Goddamn You, Paul McCartney

Goddamn You, Paul McCartney

via disappointing press release:

While many a musician is often asked about the tunes that have influenced their songwriting, it is not a question Paul McCartney ordinarily gets to answer – until now. Paul is about to offer a glimpse into “the songs which inspired the songs” with the upcoming release of a brand new album of those standards he grew up listening to in his childhood—plus two brand new McCartney compositions:  the album, which is currently untitled, will be released on Hear Music/Concord Records on February 7th 2012.

With the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band—as well as guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder, McCartney’s new album is a deeply personal journey through classic American compositions that, in some cases, a young Paul first heard his father perform on piano at home. As authentic and daring a musical statement as he could make, this is the album Paul has been thinking about making for more than 20 years – and probably the last thing his fans are expecting. “In the end it was ‘Look, if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it,” he says.

In short, Paul believes it is about time “the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on” received the recognition they deserve. Moreover, the record also features a couple of new original McCartney compositions in the spirit of those classics.

Matt Springer: To hear his new song before the stream was posted, you had to purchase a “premium membership” to his website, which costs $50.

Paul McCartney does not understand the Internet. the end.

Dave Lifton: Every project McCartney has done since Flowers in the Dirt has been marketed with the phrase, “It reminded me of the way we worked in The Beatles.”

Michael Parr: First Rod Stewart, now Macca? When was the last time McCartney had a top 10 record?

Jeff Giles: We’re living in the post-Amos Lee era. Everyone has a top 10 record. Shit, McCartney probably has something in the top 200 right now.

Springer: What does “post-Amos Lee” mean?

Giles: Amos had a Number One record! And it was aimed squarely at thoughtful dudes in their 30s! And you still don’t know who he is. That about sums up the charts in the 21st century, I think.

Parr: I should re-phrase that statement: when was the last time he released a record that sold like those American Songbook records?

Giles: I don’t know for sure, but I want to say that even Flowers and the ‘hits’ that came after didn’t do much better than gold.

Springer: This whole thing just goes to show how little I will ever understand Macca. I’m with Parr; it’s hard to see this as anything but a calculated move to attain a Rod Stewart level of success with old ladies. But why? Is he not rich enough yet?

Chris Holmes: How much you wanna guess he owns the publishing on these old chestnuts?

Giles: Ooh, that would be brilliant. And probably some kind of first, too.

Springer: “It’s just like we used to do with the Beatles, except I’m Allan Klein.”

Brian Boone: Springer wins Internet.

Jon Cummings: “The songs that inspired the songs” — would those be the songs that inspired “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Blackbird” and “Helter Skelter,” or the ones that inspired “Honey Pie” and “Rocky Raccoon” and “Crossroads Theme”? One of those albums I’m interested in … the other, not so much.

Dan Wiencek: I read one writer who suggested that “Rocky Raccoon” was actually conceived as a piss-take of “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest.”

Cummings: Could be. I’m just getting worried about the amount of cover material McCartney has cranked out. Someday, not too long after his death, some idiot at Capitol is going to think it’s a nifty idea to crank out a McCartney Sings the Golden Greats TV compilation — and there’s going to be four CDs’ worth of material to rearrange and repackage. I’ll be OK if this new set is full of stuff like his take on “Singing the Blues” from the Unplugged show — but not if it’s a string-laden wankfest.

David Medsker: Oh please. you just know that someone at Capitol has forced Macca to record that series of phenomes that Tom Cruise made Philip Seymour Hoffman say in Mission: Impossible III so they can manipulate his voice as they wish.

Wiencek: Cool, I think it’d be fun to have McCartney’s voice on my GPS. “It’s sort of very turn right, y’know.”

Lifton: “Go straight for a little while, then make unexpected detours. It’s kind of like what we did in the Beatles.”

Wiencek: And every five minutes, he tells the “movement you need is on your shoulder” anecdote.

Matthew Bolin: The thing that pisses me off is that there’s a ton of McCartney (or Lennon/McCartney tracks technically) tracks that he’s written for other people that he’s never officially recorded and released himself that I’ve heard demos for that top the finalized versions. I have literally thought for YEARS should be recording an album of those songs, such as:

  • Woman (not the Lennon song) and World Without Love, written for Peter and Gordon
  • Yvonne’s the One, written for 10cc (McCartney’s demo kick’s 10cc’s finished version’s ass)
  • On the Wings of a Nightingale, written for the Everly Brothers
  • Six O’Clock, written for Ringo
  • Come and Get It, written for Badfinger (yeah, there’s a version on Anthology 3, but it’s a demo he threw together in under an hour)
  • Goodbye, written for Mary Hopkin
  • Step Inside Love, written for Cilla Black

Plus there’s all the co-writes with Elvis Costello that only Elvis has recorded, and a bunch of others throughout his career. THAT’S an album I would actually pay money for.

