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182.  Only Mama Knows (Memory Almost Full, 2007)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #85)

Rock song!  You’re going to start this one and think I’m lying, what with the strings and all, but at 0:47…rock song!  Love those strings that begin and end the song, even though they’re synths and not real strings.  Paul has a badass, kickass, other-words-ending-in-### rock vocal on this.   It’s guttural yet melodic, and when hits that note at “I never knew” at 3:26, I nearly die.  The song also benefits from lyrics that are neither good enough nor bad enough to be noticeable; have no idea what’s they’re supposed to mean, and that’s just fine.

 

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

Some dorks noticed that the title is an anagram of “for my soulmate LLM” (Linda’s initials).  I mean, who the hell spends time figuring out something like that.  Wait, I’m the person discussing 290 songs and all the albums of the Beatle solo careers.  Nevermind.  Anyway, Paul has said that anagram was just a coincidence. 

 

Fun Fact:  Some Time In New York City can be anagrammed to "I'm In My Sweet Tricky Ono"  So, it must be a thing.  

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1 minute ago, Shaft41 said:

Fun Fact:  Some Time In New York City can be anagrammed to "I'm In My Sweet Tricky Ono"  So, it must be a thing.  

:lmao:  You're on a roll today.

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---INTERLUDE – Wings – Venus and Mars (1975)---

Let’s back up a little to give context to this one.  Both drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Henry McCullough had quit Wings just before the recording of Band On The Run (brilliant timing, gents), and with no time to get new personnel in place, that album was recorded mostly as a Paul/Linda/Laine trio.  While Paul was mixing Band On The Run, he heard Jimmy McCulloch recording in an adjacent studio and asked him to join his next project, the McGear album, which all of the Wings (including McCulloch, who was asked to join the band at this time) worked on in Jan/Feb 1974.  After completing that record, Paul then visited Los Angeles in March and April, leading to the mini-reunion with John on the recordings that became A Toot And A Snore In ’74, before returning to London to audition drummers and settling on Geoff Britton, who beat out, among others, Mitch Mitchell.  :shock:

With a new fully formed Wings in place, Paul and the gang went to Nashville for a six-week “holiday,” but, Paul being Paul, still recorded while there, including my #270 pick “Walking in the Park with Eloise.”  The band stayed at farm in Tennessee owned by country songwriter Curley Putman, Jr., of D-I-V-O-R-C-E fame.  Hmmm, might there be a song about this man’s farm coming up on the countdown?  After the “vacation,” official recording for this album started in November 1974 in London, then moved to New Orleans in January 1975 when Paul wanted a place where he could absorb some new musical influences into his record, much as he had hoped for the recording of Band On The Run in Nigeria.  Paul and Linda attended various Mardi Gras festivities and took in that atmosphere, and the band recorded at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studios and jammed with various musicians there, including for my #236 pick “My Carnival.”  In the midst of these recordings, however, new drummer Britton quit due to constant conflict with McCulloch, and Paul replaced Britton with Joe English.  Most people consider the resulting band to be the “classic” Wings lineup - Paul, Linda, Laine, McCulloch, and English – which stayed together until McCulloch and English quit following London Town.  Also, to an earlier point, after two albums listed as “Paul McCartney and Wings,” this one went back to the earlier designation of the band only as “Wings.”

This album was a smash hit, reaching #1 on the US charts and over four million in sales, in part behind the strength of the #1 sing, “Listen To What The Man Said,” and “Venus and Mars/Rock Show,” which reached #12.  The enormous commercial success of this album, on the heels of Band On The Run, was what launched the even more enormous, year-long “Wings Over The World” tour.   Critical reception to this album was also generally positive, though not at the level of Band On The Run; Paul himself, however, has stated that he thinks it is better than that one. 

