OTHER SONGS RECORDED DURING “RAM” SESSIONS BUT RELEASED LATER
October 14th, 1970 “Get On The Right Thing” (Red Rose Speedway 1973)
October 19th, 1970 “I Lie Around” (B-Side to “Live And Let Die” single 1973)
October 22,1970 “When The Wind Is Blowing” (From the unreleased original Rupert The Bear project- later released on Wings WILD LIFE archive edition 2018)
October 22nd, 1970 “Rode All Night” (Jam unreleased until released on RAM archive edition 2012- Part of song used and expanded for Roger Daltrey One Of The Boys 1977 album. Retitled as “Giddy.”)
October 26th, 1970 “A Love For You” (from unreleased COLD CUTS/HOT HITS projects- re-recorded a few times- released 2003 from “The In-Laws” motion picture-also released (different mix) on RAM achieve edition 2012)
October 26th, 1970 “Hey Diddle” (Released on 2001’s Wingspan and again on VENUS AND MARS archive edition 2014….???)
October 29th, 1970 “Sunshine Sometime” From the unreleased original Rupert The Bear project- later released on Ram archive edition 2012. I have a version with lyrics from bootleg of entire unreleased Rupert album.
November 13th, 1970 and January 21st, 1971 “Little Woman Love” (B-side to 1972’s Wings “Mary Had A Little Lamb)
November 19, 1970 “Little Lamb Dragonfly” (Red Rose Speedway 1973) NOTE: I can only imagine this great song being on RAM and maybe leaving off “Long Haired Lady.” What an album would that be…..
February 23rd, 1971 “The Great Cock And Seagull Race” (Released on Wings WILD LIFE archive edition 2018)
And THRILLINGTON was recorded from June 15th-18th, 1971.
Meanwhile Paul continued to write more songs. It was around this time that Paul, who liked working with Denny, David and Linda decided to form a band with them. Spinozza declined the offer and
Paul reached out to friend and musical buddy from the early 1960’s, former Moody Blues Denny Laine to join. Denny agreed.
On August 3rd, 1971 the press was informed about their new (then un-named) band.Stella was born on September 13th and the name WINGS was decided on.
We will go over each of these recording when we get to the releases that allowed them to see the light of day.
Finally…“Blackpool” – Interesting call and response song from Paul and Linda that never seems to get through the basic verse stage. It’s silly lyrics about either post codes (zip codes) or possibly women’s measurements? Released on RAM archive edition 2012 Rating – 5
On July 24th, 1971 the “band” went into the studio to record.
The recording ended on July 29th…..5 days in the studio led us to the next release
On December 7th, 1971 we got Wings WILD LIFE…. next.
We’ve Got To Get This Album Together Man + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
Snatch Of ‘Uncle Albert’ + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
Snatch Of ‘Ram On’ + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
‘Ram’ with sounds of sheep + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
‘Ram On’ and sheep noises
On A Fishing Boat + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
Ram Ram + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
What Is This, This Is Work Woman + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
Paul Rambling In Scottish Accent + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
Very Short Clips Of Tracks + Now Hear This Song Of Mine
Please Don’t Bring My Banjo Back
“Brung To Ewe By” was a promotional 12″ disc composed of fifteen different introductions of 30 seconds or 60 seconds to the tracks of the 1971 album “Ram“. It’s not clear what the sixteenth track is about.
The radio spots on the ‘Brung To Ewe By’ disc consist of spoof interview segments, snippets of songs from the album, Paul and Linda shouting “Ram!” in various accents backed by bleating sheep, all strung together by the recurring jingle.
Several variations of the jingle appear, all with a piano and drum backing, with Paul singing the lines: “Now…hear this song of mine, Now hear this”. All of this madness undoubtedly encouraged people to flock out and buy the album. Fourteen of those fifteen jingles contains part of a song titled “Now Hear This Song Of Mine“.
There were two accompanying letters to this disc.
Dear DJ:Here are some introductions you might like to use before RAM album tracks. We made them while we were doing RAM, and they’re designed to play straight into an album track, or out of it for that matter. Anyway, if you’d enjoy using them, we’d enjoy having you.
Upon picking up the album…..I am struck by the cover and how alive and beautiful it is. Like McCartney I, it’s a family affair. Paul must have done all the coloring, artwork, gluing and pasting, Linda was in charge of the photography.
