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Take It Away: The Complete Paul McCartney Archive Podcast Launches Third Season!

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Posted by Nancy R

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      Is anyone else listening to this podcast? It's great!

      https://takeitawaypodcast.com/

      They are reviewing every single Paul McCartney release from 1970 to present day. Every song on every album. Singles, B-sides, bootlegs, etc. You will most likely hear songs you've never heard before, and hear old favourites from new perspectives, all lovingly placed in the context of McCartney’s career and the musical sounds of their era.

      And there is an amazing interview with Denny Laine.

        Arturoman wrote:

        Is anyone else listening to this podcast? It's great!

        https://takeitawaypodcast.com/

        They are reviewing every single Paul McCartney release from 1970 to present day. Every song on every album. Singles, B-sides, bootlegs, etc. You will most likely hear songs you've never heard before, and hear old favourites from new perspectives, all lovingly placed in the context of McCartney’s career and the musical sounds of their era.

        And there is an amazing interview with Denny Laine.

         

          B J Conlee wrote:

          Arturoman wrote:

          Is anyone else listening to this podcast? It's great!

          https://takeitawaypodcast.com/

          They are reviewing every single Paul McCartney release from 1970 to present day. Every song on every album. Singles, B-sides, bootlegs, etc. You will most likely hear songs you've never heard before, and hear old favourites from new perspectives, all lovingly placed in the context of McCartney’s career and the musical sounds of their era.

          And there is an amazing interview with Denny Laine.

           

          BJ, you didn’t post a reply when you quoted this. Have you been listening to it?

            Nancy,

            As you know, I am a real Macca "Music" Nerd/Geek and especially like discussions about his criminally underrated Solo Catalog.   I love these Podcasts.  I like the 2 commentators a lot.  I like the fact that they are not total Paul "fanboys" and I find  most of their opinions to be very "fair and balanced".  Because they are younger than me they got into Paul "first" before the Beatles and I think that makes a big difference because they don't dismiss "Solo" Paul like some older critics do.  While they don't love everything Solo/Post Beatle Macca does , they recognize how much of a genius Paul is as a songwriter, performer and vocalist.

            Right now I'm pressed for time but I will be replying in the future.  So far, I have heard 3 individual Podcasts...Tug of War, Londontown and Press to Play and I find them all fascinating.  Love that they are reviewing the proper albums track by track but additionally the B-sides, outtakes, unreleased material from the same time frame.  Like me, they scratch their heads with some of Paul's choices over the years.    

              I've downloaded all the episodes & look forward to listening to them.

                The first individual Podcast I decided to hear was Tug of War.  As I said, I really like the commentators...Ryan and Chris.  They work really well together and they don't step over each other  as their discussions go along.  I love that they are honest and most of all they don't dismiss Paul's Post Beatles' work like some music critics (obsessed with the Beatles and especially John Lennon) do.  They are younger than a real "boomer" like me (69 years old) and actually got into Paul's Solo first and then that led them into the Beatles.  They are open minded and very fair in my opinion.

                I wanted to hear their opinions on Tug of War which I consider one of Paul's best Post Beatle albums.  I always have it in my top 5.  But interesting, I always thought that one song in particular marred Tug of War (and as a hint, it wasn't Ebony and Ivory).  As Ryan and Chris started the track by track portion, lo and behold, they actually felt the same way as me.  I always thought that the first 3 tracks was the finest opening to any Paul album including some of his best.  Like me, they loved Tug of War (the song and opening track), Take It Away and Somebody Who Cares.  One of the guys said that Somebody Who Cares was one of his favorite tracks on the whole album and I agree 100%.   Just love the lyrics, melody and especially Paul's vocal.  It is one of Paul's absolute great Solo songs that gets totally overlooked today like Footprints (from Press to Play) and Too Much Rain (from Chaos and Creation).

                It is the 4th song on Tug that really, in my opinion, keeps Tug of War from being a masterpiece as Rollingstone called it at the time.  Surprising to me, both Ryan and Chris felt the same way.  As one of them said, it is a Stevie Wonder song on a Macca album.  Even more for me is that the song just doesn't fit on the album...musically and lyrically on top of the fact that it is entirely too long.  While I don't dislike Paul's vocal on the track as much as they do, it starts for me with the song itself.   Like one of them said, it would have been perfect as a b-side to the Ebony and Ivory single but not on the album.  To me it totally stops the fabulous momentum of the beginning of the album that were "classic McCartneyesque type" songs.  The real frustrating thing of Paul's Post Beatles' Albums and Career, it that there are several Macca albums (like Tug of War) that really could have been masterpieces with better song "selection".  As always, Paul always has an abundance of choices and just too often in many cases makes the wrong choice in my opinion.  In Tug of War, songs like Rainclouds (relegated to a B-Side) or Seems Like Old Times (unreleased) would have been so much better choice than What's That Your Doing.  They would have fit the album much better.  I love a lot of Stevie Wonder songs but not on a great album like Tug of War that has a totaly different theme and concept.  Having never met Ryan or Chris, I found it very interesting that they felt exactly the same way.  

