McCartney, part 4, where it starts getting ugly

Last time, I attempted to pin down what makes the Beatles’ recordings work, or at least what makes them so appealing and deathless to me. I came up with a handful of terms which I would now like to apply to McCartney’s post-Beatle work. These terms are: urgency, immediacy, drama, complexity, joyfulness and experimentalism, coupled to a faultless melodic sense and set to unique, indelible arrangements. How does McCartney’s post-Beatles work compare?

And let me begin by saying this is all terribly unfair. It is axiomatic that all the Beatles did their best work within their group, that the Beatles were a miracle-making music machine substantially greater than the sum of its parts, that there was a chemistry within that band that seems something close to magic. Even McCartney himself seems stunned these days to realize that he was part of this unique musical and cultural force, almost as if it happened to someone else.

And yet, the Beatles standard is both the thing that keeps attracting me to McCartney’s work and appalling me with the results. It’s the single most vital aspect of his development and a kind of sword of Damocles hanging over his head. Every time I put on a McCartney record, I think “this is the guy who wrote ‘Hey Jude,'” and, well, there is nothing that can live up to that standard. No wonder I hated him so hard for so many years.

No, but I mean really hated him. Partly because he was not the Beatles, partly because he was not John and partly because he had betrayed his talent with such abandon and scorn. I hated the album London Town withsuch an intensity that I literally burned the faces off the cover and displayed it in my college dorm that way (keep in mind it was 1978 — I was listening to This Year’s Model and More Songs About Buildings and Food; the pleasant, noodling melodies of London Town weren’t just irrelevant, they were abominations). I was a strong proponent of John at that point, proudly defended Some Time in New York City (who’s an abomination now, punk?) and saw McCartney as not just a sellout but as a pariah, a calculating monster, bringing his immense commercial weight to cloying, irritating ditties like “Coming Up” and “Say Say Say.”

Anyway, so I have this obsession with the guy, and a fascination. I find it impossible to reconcile the pop genius who wrote staggering masterworks like “You Won’t See Me” and “Hello Goodbye” and “Back in the USSR” with the man responsible for “Ebony and Ivory.” So I am compelled to keep probing, investigating further, questioning assumptions, trying to discover what exactly happened to his talent, are things as bad as they seem, has time been kind to his work, is it he who was right all this time and I who was wrong? Does his solo work match the mathematical equation of my last entry? And that sort of thing.

At some point I’ll probably have to sort out what I think of all these albums on an individual basis, but for now here’s a broad overview, taking the terms of McCartney’s Beatles work and applying them to his solo work.

JOY: The first thing one hears when one is introduced to the Beatles and their most arresting quality, Joy is only sporadically present in McCartney’s solo work, although there is often Joy’s little sister Delight, her cousin Charm and their great grand-uncle Pleasure. The calculation and professionalism that bugged me so much as a younger man doesn’t bother me so much any more. Records that seemed cold, passionless and remote now seem to be the work of a man for whom music is a gift, something that comes effortlessly to him. (Effortlessness, however, is a serious problem in a great deal of McCartney’s work, but more on that later.)

URGENCY and IMMEDIACY: Almost nonexistent in McCartney’s post-Beatles work. This seemed like a capital crime when I was a teenager, but of course it’s just part of artistic development. Who could keep up the intensity of the Beatles experience, twelve albums of faultless masterpieces in eight years? Who would demand it? And yet, the man is a supremely talented composer, arranger and melodist and too often he brings his massive talents to bear on sentimental trifles, goofy doodles and flat-footed profundities. I wrote earlier that the Beatles sounded like they had never been in a recording studio before and didn’t know if they ever would be again, but the McCartney of, say, Red Rose Speedway sounds like he lives in a recording studio and has all the time in the world. I can find nothing in the McCartney catalogue that quickens the pulse like “All My Loving” or “Drive My Car” or even “Birthday,” and much that makes my blood run cold, like “Wonderful Christmastime” or At the Speed of Sound.

