For me "Ebony and Ivory" encapsulates everything I frequently love and hate about Paul's solo career. I have such mixed feelings about this song. On the positive side, I think Ebony and Ivory is a fantastically written song. A monster composition. I remember back in the day visiting my cousin, and she had the sheet music for this song. I play piano and guitar, and I remember sitting down playing and discovering the notes and chords. Very powerful. Some people have commented that it has a "nice" and decent melody, but I'd go much further and say this composition stands shoulder to shoulder with Paul's best work with the Beatles. Lyrically, the metaphor of the piano keys is a wonderful thing, too. Perhaps a touch glib in the lyrics, but still fine in my books. Ok, on to the negative side. Here my comments echo much of what I said in another post regarding the song "Press". Unfortunately, for my own tastes, I find that the *sound* of Ebony and Ivory is far too swamped with shmaltz. From the sound of the horns (or are those synths?) that blast the opening riff, my toes begin to curl. The aesthetic of the production and arrangement is far too drenched in cheese for my tastes, from the overly sweet high harmonies to the slickly polished rhythm tracks. Too much Vegas, and not enough Motown. I emphasize these are my own tastes, and there's no scientific way to argue this, it's much like walking into someone's house and commenting on the wallpaper. What might be tasteful and cool to someone, might be totally tacky to someone else. What bugs me about Ebony and Ivory is that I know Paul CAN do amazing r & b tinged tracks. As an example, I think of The Long and Winding Road as a close cousin to Ebony; they almost seem to share the same sonic landscape. I'm much more pleased with Long and Winding Road as far as aesthetics go, it seems to have some more darker shades and grittier touches. (The irony for me is that Paul has singled out this song as being poorly produced with syrupy overdubs. Each to their own, of course!) But if I'm sitting in a room with friends who all dig music like old blues records, alt rock, classic rock and whatnot, I'd feel much safer playing The Long and Winding Road. I'd get beat up if I put on Ebony and Ivory, lol. Someone posted the video of the stripped down early rehearsals of Ebony and Ivory back in the Wings days, and there's something about that that I found more enjoyable/tolerable. Even having the opening riff played on a simple organ was nicer, but maybe not the ultimate solution. The song was a massive commercial success at the time, and I think it was fully deserved. But it's awkward spot in history makes sense to me, too.