Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Macca

I would be remiss to bypass a birthday greeting to Paul McCartney who turned 69 today. My passion for pop music was fueled by The Beatles. To this day their music is an integral part of my heart and soul. But this day belongs to Paul alone, so I picked an old chestnut from his magnificent second solo album Ram. Too Many People was seen by some - including Mr. Lennon - as a poke at his former bandmate. Even if it is true, the poke was understated and good humored. Certainly nowhere nearly as offensive as the attacks that were made against him back in the early days after the breakup.

Regardless, Too Many People is a little Beatlesque treasure, with the prerequisite awesome bass line, Linda's simple harmonies, and a guitar solo that never ceases to amaze me. When Ram was released I was somewhat underwhelmed. But over the years it has grown and grown to the point that I now rank it with Band on the Run as Paul's finest post-Beatles work.

Happy birthday Mr. McCartney - your music has made me smile for 47 years and I am still counting.

Monday, June 13, 2011

More than meets the eye

The other day I was chatting with a friend about pop songs with string quartet accompaniment, and way in the back of my mind I remembered a song of the utmost loveliness. As the final song on the Bangles first full length LP All Over the Place from 1984, More Than Meets The Eye walks a fine line, veering ever so slightly towards baroque pop. Their harmony work is absolutely stunning, but the real clincher for me is the coda - just an acoustic guitar and the quartet weaving in and out.

Why they never ventured down this road again is likely the fault of the record company. With their next album their sound went 80's top 40 and a lot of promise was lost for eternity. But bless them for getting this on vinyl first.