(If you seek any of the above qualities in McCartney’s solo work, I direct you to Choba B CCCP, Unplugged and Run Devil Run, three albums of mostly covers that are filled to brimming with joy, urgency and immediacy. The last, especially, I recommend highly — its vital, searing presentation of rock-n-roll standards is positively crushing, and finally makes a legitimate bid to connect the McCartney of today with the young man who sang “Long Tall Sally” all those years ago.)

DRAMA: In much greater abundance than joy, urgency and immediacy, although still lacking. I see great dramatic sense brought to songs like “Another Day,” “Live and Let Die” and “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” albums like Band on the Run and Back to the Egg. In each of these, it is the same dramatic sense brought to Sgt Pepper, The White Album and Abbey Road — that is, the drama is brought about through juxtaposition and arrangement, not through the quality of the original material. But these are dramatic peaks — too much of McCartney’s solo work is dramatically inert albums like Pipes of Peace and Press to Play.

COMPLEXITY and EXPERIMENTALISM: These qualities have not abandoned McCartney, nor he them, and he rarely gets credit for them, so I’m going to give some so here. McCartney has the reputation for calculation and commercialism, and yet as I look over his long post-Beatle career I find a restless, creative spirit, consistently burrowing into his talent, challenging himself in interesting and questioning ways, unhappy with straitjackets and only occasionally overtly trying for a big commercial hit. If people want to buy an inoffensive, undemanding bit of silliness like “Coming Up,” is that McCartney’s fault? I see no calculation in it, I see no effort in it at all — it sounds like something he knocked off in a day. But then, the same could be said for the album Please Please Me.

It is, in fact, McCartney’s silliness that often confuses the issue; his sense of British nonsense is both one of his greatest strengths and one of his most damning flaws. When he’s on, nonsense like “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” or “Band On the Run” or “Jet” takes on a grandeur and depth that is startling and magical. Even un-grand, low-key albums like McCartney, Ram, Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway positively burst with charm and playfulness (but lack drama or any sense of importance — positive, refreshing attributes in the case of the first two). When he’s not on, the playfulness feels forced and fake — “Morse Moose and the Grey Goose” comes to mind.

With Lennon’s work, experimentalism often took the forefront — records were often experimental at the expense of coherence, professionalism or effectiveness. A Beatle could claim the right to release an album like Two Virgins, but no one could listen to it all the way through. With McCartney, experimentalism often takes the form of half-finished ideas and excessive noodling. As the years pass, I welcome McCartney’s noodling and recoil in horror from Lennon’s indulgent, punishing excesses. But let’s not make this about John versus Paul — that’s a post for another day.

(I’m told McCartney has several albums of ambient music and sound collages released under pseudonyms. I’m curious, but not that curious.)

AND THE REST? McCartney’s melodic sense has never left him, ever. There are oceans of melody on all his records, from the shiny, metallic80s crap of Press to Play to the unassuming, home-made charm of McCartney. What’s different is the sense of importance that permeates even lesser Beatles albums like Magical Mystery Tour or Beatles for Sale. Also omnipresent is his talents for arrangement. No two McCartney songs, even the unmemorable dreck, sound alike. He still pursues sonic landscapes and insists on bringing distinct personalities to each of his recordings. Whether all of them were worth the effort is another question.

DOES HE BEAT THE SPREAD? I’m going to say, hesitantly, yes. Given that the lack of intensity to his post-Beatles work is a natural development and not necessarily a crime, there is still enough in a good deal of McCartney work that is worth listening to. And the equation I came up with (McCartney equals one-third of the Beatles, therefore his solo work can reasonably be expected to be one-third as good) I think holds true. Easily one-third of McCartney’s solo work is very good indeed, even if there’s nothing that can compare to Revolver or Rubber Soul.

However, it’s also true that McCartney’s contemporaries and peers, specifically Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, are doing work right now that does actually compare favorably to their high-water marks. Is it wrong to expect the same of McCartney? His new album is perfectly listenable, catchy as ever, full of something like joy and devoid of sap. It snaps and swings and even occasionally thunders. That said, there is nothing there that can compare to “From Me To You.”


