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-   -   Notes on Review of McCartney's Memory Almost Full (http://www.avrev.com/forum/best-new-music/521-notes-review-mccartneys-memory-almost-full.html)

SKP 08-27-2007 12:22 AM

Notes on Review of McCartney's Memory Almost Full
 
It's Prince Charles' fault. I asked him for permission to review Sir Paul McCartney's latest solo album for AudioVideo Revolution, tho I knew it was your basic audio CD. Prince Charles Andrews, AvRev's Music Editor, green-lit it nonetheless.

Then I bought the album at Starbucks and listened to it carefully, and with the exception of one song, "Everpresent Past," thought it was roobish. The album actually made me very angry, a first in 32 years of reviews.

But it's not my usual MO to publicly trash stuff I dislike; I most often chuck it and review something else I think is more worth the space. I phoned Sir Charles and told him all the reasons I didn't want to review Sir Paul's CD. Charles listened to me intently, then said, "Well, there's your review!" Spoken like a true editor. And he was right, of course.

So I put my impressions in writing, and submitted a review guaranteed not to endear me to anyone in the McCartney camp. C'est la vie. It's posted right now through Aug. 31, 2007 on the AudioVideo Revolution home page, in the Music Reviews index.

Here's the direct link to the archive in case you miss it:
Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full | Music Review | AVREV

I'd be interested to know what your take is on the album, my review, and Sir Paul's everpresent past.

Speaking of AvRev's Music Reviews Archive, it's a fabulous resource that will be all the more valuable when it's searchable, and you can find all the reviews by the writer as well as the artist, etc. This will come to pass soon.

Meanwhile, I've assembled a list of the reviews I've done for AvRev during Prince Charles' reign in my nonexistent spare time. Each has been worth the effort for reasons way beyond any compensation (it's never been about the money). When you have a few minutes to spend, I hope you enjoy them and share your thoughts about them in the Forum as well.

01-01-07: The Beatles, LOVE (CD)
The Beatles - LOVE Review

09-01-06: Bob Dylan, The Best of Bob Dylan (CD) Bob Dylan - Best Of Bob Dylan Review

08-01-06: Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards: It's Tight Like That (CD)
Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards - It's Tight Like That Review

07-01-06: The Beatles: The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 (4 CDs)
The Beatles - The Capitol Albums Vol. 2

03-01-06: John Lennon: Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon (2 CDs)
John Lennon Working Class Hero

01-01-06: Loggins & Messina's Sittin' in Again Live... (CD)
Loggins & Messina Live: Sittin’ In Again at the Santa Barbara Bowl

12-01-05: Herbie Han****'s Possibilities (CD)
http://www.avrev.com/music/revs/herbie_han****.shtml

12-01-05: Les Paul & Friends' American Made World Played (CD)
Les Paul & Friends American Made, World Played CD review

11-01-05: Cream's Live at Royal Albert Hall (CDs + DVDs)
Cream - Live at Royal Albert Hall CDs + DVDs Review

10-01-05: daKAH Hip-Hop Orchestra's San Francisco Debut (CD)
daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra - San Francisco Debut CD Review

-- Stephen K. Peeples, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Stephen K. Peeples: Grammy-Nominated Record Producer, Award-Winning Radio Producer, Writer, Editor, Photojournalist, Web Editor and Marketing Consultant

narcoticprayer 08-27-2007 11:04 AM

Re: Notes on Review of McCartney's Memory Almost Full
 
SKP,
I too am a person that appreciates all things Beatles and Macca (although my lapel button said "I Love John"). I have to say that I concur almost entirely on your review of MAF and I would have preferred him to name it Memory Almost Done for obvious reasons.
Sir Paul did this to me once prior with McCartney II which some of my friends see as experimental and testy and I see as experimenting on my Testees.
Considering the breadth and depth of his work (which can only be classified as pure musical genius) I'd like to give him a break, but can't.
Another way to put it MAF is to Macca's best work what Mel Brooks "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" is to Blazing Saddles. You know it's by the same person because they've put their name on it, but you have to question whether or not you're in Bizarro World.
PLUS; I think it's entirely appropriate to take out the whipping stick every once and while, as long as you're willing to reconsider at a later date and admit you were wrong about something you just didn't get. I have friends who force me to eat crow quite regularly when I spin out. PEACE

