Tag Archives: Paul Mccartney

Recollection Volume 37 – From A Lover To A Friend

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses…

Album: From A Lover To A Friend
Artist: Paul McCartney
Released: 2001
Format(s) I own it on: CD

28a5e83I believe I bought this CD single when I bought my copy of Driving Rain. I assume I never heard the single before purchasing it as I never recall liking this terrible, terrible song.

Fortunately, I own a CD with not one, but three versions of this song. So let’s listen again…

I think a lot of what makes me hate this song so much is that it seems to start out of nowhere. I think it might have to do with starting a song with the word “and.” It’s much how I feel about his more popular hit “My Love.” And yet as the song plays, I sing along. It does have a catchy chorus and melody, but that’s McCartney’s trademark.

It’s strange, I like the bass line and the melody, and McCartney’s vocals are somewhat weak, as if he’s in pain to sing it. It’s almost beautiful, but yet it doesn’t form into a cohesive song.

The other two tracks on the CD are remixes. The first places McCartney’s vocals in the forefront, keeps the instrumentation sparse. While the bass is preserved, the piano which drives the song is missing. I can’t say I’ve listened to this version of the song more than once, and I don’t see any reason to listen to it again.

The second remix begins with sparse piano. It kind of picks up my soul and gives me faith in the song. The vocals are buried and have too much reverb happening, but it seems David Kahne’s second remix is much better at finding the beauty in this song.

There’s something magical in this song that just isn’t shining in any of these recordings or mixes. It truly could be something spectacular, but falls flat. A man who lost his wife to cancer pleading “let me love again.”

Now I want to listen to Driving Rain, which is a good record.

Men 29.625 (80%) | Women 7.375 (20%)
CD: 21.5 (58%) | Vinyl: 12.5 (34%) | Digital: 0 (0%) | 7″: 2 (5%) | Box: 1 (3%)
1960s: 4 (11%) | 1970s: 2 (5%) | 1980s: 1 (3%) | 1990s: 11 (30%) | 2000s: 17 (46%) | 2010s: 2 (3%)
Canada 10.8 (29%) | USA 16.2 (44%) | UK 8 (22%) | NZ 1 (3%) | FR 1 (3%)
Ontario 4 (36%) | Quebec 1 (9%) | Nova Scotia 4 (36%) | New Brunswick 1 (9%) | Manitoba 0 (0%) | British Columbia 0 (0%) | Prince Edward Island 0 (0%)
Saskatchewan 0 (0%) | Alberta 0 (0%) | Newfoundland and Labrador 1 (9%) | Northwest Territories 0 (0%) | Yukon 0 (0%) | Nunavut 0 (0%)

Recollection Volume 33 – Real Love

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses…

Album: Real Love
Artist: The Beatles
Released: 1996
Format(s) I own it on: CD

Real-love1This four song CD single was released in 1996 along-side The Beatles’ collection of bootlegs and rarities. The Anthology project was huge. My family watched the documentary as it aired on ABC, I bought the VHS box set and watched it over and over and over again. I bought all three double-disc Anthology CD sets. When I was in Vancouver, I saw a record store selling both the CD single for Free As A Bird and Real Love.

Those two songs were recorded from demos made by John Lennon. These unfinished songs were handed to the surviving Beatles by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono. After Lennon’s murder on December 8, 1980, there was no hope The Beatles could ever reunite. There’s absolutely no way The Beatles could exist without John Lennon. The Beatles were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr and without one of them, it wouldn’t be The Beatles.

This was the next best thing. A home recording of John Lennon’s which surviving The Beatles could clean up and overdub onto. The final result was… okay. It’s a good song. It’s not brilliant, but it’s a good song. Is it as good as the output that made the band legendary, probably not, but it’s enjoyable.

The three B-sides on the record are a live rendition of “Baby’s In Black” which is often overwhelmed by the screaming of teenage girls, a remix of “Yellow Submarine,” and a basic track of “Here, There and Everywhere.”

“Baby’s In Black” was recorded at Hollywood Bowl in 1965, but that song wasn’t included on the American released Live At The Hollywood Bowl. Lennon introduces the song in a very John Lennon fashion.

The remix of “Yellow Submarine” puts the sound effects more prominent. It’s not anything you’d want to listen to when you have the proper release of the song.