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Comments

30 Responses to “McCartney, part 4, where it starts getting ugly”
  1. jbacardi says:

    Dude, you almost lost me when you used the words “staggering masterworks” and “Hello Goodbye” in the same sentence…

    • Todd says:

      I refer to “Hello Goodbye” as a staggering masterwork because it is a staggering masterwork. I think “Hello Goodbye” is underrated because it had the misfortune of appearing as the B-side to “I Am the Walrus,” something few recordings anywhere compare favorably to.

      Don’t let the simplicity of the lyric fool you. Such simplicity is harder than it looks. McCartney could have easily messed up that song by making the lyrics more “clever,” but he didn’t, he was aiming for something more pure, something distilling a hundred years of love-song lyrics into their most basic form and then putting the patented Beatles modernist spin on it.

      I don’t pretend that “Hello Goodbye” is a profound lyric on the level of “Like a Rolling Stone,” but then neither is “I Am the Walrus.” Both are suberbly crafted modernist pop recordings featuring essentially meaningless lyrics. Lennon was drawing from a surrealist tradition, McCartney was drawing from Broadway and Music Hall traditions, both were using their expert ensembles to comment on song forms.

      • jbacardi says:

        Well, for what it’s worth, I think “Hello Goodbye” is a much better song than “The Other Me”!

        Profundity is overrated sometimes, and don’t misunderstand me- I’m more often as not an apologist for McCartney’s predilection for the simplistic ditty. I have even been known to defend the likes of London Town and Press to Play in dubious company; in the case of the latter, I thought it had a most un-Eighties production sound. You could even hear real drums and keyboards!

        “Hello Goodbye” is a hard sell for me; it does sound tossed-off and minor, despite the in-spite-of-itself “communication issues” theme it came to have, and doubly so compared to where the Fabs where at songwriting-wise at the time. What saves it for me is the clever arrangement, especially the cascading countermelody that accompanies the “I don’t know why you say goodbye” part, and the cheerfully charming “Hey-la, hey-a-hello-ha’s” at the end. Or is that charmigly cheerful? Anyway, I don’t consider it among their best efforts, but as with 99.9% of the Lads’ output, it’s always worth a listen.

        I feel like I may have rubbed the wrong way, and I do apologize- I think you’re doing a wonderful job of dissecting this music and these musicians, and I look forward to reading future installments!

        • Todd says:

          No need to apologize — I wouldn’t bring up controversial issues like the relative quality of “Hello Goodbye” without expecting a fight.

  2. greyaenigma says:

    I heard Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey last night on the radio, for the first time in years and years and years.

    It made me wonder if some DJ somewhere is reading this journal. Or just prompted by the new release.

  3. craigjclark says:

    A lyrical low point

    Here is the opening verse of “The Other Me” from Pipes of Peace:

    I know I was a crazy fool
    For treating you the way I did
    But something took a hold of me
    And I acted like a dustbin lid

    I love Paul’s stuff as much as anyone and can be very forgiving, but if I were George Martin (his producer on that album) and Paul had come into the studio with that scribbled down on a napkin, I would have sent him home for the day until he came in with some proper lyrics.

    • Todd says:

      Re: A lyrical low point

      This is a good reference for the above commenter. I will trade “The Other Me” for “Hello Goodbye” any day.

  4. dougo says:

    Paul and Ringo (and Yoko and Olivia) were on Larry King last night:

  5. randymonki says:

    Confession time: I actually was introduced to Paul McCartney through Band on the Run and his time with Wings. When i first heard of the Beatles as a kid i first thought “What happened to Paul’s old friends?” (I thought the cover of BotR was actually a group photo of all the musicians in Wings), followed by “Paul’s new friends have funny hair”.

    So i’ve always held a soft spot for Wings-era Paul, who admittedly isn’t as engaging as Beatles Paul, but at the end of the day is more readily enjoyable, at least to me.

