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Paul McCartney - under appreciated?

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1 hour ago, lowdown said:

Not guilty, M'lud. It must be another Lowdown.

:D

 

1 minute ago, silverfoxnik said:

Apologies 🙏😁

 

[ELO] There's gonna be a Lowdown [/ELO]

 

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1 hour ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Whatever happened to Blue? Is he still around? He'd love this.

I posted that a few pages earlier, and even tagged him - no reply :/

@Bluewine - you still out there?

 

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11 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

I posted that a few pages earlier, and even tagged him - "no reply" :/

 

I see what you did there!

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6 minutes ago, SteveK said:

I see what you did there!

This happened once before...

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'Eight Days A Week'.

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On 30/03/2021 at 21:22, Pseudonym said:

That makes sense, I think. There are very few musicians who are simultaneously (a) distinctive instrumentalists, (b) prolific and astute composers and/or lyricists, (c) charismatic performers, (d) long-lived contributors to a musical canon, and (e) willing to experiment even after decades. If McCartney were merely the bassist he is, that would make him noteworthy -- his technique was quite radical in the early 1960s. A creative or performing artist who works well within his limits is not necessarily inferior to a virtuoso who works perfectly within pre-existing limits.

I wonder if the fact that McCartney is notable for several reasons possibly dilutes critical evaluation of his specific abilities. Also, he can come across as a man who never outgrew the arrogant humility that he embodied as a young man. He is, perhaps, more gauche than we expect from an iconic musician. He's not Bowie, or Miles Davis. McCartney was never particularly cool. He was simply extremely good at what he did. Had he simply thought of himself as a bass player, rather than treating his bass playing as one ingredient among several, he might now be lionised for that alone. But in some ways he is too much of a cheerful, normal, sometimes foolish man to inhabit the persona of greatness.

See, here's the thing. You say all that as if it were incontrovertible fact. Granted he's been hugely successful over 5 decades, and he's a prolific songwriter. The rest though, I totally disagree with (apart from the arrogance, that is true. I have met him and he's a git). The world would not miss a single one of his songs, in my opinion. He's a good bassist, but no more than that. He bores me, to be honest

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Posted (edited)
On 02/04/2021 at 03:12, neilp said:

See, here's the thing. You say all that as if it were incontrovertible fact. Granted he's been hugely successful over 5 decades, and he's a prolific songwriter. The rest though, I totally disagree with (apart from the arrogance, that is true. I have met him and he's a git). The world would not miss a single one of his songs, in my opinion. He's a good bassist, but no more than that. He bores me, to be honest

Your disagreement is noted. Obviously, all posts of this kind make assertions. You might notice that I do not say McCartney necessarily meets the critieria I mention, merely that I offer possible reasons why (a) some think he is great, and (b) others really do not. In that sense, I am not asserting facts. I am merely proposing criteria in relation to an inherently critical topic.

It is up to you, or to anyone, to judge for yourself whether you think McCartney is one of those musicians who meets the criteria I set out in the first sentence. Obviously, you do not, but I don't have any sense of whether you think the yardsticks themselves are invalid. Second sentence, regarding noteworthy technique, by now has a critical consensus that appears robust. That is about historical significance more than technique per se, of course. Third sentence about virtuosity is, again, a stipulated critical perspective, widely shared by aficionados of popular music (and acting, visual art, literature etc) regarding all but the most strictly formalised modes of creativity. (It is also why it is pointless to compare classical performance with improvised jazz, for example.) But the notion that the world would not miss a single one of his songs seems a little far-fetched, given that they still sell and it is not hard to find enthusiasts young enough to be McCartney's great-grandchildren.

This is ultimately a commercialised form of music we are talking about. He doesn't need to be Mozart. I don't rate him as an artist the way I rate numerous other well-known figures. But I don't think his longevity and appeal are any great mystery. Craftsmen also endure. As much as the Beatles were more than the sum of their parts, perhaps McCartney is one of those artisans who is more than the sum of his abilities. Whether he bores you or not, I assume you would agree that not everyone shares your view. I am more interested in the structure of his appeal to those who like his work, because an individual's boredom doesn't really need explication if it provides no general rule. If McCartney bored everyone, your boredom would be interesting. As it is, it is a matter of taste, and I completely respect that.

He might be a git. He might be a git sometimes. He might be a git to you. Does it really matter? A gobby taxi driver who gets me to Heathrow in record time still gets a big tip from me.

Edited by Pseudonym
Typographical error
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5 hours ago, neilp said:

 The world would not miss a single one of his songs, in my opinion. 