The not too subtle photo of a beetle screwing another beetle, family life, fun and happiness abound. You know what is inside the gatefold sleeve can not be dull or depressing. It’s not.
After Paul took the overwhelming majority of backlash over him “quitting” the Beatles and McCartney I not being warmly received by critics and many fans who had an axe to grind for the Beatles killer, he set his mind to make a fully produced and promoted and unforgettable response. The entire affair has two main themes for me based on two songs. In “Ram On” which is meant to proceed forward with confidence he talks of finding love and embracing it… RAM ON, GIVE YOUR HEART TO SOMEBODY, SOON, RIGHT AWAY…RIGHT AWAY. Love, and his love of wife, children, country life they lead is front and center in every aspect of this album. I think only the two rockers, “Smile Away” and “Monkberry Moon Delight” are just about…..well, who really knows….
In “Too Many People” Paul takes a full swipe at the lifestyle of John & Yoko and maybe anyone who has judged them wrong… THAT WAS YOUR LAST MISTAKE, YOU TOOK YOUR LUCKY BREAK AND BROKE IT IN TWO…. NOW, WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR YOU?….YOU BROKE IT IN TWO.
There are a few moments of venting, but the overall feel for me is not a total screw you to doubters,critics etc.. but a mild back hand and then look, this is my life and what makes me happy.. The critics again HATED the album upon release. Rolling Stone, called it the nadir of the rock era…. finding nothing in of value other than Paul showing how many instruments he could balance in the air at the same time.
Paul really like making this album with Linda, Denny and the two guitarists and ultimately led him to decide to form a NEW band very soon after releasing this album. Ringo spoke at the time, with sadness for Paul, and how “wierd” his music had gotten.
With some fans around the world, most critics, and his ex-bandmates bashing it… it was in its time of release considered a major misstep. Then to find out a few months after the release that he continues to play music with his non-musician wife, and now has started a band with her in it… Even Mick Jagger proudly stated he would never have his wife in any band of his.
But here’s the thing….this record sold….it sold like hell…easily making it to #1. Now… as the years have gone by Ram has aged like a fine wine. It is now been reviewed in hindsight by all as an amazing album, a masterpiece. It is the ONLY album of Paul’s in the 2020 Rolling Stone top 500 albums of all-time. The ONLY one.
Linda’s place on the album and in Paul’s music have now been tolerated and embraced. The album is credited to both, as he says she helped him with lyrics and flushed out ideas besides the background vocals, photography and design and emotional support. Her being given credit for co-writing songs was initially fought by the record executives, as just a way to get around the holding of all monies earned by the court appointed trustee. They would receive some monies on the songs she co-wrote. They would ultimately record songs and make a television special to the suits to make this go away. Yes, maybe a word here and there but she did…and Paul needed her as a rock and constant in a world that had seemingly turned its back on him.
The Paul is dead rumor had reached it furor and this album (and an extensive LIFE magazine article) showed to the world that Paul was back. The beard was gone…the songs were fully thought out and realized. So imagine how he must have felt after it was initially being shit on when he thought he would be vindicated.
The album is wonderfully produced, played, sung, sequenced and arranged. It is sonic brilliance, that has only gotten better with each re-mastering. The recording engineer’s for the album BOTH became famous producers… Phil Ramone and Jim Guercio. I really liked the album when it came out. We would put it on the family stereo and we would all listen to it. My mom even loved it.
Today, I am in awe of it…. it is far and away my favorite McCartney solo release. People can now see what he wanted them to see. I am only glad that he has lived long enough to finally feel the vindication. Play it anywhere, anytime at any volume and you will be rewarded.