                After hearing this first Podcast, it has just wet my appetite even more to get into this series.  I love that fact that they discuss the great and underappreciated B-sides and even unreleased songs that were passed over.  I'm sure they will bring up other examples on future podcasts.

                  Just listened to Ryan and Chris's specific podcast on London Town.  Don't know why I picked it 2nd to hear but London Town always intriqued me relative to its overall content on the proper album.  It has always been a mid tier Paul Post Beatles' album for me but I guess I see the potential it had.  Could have been a great album in my opinion and certainly could have been a top tier one.

                  As with Tug of War, I enjoyed Ryan and Chris's synopsis of the London Town time period and recordings.  I liked their description of some of the albums' songs as "yacht-rock" since many of the songs were recorded on a boat.  As usual I enjoyed their song-by-song track analysis as well as the singles, b-sided, outtakes etc. done at the same time.

                  Generally I agreed with their assessments.  While they ranked Girlfriend and Deliver Your Children higher than I do, I still think they are good album cuts.  I also agreed with them about With a Little Luck and Don't Let It Bring You Down as being absolute highlights of the proper album.

                  In my opinion (obvoiously it is easier to look at London Town in hindsight), the biggest mistake that Paul made again is with the song selections.  Not putting Mull of Kintyre and Girlschool on the proper album was a huge mistake at least on the US version.  And he could have easily kept Backwards Traveler/Cuff Link, Famous Groupies and Morse Moose and Grey Goose as B-sides only.  Mull and Girlschool are both outstanding songs.  Add those two tracks to the previously mentioned With a Little Luck and Don't Let It Bring You Down along with terrific songs like London Town (the song), Cafe on the Left Bank, and I'm Carrying and you have a great nucleus of songs.  And I like the 2 Denny Laine tracks (Children, Children and Deliver Your Children) alot also.

                  The funny thing is that I like parts of Backwards Traveler, Famous Groupies and Morse Moose too but they would have been much better served as b-sides only.  Backwards Traveler had potential but it was way too short.  It could have been developed into a great full song in my opinion.  Famous Groupies had good parts also but when he slows it down and it has that "show tune" feel, Paul really loses me.  And again, I do love parts of the final track (Morse Moose) but it is way too long and too much of a jam session for my taste.  

                  I also agreed witht the commentators that Waterspout was the best outtake by far.  By replacing Backwards Traveler, Famous Groupies and Morse Moose with Mull of Kintyre, Girlschool and Waterspout, the end result would have been a much superior album.  Instead of London Town being a much forgotten and overlooked album today, it would have become  much more significant.  London Town is another Paul album that had the potential of being near "masterpiece" but again he left off great songs in favor of 3-4 inferior tracks on the final album.  Still very interesting discussion on this Podcast just showing how prolific Paul was and how many very good to great songs that he wrote.

                    Love these Podcasts!  Just want to add that it was nice to hear some more of the "outtake" songs from the London Town era.  Besides the wonderful Waterspout (should have been on the album) you heard:

                    Same Time Next Year

                    Did We Meet Somewhere Before

                    After You're Gone

                    I had never heard the last one but the guys mentioned it was a cover from years ago (like the 20's).  Would love to have these and many more unreleased on a CD.  Really liked After You're Gone from what I heard.

                    I also found the discussion on "I'm Carrying" very interesting.  Ryan and Chris mentioned how beautiful the vibe and Paul's vocal is on I'm Carrying.  They mentioned that it was one of George Harrison's favorites of Paul which I had heard.  I just wished that Paul had worked on the lyrics more.  To me it had the kind of "Blackbird" potential with better lyrics.  I always thought that lyrically it could have been a great love song from a husband to his pregnant wife...the lyric at the end could have gone from I'm Carrying to "you're carrying".  Still one of Paul's hidden gems for sure.

                    They also discussed the 2 versions of With a Little Luck...album version vs. DJ edit.  Quite a few on Maccaboard have stated their preferance to the album version and I agree totally.  The guys did too but I would have mentioned Paul's fantastic vocal on the extended, album version that is cut out in the "single" version.  Still Ryan and Chris love the song and mentioned how perplexing it is that Paul has ignored it on his live shows.  While I don't Paul could have done it justice in 2016-2017, he could have done a very credible job on "With a Little Luck" in 2002 for example.  Just another example of so many great Post Beatle songs that Paul has ignored and this one was a huge hit.

                      Decided to go right into Back to the Egg after London Town.  It was a strange period for Paul (and Linda) as they were trying to keep Wings as a group going.  I found both Podcasts to be fascinating.

                      You have to think that Paul was doing a lot of weed at the time that was clouding his judgement and the lyrics to many of his songs.  In retrospect, I think he made a bigger mistake on "Egg" than he made previously on London Town.  By not including Goodnight Tonight and the b-side Daytime NIghtime Suffering hurt the overall sales success of "Egg" even more than what he had done on London Town (see my previous post on that album).  At least London Town had a massive hit single "With a Little Luck" to propel the album sales.  Every album needs that push and although I really like Getting Closer, it just didn't have that push needed as an opening single.  On top of that, the B-side (Daytime Nightime Suffering) was an absolute gem in my opinion and better than most of Egg's songs.