    • Todd says:

      I’m sure McCartney’s Wings material was suited to its time, and was certainly popular enough. And their very best material compares favorably to Beatles work. But their albums are too often seas of wandering sap with one or two good songs on it — like a lot of acts of the day, and something the Beatles rarely were.

  6. r_sikoryak says:

    “It’s also true that … the Rolling Stones are doing work right now that does actually compare favorably to their high-water marks.”

    Really? (I’m not being snarky, I honestly don’t know.)
    But could Jagger or Richards do it alone?

    • Todd says:

      Oh yes, the Stones have had a remarkable return to form with A Bigger Bang. That record, plus Dylan’s astonishing recent trio of smashes I’m sure were very much on McCartney’s mind while he was crafting Memory Almost Full.

    • Todd says:

      But no, neither Jagger nor Richards could do it alone, as they have both proven many times.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Are you going to Amoeba Music tonight for the free concert?

    • Todd says:

      I would probably enjoy seeing McCartney in person at some point, but I don’t have the juice to get into a venue that small. I happened to walk into a Norah Jones performance there a few months ago and, while I have no lack of affection for Ms. Jones, I just wanted to shop for DVDs.

      • craigjclark says:

        I saw him twice, on the Flowers in the Dirt and Off the Ground tours. Both times at the same venue, Veterans Stadium in Philly, which was a terrible place to see a concert, but I didn’t care. I was in the same building as Paul McCartney.

        He put on a great show both times and changed the selection of Beatles and Wings classics enough that one didn’t feel like a carbon copy of the one before. (I remember being surprised when he whipped out “Let Me Roll It,” for example.) Wings Over America is actually one of my favorite Wings records because he has a way of taking songs that were overproduced in the studio (like, for example, “You Gave Me the Answer”) and injecting them with life and spark. Heck, even “Spirits of Ancient Egypt” sounds fun live.

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s an article in JAMA called “Symptoms of Norah Jones Syndrome”.

    • xbt says:

      I went, it was great. I’m friends with Love Hewitt (that’s what she says to call her) and got to sit with her and Jeff Lynne. I’m not that much of a McCartney fan but I figured what the hell.

      He’s a great entertainer even if he’s not my cup of decaf and seeing him in such a weird venue was weird. “No shoplifting please!” indeed.

      After the show we were hanging out back at his hotel and there was a moment when the two of us were at the bar together alone. I’m not that much of a Beatles fan but I had a question I’d been wanting to ask him for a long time, so I went ahead and asked — “What’s it like to do it with a lady with one leg?”

      Kidding — I asked him if he was still steamed about Michael Jackson buying his song catalogue out from under him (I’ve done some work in the licencing world and I know what kind of money those songs make). His answer was, I’d have to say, polite but a little distant. But he’s a Beatle after all so I guess I’ll cut him some slack.

      Love the blog, Mr. A — keep it up, always highly amusing.

      • mcbrennan says:

        Z-kow, you were there too? I totally didn’t see you! But then again I was sitting behind Lynne, and who can see over his ELO-Fro? I think there’s a ferret living in there. Or a two-dollar drum machine. I was like eight rows back with Robbie Rist, and we had to make a break for it when Macca broke into his 14-minute extended-play “rap” version of “Let ‘Em In”. I lost count of all the names he dropped. Sister Susie, Brother John, Lex Luthor, Tony Orlando and Dawn…yes, Paul. Please list everyone you know. k thx. Think somebody needs to get grandpa back to the home in time for applesauce. Ended up at the Formosa til they kicked us out. Avoid the clams, Z. Seriously.

        Give Love my best. Ask her if she’s still dating Isadore Ivy, that ought to make her laugh.