“Here, There And Everywhere” is a stripped down recording. Paul McCartney’s guiding vocals really illustrate how sweet his voice is. There’s a few bum notes on the recording, but you can really see what makes McCartney one of the great songwriters and singers. Near the end of the song, the Beatle harmonies come in and prove just how good those Beatles really were.

Men 25.625 (78%) | Women 7.375 (22%)
CD: 18.5 (56%) | Vinyl: 11.5 (35%) | Digital: 0 (0%) | 7″: 2 (6%) | Box: 1 (3%)
1960s: 4 (12%) | 1970s: 2 (6%) | 1980s: 1 (3%) | 1990s: 9 (27%) | 2000s: 16 (48%) | 2010s: 1 (3%)
Canada 9.8 (30%) | USA 14.2 (43%) | UK 7 (21%) | NZ 1 (3%) | FR 1 (3%)
Ontario 4 (40%) | Quebec 1 (10%) | Nova Scotia 3 (30%) | New Brunswick 1 (10%) | Manitoba 0 (0%) | British Columbia 0 (0%) | Prince Edward Island 0 (0%)
Saskatchewan 0 (0%) | Alberta 0 (0%) | Newfoundland and Labrador 1 (10%) | Northwest Territories 0 (0%) | Yukon 0 (0%) | Nunavut 0 (0%)

Recollection Volume 6 – Vertical Man

Recollection is a project to review my record collection. I will listen to an album I own and review it. The album will be chosen randomly by computron. Today computron chooses… 

Album: Vertical Man
Artist: Ringo Starr
Released: 1998
Format(s) I own it on: CD

dj.vxvdcdxk.600x600-75Oh god.

Back in 1998, The Beatles were riding high on the post-Anthology wave. They made a huge TV event out of a documentary on their career and released three double albums of rarities and outtakes. Included were two new songs “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” both of which did quite well in the charts. It was the motherflippin’ Beatles.

Ringo Starr, famed Beatle drummer, released this record of new, mostly terrible, songs.

Amongst them, Starr felt the need to perform a cover of The Beatles song “Love Me Do.” Sigh. Okay. “Love Me Do” is actually an enjoyable song when The Beatles performed it, but I feel that Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields put it perfectly when he reviewed the album for Time Out Magazine, “Even his version of Lennon-McCartney’s “Love Me Do” only points up the insipid lyrics.” It’s true. Somehow Lennon & McCartney made “Love, love me do, you know I love you” repeated ad nauseum enjoyable… Starr does not repeat this success.

Yet, the list of credits on this album is incredible. Just look at the tags for this entry. It’s kind of incredible. And yet… we have the results that we have.

Highlights

“La De Da” is actually a decent and catchy single.

Lowlights

“I Was Walking,” “Love Me Do,” “Mindfield,” “Puppet” are all tedious.

Men 4 (67%) | Women 2 (33%)
Canada 2 (33%) | USA 2.33 (39%) | UK 1.66 (28%)
 0 (0%) |  (0%) |  2 (100%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%)
 0 (0%) |  0 (0%) |  0 (0%)

Criminal Records

Dear Criminal Records,
When you first opened, there wasn’t any gap in the Toronto record store scene. We had Rotate This, Soundscapes, Sonic Boom, we might have even had Sam’s still. Toronto’s music nerds were happy. Then you opened, I remember seeing your sign on Queen Street and being excited for this new record store, even though I had no use for ANOTHER one. Then one day, I went in, I was greeted with incredible prices, fantastic selection, wonderful staff/owners, and a lot of vinyl. Though we didn’t need another record store, we learned we needed a great record store, and you showed Toronto how amazing one can be.

It’s been years now, and today you close your doors for good. As I entered the store I immediately saw friends, all gathering around with their purchases saying goodbye to a Toronto institution. It was bittersweet flipping through the racks, seeing many albums that I wanted, it reminded me of the first time Sam The Record Man closed.

Some good did come out of today’s sad affair, I did walk away with a handful of records. I’m now going to listen to them and weep.

