B J Conlee wrote:
Love these podcasts from Chris and Ryan. I really dove into the 80's because I found the period so fascinating. To some (from Beatle and even Paul fans, haters and all points in between) this began the period that Paul really began going downhill. As a big time Paul music fan, I totally disagree. Yes, he definitely had quite a few missteps and some bad songs, but I look at the bigger picture and as the guys said, there was so much material to be digested. Chris and Ryan really gave great background information that really sets the stage for why Paul might have been so confused and with shaken confidence. Just look at some of the things going on to one of the most famous men on the planet at the time.
John's tragic death of course started off the decade and obviously that really shook him. Then after he had huge commercial success with Tug of War and the overplayed Stevie and Michael collaboration hits, he then finds out that Mr. Jackson steals the Beatles' song rights right from under Paul and Yoko's feet. Not getting along with Yoko certainly didn't help his cause.
On the music side, he then had his big flops (Broad Street and Press to Play). This is a guy that isn't used to failures. Because he is obsessed with music and is a workaholic (blue collar background) he was trying so hard by the mid 80's to be relevant again. That had to be a very tall order since he was getting older (Rock is for the youth) and the music styles and even recording techniques were changing at such a rapid pace. He even had the misfortune and embarrassment at Live Aid where his "mike" didn't work.
With this in mind, Paul was desperate for hits again and he consequently was going through Producers (Phil Ramone, David Foster, Hugh Padgen etc.) left and right. The guys really explained this period very well. No wonder Paul was confused and made many misteps at the time.
But here we are in 2018 almost 30 years after the end of that terrible decade for Paul. Conversely in my mind here is good news. As always and throughout his entire career, Paul doesn't stop even with failures (remember Wildlife). He continues to write songs and record. Yes, some are bad ones and admittedly some that should be for compleatest (Big Day, Atlantic City etc.) only. But on the other side, there are many good to very good gems that should be unearthed.
I loved the part in the "Pepperland" Podcast where Chris and Ryan put together a made up album of these forgotten/unknown songs. But what, in my opinion, Paul really needs is a 2 disc set (at the very least) for each decade because he has so much good material. And doing it by Decade makes so much sense.
In my mind this should be the anti Pure McCartney and All the Best compilations which are loaded with the hit songs and singles that everyone knows and already has. Here is my example of a 2 Disc, 80's Package that Paul needs primarily for his own legacy. After all, he is far more than just his famous Beatle and Wings' hits/songs.
80's Disc 1
1) Coming Up - great rare and "faster" live version from the ICA 7/5/07 show with only 300 people in the audience)
2) On the Way
3) One of These Days
4) Take It Away
5) The Pound is Sinking
6) Somebody Who Cares
7) Rainclouds (B-side)
8) Sweetest Little Show
9) Simpe As That (great little rare Paul song off the Anti Heroin Project album)
10) Not Such a Bad Boy
11) No Values
12) On the Wings of a Nightingale (great demo given by Paul to the Everly Brothers)
14) Move Over Busker
15) Back on My Feet (B-side Paul/Elvis Costello collaboration)
16) Love Come Tumbling Down (great Unreleased track)
17) Yvonne's the one (great unreleased track)
18) My Brave Face (album version)
19) You Want Her Too (album version)
20) Lovers That Never Were (Demo with Elviss)
21) Tommy's Coming Home (Demo with Elvis)
22) Loveliest Thing (B-side)
Disc 2 (80's)
1) Tug of War
2) Here Today (best live acoustic version)
3) Summer's Day Song
4) I'll Give You a Ring (B-side)
5) The Other Me
6) Through Our Love
8) Tough on a Tightrope
9) Once Upon a Long Ago (Single only)
10) Put It There (live version with the extra ending)
11) Figure of 8 (Single version)
12) This One (album version)
13) That Day is Done (album version)
14) 25 Fingers (Paul/Elvis demo)
15) So Like Candy (Paul/Elvis demo)
16) Don't Be Careless Love (Paul/Elvis demo)
17) Distractions (album version)
18) I Love This House (CD single)
19) Flying to My Home (B-side)
20) Love Mix (CD Single)
21) Return to Pepperland (unreleased song)
22) Lindianna (unreleased song)
Just look at these songs which is suppose to be Paul's "down" decade. This is the type of compilation that I was hoping "Pure McCartney" was going to be. Something that the "true" fans would want to have. More importanly, it would show that Paul was far more than his Wings' and 70 hits. Except for Coming Up and Here Today which are totally different versions, there aren't any duplications here from Pure McCartney. And I'm only going by what I have heard on You Tube and these podcasts. Just think if you would have access to Paul's vaults. I'm sure you might find some tasty demo's of some of the "forgotten" album tracks I've included here.
Thanks again Chris and Ryan. Can't wait till you begin the 90's.
Just a couple of additional points to the above 80's Tracklist (proposed 2 Cd's for a Deep Anthology Package by Decade)
From Paul's legacy perspective, he really needs an Anthology like this that concentrates by Decade on rare tracks, B-sides, lost album cuts, unreleased songs, live versions etc. where so many Beatle and even Paul fans are totally unfamiliar. I found it amazing that of the 44 high quality 80's tracks on my list above, only 2 of them (Coming Up and Here Today) were actually on the recent 67 track Pure Mccartney Deluxe Compilation. And they were totally different versions (live alternatives). And as I look at this list this morning, I am still finding gems that weren't included.