  8. mcbrennan says:

    Disjointed 4am thoughts…

    I’ve enjoyed some of McCartney’s solo work. In particular, anytime I completely write him off as irrelevant and terrible, he usually comes out with an album I enjoy. Okay, he usually puts a few songs I enjoy on a new album. I particularly enjoyed some of the songs on …what the hell was it called? Chaos And Creation In The Backyard? “Jenny Wren” and “This Never Happened Before” and…some others. I enjoyed some of Flowers In The Dirt (though the syrupy overproduction was a letdown, especially as compared with the raw McCartney/Costello demos I’d heard). I like parts of Tug Of War quite a bit, especially in retrospect. And of course his 1970-75ish output has many nice moments. And many depressingly bad ones, but that’s nothing compared to “Pipes Of Peace” or “Press To Play” or “London Town”…

    Maybe it’s just me, but “Coming Up” always seemed like a not so subtle dig at Lennon and Yoko. Linda’s vocal is obviously imitating Yoko and the whole thing, lyrics, arrangement, etc, seems like a parody of Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” era. It certainly doesn’t sound like the rest of…what the hell was that, McCartney II?

    I think you hit upon a big part of it. McCartney is…you know, he kind of treats his audience like a long-suffering housewife. He’s already wooed and won us, and now he feels comfortable letting it all hang out. Once in a while we’d like him to get it together, make an effort, act like the stakes are high again, like studio time is limited and our attention is not assured and every note and every second matters. Instead he either expects us to indulge his every musical thought or he doesn’t care if anybody’s listening or not. Which is fine–some good experimentation can happen that way, but the results lack urgency and passion. That’s another thing: Beatles songs had to fight for space on Beatles albums with other Beatles songs. The results had to be especially good to even make the album. McCartney now competes with only himself, and he could release a four-disc set every year if it suited him. I think he’s been at his best when he was competing, pushing himself. I think his work, his career at this point, needs what any good protagonist needs–a clearly defined goal. So often it feels like he just makes albums because he’s always made albums and he doesn’t know what else to do with his time, like the grandfather that keeps going into work even though the company has long since stopped reading his memos.

    I like Paul. I cannot even begin to comprehend what the world would be like without his music. But if there’s one thing, above all else, that I feel has been lacking from a lot of his solo work, it’s emotional honesty. As you correctly note, he continues to experiment, continues to try and innovate. But there’s something missing, there’s an unsatisfying emptiness to so much of it, no matter how catchy the tune or how clever the arrangement. It’s as though he’s closed off from himself, afraid to reveal anything real. We look for guideposts in our music, we look for a resonance that speaks to the truth of our lives. “Hey Jude” had it. “Eleanor Rigby” had it. “C Moon”? “Spies Like Us”? “Dance Tonight”? Pish.

    Ah well. Nobody’s perfect. We expect too much of people like McCartney. He’s entitled to his life.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Disjointed 4am thoughts…

      Maybe it’s just me, but “Coming Up” always seemed like a not so subtle dig at Lennon and Yoko. Linda’s vocal is obviously imitating Yoko and the whole thing, lyrics, arrangement, etc, seems like a parody of Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” era. It certainly doesn’t sound like the rest of…what the hell was that, McCartney II?

      I guess that would explain “Frozen Jap” on that same album, a tune which has since been re-titled “Frozen Japanese” so as not to, you know, offend.

      I think he’s been at his best when he was competing, pushing himself.

      Well, theoretically he was still competing with John, but you couldn’t tell it by the records he put out, which won the competition only through sales, even when John’s work was weedy and embarassing in its own right (sorry). But more on that later.

      It’s as though he’s closed off from himself, afraid to reveal anything real.

      I don’t think that’s his problem. I think his problem is that he doesn’t feel anything real. There’s something cold, remote and small about his worldview. It’s kind of like Woody Allen, who still lives in his weird adolescent worldview no matter what is going on outside his window. So when he makes a movie like Anything Else, which is purportedly about actual young people in the actual 21st-century New York, they’re going to see Diana Krall at the Vanguard and bitching about expensive hotel rates. You see it in his interviews, where he always chipper and game but seems just one degree away from saying “Don’t forget that I’m Paul McCartney and I could end your career in music journalism before I finish my next sentence.”

      • mcbrennan says:

        Re: Disjointed 4am thoughts…

        Weedy and embarrassing, sir? I won’t have you knocking “Rock And Roll” or Harry Nilsson’s “Pussy Cats” or 8/10ths of “Walls and Bridges” or 230% of “Some Time In New York City” like that.