                      On top of that huge initial mistake, I agree with Ryan and Chris in that Back to the Egg had serious flaws mainly with the song selection and sequence being so disjointed.  As I also mentioned many of the rockier songs had just such strange lyrics.  I definitely feel as though many of Paul's later albums (Solo ones) were better than Egg.  Still the album had its own charms and as always (as a Macca real fan) had a definite nucleus of very good songs.

                      Sometimes Paul gets too cute and "out there" for his own good.  In my opinion, Paul should just stick to his strength..great Pop/Rock songs (albeit with better lyrics on some of the songs).  On side one, I would have excluded "Reception" and started with We're Open Tonight as the opening track similar to how Paul opened up the Venus and Mars album.  Starting Egg with We're Open Tonight and then moving right into Getting Closer.  I would have also dumped "The Broadcase" on Side 2.  Ryan and Chris were also not crazy about Rochestra Theme and To You.  They felt they could have made a good "single" on their own and I kind of agree with that thought.  Replacing them with Goodnight Tonight and Daytime Nightime Suffering would have made the album so much better.  In my opinion, both songs are so much better than Rochestra and To You plus Goodnight Tonight would have been a great 2nd side opener for the album.

                      I found it interesting that both Ryan and Chris really liked the 2 ballads "After the Ball/Million Miles" and "Winter Rose/Love Awake" on side 2.  I always felt that way.  Both tracks are real hidden gems to me.  Contrast that to how many of the rock critics felt at the time.  Again, both Ryan and Chris are younger critics who appreciate Paul's wide variety of styles.

                      As far as outtakes, both guys really like "Cage".  I was not familiar with the song, but Ryan and Chris felt it belonged on Egg.  Put "Cage" and "Goodnight Tonight and Daytime" on Back to the Egg and take the songs mentioned above off the album and you would have had a much more cohesive and successful (relative to sales) album.  Today, Back to the Egg is one of Paul's least known albums.  Paul doesn't help himself as he has totally overlooked these songs in his live shows.  

                        Just some final thoughts on Back to the Egg...no doubt the album was very disjointed and certainly not a top tier album for Paul.But like the guys on these great podcasts, you always see genius in Paul's mid and even lower tier efforts.  Conversely you get a writer/critic from Rolling Stone Magazine who called it "the sorriest grab bag of dreck in recent memory".  Obviously this writer has an extreme bias with anything to deal with Macca.

                        I really liked a good number of the songs on the proper album.  My favorites included Getting Closer, Spin It On, Old Siam Sir, Arrow Through Me,  After the Ball/Million Miles, and Winter Rose/Love Awake   I also liked Denny Laine's song...Again, Again, and Again as well as Baby's Request.  As usual with Paul, the nucleus for a great album was there.  But there were other tracks that didn't make sense to me especially when he leaves Goodnight Tonight and Daytime Nightime Suffering totally off the album.  In my opinion, a track like Reception was unnecessary when he already had We're Open Tonight as a melodic and clever opener.  I just never cared for Rochestra Theme which to me was just a jam session with many famous rock artists.  I agree with the Ryan and Chris that this song should have been put out as a single only with something like To You as a B-side.  

                        Back to the Egg, in my opinion, was another case where Paul needed someone very strong (e.g. George Martin) to rein him in and give him honest opinion.  Again the material was there but you have to wonder if Paul's heart was really in it.  He never went out on a full, world wide tour with the new Wings' lineup.  Between London Town, Back to the Egg, the added singles from this era....he really had plenty of new material to follow up his 1976 Wings Over America.  No doubt as the decade ended and with the drug bust in Japan, its not surprising in hindsight that Paul went to George Martin (with Tug of War) and the beginning of his Solo career.  The idea of continuing Wings (with the constant lineup changes) had run its course.

                        Another thing that these great Podcasts have shown me (and I still have many to hear) is that Paul really needs a "true" compilation of his Post Beatles' Career for the "real" fans.  Not a "new" Greatest Hits compilation like Pure McCartney but a compilation by each decade that contains unreleased material, B-sides, rare tracks and hidden gems.  Paul has so much material as these Podcasts show.  An example from Back to the Egg is the song "Love Awake".  Paul had actually written Love Awake a few years earlier and Chris and Ryan played the original demo.  It was stunning and I as a huge Macca fan had never heard it.  That is the kind of stuff needed for a true deep compilation and doing it by "Decade" makes so much sense.  Each disc would have great material that fans like us would absolutely love.  

                          I decided to listen to the Press to Play Podcast next.  Press to Play was an album that I never bought until just 3-4 years ago.  I was going through a divorce and had serious money issues.  With everything I ever heard about the album (reviews etc) on top of remembering the title track "Press" on the radio at the time, I was expecting the worse upon my first listen.  I was pleasantly surprised once I got into it.  With that background, I was very interested in the comments and opinions from Ryan and Chris.

