Top positive review
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McCartney just being McCartney...
on 7 January 2004
I bought this album on vinyl when I was about 15 (in 1982 or so) - having already exhausted the Beatles back catalogue, I set about moving onto the solo releases - but isn't that what everyone does? - and I absolutely loved it.
Twenty or so years later, I still think it's a great little record. If you like Paul McCartney, then you'll love this album - every song exemplifies the man, and his capacity to write superb pieces of music, the occasional wonderful lyric, but more than any of that, this record presents Paul as a soon to be solo Beatle, proving to himself, and everyone else, that he COULD do it on his own, no matter how terrifying that prospect was at the time.
Other reviews will cite the classic songs such as 'Maybe I'm Amazed' as the reason for buying this, but for me 'Junk' and 'Every Night' are comparable, and certainly Junk is one of the most poignant songs that has EVER been written. Even tracks like 'The Lovely Linda' - throwaways to some - offer a quirky insight into McCartney's mindset at that time, and the strength of the relationship he had with Linda was defined forever.
Yes, there are elements of home 'doodling' on some tracks, but so what? It isn't indulgence, it's called 'talent', and he was more than capable of playing whatever instrument he needed (and had done so on a number of occasions within the Beatles - listen to his demo of 'Come And Get It' as an example). But this was the first time that he didn't have to answer to anyone other than himself, and this collection of songs demonstrates the excitement and fun that he generated by playing and recording everything himself. It's mostly a very upbeat record, with the odd nervous glance at the future thrown in for good measure.
But regardless of what anyone else has said about McCartney's 'form' at this time, this was a man very much on top of his game. He'd done his best to drag the Beatles through the mire that was the Get Back sessions (and pick up the Day By Day series of Nagra tape rolls if you can), saw the Abbey Road project through to completion, and now he took time out to relax and think about the future. Place yourself in his shoes... you're in the biggest band in the world... a band that has been your life for 13 years? And then it's over... how frightening is that?
That the public were probably expecting more supposedly Beatlesy material is not McCartney's fault nor problem. But none of these tracks are out of kilter with what he wrote for Abbey Road and Let It Be, and many of these songs were presented to the Beatles during those sessions, but held back/rejected.
To sum up, this is a wonderfully warm and intimate record, made by a music genius... one of the few that we have left. If you've never heard it, buy it and cherish it.