Saturday, December 23, 2006


I've been re-visiting some Paul McCartney tunes the last couple of days.

There are only a handful of artists as ill-served by modern commercial radio and its incredibly limited memory. Let's face it, "Silly Love Songs" pops up all the time but not "Mull of Kintyre"? I'm even not a big fan of "Live and Let Die", but that's another argument.

Look, I love silly love songs. I'm a total dork for sentiment and catchy pop. I could probably even stretch it to affection for a song about silly love songs, but that is quite literally the least catchy single the man ever wrote. Right now, try singing it. Kind of awkward, ain't it? Listen to it a handful of times, then check back and try to sing it again in about an hour. Still awkward, right? Yep, it's an awkward pop song. And I love strange, awkward experimental music. Don't get me wrong, but this is just flimsy with an awkward melody.

It maintains radio play because the defense is entirely a defense of its message, which I don't disagree with, but damn!

My relationship with Sir Paul has always been awkward. I've always been a bigger fan John Lennon, whose biggest solo hit, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night", also has pretty awkward phrasing, but somehow not feeling quite as banal overall. Really, even when I was a kid, I could tell he was more interesting and generally liked his voice better.

I did see him live in March of 1990, at the Kingdome. It was an amazing show. Years of being the wussy Beatle, especially the 10 years living in the shadow of the sainted version of his former partner built up after his death, had clearly made him hungry to remind the world that he was a fucking rock star and he was.

And he certainly has the material to back up his talent, even during years that are only remembered by corporate radio for their banal material. "Too Many People", "Give Ireland Back To the Irish", "Let Me Roll It", "Junior's Farm", etc. These are things the radio would serve him and themselves well by remembering.

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