The Album ————— “Too Many People” – The opening track is the F.U. to the Lennons and critics… I am here, and in love, and we don’t believe in the things you do and say. Lennon must have flipped out upon hearing this…. knowing it was about he and Yoko, and probably led him to believe that many other songs and lyrics were also about them. This isn’t true, as this seems to be the only venting song on the disc…. The opening line….. PIECE OF CAKE… in other words, I don’t need you or anybody, I can do this on my own and with Linda. Denny’s opening drumlines still gives me chills to this day. Rating – 9.75
“Three Legs” A chug along blues song that features some odd lyrics. Great guitar work, vocal etc… I remember thinking at the time…. the line “My dog, he has three legs, but he can’t run.” Was this an illusion of the other THREE Beatles not being able to get things done without him….? Bill Wood and I analyzed each word and note… Rating – 8.5 “Ram On”. Simple and sweet. Give in to love, give into it with all you have and do it now. He still feels the same way today. Great editing on this track. Love the use of ukulele. Linda and Paul’s backing vocals on this and every track are amazing. Rating – 8.5
“Dear Boy” A song Paul wrote about Linda’s first husband, and how he let the right one get away.. I can see how Lennon thought this one was all about him. “You never knew dear boy what you had found…” Paul says no. Rating – 8
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Only Paul could write this odd collection of fragments and turn it into a anthem, that would become his first #1 single in America. In 1971 this song was #1 in the country…..amazing. Would anyone even listen to a new song like this today and give it the room to grow and consume us? No… Hands across the water, hands across the sea. Rating- 9.5
“Smile Away”. A toe tapping, knee bopper 50’s style rocker. The lyrics are silly and make me laugh… “Brother, I can smell your feet a mile away….” Linda’s backing vocals really add to the style and sound. Harmless and meaningless and I don’t care. Rating – 8.5
“Heart Of The Country” A true gem of a song… Brilliant guitar work, great feel from start to finish. And the meaning/feel of the album is summed up in three and a half minutes. Rating – 9.5
“Monkberry Moon Delight”. Delight, is right. The lyrics are wonderfully bizarre…(“When a rattle of rats has awoken..”) but fully capture the zany spirit of this screamer. Paul’s vocals are the highlight of the album here… Rating – 9.5
“Eat At Home” Paul’s naughty song….and he gets away with it. It always reminded me of the way Mick Jagger was singing at the time and how the Stones sounded. I always thought he meant loving having family dinners at home rather than life out and about… but I should have listened…. “Baby, let’s eat in bed. Eat in Bed. Eat in bed.” Rating – 7.5
“Long Haired Lady”. This one has never been a favorite. It is good, but goes on for me too long. I even skip it occasionally in the car. Rating – 7
“Ram On” (reprise). A place holder for the album magical closer.. another in the long line of Macca links, reprises and bits of this and that. He gives the opening line to “Big Barn Bed” at the end. A song that wouldn’t come out for two years….. Rating – 7.5
“Back Seat Of My Car” A wonderful way to end the album. A wonderful song of young love on the run, a love that won’t be denied. I find myself breathless and satisfied as the track drives off into the sunset. Rating – 9.75
Well, there we go… The album grades out as 8.625 and again, this seems right.
Next up… Tracks recorded during these times and used later and also the unreleased tracks and a few that have just come out with the reissues. 1971 was a busy busy year for Paul and he still had so much more on the plate….. Smile away….
The making of the 1971’s RAM. Misunderstood in its time, today deemed a MASTERPIECE. Here is Sir Paul’s thoughts looking back on its creation…….
After McCartney was released on April 10th, Paul remained in seclusion amid the ever growing tension within Apple and with the three now ex-Beatles bandmates. On December 31st of 1970 that Paul officially filed a lawsuit against the three and Apple.
Paul said……..”You see, there was a partnership contract put together years ago to hold us together as a group for 10 years. Anything anybody wanted to do — put out a record, anything — he had to get the others’ permission. Because of what we were then, none of us ever looked at it when we signed it.
We signed it in ’67 and discovered it last year. We discovered this contract that bound us for 10 years. So it’s ‘Oh gosh, Oh golly, Oh heck,’ you know. ‘Now, boys, can we tear it up, please?’ But the trouble is, the other three have been advised not to tear it up. They’ve been advised that if they tear it up, there will be serious, bad consequences for them.
The point, though, to me was that it began to look like a three-to-one vote, which is what in fact happened at a couple of business meetings. It was three to one. That’s how Allen Klein got to be the manager of Apple, which I didn’t want. But they didn’t need my approval.”
“Listen, it’s not the boys. It’s not the other three. The four of us, I think, still quite like each other. I don’t think there is bad blood, not from my side anyway. I spoke to the others quite recently and there didn’t sound like any from theirs. So it’s a business thing. It’s Allen Klein. Early in ’69 John took him on as business manager and wanted the rest of us to do it too. That was just the irreconcilable difference between us.” “Klein is incredible. He’s New York. He’ll say ‘Waddaya want? I’ll buy it for you.’ I guess there’s a lot I really don’t want to say about this, but it will come out because we had to sort of document the stuff for this case.