                          Again to my surprise, they were quite positive about Press to Play also.  Because they are younger guys and have music backgrounds, they liked the album as a whole.  They spent a decent amount of time explaining that there is good 80's production and then there is bad.  They felt that Press to Play was definitely the former.  They also liked many of the songs.

                          They also played Spies Like Us a novelty movie type song that was actually a hit for Paul and preceded Press to Play.  All I have to say is that was one case where I think Paul was very wise not to put it on the album.  Spies Like Us was just a bad novelty type song with bad 80's production in my opinion.

                          I still believe that Press to Play did so poorly commercially was twofold.  First, the album like Back to the Egg didn't have a hit single to give it a big push (a la Tug of War).  Secondly, I believe that "timing" was a significant reason.  Even an artist a massive as Paul will go through peaks and valleys during their career.  On top of the colossal failure that Broad Street the movie was, Paul's big hit collaborative singles like Ebony and Ivory and Say Say Say were way overplayed on the radio.  I think there was a backlash even with Beatle fans over some of the stuff you constantly heard on the radio.  This was not the Beatles in many minds of Beatle fans.  Then you would have bad Pop stuff like Spies Like Us.

                          What I think the commentators liked about Press to Play was that Paul was being adventurous and bold relative to the Pop stuff from the previous couple of years (especially Pipes of Peace).  After hearing the album complete, I agree 100%.  I love quite a few of the songs on Press to Play.  My favorites include...Stranglehold, Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun, Footprints, Only Love Remains, Move Over Busker, Write Away, It's Not True and Tough on a Tightrope.

                          Both Ryan and Chris also liked many of the album's songs.  They felt however that the title cut (Press) marred the album considerably.  I don't go that far.  While I agree that the lyrics werre particularly bad, they didn't bother me as much.  I still liked the melody of Press itself.  Obviously, I am in the minority as the Press single (relative to Macca) did poorly and didn't propel the album's sales.  

                          I was surprised that the commentators especially liked some of the more experimental tracks like Talk More Talk, Pretty Little Head and However Absurd.  I think they are good album tracks and grew on me with repeated listens.  Ryan and Chris were only harsh on the title track and Angry.  While I don't totally agree, I do think they are lesser tracks.  As with the commentators I don't dislike the production as a whole.  There were a couple of instances where the 80's production went over the top but in general I liked the production and felt that Press to Play had very good cohesion compared to Pipes of Peace and Back to the Egg.  I liked the combination of all the instruments on many of the tracks and I agree with the boys that Footprints, Stranglehold and Tough on a Tightrope are outstanding tracks.

                          After what I had been hearing on the radio the previous few years, I liked the fact that Press to Play was not so Pop oriented and didn't feel that Paul was trying to write the next big single.  He let many of the songs just come to him.  

                          I think that Paul has had some good to very good writing collaborators over his Post Beatles career and I would say the same about  Eric Stewart.  In retrospect, he was good for Paul at the time.

                          As always there is an unreleased song left off the album that should have been on.  Yvonne the One is one of Paul's great unreleased songs and is another reason Paul needs a compilation set (by decade) like I had mention in my previous post.

                            Arturoman wrote:

                            Is anyone else listening to this podcast? It's great!

                            https://takeitawaypodcast.com/

                            They are reviewing every single Paul McCartney release from 1970 to present day. Every song on every album. Singles, B-sides, bootlegs, etc. You will most likely hear songs you've never heard before, and hear old favourites from new perspectives, all lovingly placed in the context of McCartney’s career and the musical sounds of their era.

                            And there is an amazing interview with Denny Laine.

                            Arturoman, Thanks so much for posting this!  This podcast is the BEST I’ve ever heard!  I am addicted!  Fascinating and so very well executed.  I can’t stop listening to it.  I am on the Band on the Run episode now.  I don’t agree with all of their opinions (they don’t always agree either) but appreciate hearing what they have to say.  Again, LUVING these podcasts!!!

                              Just listened to the Red Rose Speedway Podcast.  As a huge Macca fan, "Red Rose" is one of my frustrating Paul Post Beatles' albums.  Listening to Ryan and Chris, I was basically in agreement with them for Side 1 (1st 5 tracks) and the beginning of Side 2 (Single Pigeon and When the Night).  I basically liked all these songs albeit it was on the softer side).  The great thing about Paul is that he writes and performs many styles and genres really well.  These 7 tracks were a great beginning to the album.

                              Where I totally agree with the boys is Track 8 (I'll just call it the Loop) is where the album went totally off the road.  I agree with Ryan and Chris that the "Loop" was horrible.  But I'll go one step further that the next track (actually 4 songs called the Medley) was almost equally as bad and just destroyed the album for me.  Chris and Ryan were more kind about the "Medley" than I am but I found it interesting that neither one of them could say that which of the 4 individual Medley songs they liked the best.  In general they thought all the songs were half finished.  

