Red Rose Speedway: The Paul McCartney Collection Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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You could trawl the rock & roll archives all the way back and never find an album quite like Red Rose Speedway. Which is not to say that it's great. Just that it's weird. Though it's a Wings album, it's entirely irradiated with Paul McCartney's personality--to the extent that virtually the entire band left him while attempting to rehearse for the supporting tour, claiming they couldn't operate in his huge, overbearing shadow. You can see where they were coming from. Red Rose Speedway, right down to the cover shot of Macca with a rose in his mouth, is about Paul McCartney, specifically his unique Seventies ability to pump up slight, pretty songs to the scale of "Hey Jude", seemingly unaware or unworried that that didn't necessarily make them as good as "Hey Jude".
The high spot is the saccharine sauciness of "My Love", a lurching soft-focus ballad about his wife's sexual excellence. The rest of it--lazy, lushly produced rock, sometimes sweet, sometimes just cloying, but always unmistakably Macca--is worth hearing if just to ponder: "what the hell did he think he was doing?" --Taylor Parkes
Top Customer Reviews
We had abundant examples of this melodic mastery of course in all Paul's Beatles work and then on his home spun debut solo album 'McCartney' (1970) and plenty more on the two subsequent albums 'Ram' and 'Wild Life' (both from 1971). But here on this album he reaches melodic heights not heard since 'Abbey Road'.
The first single 'My Love' needs no further introduction. It is absloutely up there in the Hall of Fame Best Ballads Ever. Sentimental? Yes. But then so was 'Three Times A Lady' and 'I'm Not In Love'. I am tired of defending such classic songs. Tired.
'Little Lamb Dragonfly' may probably not be described as a classic. But it has touches of melody that were made in heaven. The same goes for 'Single Pigeon', 'Hold Me Tight', and 'Hands Of Love'. The latter possibly containing the most beautiful harmony singing from Paul and Linda ever committed to vinyl. 'Power Cut' is another little hidden gem.
The other tracks are mostly memorable too. 'Big Barn Bed' is a raucous opener, far superior to Wild Life's also raucous opener 'Mumbo'. The main difference being that 'Big Barn Bed' features a daring and creative McCartney bass line, the like of which we had not seen since 'Abbey Road'. 'Get On The Right Thing' was apparently a 'Ram' leftover but it is pretty enjoyable all the same. If not a classic.Read more ›
If however you are already a fan, and have avoided this album because of the received opinion which says My Love is pretty much the only tune of worth on board. Look again, because you will be missing a great deal of interest.
The opening Big Barn Bed picks up where Ram On leaves off, and goes off into a lovely ramshackle rocker. Get On The Right Thing follows a similar style and then the core of the album is provided by a number of really lovely ballads, which have never received anywhere near the respect they deserve. Single Pigeon, One More Kiss and the quite enchanting Little Lamb Dragonfly meander along with considerable charm.
The album draws to a close with a 12 minute medley of little fragments and again there is much to admire if you are prepared to stick with it. And believe me there is a great deal of stamina required to find your way to the core of this strange but enchanting record.
What Macca was thinking who can tell, this was never going to enhance his critical reputation, and it remains a curio which seldom gets a mention in the accepted history of the Beatles after The Beatles. It is an album which betrays more beauty with every listen and I hope that like McCartney and Ram, it will one day be given the critical respect it deserves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An early McCartney solo project, variable content (the solo stuff was never as engaging as The Beatles work as a group) but enjoyable and interesting.Published 1 month ago by RingoT
I love this album, my brother had it on vinyl from its original release in the early seventies and I always loved the songs with their beautiful melodies. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Miss Adventure
McCartney's increasingly weak output since the demise of the Beatles is one of pop's great mysteries. His best achievements seem to be to write half of a good album. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mike Feld
I bought the LP years ago so decided to buy CD for my McCartney collection. Great album, one of my faves.Published 17 months ago by Tracey