We had to go and fight — which I didn’t want, really. All summer long in Scotland I was fighting with myself as to whether I should do anything like that. It was murderous. I had a knot in my stomach all summer. I tried to think of a way to take Allen Klein to court, or to take a businessman to court. But the action had to be brought against the other three.”
Musically throughout the summer Paul wrote, often with Linda helping with a line here or a word there and soon had enough material to do something with. In early October he and Linda and children (Linda was also now pregnant with Stella) and held secret auditions first for a drummer and then for a guitarist to record his next project. The drummer that emerged was session man Denny Seiwell.
“I auditioned drummers and guitarists when I came to New York to do “Ram.” I knew I wanted to work in New York, because Linda was from New York and fancied spending some time here, and I liked the idea of working with American musicians, so I just put the word out through my office that I was in town and wanted to look at drummers. People like Bernard Purdie came along, but I was looking for a new band rather than the Blind Faith thing, so I didn’t really want heavyweights. Denny Seiwell came along, and he was just great, the best. He had a great attitude, and we got on great; he was a real good all-arounder and he was funky, and we had a laugh.”
The guitarist chosen to record with Paul was another session man David Spinozza, an excellent player. Paul recorded demos for Ram from May-August and on October 12th, 1970 they started the session by recording “Another Day.” They recorded thru mid November…songs for Ram, others that were saved for future Wings singles and b-sides, Wings album tracks, and instrumentals and songs for a “Rupert The Bear” project that never got the whole album and full length movie.
In November they reconvened to record, but this time Spinozza was replaced by Hugh McCracken. Ram was finished in early April. Then within WEEKS Paul re-recorded the album with full orchestra under the name of “Thrillington.” A wonderful cousin companion to Ram, sadly Thrillington didn’t see the light of day until 1977, and a proper re-release with The Archive “Ram” release in 2012. More on this later.
Paul and Linda filmed promotional videos for 3 Legs and Heart Of The Country. Ram was released on May 17th, 1971.The release of “Thrillington” was postponed after Paul came up with the idea to form a new band. He came up with a name as Linda struggled during Stella’s birth. He found comfort in the name WINGS, like angels from above. —————————————————————-
I remember the first time I heard and saw the album jacket was soon after its release. Kathleen Healy, a friend of my sister Susan came for a sleepover and brought her copy of Ram with her. I looked at the cover and listened from my bedroom and bought it not long after that.
But first…….. “Another Day” Released on February 19th 1971, this was Paul’s first A-side as a solo artist. This song just didn’t fit into the feel of Ram so was released as a stand alone single. A nice song about loneliness of a woman whose life has now become another mundane day. John Lennon used “Another Day” and certain songs from Ram as fuel for his “How Do You Sleep.” This was a song from Lennon’s summer 1971 Imagine album. It’s lyrics are a scathing of McCartney’s talent and personality. “Another Day” is not a bad song. Much more Linda in the mix this time. Hmmmm….. She isn’t going away, is she? Rating – 7.0
“Oh Woman Oh Why”. The B-side of the single. A full out rocker about a woman whose scorn ends up with deadly results. Paul even records gunshots in the studio to get the real effect. At the time I thought they were done on drums. Upon listening to the single with Bill Wood, who was converting me into the Beatles addict you know and love today, we both came to the conclusion that this was the killer side that the world needed to hear. A definite deep cut I only wished Paul had attempted live when he could hit the notes he roars throughout this gem.Rating – 8.5
Up next….. Ram is released and the world doesn’t get it….. yet. The songs of the album RAM.
Here’s my follow up to the review of each track of McCartney I
The tracks that received serious finishing were not done at Abbey Road, but were done at Morgan Studios… I am also including down below the PRESS KIT done with the album that caused the entire “Paul quits The Beatles” the following day. Paul himself breaks each song down and adds some insight to each (he DID plan on expanding “The Lovely Linda” and re-recording it at some point). One final photo from the time and now the loose ends that encompass this time frame for Paul.