                              One thinkg I learned from this specific Podcast is that it was actually Paul's Record Company (remember they are paying the bills) that pushed Paul very hard to pushed him to finish the album off as an "Easy Listening" Album.  To me that produced the major problem for the album.  Instead of a double album, the final tracks (remember 4 songs) had to stay in the Easy Listening style.  Paul had 4 "fragmented" songs that he had been working on and then tried to make them into a Medley a la Abbey Road.  Obviously these 4 songs were not in the same "universe" as the Abbey Road medley.  This medley were all easy listening songs where the albums first 7 tracks (much, much better songs) were already in that vein.  In my opinion, the last 4 tracks on Red Rose made into a medley sounded like 11 minutes of Barry Manilou and the Carpenters.  A horrible finish to an otherwise very good album with the exception of the previous "Loop" track.

                              But my biggest frustration with the ending of Red Rose Speedway is that Paul had so many good to great songs that he left off.  He even had very good rockers that would have balanced off the 1st half of Red Rose.  Remember as Chris and Ryan pointed out that Red Rose was intially intended as a Double Album.  The rockers just begging to be included on the album were...The Mess, Soily, Hi Hi Hi and even Live and Let Die.  Other mid tempo and slower songs still available (and far better than any song from the Medley) were Mama's Little Girl, Country Dreamer, and 2 Laine songs...I Lie Around and I Would Only Smile.

                              As I said earlier, you can't change the past glaring mistakes but there is a silver lining.  This does set up things for Paul to eventually have a massive Compilation Set.  In my opinion, it should be done by Decade.  You could even have a Volume 1 and Volume 2 that could come out separately.  Volume 1 could be 5 CDs...one CD for each Decade.  Certainly the B-sides, unrreleased songs and rare recordings from the Ram and Red Rose Speedway could easily fill up a 15 track CD on their own.

                              Ryan and Chris...love these PodCasts.  You guys should spearhead the Compilation Set I'm proposing above. 

                               

                                Pardon some of my poor sentences on my previous post.  Sometimes in the morning, I'm rushed to get out the door and I don't get a chance to edit.

                                Anyway, I found the Red Rose Speedway Podcast from Chris and Ryan to be fascinating.  The whole bit about the record company rejecting the double album idea and then how the proper album ended with the long "Medley" track producing a far more  "easy listening" type album.  I never thought about the fact of just how a "record company" can so significantly change the course of an album.  It is very logical when you think about it relative to Paul's "MO" when it comes to music.  I remember Paul's brother, Michael,  saying that once  Paul got his guitar, he became totally "in his own world".  From everything I read, Paul seems to  constantly be fooling around with melodies either on the guitar or piano.   Seems that Paul had those 4 distince but unfinished songs (the Medley) in his head and once the record company wanted more easy listening type songs it seems logical that he would try to combine them into a Abbey Road type medley.  As I mentioned, in retrospect it was a terrible idea in my opinon because the songs weren't that good and worse, the album already had an "softer" (but very good) slant with the first 7 tracks.  Some of his rockers that were just sitting there would have made a far better, more balanced album.  

                                Because the reviews on the album fed into this "Paul, the soft one, narrative" the album basically became a one song "My Love" disc.  Shame because there are several great songs on Red Rose.  Think about it, when did yoiu last hear great songs like LIttle Lamb Dragonfly, Single Pigeon, Get on the Right Thing etc. on the radio.  The last half of an album is just as important as the first half and Red Rose unfortuanately went out with a wimp.  Just think if songs like...The Mess, Soily, Hi Hi Hi, and Live and Let Die were on the album.  

                                  B J Conlee wrote:

                                  Arturoman wrote:

                                  Is anyone else listening to this podcast? It's great!

                                  https://takeitawaypodcast.com/

                                  They are reviewing every single Paul McCartney release from 1970 to present day. Every song on every album. Singles, B-sides, bootlegs, etc. You will most likely hear songs you've never heard before, and hear old favourites from new perspectives, all lovingly placed in the context of McCartney’s career and the musical sounds of their era.

                                  And there is an amazing interview with Denny Laine.

                                   

                                  Sounds good BJ, I will check it out.  I was gone for awhile, there were issues with my old account and I basically had to get a new one. You might notice my screen name is slightly different.

                                    B J Conlee wrote:

                                    Just some final thoughts on Back to the Egg...no doubt the album was very disjointed and certainly not a top tier album for Paul.But like the guys on these great podcasts, you always see genius in Paul's mid and even lower tier efforts.  Conversely you get a writer/critic from Rolling Stone Magazine who called it "the sorriest grab bag of dreck in recent memory".  Obviously this writer has an extreme bias with anything to deal with Macca.

                                    I really liked a good number of the songs on the proper album.  My favorites included Getting Closer, Spin It On, Old Siam Sir, Arrow Through Me,  After the Ball/Million Miles, and Winter Rose/Love Awake   I also liked Denny Laine's song...Again, Again, and Again as well as Baby's Request.  As usual with Paul, the nucleus for a great album was there.  But there were other tracks that didn't make sense to me especially when he leaves Goodnight Tonight and Daytime Nightime Suffering totally off the album.  In my opinion, a track like Reception was unnecessary when he already had We're Open Tonight as a melodic and clever opener.  I just never cared for Rochestra Theme which to me was just a jam session with many famous rock artists.  I agree with the Ryan and Chris that this song should have been put out as a single only with something like To You as a B-side.  