mrmusic 08-27-2007 11:36 AM

Re: Notes on Review of McCartney's Memory Almost Full
 
Ah, Stephen, so now you're afraid that because you spoke truth to power someday you may have the thrill of a face-to-face with Sir Paul instantly shattered by his lighting into you for what you wrote.
Faggetaboutit.
A, he probably never reads his reviews. B, would he care? C, would he remember? (It's almost full, y'know.) D, would he associate your name, upon hearing it, with that review? E, you didn't trash his album that much. So your son's buddies hated it. But they played it twice! Probably once more than I could handle. It wasn't til the end that you wrote you yanked it out of the disc player and wanted to hurl it out the window. But you said more nice things about it before that than it surely deserves.
Here ya go -- if Paul McBurger reads what's written about him at AVRev, I'll now take the heat off you:
with the exception of about half of his first solo/eponymous album (which was mostly songs that were supposed to be on the never-made Beatles album Hot as Sun, and which he mostly wrote while still ostensibly a Beatle), very very very little of his output over 35 years is worth the gag response risk of even one listen.
"Live and Let Die" -- a one-off soundtrack shot, HIS ONLY REALLY GOOD POST-FAB SONG past "Maybe I'm Amazed," it takes the awesome James Bond mythos to inspire him to write a decent rocker.
Band on the Run? -- everyone points to, good album they always say -- don't make me laugh. Name one decent song. "Jet"!? Band with the Runs.
"Uncle Albert"? "Silly Love Songs"? Not only did John have a far more credible post-Fab 4 career, even George wound up with a catalog of more good songs.
The Beatles were truly a whole much greater than their parts, and it became clear with the first few solo releases by all four that they kept each others' lame proclivities in check.
Fear not, Stephen,Paul ain't the type to deck you. Back in my college days in Albuquerque, I found myself threateningly surrounded backstage by some lame name band I thought took way too many drugs to remember what I wrote about them the year before. Having escaped with only psychic injury, I should have given up music criticism right then. I would probably have a life and a bank account by now.

SKP 08-29-2007 12:15 AM

Re: Notes on Review of McCartney's Memory Almost Full
 
Prince Charles:

Your premise of my fear of reprisal or getting whupped by the subject of a negative review must be a projection of your own experience upon my own. I don't share that fear, probably because it never happened.

In particular, I fear no former Beatle, nor did I ever entertain ever having any direct contact with him. I would have said BFD, but I thought c'est la vie would be a little more appropriate given the readers here.

But thanks for stepping up to defend me from bullies. Where the &$)*&%+@% were you when I was in the 5th grade, and suffered more than psychic damage?!?

Of course, you know I know the value Lennon brought to the Fabs, and the quality of his post-Fabs solo stuff. Even at its worst, his filler and a lot of his unreleased stuff were better than most A-line stuff from the others, as further confirmed by listening to his personal archives as the original producer of "The Lost Lennon Tapes" series (the first 128 hour-long shows, early 1988 to mid-1990 [much-bootlegged -- f**k you very much], after which everything was a hack-job rehash by others I will not name here).

As noted in my "Memory Almost Full" review, part of Macca's post-Beatles problem was not having someone like Lennon as a sounding board, collaborator and editor. Someone to add a little weight. Someone he trusted enough to follow his/her advice: "Paul, that's a load of bollocks. Roll the tape back over it. What else ya got, mate?" Apparently, no one since Lennon has had the cojones to play that role effectively.

You reffed Wings' "Band on the Runs" album; my nickname for it was "Bland on the Run." But we digress. Going from lightweight to lame to barely listenable is not the direction we'd like to see such an icon go. Like Frank Sinatra -- dude, call it a career, go out swingin'.

McCartney's still a killer live, as of the "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" tour a couple years ago and his promo set at Amoeba in Hollywood in June 2007 (as reported by close personal friends of yours), with a great band and an unparalleled body of work from which to choose; most of his players are young enough to be his kids or grandkids, but they know every Beatles riff and must have some sense that they're responsible for echoing some very precious memories.

And what was the name of that band in the Land of (Dis-)Enchantment that almost gave you a wedgie?

SKP 08-29-2007 12:22 AM

Re: Notes on Review of McCartney's Memory Almost Full
 
Thanks, NarcoPrayer. I'll have to check out more of your stuff!


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