For the record, Paul employed a device he’d used in Sgt. Pepper’s, reprising a theme – in this case the “Venus and Mars” snippets that introduce each side of the album – to give a sense of a cohesive concept.  This, along with the sequencing, makes you feel like you’re being taken on a ride; for instance, the first "Venus and Mars" introduces the theme of being at an arena waiting for a show to start, and then the “Rock Show” is the show that introduces you to the concept of the “Wings Over The World” tour.  As you journey through the album, the sequencing is fantastic to give the feel of this journey, with generally no two songs in a row being in a similar musical style.  That could have ended up in a disjointed effort, but in this instance the sequencing is seamless and gives a cohesive feel.  In addition to being a beautifully constructed album, the sound of the record is excellent, with production that punches up the guitars but overall feels appropriately balanced and…warm?  It feels warm to me.  And then there are the songs themselves, with interesting melodies across a variety of styles. 

One sorta sad side note on the making of this record:  as I mentioned elsewhere, during this time John was in a relationship with May Pang, who had been encouraging him to reconcile with Paul, and during this period she and John had in fact been frequently hosting Paul and Linda who would visit them while in town.  A plan was hatched, according to Pang, for John to meet Paul in New Orleans in advance of the Wings recording sessions there, in order for the two of them to write together:  “John made plans to surprise them down there.  He was in a great mood and he really missed Paul.” We needn’t just rely on Pang for this information, though; Derek Taylor received a postcard from John saying he was heading to the Big Easy to visit Paul, and John also discussed his plans with, oddly enough, Art Garfunkel.  However, just before this was to happen, Yoko invited John to a hypnotherapy session in order to help him quit smoking.  Pang begged him not to go, but he assured her he’d be home in time for dinner.  When he never arrived, Pang called Yoko, who said John was too tired to come to the phone.  Pang only saw him a couple of days later when they had had dentist’s appointments booked together; John informed her at that time that he was back with Yoko.  John’s friends weren’t happy with this development; Mick Jagger, for instance, responded, “I guess I’ve lost a friend.”  Then Yoko got pregnant, and that was that. 

On a happier note, this album did lead to a reunion of sorts with another Beatle, when George attended the album release party on the Queen Mary in California.

Cover art is a Linda photo of two billiard balls, red and yellow to represent Venus and Mars.

Track listing:

  1. Venus and Mars
  2. Rock Show
  3. Love In Song
  4. You Gave Me The Answer
  5. Magneto And Titanium Man
  6. Letting Go
  7. Venus and Mars (Reprise)
  8. Spirits Of Ancient Egypt
  9. Medicine Jar
  10. Call Me Back Again
  11. Listen To What The Man Said
  12. Treat Her Gently – Lonely Old People
  13. Crossroads Theme

 

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181.  Wings - Magneto And Titanium Man (Venus And Mars, 1975)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #84)

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t even sure at first that this would make my list, and yet here it is in an exalted position.  But, you see, it’s just so ####### fun, and every time I listen I’m reminded that it’s actually complex, too.  Paul rediscovered comic books when he and Linda hung out Jamaica in the 70s, going into supermarkets there and finding that he hadn’t grown out of his 11-year-old self, so he came up with this song.  It has a fabulous soulful Paul vocal, especially on the middle eight – seriously, listen to that vocal, setting aside the whole superhero thing, and tell me it’s not awesome.  The guitar work from Jimmy McCulloch is also superb, as are the harmonies.  For a song about superheroes, it has an interesting structure that I’m always surprised by, and it rocks more than any other superhero song you could name.  Go ahead – try!  Oh, and Stan Lee deemed it “terrific.”

OH:  ”I’m trying to think if there are any better songs about comic book characters.  There’s the jingle bells, Batman smells, but I don’t think that’s better.  I think it’s a pretty good song.”

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Going to hit the last of today's right quick before heading out.