OTHER TRACKS THAT HE HAD AT THIS PERIOD
1. “Suicide” Written for Frank Sinatra. I have heard a few of the demos he has for this track. One, he plays around a bit, others he records in the style that he sees Frank recording it. When you here THAT version it is a good fit for Frank. When Sinatra got the demo he rejected it outright. Possibly the thought of singing a song called “suicide” turned him off. Would have been interesting to see a Quincy Jones full production with Frank of this song. Not a track that fits in any way (except the snippet of the playing around version after “Glasses.”) on McCartney. Rating – 5
2. “Women Kind” Paul jokes his way thru a silly song, with silly lyrics in a silly voice about the women’s liberation movement. Thank goodness this track was forgotten. Rating – 2.5
3. “Goodbye”. Demo made for Mary Hopkins, who recorded it faithfully with Paul in charge of the production. It would have been a wonderful addition to McCartney, but still became a huge hit for Hopkins. Rating – 8
There was still the chance that The Lads could have reformed in the future if it didn’t involve the entire business aspects of all of their lives. By very late 1970 Paul saw as the only choice he had in the 3 vs 1 fight was to sue the three and Klein to get out of the contract.
It wasn’t right that McCartney made money on “Instant Karma” or “All Things Must Pass.” And the same for Paul’s releases…The bitterness escalated and it wasn’t until years later when Paul won in court, and the other three REALIZED Klein was ripping them off…. “I guess Paul was right….”
To put the other bookmark on 1970’s McCartney I give you the official release of “The Making Of McCartney.”
Ego’s split the Beatles.
My final input on Paul’s first solo release. In 1970 Paul released McCartney I in which he plays all the instruments and basically records all by himself in a home studio setting…. And this feat was repeated 10 years later in 1980’s McCartney II. That album closed the book on Wings and saw Paul turn another corner, as McCartney I closed the book on The Beatles. Three days ago the hints began and they were confirmed yesterday. McCartney III is coming, as Paul closes the book on the horrid 2020 and hopefully we all can turn the corner on the virus and so many of the problems in this country and the world. Again, he recorded this by himself at home, this time under the knuckle of self isolation due to the spread of the deadly virus. It will debut on December 18th and I personally can’t hold back my excitement.
In the next few weeks I will set up 1971’s Ram and then another detailed song by song review of all songs worked on from this period. Enjoy….
In late October 1970 Paul and Linda went to NYC to audition drummers and guitarists for the next batch of song “they” had written. One dramatic thing had changed….. Paul was angry and ready to SHOW THEM All with a record that was the polar opposite of McCartney. It was to be called RAM……
By April 17th, 1970, John Lennon had released three singles. “Give Peace A Chance” and “Cold Turkey” in 1969 and “Instant Karma” in February of 1970. Paul McCartney saw the writing on the wall. It was time to get his act together.
You know what got Paul to this point (see previous post) and he went into seclusion, filled with confusion, depression, anger and a complete lack of confidence. He began to drink as heavily as he ever had, grew a scraggly beard and meandered around the house in a robe all day until……Linda sat him down and pointed out the obvious…start making music and hey, you are one of the most talented musicians on the planet.
So Paul had all these ideas he was flushing out on the four track in the living room and I presume that by February of that year he got serious turning what rough recordings he had made into finished songs.
Johns songs, and his personal life was one of protest, media blitzing and avant garde experiments. Who can forget the press conference for sending every world leader an acorn to plant featured he and Yoko inside a gigantic bag the entire time? I can’t.
Paul saw his former partner and friend and support in completely different head space. And don’t forget the money, and power grab by Klein.So, McCartney put together the best album he could, enjoying the fact that squeaks, whistles, tape whirrs could be heard on the final product. This album would be a homemade album, soft and gentle in spirit and sound, all embracing his new marriage and growing family.
Paul plays all instruments but asks Linda to help on harmonies. She sang backup on the Beatles “Let It Be,” impressing Paul with her natural upper range.
The album design is lovely and reflects what is inside…. Paul, bearded and happy, with newborn Mary stuffed inside his jacket.His seclusion had reached the point that the incredible “Paul is Dead” theories emerged by late 1969.
The rear cover is simply a display of an emptied bowl of cherries on a table. Was he saying “life IS a bowl of cherries?” Linda’s photography is also featured in the gatefold center, with a variety of domestic bliss captured. The dog, the cat, the kids, Paul, Linda all living life in the heart of the country. Paul repairs a window, fixes the roof, picks his nose…. Not one of them inside a giant bag.
