Sunday, March 4, 2012

Temporary Secretary


Temporary Secretary paulmccartney.filminspector.com
Paul McCartney enters the avant-garde with "Temporary Secretary."



"Temporary Secretary" is an experimental Paul McCartney tune from his solo "McCartney II" album released in 1980. For some reason, Paul's label released "Temporary Secretary" as a single with "Secret Friend" on the flip side. The "Temporary Secretary" single completely flopped and didn't chart anywhere, quite a rarity for McCartney at that point in his career. He bounced back soon enough with more No. 1 hits, so obviously "Temporary Secretary" was just a bump in the road.

Temporary Secretary paulmccartney.filminspector.com


Paul has said about "Temporary Secretary":
It’s like a disposable secretary, and it struck me as being funny. The song is written from the point of view of a fellow who just wants a disposable secretary, and he’s writing to a bureau to try and get one. I just like the idea. I just thought it was funny, you know, asking for a temporary secretary rather than a secretary. … That sound on the track, which is like a space typewriter, is a sequence machine. I used that to give me a tempo and, again, I just made the song up as I went along. It was a little influenced by Ian Dury.
Paul also has said:
I did have temporary secretaries. After I left Apple I still had business stuff coming up, so in trying to figure out how I could cope with that there were a couple of times I just grabbed someone to just put my letters in order and help. But that track isn’t about a specific person. What it’s about is, there was a guy called Alfred Marks, he had the Alfred Marks Bureau – he had the same name as a comedian on the radio when I was growing up. So it was just the funny paradox of seeing adverts for the Alfred Marks Bureau, the idea of some comedian having a bureau was just funny. It said ‘Temporary Secretary’, and I thought, that’s a kind of funky thought. Then there was the secretary thing: take a letter Miss Smith, sit on my lap… all that kind of stuff.
Well, if you can follow all that, you will probably love "Temporary Secretary." Critics were exceedingly kind and did not actually call "Temporary Secretary" the worst McCartney single they had ever heard, but their tip-toeing around that conclusion makes for interesting reading. For example, "Temporary Secretary" is described as "a manic, futuristic laser blast" but "muddled and confused." Well, one thing you don't want is a muddled and confused laser blast, so be careful who you play "Temporary Secretary" for.

Temporary Secretary paulmccartney.filminspector.com


As indicated by its lack of chart success, "Temporary Secretary" is not one of Paul's more beloved tunes. "Temporary Secretary" is filled with early electronic sounds that are somewhat jarring. Well, let's be honest, the sounds in "Temporary Secretary" are very jarring and sound like two cats going at it in the middle of the night. I realize that people who read these kinds of articles are invariably fans of a song looking for affirmation who are going to conclude that I know nothing at all about fine music because I am not a fan of "Temporary Secretary." However, the best I am will say about "Temporary Secretary" is that it is about on the same level as "Waterfalls" and hypnotic. "Temporary Secretary" is sort of a forerunner of electronic music... I don't know if you consider that to be a compliment or not. "Temporary Secretary" does kind of grow on you the more you listen to it. Temporary... secretary... temporary... secretary... temporary... secretary... temporary... secretary... "Temporary Secretary" does have a certain trance-like quality to it, which (hopefully) was the intent.

Temporary Secretary paulmccartney.filminspector.com
Paul McCartney playing "Temporary Secretary."

However, as with every single Paul McCartney song, there are those who love it and think it is the greatest thing that he ever did. No, seriously, they do. Paul also has played it in concert recently (probably because it's so easy to sing, it only requires a five-note range and is good for a breather), and it has gotten some play on the dance floors in recent years. Just be advised, "Temporary Secretary" is no "Here, There and Everywhere" or even "Helter Skelter." It's worth a listen just to hear how far-out Paul McCartney can go. Why he didn't put "Temporary Secretary" on one of his "Fireman" albums or the Thrillington album is a bit of a mystery, but then, McCartney has so much stuff in his desk to put out that it's probably difficult keeping track of where it should go.



Mister Marks can you find for me
Someone strong and sweet fitting on my knee
She can keep her job if she gets it wrong
Ah, but Mister Marks I won't need her long
All I need is help for a little while
We can take dictation and learn to smile
And a temporary secretary is what I need for to do the job

I need a
Temporary secretary, temporary secretaire
Temporary secretary, temporary secretary

Mister Marks could you send her quick
'Cause my regular has been getting sick

I need a
Temporary secretary, temporary secretary

Mister Marks I can pay her well
If she comes along and can stay a spell
I will promise now that I'll treat her right
And will rarely keep her 'til late at night

I need a…

She can be a belly dancer
I don't need a true romancer
She can be a diplomat
But I don't need a girl like that
She can be a neurosurgeon
If she's doin' nothin' urgent,
What I need's a temporary, temporary secretary

I need a, I need a
Temporary secretary, temporary secretary
Temporary secretary, temporary secretary
Temporary secretary, temporary secretaire

Now Mister Marks when I send her back
Will you please make sure she stays on the right track

SPOKEN:
Well, I know how hard it is for young girls these days
in the face of everything to stay on the right track

What I need's a temporary, temporary secretary
Temporary secretary
I need a
Temporary secretaire, temporary secretary,
Temporary secretary
I need a
Temporary secretary, temporary secretary,
Temporary secretary

Temporary Secretary paulmccartney.filminspector.com


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