                                    Back to the Egg, in my opinion, was another case where Paul needed someone very strong (e.g. George Martin) to rein him in and give him honest opinion.  Again the material was there but you have to wonder if Paul's heart was really in it.  He never went out on a full, world wide tour with the new Wings' lineup.  Between London Town, Back to the Egg, the added singles from this era....he really had plenty of new material to follow up his 1976 Wings Over America.  No doubt as the decade ended and with the drug bust in Japan, its not surprising in hindsight that Paul went to George Martin (with Tug of War) and the beginning of his Solo career.  The idea of continuing Wings (with the constant lineup changes) had run its course.

                                    Another thing that these great Podcasts have shown me (and I still have many to hear) is that Paul really needs a "true" compilation of his Post Beatles' Career for the "real" fans.  Not a "new" Greatest Hits compilation like Pure McCartney but a compilation by each decade that contains unreleased material, B-sides, rare tracks and hidden gems.  Paul has so much material as these Podcasts show.  An example from Back to the Egg is the song "Love Awake".  Paul had actually written Love Awake a few years earlier and Chris and Ryan played the original demo.  It was stunning and I as a huge Macca fan had never heard it.  That is the kind of stuff needed for a true deep compilation and doing it by "Decade" makes so much sense.  Each disc would have great material that fans like us would absolutely love.  

                                    Good post BJ. Like you and I have said before, McCartney needs a strong producer (like Nigel Godrich) to tell him when some song is really awful and needs work or should not be on the album.  McCartney albums usually have some wonderful moments and the only thing that keeps them from really being top notch is the 2-3 clunkers. FITD is the classic example of album that with some cutting and adding B side (Summer of 59) would have made it a great album.  CHAOS is such a great album because every song is really good and there is no filler. As for "Back To The Egg", I agree pretty much with your likes and dislikes on the album". 

                                      B J Conlee wrote:

                                      Nancy,

                                      As you know, I am a real Macca "Music" Nerd/Geek and especially like discussions about his criminally underrated Solo Catalog.   I love these Podcasts.  I like the 2 commentators a lot.  I like the fact that they are not total Paul "fanboys" and I find  most of their opinions to be very "fair and balanced".  Because they are younger than me they got into Paul "first" before the Beatles and I think that makes a big difference because they don't dismiss "Solo" Paul like some older critics do.  While they don't love everything Solo/Post Beatle Macca does , they recognize how much of a genius Paul is as a songwriter, performer and vocalist.

                                      Right now I'm pressed for time but I will be replying in the future.  So far, I have heard 3 individual Podcasts...Tug of War, Londontown and Press to Play and I find them all fascinating.  Love that they are reviewing the proper albums track by track but additionally the B-sides, outtakes, unreleased material from the same time frame.  Like me, they scratch their heads with some of Paul's choices over the years.    

                                      Very cool that these two commentators are not fan boys and value his solo career. I think this puts a totally different light on how people look at Mccartney's music when they are not in awe of "Beatle Paul".  Perfect example is the difference in how RAM is perceived now by critics than it was when it was released.

                                        B J Conlee wrote:

                                        The first individual Podcast I decided to hear was Tug of War.  As I said, I really like the commentators...Ryan and Chris.  They work really well together and they don't step over each other  as their discussions go along.  I love that they are honest and most of all they don't dismiss Paul's Post Beatles' work like some music critics (obsessed with the Beatles and especially John Lennon) do.  They are younger than a real "boomer" like me (69 years old) and actually got into Paul's Solo first and then that led them into the Beatles.  They are open minded and very fair in my opinion.

                                        I wanted to hear their opinions on Tug of War which I consider one of Paul's best Post Beatle albums.  I always have it in my top 5.  But interesting, I always thought that one song in particular marred Tug of War (and as a hint, it wasn't Ebony and Ivory).  As Ryan and Chris started the track by track portion, lo and behold, they actually felt the same way as me.  I always thought that the first 3 tracks was the finest opening to any Paul album including some of his best.  Like me, they loved Tug of War (the song and opening track), Take It Away and Somebody Who Cares.  One of the guys said that Somebody Who Cares was one of his favorite tracks on the whole album and I agree 100%.   Just love the lyrics, melody and especially Paul's vocal.  It is one of Paul's absolute great Solo songs that gets totally overlooked today like Footprints (from Press to Play) and Too Much Rain (from Chaos and Creation).

