ARTIST: Paul McCartney
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #2 UK
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe I’m Amazed, Every Night
LINEUP: Paul McCartney. Linda on some backing vocals.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A mostly home-recorded album that is mostly daft but sometimes brilliant.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: NOTE: As you may have guessed, I’m treating Paul McCartney solo separate from Wings. Carry on.
Starting out as a couple of recordings designed to test his home equipment, Paul’s first solo album grew into a full blown album after it was clear the Beatles weren’t going to get back together. Released and gobbled up by an eager public in 1970, it showed the brilliant Paul alongside the annoying Paul in one fell swoop.
Songs like “Every Night”, “Maybe I’m Amazed” and the instrumental “Hot As Sun” show McCartney’s gifts in full – in melody, structure and harmony along with a prowess at most every instrument. A few other songs are decent enough. Then…well….
“Hot As Sun” is rather spoiled by a silly experiment on wine glasses tagged on the end. A few songs are instrumental improvisations, half-formed songs, experiments best left in the vault, or pieces that really needed a John Lennon quality-control opinion. (“Junk” is one of my all-time can’t –stand-it’s and it was always rejected by the Beatles for good reason. Same with “Teddy Boy” – gack.)
Paul had an EP’s worth of material and made it an LP. It wouldn’t be the last time he did that.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Paul basically announced the Beatles were splitting up on the press release for this album, leaving the rest of the group none-too-pleased. It was viewed by the other three as premature, hasty, or bad timing. Take your pick.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, live cuts from later tours and a couple of outtakes. Yes, believe it or not “Oo You” made the record over some other songs.
GRADE: C: His best solo song, “Maybe I’m Amazed”, is stuck on this lemon.