Video of the Week: Paul McCartney Breaks Down His Most Iconic Songs

Video of the Week: The Endearing Wit of “Genius” Paul McCartney

I defy you not to love this treasure of a man, who displays fair comedic chops in addition to being the greatest pop songwriter of a generation. Some guys do indeed have it all.

Quora: What do you think of McCartney’s bass playing in Harrison’s “Something”? It seems to get mixed reviews.

(via (Quora) Answered by Jake Gerber, Musical Session Player

Put more succinctly : his playing is friggin BRILLIANT !!! I wish I was getting paid for this answer. In any event … I’ll commence with this. Anyone that doesn’t believe Paul put everything he had into Georges songs is mistaken. Paul took great pride in respect to everything he played. He upped the ante on three of George’s songs I can think of, two of which are on Abbey Road, the third on Revolver…

Paul’s playing on “ Something “ could be studied in a music theory class in university level. The first time you hear the song played through a proper playback system ( vinyl ) where you can actually hear the bass, you might think Paul was overplaying, there’s a lot of movement going on, and the songs a ballad which in popular music are rather restrained in respect to the bass lines, if indeed it even actually has a dedicated bass line per se…

Read more: https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-of-McCartneys-bass-playing-in-Harrisons-Something-It-seems-to-get-mixed-reviews

Video of the Week: Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney’s “Ram” Reconsidered

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(via CultureSonar) by Ken Hymes

In early 1971, with The Beatles involved in some bitter legal disputes with each other and with their own management, Paul McCartney recorded Ram with his wife Linda and three hired guns, guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, and drummer Denny Seiwell. The album was eviscerated by critics on its release, with Jon Landau and Robert Christgau particularly vicious in their assault on both the album and McCartney’s general reputation relative to John Lennon. Some writers were grudgingly complimentary about McCartney’s sheer mastery of the craft of production, but almost no one could be heard to support the material itself.

There has certainly been a reappraisal, with some glimmering that Ram represents not a failure to live up to The Beatles (or to the expectations of Village Voice writers), but rather a beginning of something new. Perhaps AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine is correct that “in retrospect it looks like nothing so much as the first indie pop album, a record that celebrates small pleasures with big melodies.”

Read more: http://www.culturesonar.com/ram-paul-mccartney/

The Surprising Chord That Helped Make “Penny Lane” a Masterpiece

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by Scott Freiman

via CultureSonar

McCartney pulls off a difficult songwriting feat by placing the verses and the choruses in neighboring keys (the verses are in B and the choruses are in A). At the end of the song, McCartney writes a key change so that the final chorus is in B, bringing the song full circle. Yet, it’s in the verse that McCartney injects a magical chord that helps make “Penny Lane” a case study in great songwriting. I’ll let you in on McCartney’s secret in this video.

Read more: http://www.culturesonar.com/penny-lane/

Ten Artists Sounding Uncannily Similar to Other Artists

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Welcome to our little homage to musical homage. The following ten artists, whether by willful attempt or sheer happenstance, managed to pull off amazingly credible imitations of more notable musical acts. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We’ll let you decide:

Dave Kerzner: “Stranded”

This Dark Side-era Pink Floyd sound-alike couldn’t possibly have happened by accident. Kerzner’s 2014 New World album, though it literally and figuratively shows its influences on its sleeve, is actually an outstanding progressive rock record in its own right. But “Stranded”, more than any song I’ve ever heard, shows an artist who’s assimilated the Floydian musical vocabulary.

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Lissie: “Further Away (Romance Police)”

Late-70’s Fleetwood Mac is revisited by singer-songwriter Lissie, complete with the Lindsey Buckingham guitar and Stevie Nicks vocals.

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Ali Thomson: “Take a Little Rhythm”

You may remember this #15 hit from 1980. If so, you almost surely thought it was Paul McCartney because it perfectly mimicked the sound of his late-70’s hits, not to mention the Tom Scott sax solo of “Listen to What the Man Said” and the prominence of the bass guitar in the mix. And also because who the hell is Ali Thomson?

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Jeremy Fisher: “Scar That Never Heals”

With all the stories floating around about Paul Simon cribbing musically from other artists it’s good to see another singer so “inspired” by Paul. Or so it sounds to me.

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Kingdom Come: “Get it On”

This one’s just brazen. From John Bonham’s thunderous drum sound to Robert’s Plant’s wail to a riff that, to say the very least, “evokes” Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”…come on, guys. I mean, that sound is taken. Get your own.

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Tyler Ramsey: “Stay Gone”

Neil Young is channeled on this one, though it’s not clear if Tyler Ramsey consciously does so. I hear echoes here of some of young Neil’s early 70’s tunes such as “Winterlong”.

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Band of Horses: “Long Vows”

Again with the Neil Young! Band of horses sound like they got hold of a Zuma outtake here. In a good way.

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UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Simon and Garfunkel Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kings of Convenience: “Homesick”

The Norwegian duo known as Kings of Convenience capture the close harmonies and intimate spare sound of “Scarborough Fair”-period Simon & Garfunkel on this one. Or as their own words in this very song describe it “two soft voices, blended in perfection”.

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Accept: “Balls to the Wall”

It seems in the world of 80’s metal you could scrape out a bit of a career merely by imitating an iconic act. Since their red hot career has presumably cooled off by now (unless like Spinal Tap they’re enjoying a revival in Japan) I wonder if it’s occurred to no-hit wonder Accept–and to the previously mentioned Kingdom Come for that matter–that there’s always a living to be made as a tribute band? Who could better fill the AC/DC void now that Brian Johnson has called it quits?

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Tin Tin: “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”

In case you’re not conversant with late-60’s pop, or old enough to remember that the Bee Gees had quite a successful career before anyone had ever heard of disco, Aussie duo Tin Tin was pretty much exactly what the Gibb brothers sounded like from about 1968 to ’72. It’s not a shock that Maurice Gibb produced the quaint “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”, Tin Tin’s only U.S. top 40 hit and a long-forgotten chestnut. It carries the stately sound of contemporaneous Bee Gees hits such as “Lonely Days” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”.

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