                                        It is the 4th song on Tug that really, in my opinion, keeps Tug of War from being a masterpiece as Rollingstone called it at the time.  Surprising to me, both Ryan and Chris felt the same way.  As one of them said, it is a Stevie Wonder song on a Macca album.  Even more for me is that the song just doesn't fit on the album...musically and lyrically on top of the fact that it is entirely too long.  While I don't dislike Paul's vocal on the track as much as they do, it starts for me with the song itself.   Like one of them said, it would have been perfect as a b-side to the Ebony and Ivory single but not on the album.  To me it totally stops the fabulous momentum of the beginning of the album that were "classic McCartneyesque type" songs.  The real frustrating thing of Paul's Post Beatles' Albums and Career, it that there are several Macca albums (like Tug of War) that really could have been masterpieces with better song "selection".  As always, Paul always has an abundance of choices and just too often in many cases makes the wrong choice in my opinion.  In Tug of War, songs like Rainclouds (relegated to a B-Side) or Seems Like Old Times (unreleased) would have been so much better choice than What's That Your Doing.  They would have fit the album much better.  I love a lot of Stevie Wonder songs but not on a great album like Tug of War that has a totaly different theme and concept.  Having never met Ryan or Chris, I found it very interesting that they felt exactly the same way.  

                                        After hearing this first Podcast, it has just wet my appetite even more to get into this series.  I love that fact that they discuss the great and underappreciated B-sides and even unreleased songs that were passed over.  I'm sure they will bring up other examples on future podcasts.

                                        Very interesting post. Looking back, it might have been smart musically to leave both the Stevie Wonder songs off TOW and just have realeased them as single as you stated. That being said, would not including these songs on the album have hurt the sales of the TOW album? I truly doubt without the "Ebony and IVory" single on TOW that it  would have reached #1 and sold millions.

                                          Yankeefan2 wrote:

                                          B J Conlee wrote:

                                          The first individual Podcast I decided to hear was Tug of War.  As I said, I really like the commentators...Ryan and Chris.  They work really well together and they don't step over each other  as their discussions go along.  I love that they are honest and most of all they don't dismiss Paul's Post Beatles' work like some music critics (obsessed with the Beatles and especially John Lennon) do.  They are younger than a real "boomer" like me (69 years old) and actually got into Paul's Solo first and then that led them into the Beatles.  They are open minded and very fair in my opinion.

                                          I wanted to hear their opinions on Tug of War which I consider one of Paul's best Post Beatle albums.  I always have it in my top 5.  But interesting, I always thought that one song in particular marred Tug of War (and as a hint, it wasn't Ebony and Ivory).  As Ryan and Chris started the track by track portion, lo and behold, they actually felt the same way as me.  I always thought that the first 3 tracks was the finest opening to any Paul album including some of his best.  Like me, they loved Tug of War (the song and opening track), Take It Away and Somebody Who Cares.  One of the guys said that Somebody Who Cares was one of his favorite tracks on the whole album and I agree 100%.   Just love the lyrics, melody and especially Paul's vocal.  It is one of Paul's absolute great Solo songs that gets totally overlooked today like Footprints (from Press to Play) and Too Much Rain (from Chaos and Creation).

                                          It is the 4th song on Tug that really, in my opinion, keeps Tug of War from being a masterpiece as Rollingstone called it at the time.  Surprising to me, both Ryan and Chris felt the same way.  As one of them said, it is a Stevie Wonder song on a Macca album.  Even more for me is that the song just doesn't fit on the album...musically and lyrically on top of the fact that it is entirely too long.  While I don't dislike Paul's vocal on the track as much as they do, it starts for me with the song itself.   Like one of them said, it would have been perfect as a b-side to the Ebony and Ivory single but not on the album.  To me it totally stops the fabulous momentum of the beginning of the album that were "classic McCartneyesque type" songs.  The real frustrating thing of Paul's Post Beatles' Albums and Career, it that there are several Macca albums (like Tug of War) that really could have been masterpieces with better song "selection".  As always, Paul always has an abundance of choices and just too often in many cases makes the wrong choice in my opinion.  In Tug of War, songs like Rainclouds (relegated to a B-Side) or Seems Like Old Times (unreleased) would have been so much better choice than What's That Your Doing.  They would have fit the album much better.  I love a lot of Stevie Wonder songs but not on a great album like Tug of War that has a totaly different theme and concept.  Having never met Ryan or Chris, I found it very interesting that they felt exactly the same way.  

                                          After hearing this first Podcast, it has just wet my appetite even more to get into this series.  I love that fact that they discuss the great and underappreciated B-sides and even unreleased songs that were passed over.  I'm sure they will bring up other examples on future podcasts.

                                          Very interesting post. Looking back, it might have been smart musically to leave both the Stevie Wonder songs off TOW and just have realeased them as single as you stated. That being said, would not including these songs on the album have hurt the sales of the TOW album? I truly doubt without the "Ebony and IVory" single on TOW that it  would have reached #1 and sold millions.

                                          Yankeefan,

                                          Great to see you back.  I was away for a while too but these "Take It Away" Podcasts have really peaked my interest focusing on Post Beatles' Paul.  I really like Chris and Ryan.  They are younger than us and really started as Paul fans first before delving into the Beatles.  I think that makes them more objective and fair relative to Solo Paul.  They are also more "music theory" type guys so I find their opinions to be fascinating.