---INTERLUDE – Gone Troppo (1982)---

Like Wild Life from Wings, this one almost doesn’t merit a write-up from me, as I’ll have only one song from it on my list.  As I discussed in my write-up for Somewhere In England, George was not feeling the music scene at this point.  He released this one, the last album owed on his contract, a year after that record, but he refused to do any publicity or promotion for it, and his distributor matched his lack of interest by not doing any either.  As a result, it was even less successful with the public and critics than Somewhere In England, reaching only #108 on the US charts.  It was after this release that George took a full five years off before coming out with the much more heralded Cloud Nine

If I were to choose only one word for this record, it would be “breezy.”  Or perhaps “insubstantial.”  It sounds like an uncommitted Jimmy Buffett, but with a lot more cheesy synths.  I don’t think it’s terrible overall, but that’s just not a style I enjoy to begin with.  If you’re a fan of Buffett or the like, you might want to check this one out as you could appreciate it more than I do.

Actually, simply looking at the cover art tells you a lot about the album.  It fits very well.  The art is by Larry Smith of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

Track listing:

  1. Wake Up My Love
  2. That’s The Way It Goes
  3. I Really Love You
  4. Greece
  5. Gone Troppo
  6. Mystical One
  7. Unknown Delight
  8. Baby Don’t Run Away
  9. Dream Away
  10. Circles
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180.  That’s The Way It Goes (Gone Troppo, 1982)  Spotify  YouTube

(George #51)

…in which the owner of numerous Ferraris and other classic sports cars, and several estates including this one and this one, expresses his sorrow about materialism.  Hey, we knew at this point that George was full of contradictions.  This song’s lyrics are a little different, though, in that they aren’t George’s usual proselytizing against excesses of the material world.  Instead George seems to pity the people he describes, and rather than exhorting them to turn to God, he ends each verse with a resigned “that’s the way it goes.”

I have mixed feelings about the lyrics.  Their condescension bugs me, but the lyrics are so damn clever that I have to forgive.   The meter and the internal rhymes are just that good.

There's a man talking on the radio
What he's saying, I don't really know
Seems he's lost some stocks and shares
Stops and stares, he's afraid I know
That's the way it goes

There's a man talking of the Promised Land
He'll acquire it with some krugerand
Subdivide and deal it out
Feel his clout, he can stoop so low
And that's the way it goes

There's an actor who hopes to fit the bill
Sees a shining city on a hill
Step up close and see he's blind
Wined and dined, all he has is pose
And that's the way it goes

There's a fire that burns away the lies
Manifesting in the spiritual eye
Though you won't understand the way I feel
You conceal, all there is to know
And that's the way it goes

&

Musically, I find two highlights in this song.  First, of course, is George’s slide guitar; each solo is unique and seems to represent a different musical style.  Second, is the bass vocal by Willie Greene.  I had to look up who belonged to that beautiful voice.  Greene is a gospel singer who had primarily worked in Ry Cooder’s band, which is how George found him.  It looks like Greene has now been part of the new Temptations (only one original member) for the past four years.  He adds an unexpected touch to the song that I very much enjoy.

This song appears to have been a favorite of George’s.  He included it on several compilations, as a b-side on “When We Was Fab” six years later, and on his short list for the sets for his Japanese tour in 1991.  It was the only post-1973 George solo song to be played at the Concert for George in 2002.

 

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6 hours ago, krista4 said:

181.  Wings - Magneto And Titanium Man (Venus And Mars, 1975)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #84)

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t even sure at first that this would make my list, and yet here it is in an exalted position.  But, you see, it’s just so ####### fun, and every time I listen I’m reminded that it’s actually complex, too.  Paul rediscovered comic books when he and Linda hung out Jamaica in the 70s, going into supermarkets there and finding that he hadn’t grown out of his 11-year-old self, so he came up with this song.  It has a fabulous soulful Paul vocal, especially on the middle eight – seriously, listen to that vocal, setting aside the whole superhero thing, and tell me it’s not awesome.  The guitar work from Jimmy McCulloch is also superb, as are the harmonies.  For a song about superheroes, it has an interesting structure that I’m always surprised by, and it rocks more than any other superhero song you could name.  Go ahead – try!  Oh, and Stan Lee deemed it “terrific.”