        “…in its own right” actually made me laugh out loud. I suspect this makes one or both of us Bona Fide Beatles Geeks. I spent ten minutes trying to figure out a natural way of working in a joke about “Sun King” being Lennon’s effort to throw Español in the works.

        You’re right about McCartney. I have a great fear of that insular thing that you mention, that emotional deadness. Not that I’m in any danger of obtaining that level of…let’s call it “success”. But still. Scarier still is how blind its victims seem to be to its effects. Sad to say that when I was a teen, I secretly wished Linda would break his heart and take all his money, so he’d have something real to write about. But even after poor Linda passed, even after this unpleasant business with the second wife, I still don’t get any feeling of it in his work. Odd, that. Again, I’m probably asking for him to share more of himself and perhaps he thinks he’s shared enough.

        • Todd says:

          Re: Disjointed 4am thoughts…

          When Lennon was killed, I got a call from my girlfriend of the time. We were both big John proponents and the news was devastating, a central event in our young lives on a level of 9/11. And I remember her first words were “Why couldn’t it have been Paul?!”

          And I remember thinking of the absurdity of that question, because obviously Lennon had been shot by a fan obsessed, and the fan had become obsessed because Lennon had given so much of himself through his work, so gladly exposed his innermost fears and dreams. Who could become obsessed with Paul McCartney on that level? Who could listen to “With a Little Luck” or “Secret Pigeon” or “Bip Bop” and think “My God! He’s talking to ME!

          I don’t think McCartney’s ever truly shared of himself. Look at the “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” single — two excellent songs with flawless production, both on the subject of childhood, nostalgia and memory. Lennon’s is obscure, internal and deeply personal, McCartney’s is superficial, anecdotal and amused. Both approaches are acceptable, but McCartney is not a diarist or a confessor — I think he doesn’t consider that part of his job description, I think he considers that somehow unbecoming of a professional artist.

          • popebuck1 says:

            Re: Disjointed 4am thoughts…

            I think you’ve put your finger on something – Paul McCartney would have been happily at home in the Tin Pan Alley of the ’20s or ’30s, churning out beautiful popular songs one after another with “soul-baring confessions” never considered anything akin to a job requirement. While Lennon would have been much more at home as a starving Romantic poet, living a life of absolute authenticity even if it meant he had to die of TB in a garret somewhere. Which was what made them such perfect complements for each other – they ended up with the best of both worlds.

            I always figured it to be a matter of quality control – McCartney was at his absolute best when he had an equal, Lennon, who was able to talk back to him and get him to throw out what didn’t work. After the Beatles, Paul’s first priority was to put together a band that wouldn’t question his authority, and I think his work has suffered from that lack ever since.

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: Disjointed 4am thoughts…

            That isn’t really true, Penny Lane is about Paul’s childhood memories of the places and things he experienced and rememered and that meant something to him.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Paul McCartney Wrote A Lot Of Great Rock Songs Even Some Hard Rock

    Obviously you couldn’t possibly have heard most of Paul’s music,he did a lot of great diverse music including a lot of great rockers even some hard rock in the early-mid 1970’s before and during early Wings which I think is his best post Beatles music period 1970-1975(the great 1975 Wings rock album Venus and Mars I think is last true great album)and he wrote and
    played a lot of great obscure album tracks and B-sides many which were better than the well known hits,although I like the hits too.

    Beware My Love for example(which mike8 didn’t include)is a great less known heavy Paul rocker and it’s the best song on the 1976 Wings At The Speed Of Sound album,Wings performed a pretty good rocking version on the very good live rock Wings album,Wings Over America.

    And John also wrote in addition to
    a lot of great rockers,some very sentimental songs even a few mushy did you ever hear his song for Yoko on his Mind Games album?As The All Music Guide rightfully says and points out,that the critical party line often champions Lennon as the angry realist rocker and McCartney as the melodic balladeer but they say this is a fallacy:each of them was capable in roughly equal measures of ballsy all-out rock and sweet romanticism.