The album was finished, released to the uproar of his quitting (at least for the time) the band that the world still worshiped.
No promotion other that a slideshow of similar photos to “Maybe I’m Amazed” and shown on television shows. The album sold very well due to his Beatles status but the press and many of the fans didn’t embrace the lo-fi sound, or the love themes that dominated it.
I got my copy soon after release. I listened and found it pleasant but wasn’t musically mature enough to see it for what it was. Today I see it for what it is…a baby step away from what was his old world into a scary new world, hand and hand with his new family.
Again, today it is viewed as a much better album, with better remastering of archive releases. It is sparse, it is quiet and gentle, but it always meant to be.
Listen to this album on your best stereo or under decent headphones. Listen to this album when you are in a romantic or mellow mood. In your car this is a slow country road listen early in the day or as the sun is setting.
The Songs (on the initial release)
1. “The Lovely Linda” : The song Paul used to test the equipment. Plug in the microphone, sit down with acoustic and make up a quick ditty for his wife. He chose not to expand the song with additional verses etc… and left in the squeals, squeaks and laughter in and then have it open the album. Coming in at 43 seconds, it is a sweet statement, but should it have been? I would rather he developed it more for my taste, but he was making a statement by placing it here in this version. Rating- 5
2. “That Would Be Something” : George Harrison’s favorite song from the album. I find of all the songs on this album that this one needed more. Better drumming, better and fuller recording, better lyrics. A critic would be wondering what is going on after the first two tracks…. Rating – 5
3. “Valentine Day” : The first instrumental. Used as background music for an anti-drug PSA at the time. I like this song. Paul’s guitar work is excellent, love the use of foot pedal. The drumming is fine and the song takes you musically on a journey in the 1:39 track. Short and sweet. Rating – 7.5
4. “Every Night” : The first fully flushed out song, finished at Abbey Road studio and it shows. The first time I heard this song, I fell in love. Should have been the second single released from the album (if a first one was released). It would have been a #1. Beautiful and touching in every way. His drumming drives the song, his voice is marvelous. The lyrics reflect the confusion in his life and how home is the only stability in his world. Rating – 9
5. “Hot As Sun/Glasses” The second instrumental. Again, I really like this song. The roller rink organ and the drumming and 50’s style guitars work for me. The song blends into Paul playing various wine glasses filled with water to give a trippy effect and then cuts into a few seconds of the unreleased song written for Frank Sinatra demo of “Suicide.” Put together it works for me. Rating – 7
6. “Junk” Written in India in 1968, an attempted or at least presented to the Beatles, but never recorded properly. A simple song as an ode to the abandoned merchandise that was once owned and now finds itself available to anyone with money. The sign says BUY, the junk says WHY? Linda makes her first appearance. Nice, interesting lyrics if you place them in a broader perspective (friendships, relationships etc…) Rating – 7
7. “Man We Was Lonely” A country toe tapper about the state of their world. They were lonely, but by having each other…. things are good. A slight Beatles dig lyrically (…singing songs that I thought were mine alone). Very good guitar work, and a perfect ending (The ending was nicked for the introduction of the 1976 Spinners hit, “One Of A Kind Love Affair”). The best bass playing on the album so far. Linda is there with her “Alone’s..” I hated these back in 1970 but accept them for what they are today. Rating – 7.5
8. “Oo You” Another instrumental till Paul added silly lyrics. It rocks pretty good. Was to be called “Rock and Roll Springtime.” Rating – 6.5
9. “Momma Miss America” Two instrumentals that were spliced together and it worked (albeit with a sudden tempo change). Again, I like the instrumentals on this album. Very good piano work. Very good bass lines. Rating – 7.5
10. “Teddy Boy” Attempted with the Beatles, but this time with much more effort. Let It Be movie bootlegs show Lennon mocking it as Paul runs through it too many times for his liking. Another India written song. Linda is more pronounced here.. When I got the album I wondered…. Why is she still singing here???? Little did I know…Paul didn’t have a lot of material at this time, so it made the cut. The album comes in at a just over 34 minutes…so nothing was wasted. Rating – 5.5
11. “Sing A Long Junk.” Junk, but without vocals. In 1970 I said… why, why put this song on here again. I wrote a short play in college and used it for the introduction of it… so I’ll add a half point. Back to the lack of new material. Rating – 5.5