OH:  ”I’m trying to think if there are any better songs about comic book characters.  There’s the jingle bells, Batman smells, but I don’t think that’s better.  I think it’s a pretty good song.”

It's awesome. Fun song.

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7 hours ago, krista4 said:

181.  Wings - Magneto And Titanium Man (Venus And Mars, 1975)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #84)

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t even sure at first that this would make my list, and yet here it is in an exalted position.  But, you see, it’s just so ####### fun, and every time I listen I’m reminded that it’s actually complex, too.  Paul rediscovered comic books when he and Linda hung out Jamaica in the 70s, going into supermarkets there and finding that he hadn’t grown out of his 11-year-old self, so he came up with this song.  It has a fabulous soulful Paul vocal, especially on the middle eight – seriously, listen to that vocal, setting aside the whole superhero thing, and tell me it’s not awesome.  The guitar work from Jimmy McCulloch is also superb, as are the harmonies.  For a song about superheroes, it has an interesting structure that I’m always surprised by, and it rocks more than any other superhero song you could name.  Go ahead – try!  Oh, and Stan Lee deemed it “terrific.”

OH:  ”I’m trying to think if there are any better songs about comic book characters.  There’s the jingle bells, Batman smells, but I don’t think that’s better.  I think it’s a pretty good song.”

I have a love/hate relationship with this song: I hate myself for loving it as much as I do.  I have it placed similarly on my Paul 100 and tried like heck to convince myself it isn't one of my favorite 100 songs from Paul.  But as @jwb wrote above, it's just so damn fun.

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9 hours ago, krista4 said:

182.  Only Mama Knows (Memory Almost Full, 2007)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #85)

Rock song!  You’re going to start this one and think I’m lying, what with the strings and all, but at 0:47…rock song!  Love those strings that begin and end the song, even though they’re synths and not real strings.  Paul has a badass, kickass, other-words-ending-in-### rock vocal on this.   It’s guttural yet melodic, and when hits that note at “I never knew” at 3:26, I nearly die.  The song also benefits from lyrics that are neither good enough nor bad enough to be noticeable; have no idea what’s they’re supposed to mean, and that’s just fine.

 

I really like this song and I, too, find the "I never knew" note to be the highlight.

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8 hours ago, krista4 said:

181.  Wings - Magneto And Titanium Man (Venus And Mars, 1975)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #84)

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t even sure at first that this would make my list, and yet here it is in an exalted position.  But, you see, it’s just so ####### fun, and every time I listen I’m reminded that it’s actually complex, too.  Paul rediscovered comic books when he and Linda hung out Jamaica in the 70s, going into supermarkets there and finding that he hadn’t grown out of his 11-year-old self, so he came up with this song.  It has a fabulous soulful Paul vocal, especially on the middle eight – seriously, listen to that vocal, setting aside the whole superhero thing, and tell me it’s not awesome.  The guitar work from Jimmy McCulloch is also superb, as are the harmonies.  For a song about superheroes, it has an interesting structure that I’m always surprised by, and it rocks more than any other superhero song you could name.  Go ahead – try!  Oh, and Stan Lee deemed it “terrific.”

OH:  ”I’m trying to think if there are any better songs about comic book characters.  There’s the jingle bells, Batman smells, but I don’t think that’s better.  I think it’s a pretty good song.”

Being a huge Beatles fan and comic collector I've of course always loved this song. Used to have the 45 of this because the sleave had the 3 characters on it.

Because I'm I comic nerd I have to mention that they are all super villains not super heroes. At one point I made a list of songs that had comic book references with plans to make a playlist of them. Never did it and lost the list.

Maybe time to fire up this project again- think it was a dozen or so sings at the time.

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15 minutes ago, Raging weasel said:

Being a huge Beatles fan and comic collector I've of course always loved this song. Used to have the 45 of this because the sleave had the 3 characters on it.

Because I'm I comic nerd I have to mention that they are all super villains not super heroes. At one point I made a list of songs that had comic book references with plans to make a playlist of them. Never did it and lost the list.