Wiencek: That sounds like a pretty good album actually. There’s also “Let’s Love,” written for Peggy Lee.

Johnny Bacardi: “Let’s Love”…man, what a great song, at least as Peggy Lee sang it. I just recently heard it for the first time, so I haven’t had 30 years to get tired of it either!

  • Kyuss1

    Michael Parr might want to do a modicum of research before asking when McCartney last had a top 10 album.  Only 4 years ago he hit #2 on the Billboard album charts with Memory Almost Full.

  • Kyuss1

    Oh, and he also hit #8 on Billboards top 200 in late 2009 with Good Evening New York City.  

  • CraigoryVOL

    Yes, that’s more or less the point made by Mr. Giles. More in the sense that he pointed out the likelihood of Sir Paul having said ‘hits,’ less in the sense that no research is required; “Yeah, he’s probably had so-called ‘hits,’ but no big deal if you’ve never heard of them.”

  • jefito

    Indeed. And I’m sure Michael has heard of — in fact, probably owns — those records. His question, which he rephrased further down, was when McCartney last scored a hit as big as those godawful ‘American Songbook’ records — you know, a major seller with real pan-demographic appeal.

  • Joel Jambon

    Regarding the publishing ownership for the standards on the upcoming album:

    The tracklist is unofficial at this point, but of the rumored 14 tracks, 2 are new McCartney songs, 
    Only Our Hearts (McCartney)
    My Valentine (McCartney

    and 5 are owned by MPL Music Publishing (I verified at their website):

    I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter (Alhert/Young)
    More I Cannot Wish You (Loesser)
    We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me) (Dorsey/Robertson/Mysels)
    Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (Arlen/Mercer)
    The Inch Worm (Loesser)

    Which would make for 50% Macca owned songs, 50% not.

  • jefito

    Genius! Thanks for doing the legwork for this poorly researched impromptu roundtable.

  • Anonymous

    A Popdose rant about McCartney on December 23rd that doesn’t even passively mention “Wonderful Christmastime”? How do you sleep?

    New tune is nice, at least he’s not Auto-Tuning it this time around (see the live album from ’09 or at least the half-minute I heard before I’d had enough). But a standards album at large? I’d sooner retreat to Brian Wilson’s Disney tribute. (But that should go without saying.)

  • jefito

    That Disney record might be the least essential record of the year. What a pile.

  • Old_Davy

    I look forward to just about anything Paul does, but I might skip this. Besides, he’s already made two great albums of influential remakes mixed with a couple originals: “Choba B CCCP” (’91) and “Run Devil Run” (’99).

  • Anonymous

    Does it make you a sad Christmas goat?

  • Brett Alan

    Love the idea of Paul doing his giveaway songs. You missed my favorite: “Mine For Me”, which he gave to–and how appropriate is this to the discussion–Rod Stewart. Paul’s most personal love song, and maybe his best.

    “It’s sort of very turn right, y’know.” FOR THE WIN!

    Jon’s point is very well taken (although I need to take a moment to pedantically point out that Paul didn’t write “Crossroads Theme”). The main inspirations for Paul’s (and John’s) songwriting were the likes of Leiber & Stoller, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Goffin & King, the Bryants, Buddy Holly, and so on…not Frank Loesser or Harold Arlen.

    The track is nice, but at first listen hardly among Paul’s best.

  • JonCummings

    Mostly true, though Paul did quite obviously absorb a lot of British music-hall tradition from his parents (dad was, what, a trombonist? is that right?). It might be interesting to hear Paul interpret some of THAT Brit-centric material from the ’30s and ’40s. But honestly, did anyone ever think to himself, “How awesome would it be if Macca covered ‘Glow-Worm’ or ‘Ac-cen-chu-ate the Positive?” I forget, is Perry Como still alive for a duets album?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, a music-hall collection from Macca would be fun (if treading in Herman’s Hermits territory). Why not the Great British Songbook for a change?

    Perry Como passed away in 2001, but that shouldn’t stop anybody.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, a music-hall collection from Macca would be fun (if treading in Herman’s Hermits territory). Why not the Great British Songbook for a change?

    Perry Como passed away in 2001, but that shouldn’t stop anybody.

  • Side3

    If Macca released an “Abbey Road” quality album, he still would get criticized. He cannot win. He might as well do whatever he wants. He has certainly earned that right.

  • Anonymous

    What a pointless bitchfest.

  • Rich

    Exactly, ElizaBro!  Well said!