                                          As far as Tug of War,  my problem with the album as a whole was never Ebony and Ivory.  As you stated, E&I as a #1 hit single for so many weeks on the charts really propelled the album to its own #1.  Paul really needed it at the time relative to his previous albums McCartney 2 and Back to the Egg. While subsequently E&I became a "lighting rod" type song among Beatle/Paul fans (people either love or hate it similar to Paul big hits like My Love or Silly Love Songs) I never had a problem with Ebony and Ivory being on the album.  Unlike "What's That You're Doing" (the 4th track on Tug), E&I is truly a Paul song (totally written by Paul) that fit perfectly with the general theme of the album.  The former track however was virtually a Stevie song that didn't, in my opinion, fit at all with the album either musically or lyrically.   As I said, this track to me just stopped the great , gorgeous momentum of the 1st 3 tracks.  Anyway, I found it interesting that Chris and Ryan felt the same way about what marred Tug of War (the album) to them and I totally agree.  Just my opinion of course.

                                            Just listened to the Pipe of Peace Podcast and as usual, found Chris and Ryan opinions of the album and time period to be fascinating.  So far I have lisened to these Podcasts....Tug of War, London Town, Back to the Egg, Red Rose Speedway and now Pipes of Peace.

                                            Pipes of Peace is the first album and Podcast (from the ones above) where I found more significant disagreement in general.  But I like the fact that they look at "Pipes" from a different and younger perspective.  I think it was Chris who said as a 5th grader that Pipes of Peace was his entry way to becoming a Paul fan (even before hearing Beatle albums).  I appreciate his honesty about the fact that he might not be as "objective" relative to other albums on these podcasts.  He has a special emotional attachment to "Pipes" and I certainly get it.

                                            While I do agree that Pipes of Peace (like other mid and lower ranking Paul Post Beatles' albums) has it great moments, it is the general mood of the album that puts it way down the list of Paul albums for me.  To me Pipes of Peace is just a collection of songs that have little relationship from one track to the next.  I know Paul tried to bring the album "together" with the track at the end of side 2 with "Tug of Peace" but to me that song was so "forced and meaningless".  Just a bad track to my ears.  And as I said, the tracks in between seemed to be just a collection of songs.

                                            As a big time Macca fan, there are a few tracks on "Pipes" that I really like.  The title and opening track (Pipes of Peace) starts off very promising.  I love George Martin's production and the song in general.  Next we have the big Michal Jackson duet and hit single "Say, Say Say".  While it doesn't marr the album for me (like What's That You're Doing did on Tug of War)  it has nothing to do with the previous song...musically or lyrically.  Anyway, as I said, it doesn't ruin the album for me at this point.  It is later on where the album really goes off the rails in my opinion.

                                            The next track is actually one of my favorites on "Pipes".  Despite the "dustbin lid" line that some fans dispise, I love the lyrics to this song as well as Paul's R&B style vocal.  I like the fact that Paul really gets personal in the lyrics.  Most of us have a "side"of our personality  that sometimes comes out so to me it is a universal message.  I think that "The Other Me" is one of Paul's hidden gems. I also don't find the "heavy breathing" style in parts of the vocal to be bothersome.  It was interesting that one of the guys related this aspect of Paul's singing to the reminiscent of the Beatles' song "Girl".  Maybe Paul was thinking about this at the time.  In general, I love the song and production.

                                            I don't mind the next two songs...Keep Under Cover and So Bad.  The former has a great melody in my opinion but unfortuately I think that some of the lyrics are quite weak.  Wished Paul had taken more time to flush it out but all in all, I think it is a good album track.  The final track on Side One is a typical McCartney  "guilty pleasure" type hit singles.  It definitely fits in with the "Poppy" type flavor of the album in general.  I do really like the performance of Paul's lead vocal coupled with the Wings-like backup vocals (mainly Linda and Eric Stewart) I think. 

                                            It is Side 2 where the album really falls off the rails for me.  Unlike the guys, I don't like the other Michal Jackson duet song "The Man" at all.  It starts off fine but by the time we get to the "This is the Man" line (sung by Michael at the end) is becomes very grating.  It is also way too much of an "Audult Contemporary" type of a song for a Paul album where  you are ready to scream.  The only songs I like on Side 2 are "Sweetest Little Show and "Through Our Love".  I don't like Average Person at all.  It has that "Showtune style" that occasionally pops up from Paul that I totally dislike and the lyrics seem to be so forced.  The next song "Hey Hey" is only  a "filler" type of track and as I said earlier, Tug of Peace is just terrible.  Again, these are my opinions only.

                                            In summary, Pipes of Peace, in my opinion is just too "Poppy" for me with little connection from song to song.  I actually rate it on the lower tier of Paul albums.  I think of the Podcasts I have heard so far, London Town, Back to the Egg, Red Rose Speedway, and Press to Play are basically "mid tier" Macca albums for me and I put than higher than Pipes of Peace.

                                            As with Tug of War, Paul was taking advantage of working with and doing duets with a major R&B star but in this case, Pipes of Peace was just too forced and quickly released . Tug of War, on the other hand,  had much better songs with actual common themes around it.  Still, I love some of the tracks on "Pipes" like Pipes of Peace, The Other Me, Sweetest Little Show and Through Our Love.  

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