You would be wrong. There are probably lots of his songs (as many songs) that are very important to some people - songs they met by, songs that were last playing when someone went, etc. Songs bring back memories of people and places, and so it would be hard to have any song that someone in the world wouldn't miss. So the world needs all the songs it has

 

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5 hours ago, neilp said:

 The world would not miss a single one of his songs, in my opinion.

so what you mean is, you wouldn't miss a single one of his songs, which is fair enough, not sure you're qualified to speak for the whole world 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Woodinblack said:

... So the world needs all the songs it has

I'm sure it won't miss many of mine. :$

...

xD

Edited by Dad3353
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On 02/04/2021 at 14:52, Pseudonym said:

Your disagreement is noted. Obviously, all posts of this kind make assertions. You might notice that I do not say McCartney necessarily meets the critieria I mention, merely that I offer possible reasons why (a) some think he is great, and (b) others really do not. In that sense, I am not asserting facts. I am merely proposing criteria in relation to an inherently critical topic.

It is up to you, or to anyone, to judge for yourself whether you think McCartney is one of those musicians who meets the criteria I set out in the first sentence. Obviously, you do not, but I don't have any sense of whether you think the yearsticks themselves are invalid. Second sentence, regarding noteworthy technique, by now has a critical consensus that appears robust. That is about historical significance more than technique per se, of course. Third sentence about virtuosity is, again, a stipulated critical perspective, widely shared by aficionados of popular music (and acting, visual art, literature etc) regarding all but the most strictly formalised modes of creativity. (It is also why it is pointless to compare classical performance with improvised jazz, for example.) But the notion that the world would not miss a single one of his songs seems a little far-fetched, given that they still sell and it is not hard to find enthusiasts young enough to be McCartney's great-grandchildren.

This is ultimately a commercialised form of music we are talking about. He doesn't need to be Mozart. I don't rate him as an artist the way I rate numerous other well-known figures. But I don't think his longevity and appeal are any great mystery. Craftsmen also endure. As much as the Beatles were more than the sum of their parts, perhaps McCartney is one of those artisans who is more than the sum of his abilities. Whether he bores you or not, I assume you would agree that not everyone shares your view. I am more interested in the structure of his appeal to those who like his work, because an individual's boredom doesn't really need explication if it provides no general rule. If McCartney bored everyone, your boredom would be interesting. As it is, it is a matter of taste, and I completely respect that.

He might be a git. He might be a git sometimes. He might be a git to you. Does it really matter? A gobby taxi driver who gets me to Heathrow in record time still gets a big tip from me.

I must admit, a gobby taxi driver would get little or no tip from me, record time or not, but I have a less transactional view of the world than most. I'm not interested in how popular and lauded McCartney is, but if YOU want to tell me what you find exciting and moving about his music, I'm all ears. This is all totally subjective and entirely a matter of taste. The fact that he made a huge bucketload of money means absolutely nothing to me. The fact that he's a git is more relevant. I've met him several times and observed him consistently being gittish to me and other people he regarded as insignificant.

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26 minutes ago, neilp said:

I must admit, a gobby taxi driver would get little or no tip from me, record time or not, but I have a less transactional view of the world than most. I'm not interested in how popular and lauded McCartney is, but if YOU want to tell me what you find exciting and moving about his music, I'm all ears. This is all totally subjective and entirely a matter of taste. The fact that he made a huge bucketload of money means absolutely nothing to me. The fact that he's a git is more relevant. I've met him several times and observed him consistently being gittish to me and other people he regarded as insignificant.

must admit I've never heard of him being gittish, not saying he isn't, any examples? my partners ex husband used to work at a TV studio and he said the same of Des O'Conner lovely bloke when the cameras were on, and an ar5ehole when they weren't

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I dunno if you can call him under rated really. He shows up on every list of the best or most influential bassists, and he's the only reason (in my opinion) why Hofner are still in business and the violin bass is still a top seller, when it would otherwise have been confined to the dustbin of history...

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1 minute ago, PaulWarning said:

must admit I've never heard of him being gittish, not saying he isn't, any examples? my partners ex husband used to work at a TV studio and he said the same of Des O'Conner lovely bloke when the cameras were on, and an ar5ehole when they weren't

I think these stories abound about so many celebrities /notable people... 

I'm a life-long Bowie fan and these days, since his passing in 2016, it's hard to find anyone anywhere going to print (so to speak) being critical of his personality. But there are plenty of stories about what an insufferable ego manic he was during long phases of his career - particularly the 1970s...

Knowing all that about Bowie doesn't change my opinion about his musical/artistic output, though I suspect if I'd met him and he'd been nasty or rude to me personally, I might feel differently. 

I'm with @Dad3353 in knowing full well that the world wouldn't miss any of my songs - hell, they don't even know about them anyway thankfully! But I think that the numbers infer that there literally are millions of people who would miss a fair number of McCartney's songs if they were somehow to be withdrawn from the Earth's pop music playlist. 