Because Macca was so prolific during the 80's, maybe a few of them above that were actually released later (in the 90's) as B-sides and/or additional tracks on CD Singles, should be put on a 90's Anthology Disc. These songs would include Love Come Tumbling Down, I Love This House, and Love Mix. Because Paul was not as prolific in the 2nd half of the 90's due to Linda's illness, they could easily be included on one of the 90's discs if Paul would ever consider such an ambitious CD package. The beauitiful thing is that all these songs already exist.
I want to emphasize that my proposed 80's tracklist above is just one example. People could easily quibble with some of my song choices versus songs omitted but I wanted to emphasize the idea itself...that Paul has so many lost, forgotten and unknown songs that should be available to the fans. It would also attrack new fans that just didn't realize that Paul had so many good to very good unknown songs.
A few other 80's songs that could easily be included over some of my choices might be:
Only Love Remains - live version featuring Judith Light (from the TV Show Who's the Boss) singing background with Linda...just a beautiful version
It's Not True - demo (nice track that wasn't on the original Press to Play Vinyl/Album
Talk More Talk - Chris and Ryan really love this track from Press to Play and hearing it again, I have to agree
Ode to a Koala Bear - B-side of the Say Say Say single from the Pipes of Peace era
I Can't Write Another Song - I believe this is unreleased but a nice little gem
I could go on and on. Similarly Paul also has so many relatively unknown and lost songs from the 70's era too as well as the other decades. If I were he and his kids, I would want at some point this kind of package. Maybe kids these days don't buy CD's much anymore but my era fans (true Paul fans) would be in line to buy them once they saw the tracklisting and it wasn't the same titles that everyone knows. And if this type compilation was out, the younger music fans upon hearing sampes on the internet would be downloading specific tracks.
Hope Paul reads this and begins to realize that he did have a fantastic career after the Beatles. Even Sirius Radio with their Beatles channel (Channel 18) are playing little from Paul after 1980.
It is a shame you are not part of McCartney's management team. You have more knowledge of his music than anyone he has working with him and possible Mr. McCartney himself - lol. The songs you put toghether would be great and what an album like "Pure McCartney should have been. Radio is pathetic when it comes to McCartneye's post Beatle songs. You will get the typical Wings hits and something from the 80's will always be "Ebony and "Ivory" or "Say Say Say". As we both have said many times, part of that comes from his live show being for the most part an oldie show. It also does not help that when he is interviewd 95% of the interview is about the Beatles and maybe Wings.
Thanks Yankeefan. As I said, Paul should hire both of us to do a "real" Anthology by Decade for the "true" fans of his Post Beatles' music.
Interesting tid bits about his latest compilation...Pure McCartney. The 67 track Deluxe edition only has 12 tracks from the 80's whereas there are 32 tracks from the 70's. That makes some sense because Paul had more "hits" in the 70's but it just shows the inbalance of a compilation showcasing his entire Post Beatles career. Anyway, my 80's tracklist above only has 2 songs on Pure McCartney and as mentioned, they are totally different versions (live versions of Coming Up and Here Today). And I would do special "rare" live versions of both songs not on any other compilations that Paul alread has.
The 12 tracks on Pure McCartney from the 80's are:
Waterfalls (followup single after Coming Up from McCartney 2)
Say Say Say
Pipes of Peace (followup single after Say Say Say and reached #1 on UK singles chart for 2 weeks)
Ebony and Ivory
Here Today (Tug of War album version)
Press (lead single from Press to Play album peaking at 21 on US Singles chart)
We All Stand Together (Sometimes referred as The frog song or from chorus) - A Paul children's song from the animated "Rupert and the Frog Song". It actually reached #3 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1984 and reentered the UK Singles chart the following Christmas. I never realized it was so big in the UK.
Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun (from Press to Play)
No More Lonely Nights
Temporary Secretary (from McCartney 2 and 3rd single from McCartney 2)
Not surprising that most of the 80's songs above were put on the "hit and singles heavy" Pure McCartney Compilation. The only exception Non-singles were Here Today, Wanderlust and Good Times Coming. I only put Here Today on my proposed 2 CD 80's track listing because of the importance of the song relative to Paul's full career and life. Also he has so many really good "live" acoustic alternative versions to the string heavy album version that I think it would make total sense to include it. Same sort of thought process on Coming Up because it was the first big hit for Paul starting off the 80's and Paul has a couple of really good rare "Live" versions available. If Pure McCartney didn't contain Wanderlust, it would definitely been included on my proposed type set because I believe it is one of Paul's all time top Solo songs (probably top 10 for me). Because I deliberately wanted to avoid duplication I didn't include all the songs above except the 2 I mentioned.
As I also mentioned, my initial 2 CD list did contain a few rare tracks (unreleased in the 80's) that later became released in the 90's. They include Love Come Tumbling Down, Love Mix, and I Love this House. I would remove them and put them into the 90's Discs.
Also, if I was thinking strictly of quality, I would probably remove "Return to Pepperland". As much as I like the sentimentality of the song (Paul thinking about his Beatle days and at the time around the 20th Anniversary of Seargent Peppers) it really isn't a good song (bad and unfinished lyrics) and in this case was propably smart never being officially released. There are some great replacements to the 4 songs mentioned immediately above including Ode to a Koala Bear, Only Love Remains, Playboy to a Man (with Elvis Costello), I Can't Write Another Song etc.
The point is that there could be a tremendous 2 Cd 80's set for the true fans that could really showcase what a terrific songwriting 80's decade that Paul really had despite the misteps.