Maybe time to fire up this project again- think it was a dozen or so sings at the time.

Crimson Dynamo a supervillain too, I assume?  If I'd known it was about super-villains, I would have ranked it higher!  :lol:

Definitely wanna see your song list.

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Greetings from Cannon Beach, Oregon, where we are expecting wind gusts of 75 mph and possible power outages tonight!  Yay, vacation!

If I have power in order to post, tomorrow will include no new albums :(, one song from Paul from each of NEW and McCartney II, plus another John song from Plastic Ono Band.  

Friday we get to Flowers In The Dirt:excited:

Edited by krista4
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20 hours ago, krista4 said:

Big day in the thread with three new albums, and I'm leaving my house at noon.  Let's get going!

---INTERLUDE - Memory Almost Full (2007)---

As I mentioned in my discussion of Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, Paul actually began in 2003 the recordings of many of the songs for what became this album.  After recording nine songs, Paul changed producers from David Kahne to Nigel Godrich, with whom he put out Chaos.  He only used one of the previously recorded songs for Chaos, though, leaving many songs available for this record, when he again partnered with Kahne as producer.  Sufficiently confusing?  Maybe Paul can explain it better:  “I actually started this album, Memory Almost Full, before my last album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, released September 2005. ... When I was just finishing up everything concerned with Chaos and had just got the Grammy nominations, I realized I had this album to go back to and finish off. So I got it out to listen to it again, wondering if I would enjoy it, but actually I really loved it. All I did at first was just listen to a couple of things and then I began to think, 'OK, I like that track – now, what is wrong with it?' And it might be something like a drum sound, so then I would re-drum and see where we would get to.”  When Paul re-visited these songs and continued work on the album, he didn’t include his band, resulting in many of these songs being just him on all the instruments.

What resulted was a very successful album, which reached #3 on the US charts, achieved Platinum status, and was nominated for four Grammy awards (though it was shut out in wins).  Interestingly (and apparently smartly), the album was the first release on the Starbucks “Hear Music” label, and nearly half of its first-week sales came at Starbucks locations, possibly from the fact that all of its stores played nothing but this album on its first day of release.  In addition to the overwhelmingly positive public reception, the album received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the strong melodies and the album’s unsentimental self-reflection. 

Many of the songs here are appraisals of various points of Paul’s life, and some are clearly focused on his aging and mortality, but all are presented as a meditation that’s realistic and thoughtful, not sappy or maudlin.  He doesn’t sound like a aged man who has it all figured out, but someone who appreciates all the different aspects of his life, from his childhood through his marriage to Heather, from his failures (did I mention the marriage to Heather?) to his best times, but who’s giving an honest appraisal of the ups and downs of life.  That aspect of this record is especially apparent to me in the five-song medley on side two, which I discussed previously in my interlude on medleys and suites.  First a word about that, because Morton commented at that time that he doesn’t consider it a medley.  I’m sure he’s not alone, in that it doesn’t necessarily sound on its face like a medley.  My reason for considering it a medley is simple:  it’s because Paul does.  In contemporaneous print interviews, as well as in the audio interview included with the extended version of the CDs, he speaks of how he put together a medley, including a comparison of it to what he did on Abbey Road.  (Note:  it’s nowhere near that quality, though it’s mostly very good.)  If Paul intended this as a medley, that’s good enough for me.  In any case, the medley – comprising the songs from “Vintage Clothes” through “The End Of The End” – are described by Paul as a walk through his life, purely autobiographical, and I find it representative of the content and feel of the album.  Starbucks even marketed this album as a “concept” album that was about getting to know Paul’s life.  Like the medley, the rest of the album is also very good in my opinion, though I do have one small complaint.  This album, more than any other of Paul’s, seems to me to suffer from that early-aughts tendency toward super-compression.  The result of this mastery is not just to make it ridiculously loud, but it makes the sound of everything much mushier, less crisp.  These songs deserved better than that.