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I’ve never met him but the few people I know who have - in a working environment, not as fans - didn’t have anything bad to say about him.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, neilp said:

I must admit, a gobby taxi driver would get little or no tip from me, record time or not, but I have a less transactional view of the world than most. I'm not interested in how popular and lauded McCartney is, but if YOU want to tell me what you find exciting and moving about his music, I'm all ears. This is all totally subjective and entirely a matter of taste. The fact that he made a huge bucketload of money means absolutely nothing to me. The fact that he's a git is more relevant. I've met him several times and observed him consistently being gittish to me and other people he regarded as insignificant.

Summoned as I am by an upper-case challenge, a full reply might settle this non-argument.

1. I don't care about his money one way or another. I don't really care about my money either, but a taxi driver often does and I do care about getting where I need to be without worrying about being late. My point: sometimes money represents intangible, unquantifiable aspects of life.

2. I don't care if he's a git. I'm not asking him to join me for dinner. If he treats people badly, that reflects poorly on him (as it does on anyone), but after all the lyrics for "Yesterday" aren't "Yesterday/Hurry up with my sandwich you grotty nobody". Most listeners aren't going to experience that side, they merely hear the music.

3. Taste is subjective but also indicative. When a lot of people share a taste, there might be any number of reasons for that. I'm interested in the reasons, which are complex, rather than in the subjectivity of aesthetic responses, which is obvious but unlikely to shed light on anything.

4. I don't care about popularity or lionisation except as phenomena. What I like isn't especially popular except when it is. Popularity would be a meaningless measure of anything I do, except when it isn't. Being lauded and being popular only overlap sometimes (cf. thread on Banksy). McCartney's popularity in 1964, or 1980, are less interesting to me than his durability as an exponent of musical genres that are not as fleeting and short-lived as their commercial dimensions suggest they might be.

5. My subjective view? Well, okay.

I formed my initial musical tastes in popular music from whatever Radio 1 played throughout the 1970s. That included some truly impressive moments (Bowie, Roxy Music, Slade at their most cheerful, Elvis Costello at his most acerbic, etc). There was much dross, of course; there always is. The Beatles remained popular and got played a lot; their stuff just worked like all the other stuff to my ahistorical ears. I knew it was "old" (i.e. not made last month), but I liked it anyway. So, lesson in the obvious for the young 'un: catchy songs endure. And McCartney was responsible for quite a lot of them. Wings didn't impress in the same way but did confirm that he was still in the game.

McCartney II came out in 1980 with "Coming Up" on it. It isn't Bowie with "Fashion" or some similar display of acute musical antennae, but it does reveal a musician with a taste for incorporating new-found elements into his own work simply because he likes them and thinks he can use them. Another lesson: things change, and open-mindedness applies in all directions. I could like PiL, Madness, and "Coming Up" at the same time -- and then find Macca's Christmas single silly but oddly catchy. I saw that I might not be his audience for everything, but there is more than one audience. He is a populariser; including rather than excluding. Does he do it to make money? Sure. Does he only do it to make money? Of course not. He's having fun, and that comes across the way even a mediocre film can be elevated by an ensemble that is obviously having a whale of a time. And this was significant for me, an anxious child who quite obviously overthinks everything. Sometimes, having fun is a virtue in itself.

I went back to the Beatles and listened property. It's like nothing else and everything else: a wide range of musical antecedents transmuted into songs realised at such a clip that they retain their spontaneity. They are seldom overworked. Many people deserve credit -- George Martin being the one everyone points to -- but McCartney is certainly crucial. Studio experiments; harmonies that evoke pre-modern chants; a transatlantic gumbo of styles worn lightly; and energetic performances from a band that was learning as they went, and which quickened the transition from studio as venue to studio as laboratory. Listening to the Beatles in the early 1980s was an education in itself. In 1981 I was teased for it by the kids who in 1989 were in love with it. Lesson: massive popularity does not preclude artistic validity. Were the Beatles a literary phenomenon, that artistic merit would be less clouded by the stigma of adolescent adulation.

What do I find exciting and moving about his music? To be honest, I am lukewarm about most of his post-Beatles music, with a few exceptions, but I respect what he does with it. I respect the fact that an overpetted moptop still has the urge to form an ambient techno group with Youth. I respect the fact that he is obviously inclined to be a crowdpleaser until he drops, like he's Tony Bennett. But exciting and moving? Well, I associate Abbey Road, the last thing the Beatles recorded, with the frenzied, intoxicated lovemaking that characterised the breakdown of my first serious relationship. It's the sound of something that knows it is dying but is compelled to pretend otherwise, the sound of emotional demolition. I associate the guitar solo of "Taxman" with the transition of my taste -- and, crucially, the personal values that taste signifies -- toward the kind of jagged loss of self that I still try to invoke when I play the guitar to try to stay halfway willing to live. I hear in McCartney's bass playing a path through my own musical limitations as I pick up the four-string after 40 years with six thin ones.