    There are many Beatles song examples of this too,Paul even wrote some of their earliest very good rockers,I Saw Her Standing There in 1963 which many people have said is a very good rocker,I’m Down which the all music guide calls a peerless and one of the most frantic rockers in their entire catalog,and they said The Beatles proved that they could rock really really hard with this song,John’s I Feel Fine and Paul’s late 1964 blues rocker,She’s A Woman which they said was one of the hardest rocking early Beatles orginals and they said McCartney to often unfairly pegged as a sweet balladeer demonstrates that he was also one of the best white rock hard singers of all time with his shrill yet rich even ballsy vocal.

    He also wrote a lot of very good rock songs in their later career as did John but he also wrote quite a few beautiful love songs as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: Paul McCartney Wrote A Lot Of Great Rock Songs Even Some Hard Rock

      Also Paul won 13 grammy awards in his solo career,a doctorate of music from Sussex University in 1988 and a doctorate from Yale in 2008,and he has been in the Guiness Book of World Records since October 1979 when he got a spec ial award as the most successful song composer of all time!

      His early -mid 1970’s music was his best post Beatles music,his first solo album McCartney where he played every instrument by himself for the first time is a good album and he played so many instruments great,and he played every instrument again 10 years later on McCartney 2 (although I don’t like that album)his Wings albums Red Rose Speedway and Band On The Run are very good and only he and Denny Laine played every instrument on this album,and the 1975 Wings rock album Venus and Mars is a great album and he produced all of these albums too.There are 3 great songs on his second solo album Ram,Too Many People is a great rocker,Uncle Albert is brilliant and Back Seat of My Car is also very good.

      Paul was also already playing the guitar and writing his own songs at only 14 and started to soon after his mother Mary who was a nurse and a midwife died of breast cancer and he wrote the beautiful song Let It Be about her after he saw her alive in a realistic dream he had 12 years after she died,and she told him in this dream to just accept things as they are.He said in his authorized biography Many Years From Now that when he woke up he thought how wonderful it was to see her again.

      He also wrote the pretty song I’ll Follow The Sun when he was only 16.

      And Paul also played most of the instruments on his 1997 Flaming Pie album, and his 2 recent acclaimed popular albums, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, and Memory Almost Full. And John Paul Jones, David Gilmore, John Bonham & Pete Townsend all played on 2 songs with Paul and Wings on the last Wings album Back To The Egg, in 1979, and they played in the last Wings concert too in December 1979.

      Bob Dylan praised John,Paul and George in a 2007 Rolling Stone Magazine interview and said George Harrison was a very talented song writer in his own right but he said that he got stuck being the Beatles who had to fight to get his songs on their records because of Lennon and McCartney and he said well who wouldn’t get stuck?

      Bob also said that there were no better singers than John Lennon was and Paul was and still is and he said he’s in awe of Paul McCartney and he said he’s about the only one he’s in awe of and he said Paul can do it all,that he’s so damn effortless and that he’s never let up.

      I don’t like classical music but I would never say much less think that Beethoven,Mozart,and Bach were untalented hacks,I don’t like Bob Dylan either but I would also never think or say that he’s also an untalented hack because I would be making a total ignorant fool of myself!I believe that Beethoven,Mozart,and Bach were the brilliant composers they are widely considered to be,and I believe that Bob Dylan is one of the greatest song writers as he is widely considered to be.

      There is a lot of really ridiculous ignorant inaccurate garbage being said about The Beatles all over the place for years,one of the most ludicrious is that ever were a boy band.

      As The Rolling Stone Album Guide said,not liking The Beatles is as perverse as not liking the sun. And Ozzy Osbourne said not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxogen. And a guy who runs Keno’s Classic Rock n Roll Site and who runs a Rolling Stones and John Lennon fan site says damn The Beatles were one great group and he said in his great review of The Beatles 1962-1966 Red album, that if you don’t love or at least like The Beatles and their music then you are not a true rock fan and more than likely will never get it.

      Billy Joel also has said that you can’t like music and dislike The Beatles