12. “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Here we go…. The gold standard. Another Abbey Road song. Still is, 50 years later, one of Macca’s finest songs… Linda’s harmonies are spot on. This is a brilliant song that is a fine a love song a newlywed could present to his new bride. Lyric, fantastic, the guitar work is fantastic. The song has become a piano ballad today in concert, but was clearly a kick ass rock song upon release. Question? Why was this song not released as the first single…. It would have been a #1 hit, no question. Hell, the live 1976 version by Wings was a big hit…. Rating – 9.75
13. “Kreen-Akore”. Okay, this is the one everyone shits on…with the panting drum solo and most dismiss it out of hand. But this last instrumental (except for the ooohs and aaahs) is more than meets the eye. Paul had read or saw a film about the Brazilian Kreen-Akore tribe that killed all intruders. The song is the sound of the tribe as it hears and then goes on the hunt for the kill. Paul and Linda make animal sounds, shoot actual arrows in the studio. I find this song fascinating and entertaining, with a climactic hunt and album ending. Rating – 7.5
So for the original album released tracks we have an average rating of 6.92. Not Bad…but not great. Yeah, that’s about right. But now, when I listen I know what awaits me and I appreciate it for what it was. The first step into a new and uncharted territory.
Next Up : Bonus songs and unreleased songs from this period.
..A very quick and very brief review of what led up to this: In the summer of 1967 the Beatles reached their creative peak as far as working together as a band. The making, releasing and success of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was their nadir, the top of the mountain. They helped each other and their teamwork and positive attitude gave them a work of art that many people still consider the greatest album of all-time. At the worst, it helped change the view of what an album should look like and say as a whole. It was not a collection of songs filled around a hit single or two.
No singles were pulled from Sgt. Pepper.
Later 1967, they traveled to India to meet and learn from the Maharishi. They each yearned to grow as individuals, now becoming young men, no longer boys.
While there the first time their manager, Brian Epstein, died of a drug overdose. Brian was highly depressed over his reduced role with the band. They no longer toured and were now a studio only band.
When Brian passed they became a ship without a proper rudder. Lennon stepped back emotionally, his marriage failing and his meeting of Yoko Ono. Paul, the most into keeping the band as usual, prompted them to make the off the cuff and rushed Magical Mystery Tour film. Shown on boxing day, it was their first major misstep. The music was still great, but the glitter was falling off.
They returned to India, and each wrote an incredible batch of new songs. The demos were made in loving fashion at George’s home Esher studio. John left his wife and moved in with Yoko, as they grew together as one, with avant garde art and projects far outside the band. She was even brought into their inner sanctum, the studio, and the tensions began.
Recording 1968’s The Beatles (White album) was a long laboring process, which saw Ringo quit the band for a bit, and now the four working as mostly individuals, and then helping out the others to finish tracks….not a single mind, but four.
In early 1969 they decided to “get back” to their roots and record the old way, by rehearsing and recording as a band with as few overdubs as possible. They decided to film it.
The coldness of this process brought the tension to a head. Paul and George argued on film, and George quit for a short while.
Meanwhile, to save all the money that was being taxed they formed Apple records, with goals that this was the way to get people to create and not have to beg “the man” to produce their art. Their ambition was genuine, but they filled the staff with friends and hangeroners and were quickly bleeding money. The Get back sessions were shelved, after a magnificent and final short rooftop concert on Apple’s office building.
They realized they were going broke and sought management to stop this and right the ship. Paul wanted in his lawyer brother in law, having just married Linda Eastman. The other three wanted Allen Klein, who had made The Stones a great record deal before they discarded him.
Paul was totally against Klein representing him and soon withdrew physically and mentally from Apple, seeking refuge in Scotland in his newly bought run down old farm house and lands. The band reunited for the last time to make a proper album. In their hearts they sensed it would be their last, but nothing was written in stone.
The album, Abbey Road, was magnificent, and all seemed right from the outside. Klein tore apart the Apple staff and working vibe, and mostly everyone working or signed acts were physically or creatively discarded. Paul knew that they still had five years left on a contract that Klein did sign for them (he signed) which did give them a great deal, but the distrust and hatred for him grew daily.