But, if were are going to get close to the bone, so be it: in the hours before my wife died, I played her six tracks. Five of them were mine. The other was "Things We Said Today". If you can write a song that captures so sweetly the sense of love beyond the reach of communication, you deserve McCartney's money, but I'll lay odds you can't.

I question the premise that we can draw a general rule from your own subjective dismissal of a musician because he was unkind to you and you don't like plutocrats.

Edited by Pseudonym
Typographical error
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On 02/04/2021 at 11:12, neilp said:

See, here's the thing. You say all that as if it were incontrovertible fact. Granted he's been hugely successful over 5 decades, and he's a prolific songwriter. The rest though, I totally disagree with (apart from the arrogance, that is true. I have met him and he's a git). The world would not miss a single one of his songs, in my opinion. He's a good bassist, but no more than that. He bores me, to be honest

It always makes me wonder why people who profess to dismiss the Beatles and all their music will happily trawl through page after page of a thread merely to state their contempt. I have no time for many musical acts so I ignore any reference to them. Its much easier. There again modern music would be nothing like it is now without the fab four, so perhaps that rankles with some if they dont "get it".

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4 hours ago, silverfoxnik said:

I think these stories abound about so many celebrities /notable people... 

I'm a life-long Bowie fan and these days, since his passing in 2016, it's hard to find anyone anywhere going to print (so to speak) being critical of his personality. But there are plenty of stories about what an insufferable ego manic he was during long phases of his career - particularly the 1970s...

Knowing all that about Bowie doesn't change my opinion about his musical/artistic output, though I suspect if I'd met him and he'd been nasty or rude to me personally, I might feel differently. 

I'm with @Dad3353 in knowing full well that the world wouldn't miss any of my songs - hell, they don't even know about them anyway thankfully! But I think that the numbers infer that there literally are millions of people who would miss a fair number of McCartney's songs if they were somehow to be withdrawn from the Earth's pop music playlist. 

I like some of Bowies music too, but I can't really call myself a fan, because of all the under-age girl stuff.

Not that I think he's alone in that. I think it goes for 90% of rock stars from his era, and a significant number today. Its just harder to overlook with people like Bowie cuz it's so well documented.

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Posted (edited)

I've never been a huge fan of the Beatles or Paul's solo projects.

I have the best of Paul McCartney and Wings and recently listened to Sgt Peppers for the first time. (i'm 61) 

Altho i really enjoyed a lot of the hits as just great songs i had never really listened to the bass part. Its not technically fast or difficult but he knows exactly what to play at the right time. His bass fits into the songs so well.

Altho still not a huge fan of the Beatles i did find a new respect for Paul McCartney's bass playing.

Some of Wings hits were brilliant like Jet and Band On the Run to name a few. 

My first single was All My Loving when i was 4 yrs old for my birthday plus i had a plastic Beatles wig and guitar as a 4 yr old. Maybe the Beatles were a bigger influence than i thought.

Dave

1368914981_Davidcirca1964(enhancedimage).jpg.4fd5f1ed5c423722b6bc5224ea63dcb6.jpg

Edited by dmccombe7
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On 03/04/2021 at 19:25, mikel said:

It always makes me wonder why people who profess to dismiss the Beatles and all their music will happily trawl through page after page of a thread merely to state their contempt. I have no time for many musical acts so I ignore any reference to them. Its much easier. There again modern music would be nothing like it is now without the fab four, so perhaps that rankles with some if they dont "get it".

You didn't read the rest. I love the Beatles. I was joining in a discussion about whether Paul McCartney was under appreciated. The Beatles I absolutely "get". McCartney? Nope. No contempt involved, but I don't find him a likeable person, and I don't particularly like his musical output. My view, I'm not demanding that you should agree, so why would it upset you that I express my view?

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9 hours ago, neilp said:

You didn't read the rest. I love the Beatles. I was joining in a discussion about whether Paul McCartney was under appreciated. The Beatles I absolutely "get". McCartney? Nope. No contempt involved, but I don't find him a likeable person, and I don't particularly like his musical output. My view, I'm not demanding that you should agree, so why would it upset you that I express my view?

Upset me? Hardly. I believe you said "The World would not miss one of his songs", sounds contemptuous to me. As he was probably responsible for about half the Beatles output I don't see how you can love them.

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Posted (edited)

Paul here illustrates in song what I consider must have been a flashpoint moment in popular music when Elvis took a well established C&W standard and turned it into Rock&Roll.

Written by Bill Monroe in 1945 as a waltz it was a Bluegrass number. What would he have thought when he first heard Elvis singing it?

McCartney 1st sings a Monroe version then the Elvis & does a good job of both. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18LhkDgtbOY

Edited by grandad
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