I usually don’t discuss titles much, but I find this one pretty cool, as Paul thought it was a good summary of modern life, though it came from a pop-up on his phone.  I think it also fits with the “older man evaluating his life" theme of the album.  Some dorks noticed that the title is an anagram of “for my soulmate LLM” (Linda’s initials).  I mean, who the hell spends time figuring out something like that.  Wait, I’m the person discussing 290 songs and all the albums of the Beatle solo careers.  Nevermind.  Anyway, Paul has said that anagram was just a coincidence. 

Cover art is lovely, and the CD had a fold-out corner that’s hard to explain but was innovative and interesting, specifically designed to look like a potential flaw in the design, so that people would be curious and pick it up. 

Track listing:

  1. Dance Tonight
  2. Ever Present Past
  3. See Your Sunshine
  4. Only Mama Knows
  5. You Tell Me
  6. Mr Bellamy
  7. Gratitude
  8. Vintage Clothes
  9. That Was Me
  10. Feet In The Clouds
  11. House of Wax
  12. The End Of The End
  13. Nod Your Head

I remember the TV commercials to promote this one, with Dance Tonight playing, were incessant.

If tracks 8-12 are a medley, does that mean Nod Your Head = Her Majesty? 😂

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4 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

I remember the TV commercials to promote this one, with Dance Tonight playing, were incessant.

If tracks 8-12 are a medley, does that mean Nod Your Head = Her Majesty? 😂

I thought exactly the same thing!!

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179.  Everybody Out There (NEW, 2013)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #83)

It’s a big statement anthem, produced by Giles Martin and recorded in the space of a few hours in one day, and yes, I’m ashamed that I like it this much.  When that guitar and foot-stomping starts in from the beginning, I’m right there stomping along with them.  The chorus, which has fairly abominable lyrics, has these descending chords that scratch my musical itch like crazy.  The acoustic guitars again have a Spanish inflection to me.  Is there a disease name for hearing Spanish inflection when it’s not there?  It’s like when @rockaction hears cowbell when it’s absent. 

Paul does have a great rock growl on the minute-long outro to this song.  I’m not going to be embarrassed after all!  This is a great rocker! 

(Plz to ignore the lyrics.)

Edited by krista4
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14 hours ago, krista4 said:

Crimson Dynamo a supervillain too, I assume?  If I'd known it was about super-villains, I would have ranked it higher!  :lol:

Definitely wanna see your song list.

Put this together while waiting for paint to dry. Found a couple new ones not in my original list to make it 24 songs.  Left out death metal songs and also Ironman which has nothing to do with the Marvel hero. 

Heroes and Villains playlist

There are also 2 super heroes that came about because of a song . If you watch the Marvel movies you'll be familiar with both .

Rockett Raccoon was created in the 80's as a part of Assistant Editors Month where writers were encouraged to come up with crazy/wacky stories. Bill Mantlo used a forgotten character from several years earlier and his love of the Beatles to create the hero known as Rockett. The title of this story was "Now Somewhere in the Black Holes of Sirius Major There Lived a Young Boy Named Rockett Raccoon"

I only used one Monster Magnet song for the playlist but they have several more with references to Marvel comics. To show his appreciation,Grant Morrison created Negasonic Teenage Warhead in their honor. This character appears in both Deadpool movies.

 

Edited by Raging weasel
Eta- in his appearance,Rockett enlisted the Hulk to help him retrieve Guideons Bible which had been stolen from his people.
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189 (54GH)  The Traveling Wilburys - Nobody’s Child (Nobody’s Child:  Romanian Angel Appeal, 1990)  YouTube (not on Spotify)

I get why this song was written and released, but it's so sad compared to the other Wilbury stuff. 

Quote

188 (53GH)  Plug Me In (All Things Must Pass, 1970)  Spotify  YouTube

Yep, Jim Gordon is the star here. Everyone else is doing the blues-based jamming typical of the time, and he's doing something more interesting than that. 

Quote

187 (38JL)  John Lennon and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band - John Sinclair (Some Time In New York City, 1972)  Spotify  YouTube

It really does sound like a broken record. That and making the dobro the lead instrument are odd choices for a song whose message John presumably wanted to spread widely. 