Klein gave Phil Spector the “Let It Be” tapes and Paul was furious how he had over-orchestrated his babies, his songs. Paul watched Lennon scream out at a highly contentious financial meeting “I want a divorce, I want out of the band.” He and Yoko were never apart, and after they married, the bed-in, the album cover with them fully nude, experimental films, music and art, etc…
Paul meanwhile embraced simple domestic bliss with Linda, her daughter Heather and pregnant with baby Mary. They worked on fixing the farm up and enjoy peace and quiet, away from all the tensions. Paul borrowed a 4 track Studer recorder, and set it up makeship in the living room. He claims he did this to flush ideas out and find some creative output to battle the depression and frustration. He simply plugged microphones into the inputs in the back and adjusted levels, and rearranged mic placement for sound. Some very lo-fi recording. Soon, Paul realized he had enough songs to maybe do something with it. He finished as much at home as he could, but did return to a proper studio to finish a few of the broader tracks (Maybe I’m Amazed, Every Night…)
He heard the tracks sent by Klein for “Let It Be” and was horrified and furious at the changes to his music and he decided enough was enough. He realized that he would have abandon recording with the band, at least temporarily, and chose to put together the music he had recorded as an album, his first solo album. He picked a date for release, and to his dismay, Ringo was sent to his house to ask him to delay this as they (Klein and Apple) wanted to release the Spector mixed Let It Be album roughly at the same time. He literally threw Ringo out of the home, and lost probably his closest Beatles ally. The other three relented and he was granted the 4/17/70 release day, with Let It Be album and film pushed back a month. Paul, still in recluse mode, chose to do no publicity for McCartney. He instead had written up a press release that was included only in the press promotional copies. In this press release, he vented all his frustrations, and basically said that writing with Lennon and recording with The Beatles were for the time finished and he was going to do his music alone. The icing on the cake was on the initial McCartney album jacket it said APPLE, an “ABKCO” (Allen and Betty Klein Company) managed company.
This was the last straw for Macca. Lennon, who had bit his tongue after his boardroom call for band divorce was furious. He wanted to be the one that walked out and announced it.
Paul eventually was forced to sue the other three and Klein to get out of the contract that stretched into 1976. He asked them to let him out of it, and split things four ways and move on…but with Klein’s advice they said no… Klein wanted to apply the screws to Paul.
When the album and press release came out….headlines screamed….”Paul quits The Beatles. ” Fans and the world alike were horrified and angry, basically blaming Paul for this outcome, unaware of the behind the scenes that led to this moment. The monies made and future income from all four went into a legal trust until the matter was resolved years later.
Funny, the most successful band members of all time had no day to day cash. So…. McCartney was released. It went and stayed at #1 until “Let It Be” replaced it. The reviews were not very good, as nearly all critics and many fans expected this to be a even better launching pad from the brilliance of Abbey Road.Next up…. reviewing, song by song, 50 years later. Thanks for reading…… I’ll try to do an album or two a month until every note of every song of his every release has been reviewed. These are just my opinions and I encourage debate and feedback.
My basic KEYS to reviewing albums and releases ————————————————- The best places to listen to it.
The best time of day to listen to it.
10. The perfect song. Flawless from start to finish…. Great melody and lyrics. Perfect vocals and backing vocals. Perfect production and mixing. Can listen to over and over and never tire of. (10, a rating hard to achieve and not given lightly)
9. Nearly perfect. Some aspect of a 10 is missing but I still love it.
8. Excellent song. Still love it, but not everybody does… and here’s why.
7. Good song. It works in connection to its release. It fits into the album or as a stand alone single.
6. Not bad, but not great.
5. Fair, at best. Flawed in my ears for the following reasons.
4. Not good. I can listen to it, but likely will skip it if I have the chance.
3. Not a very BAD song, but has a few points of interest. Here’s why.
2. Bad…. I will skip or even delete it. Why was this even released?
1. Very bad. Is there anything redeemable about this recording?
0. Awful. The time I spent listening to this will never come back. (0 and 1, ratings that are also hard to achieve and not given lightly)
These are the basic parameters of every album (the sum total of the individual songs divided by the number of songs) or single release or bonus tracks on remastered or archive editions.
…Up next….. reviewing 1970’s “McCartney” original album