Paul McCartney made his reputation on songs like this, and he knew well enough what some people thought of him for it. There’s nothing like a born optimist’s good cheer to grate on the nerves of the cynical. I guess the same people who felt … Continue reading Silly Love Songs
This is Paul McCartney at damn near his most McCartneyish. It’s everything that makes a McCartney a McCartney. It’s a love song that’s trite and daft and sugary and lyrically lazy – and inescapably whistleable. You can’t get this tune out of your head, and … Continue reading She’s My Baby
Ça fait rien. Wings are really criminally underrated. They’re not, like, The Beatles or anything but… But of course that’s woefully unfair to say. It’s Paul McCartney at or very near the top of his game, which is always a welcome thing to hear. McCartney’s … Continue reading San Ferry Anne
Paul McCartney, the ever egalitarian, will sometimes allow other members of his band to sing lead vocals. It’s a very democratic and fair policy that stems all the way back to the days of letting Ringo do one. Shockingly, even when Paul McCartney steps back … Continue reading Must Do Something About It
The defining characteristic of Wings; overwhelming cuteness. Which would be Paul McCartney’s natural element, I suppose. He always got labeled ‘the cute one’ and he did little to combat that assessment. Then, in the seventies, he settled into a life of familial bliss that was the antithesis of every rock’n’roll trope out there. For that he became the butt of mean jokes. A strong faction of critics and fans dismissed him as a mawkish sentiment-meister who just wanted to rub his cheesy happiness in everyone’s faces. But what a stone hearted cynic would you have to be to hold it against him? All those homemade tour videos show a cuteness so unforced and so real that it’s impossible not to get the warm fuzzies. Paul and Linda always seemed to be having so much fun together, with their pile of children and animals, and their nature hikes and horseback rides and poolside picnics. Some people envy ‘real’ rock stars of the sort who stagger about in a narcotic haze surrounded by hangers-on whose names don’t even know, and yes, death-wish glamour is very appealing. But, in all honesty, most of us don’t really want to live like that. We just a want a home in the heart of the country. We want a horse, we want a sheep. We want all the corny Paul McCartney things. Things that aren’t very cool, but which make us happy. And I truly think that McCartney is the smartest of all his peers, because he figured that out years before everyone else did. He knew right away that he would not be a happy, healthy person if his life revolved around drugs, groupies and trashed hotel rooms. A truth everyone else did eventually cottoned on to, although usually not until after a series of overdoses, arrests, scandals, divorces, and other life tragedies.
Goddamn it, Paul McCartney, stop being so cute! Ridiculous. I say Band on the Run was as good as anything McCartney produces with The Beatles. He wasn’t able to keep it up for very long, but for a few years in the seventies, Wings were absolutely amazing. They had that happy-making quality which is like aural crack for the brain, and which McCartney seems to have a disproportional level of access to. The man is like a lightning rod for melodies. To his credit, he seems to still be amazed and delighted at the talents that he’s been given. And I in turn am amazed and delighted to still have the sane and humble Paul McCartney to show everyone else how to wear bigger-than-Jesus fame with grace.
The rewards of exploring the ‘deep cuts’ are varied and rich. I’ve said it before and I’ll go on saying it. Some of the most interesting output is often hidden in the middle of the back side of an obscure LP that hasn’t been pulled off the shelf in decades. That’s where you find it.