Quote

186 (10RS)  Wrack My Brain (Stop And Smell The Roses, 1981)  YouTube  (not on Spotify)

I remember hearing this when it was out as a single, but I don't think I put it together until much later that this was a Ringo song. It just seemed like generic silliness to me. Still does. 

Quote

185 (52GH)  Faster (George Harrison, 1979)  Spotify  YouTube

For being "The Quiet Beatle," George shot an awful lot of promo videos before MTV existed to distribute them widely. 

The top YouTube comment is (darkly) funny:

"When I was a teenager, I really liked "Faster", because as an introspective kid I could appreciate the song as George's metaphor for his own life. Despite all the fame he'd achieved ("chose a life in circuses"), people didn't understand that his goal was still all about self-improvement ("pulled out some poor machinery, worked til the pieces fit"), but that was okay. ... years later, I learned the song was literally about how George Harrison liked watching car races."

It's a nice tune but I could have done without the strings. 

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Oopsie.  Busy with eating cheese and drinking wine all day.  Here are today's final songs.  Weather here was surprisingly great today, but tomorrow looks very bad, so I'll probably be more available then.

 

178.  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - Well Well Well (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970)  Spotify  YouTube

(John #37)

Tough, hard, fierce.  Love this rocker from John, with that low-register vocal at the beginning that I would have told you was Paul if I had to guess.  Of course, when the verse kicks in, it’s all a pure John sound, even before you get to the shrieking.  John’s guitar is fabulous, as is Voormann’s pulsing bass line, but listen to that ####### drumming.  Listen to it.  That’s some of the finest Ringo-ing ever recorded, keeping all that #### together.  This song is punk AF.

Fun fact:  Ringo says John listened to  Lee Dorsey's "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)" hundreds of times during this recording to try to imitate the feel of that song.

 

 

177.  One Of These Days (McCartney II, 1980)  Spotify  YouTube

(Paul #82)

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t care much about lyrics unless they’re very good (see, e.g., Leonard Cohen) or very bad (see, e.g., this monstrosity).  Unfortunately, this is one where I notice the lyrics in a negative way; were it not for those, this would be ranked higher.  Still it comes in at a respectable #82 based on that choral, dirge-like quality to it.  It’s the simplest of songs on this record, with just Paul and his acoustic guitar.  Inspired by an encounter with a Hare Krishna, it’s ethereal, exquisite, e-tastic!  (I might have made up that last one.)  This has the feel of chamber music, which I have a huge fondness for.  It’s a gentle song with a dreamlike quality and particularly lovely double-tracked vocal (maybe even triple-tracked in part?) with a slightly distant feel that adds to the “chamber” quality.  Gorgeous.

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4 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Well Well Well

awesome - those speakers sound like my parents' stereo after they left for a weekend and I had a party.  and yeah, great drumming.

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35 minutes ago, krista4 said:

John’s guitar is fabulous, as is Voormann’s pulsing bass line, but listen to that ####### drumming.  Listen to it.  That’s some of the finest Ringo-ing ever recorded, keeping all that #### together.  This song is punk AF.

You must have been drinking a lot of wine because you forgot to point out that it's A RINGO SHOWCASE😂

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I know this was a sad day with nothing more than a few weaker songs.  So I give you, earlier than expected, my Flowers In The Dirt write-up!  Back with the songs tomorrow.  Also, we are again predicted to lose power tonight.