Yours,
Adam

 

For those interested, records acquired are:

  • Paul McCartney – “We All Stand Together” 7″
  • Fran Healy – “Wreckorder”
  • Little Scream – “The Golden Record”
  • Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
  • Mount Eerie – “Black Wooden”
  • Papercuts – “Fading Parade”
  • R.E.M. – “Chronic Town”
  • Stereolab – “Not Music”

Mary Hopkin on Apple

Post Card

When Mary Hopkin began her career at Apple, she was no more than a voice; a tool with which Paul McCartney was going to use to craft pop mastery1. Hopkin’s voice was superb and fantastic, and McCartney saw that to make a good record of classics and new material which would be universally adored. He began with the Russian tune (which Gene Raskin added English lyrics to) called “Those Were The Days.” The song went on to be an international smash hit.

Post Card picks up where they left off2. McCartney found many songs for her, three from Donovan, one from Harry Nilsson, one from George Martin, some Gershwin and even some Irving Berlin. While no McCartney compositions graced the original album, the remastered and expanded edition does include Hopkin’s second single “Goodbye,” a Lennon/McCartney composition3

I think my favourite track is Harry Nilsson’s “The Puppy Song.”

Earth Song/Ocean Song

Where Post Card prevails, Earth Song/Ocean Song fails. While it’s not a bad record, it’s just nothing special. While Hopkin’s first record was a fantastic, grand event, Earth Song/Ocean Song is the same old, in a time over filled with women singing folk songs. It’s cliché and slightly boring.

Some of the songs are fantastic, others are mundane. Throughout it all Hopkin’s voice is superb, and producer Tony Visconti does a fantastic job with Hopkin.

If you want something of this style, might I suggest some Joan Baez?

  1. Even his then-girlfriend Linda Eastman photographed the cover. []
  2. The CD opens with the song, but it wasn’t on the original vinyl pressing. []
  3. Which I’m certain had zero input from John Lennon. []

Music Roundup

Come and Get It:
The Best of Apple Records

In 1968, The Beatles formed Apple Corps. Ltd., a new home for the records, and of the amazing and strange records of their contemporaries.

Recently released is Come And Get It: The Best of Apple Records a record that can only be described as mis-titled. This is definitely not the best of Apple, as it doesn’t feature The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” or Lennon’s “Mother.” Instead it could more aptly be titled “Assorted Single, and such.”

Though The Beatles, as a cohesive unit, do not grace the record, they are still in sight. The album features Lennon/McCartney compositions such as “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”1, “Thingumybob”2, Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance”3, “God Save Us”4, and more George Harrison songs than you can shake a stick at.

The Beatles don’t sit back comfortably only in the role of songwriter. The legendary band also often produce, or perform with their labelmates. The genres are never a pre-defined thing, going from Francophone hillbilly5 to shmaltz6, soul7, gospel8 and much more.

It’s pretty easy to list all the brilliant on this record, “Those Were The Days,” “Carolina In My Mind,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Sour Milk Sea,” “New Day,” “Come And Get It,” “Try Some, Buy Some,” “Ain’t That Cute,” “Govinda,” “Saturday Night Special,” and “Day After Day.”

There’s also a lot that can be described best as… interesting. The Lennon/McCartney9 composition “Thingumybob” would not sound out of place as the backing music for a Looney Tunes cartoon. There’s Brute Force’s comedy song “King of Fuh,” who apparently was “called the Fuh King;” Lennon must have chosen this one.

The only thing bad on the record is Hot Chocolate Band’s reggae cover of “Give Peace A Chance.”

While a lot of this appears on other newly remastered Apple discs, it does feature a lot of material only previously available on singles.

Grit
by KUMONgA

While this might only be a three-song demo, I feel I must give it some space on this here blog. KUMONgA is a new band featuring Dan Walters, who used to be in The Brown Hornets, a pretty damn good band. While The Brown Hornets were a lot more punk, KUMONgA is a bit more focused on soul rock; to the point where the opening track has definite Rolling Stones vibes, specifically “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The other two tracks continue on this theme, creating a rather cohesive and easily digestible three songs. I’m not sure if the title Grit is a reference to their dirty soul sound, or if it’s to display an affection towards the Liberal Party of Canada.

Looking forward to potential live KUMONgA shenanigans.

  1. Performed by Trash []
  2. Performed by The Black Dyke Mills Band []
  3. Performed by Hot Chocolate Band []
  4. Performed by Bill Elliot & The Elastic Oz Band, listeners will hear Lennon count in. []
  5. The Sundown Playboys []
  6. Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were The Days” []
  7. Jackie Lomax []
  8. Billy Preston []
  9. Really Paul. []

Music Monday