Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Magical Mystery Tour - video



The vastly under-appreciated intro to the vastly under-appreciated movie. Unfortunately, the film was panned at the time because most people could only see it on their TV screens in black and white, which takes away the impact. The whole concept was just way ahead of its time, and several clips in the film later became genuine classics.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band - video



Paul still opens many of his concerts with this song - and, who can blame him? Obviously, from the album of the same name. Finally released as a single in 1978 and did quite well, all things considered. As everybody knows, this leads into Ringo's biggest moment as a member of the band.

When I'm 64



From the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine," Paul supposedly wrote this when he was 16. It's quite an amazing song for any age.

Eleanor Rigby - video


From the movie "Yellow Submarine," one of Paul's most respected compositions, especially at the time. That there really was an Eleanor Rigby buried in Liverpool only adds to the mystique of this classic. I am hard pressed, today, to think of a better marriage of images and music than this very early music video.

Penny Lane - video



How can you not like this song? Everybody's favorite Paul song, this song is about an actual street in his hometown of Liverpool, England. Ringo says the boys had trouble with the horses. This video is priceless just for the scenes of John Lennon strolling along the road like the coolest cat alive, everyone watching him in awe. I wonder if Paul took his persona "The Fireman" from this song?


"John and I would always meet at Penny Lane. We were writing childhood memories — pleasant memories for both of us." ~Paul McCartney

Hello, Goodbye



One of the earliest promo films, this no. 1 hit for the Beatles features Paul making faces at the camera.

Hey Jude - video

"Hey Jude" is the Ultimate '60s Anthem



It topped the charts for virtually the entire summer of 1968, which was the crest of the '60s spirit. The chart performance of this song ranks it with the greatest rock hits, probably the greatest if you take into account the cultural significance. Importance is measured by more than statistical artifacts, since all statistics are broken eventually just by sheer chance. Paul still does this in concert a lot, but it's just not the same. He wrote this for John Lennon's son on a ride through the countryside.

Let it Be - video



From "Let it Be," this no.1 hit has since become a standard. One of the best music videos ever made, if you ask me, just a straightforward performance of the song. Billy Preston nonchalantly knocks out the organ notes, George rips through the guitar solo, Ringo takes the occasional drag on a cigaret, just a splendid window on these sessions.

Long and Winding Road - video

"The Long and Winding Road" From the "Let It Be" Film



From "Let it Be," this was the Beatles' last hit, topping the charts when Paul's first solo album came out. This is one of the best music videos ever made, before the term was even invented.

Hope of Deliverance - video



From his "Off the Ground" album of 1993, this video is one of the last to feature Linda. Neither the song nor the album were particularly successful (though both did well in Germany for some reason), but, as always, Paul rebounded a few years later with "Flaming Pie."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ebony & Ivory - video



Video and song by Paul and Stevie Wonder. I never really could get my heart around this song, but it was a smash no. 1 hit, so it must have been good. From Paul's no. 1 "Tug of War" album, which I believe was his last solo US no. 1 (obviously, excluding the Beatles Anthology albums of the 1990s).

Say, Say, Say - video



Paul teamed with Michael Jackson on this song that appeared on Paul's "Pipes of Peace" album. It is Paul's biggest post-Beatles hit, spending six weeks at no. 1, no doubt helped by Jackson's popularity peaking right about then.

This is, I believe, the most ambitious music video of Paul's entire career. Personal note, I was on a ferry between Copenhagen and Turku in the Baltic in 1986 and was seated near some locals. They were speaking on and on about something or other in German, and then came the magic words "Say, Say, Say," the only thing I understood them say all night.

My Valentine - audio (and lyrics)



There's no music video for this song - he may have finally stopped making them, or just thought they would be unnecessary for this type of song. No matter, it has gone to top 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart, a very respectable showing. The album itself is a major success on a par with "Memory Almost Full" from 2007.

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five - Video



This was the "B" side to "Band on the Run." One of his great lesser-known songs. In those days, his throw-aways would have made the entire career of some other bands.

Goodnight Tonight - video



Paul's top ten hit "Goodnight Tonight" of 1979. Trying something completely different, he managed to start the entire New Romantic movement that led directly to Duran Duran. Of course, he never gets credit for stuff like that, which is why I'm here. ;) The album didn't do well, but the song did, which is unusual for him.

Anyway, this is Paul and the band being borderline goofy in their last hit as an intact band (unless you count 1980's "Coming Up" as a Wings hit).

Junior's Farm - video



Performance video from a TV special of Junior's Farm, a personal favorite. Nice shots of the entire Wings line-up.

Jet - video



Studio video of the making of "Jet."

Another Day - video



Paul's first post-Beatles single, went to no. 5 in the States. This is a nice video with scenes of Paul and Linda just relaxing and doing fun things. One gets the feeling they all needed a vacation after the Beatles breakup. Kind of a sad song, it's supposedly all about Linda.

Helen Wheels



Promotional film from the "Band on the Run" days. One of his lesser attempts in my very humble opinion, but it is one he seemed to enjoy.

Let 'Em In (alternative mix)

Wings Over America!



This underrated tune went to no. 2 in 1976 on the "Wings at the Speed of Sound" LP. This is from the famous "Wings Over America" concert footage. As is often the case with Paul songs, it sounds much, much better live than on the radio.


Listen to What the Man Said - Video



This appears to be the official promo film for this no. 1 hit of 1975. Great footage from Wings and shots of Linda and the very young McCartney children.

Coming Up - Video

Paul's First "Music Video"




This is Paul's music video for the song, which went to No. 1 in the summer of 1980. This was before MTV, but we can still consider this Paul's first true music video. Sure, The Beatles invented the modern music video, but they were called "promotional films" back then and they were done for different purposes. This video clearly was done to entertain a mass audience.

He played all the instruments on McCartney II, and did the same on the video. You can see him trying, sometimes awkwardly, to mimic famous artists of the past such as Buddy Holly, and some less famous ones, too. Who, precisely, he is "doing" in each case is the subject of some debate to this day.

I didn't particularly like this video when it came out (actually, I didn't see it until MTV started up a year later, or maybe I saw it once before then on one of those Friday Night video shows). But, it has grown on me over the years. The sheer artistry and control that Paul exercises here is stunning. He has this video diagrammed out like a mathematical code, everything perfectly timed and in rhythm. Even the "performers" who are out of step do so in a precise way. Linda also has a very nice appearance here, she really was an asset, no matter what some people choose to believe.

The version that got the most air play was a live performance in Glasgow, I will see if I can track a copy down.