---INTERLUDE – Flowers In The Dirt (1989)---

After the failure of Press To Play in 1986 (Morton is still twitching in a corner somewhere over that one), Paul spent a couple of years writing and recording his next album of new material, Flowers In The Dirt.  For this one, he enlisted the help of Elvis Costello (who had been a member of the Beatles Fan Club as a young boy!), with whom he co-wrote several of the songs, and who provided co-lead or backing vocals as well.  It was also during this time that the two co-wrote Costello’s hit, “Veronica,” as well as two songs that made it onto Paul’s later album, Off The Ground.  In addition to Costello, Paul included some of his prior collaborators, including David Gilmour and Nicky Hopkins, and put together a cast of thousands in terms of both producers (nine of them!) and session musicians, searching for a full “real” band in anticipation of launching his 11-month world tour, his first since “Wing Over The World” in 1975-76.  This album and tour sparked a rebirth for Paul, who began touring much more frequently and became known again as a compelling live performer, not just a great songwriter. 

Reception by critics for this album was overwhelmingly positive, with its being called a “vindication” for Paul after several disappointing efforts, and the New York Times terming it “his most appealing, well-crafted record since Band On The Run.”  Unfortunately, while the public reaction was decidedly better than it had been for Press To Play, the album’s sales didn’t live up to expectations based on these lofty reviews, with its peaking at #21 on the US charts but reaching Gold status.  One of its singles had moderate success, with “My Brave Face” reaching #25 in the US and becoming Paul’s last top 40 hit here until 2014, with the Kanye song “Only One” that I listed at #285.

I am certainly biased in favor of this record in large part because of my love for Elvis Costello as both a songwriter and as a performer.  The melodies in these songs are swoon-worthy, even Beatle-y in many instances, and any that have Costello sharing the vocals automatically vault higher in my rankings for those harmonies.  I admittedly even fall for the more bombastic, anthemic tracks.  The big “miss” for me on this record, though, is the production.  It’s mostly a reflection of the time; OH says I need to listen to it with an “80s filter” on.  But hell if they didn’t take two of the greatest singers in rock and put so much gloss and sheen on, double- and triple-tracking and overworking the songs so that those voices are somewhat lost.  If I wanted a Manhattan Transfer album, I’d buy that.  Bleh.

Paul has compared his songwriting style with Costello as being similar to how he wrote with John, and clearly Costello was like John in his cynicism.  Unfortunately the similarities don’t end there, as reports are that their working relationship included a lot of butting heads over production details.  Have you ever been attracted to someone because they were so different from you, only to find that those differences also become the aspects you hate?  No?  Just me?  Anyway, that’s what it sounds like to me.  On the plus side, Costello is largely responsible for encouraging Paul to revisit the Beatles-esque sound that permeates the record, even convincing Paul to break out the old Hofner bass.  Despite the over-production, the songs on this album are so damn good that this is one of my favorites from Paul.

Cover art is a photo by Linda overlaid on a canvas painted by British artist Brian Clarke.  Pretty cool looking.

Track listing:

  1. My Brave Face
  2. Rough Ride
  3. You Want Her Too
  4. Distractions
  5. We Got Married
  6. Put It There
  7. Figure Of Eight
  8. This One
  9. Don’t Be Careless Love
  10. That Day Is Done
  11. How Many People
  12. Motor Of Love

 

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2 hours ago, krista4 said:

 

178.  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - Well Well Well (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970)  Spotify  YouTube

(John #37)

Tough, hard, fierce.  Love this rocker from John, with that low-register vocal at the beginning that I would have told you was Paul if I had to guess.  Of course, when the verse kicks in, it’s all a pure John sound, even before you get to the shrieking.  John’s guitar is fabulous, as is Voormann’s pulsing bass line, but listen to that ####### drumming.  Listen to it.  That’s some of the finest Ringo-ing ever recorded, keeping all that #### together.  This song is punk AF.

Fun fact:  Ringo says John listened to  Lee Dorsey's "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)" hundreds of times during this recording to try to imitate the feel of that song.

 

We're in the top 20 already?

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On 9/7/2020 at 8:38 PM, simey said:
On 9/7/2020 at 1:50 PM, Shaft41 said:

Maybe I should have clicked on the Spotify link though, because watching the video, I was too distracted by the guitarist who looked like Richard Harris constantly looking like he forgot where he left his Metamucil.  

That is Joe Walsh. He always makes those faces.

THANK YOU. I knew he looked familiar.

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