Review: McCartney 1 & 2

March 24, 2016

McCartney & McCartney II are the 2 albums wherein former Beatle Paul McCartney sang, played a ton of instruments (separately) & produced them all by himself. Most of the tracks were homemade; produced in his farm in Campbeltown, Scotland. They were recorded during the time when the future of his former bands were in limbo, which eventually led to a break-up. Coincidence? I think not.

McCARTNEY

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McCartney (Wikipedia)

After John Lennon privately announced that he’d be leaving The Beatles, McCartney returned to his farm depressed. His wife, Linda, encourage him to think about the future outside his band and he did. He worked on new & unfinished songs and, later on, recorded most of them on the farm & his St. John’s Wood home. Later on, he mixed & overdubbed them on Abbey Road studios. He used the back-to-basics style that should’ve been used for his band’s final album, Let It Be. By this time, he decided not to work on another album with the band anymore, due to creative differences.

The problem came when it was time to release the album, wherein it should be released on April 17. His other bandmates unsuccessfully persuaded him to delay his album’s release to June 4, in favor of Let It Be. However, McCartney insisted that it should be released on the planned date.

What I can say about the songs in this album is that they’re kinda brilliant, despite that the quality of the recordings were not that good. A lot of songs bring an acoustic sound. “Maybe I’m Amazed” sounds like it was done by the Beatles. My most favorite track on that album is “That Would Be Something”. It has very simple chords & is very catchy. McCartney hasn’t found his own music style until Ram. Despite the success, he shouldn’t have used this as the reason to break up the Beatles.

McCARTNEY II

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McCartney 2 (Wikipedia)

Wings’ album, Back To The Egg, failed to make a commercial impact with only 1 of its singles entering the US Top 20, despite entering the Top 10 in the UK & US. As a result, McCartney returned to his farm to work on new songs, this time experimenting with various synthesizers. Among the 20 tracks he recorded, around half of them became part of the album.

After finishing his next album, McCartney set them aside & returned to touring with Wings in the UK. He was arrested in Japan for bringing marijuana with him. Hence, his World Tour was cancelled. Upon his release from jail, while thinking about his future with Wings, he decided to release this album.

With this album, I considered him as another Kraftwerk in the making. Most of his songs heavily involve with synthesizers. “Temporary Secretary” sounds like music from outer space, it kinda reminds me of Industry’s earlier works. 2 of my most favorite tracks on that album are “Check My Machine” & “Coming Up”. About the former, I thought he was one of the pioneers of music sampling. The latter is a very catchy song, it brought John Lennon back to work.

These 2 self-albums show a man’s natural genius in every track. And, as a Beatle fan, McCartney indeed is one of the most talented artists.


Remembering Pinas FM’s Retro Friday

March 22, 2016

Before Pinas FM 95.5 revamped as an all-OPM station, 2 years ago, Pinas FM aired a Hot AC format, implementing clean fun on air. I’ll talk about Retro Friday & how the DJs handle their own portion of this program. Retro Friday was Pinas FM’s special program which plays songs from the 70s, 80s & 90s every Friday. Based on my observations, 40% of its retro playlist can’t be heard on any other Hot AC stations like Love Radio & Star FM, making its playlist quite unique. In addition to that, each DJ had his/her own intro & extro music, but most of them play MARRS’ “Pump Up The Volume” as their background music.

Coach Gico would play Hawaii 5-0 as his background music, unlike any other DJs. He was very hyper when he talked on air. He often plays too mainstream tracks. I requested around 3 not-so-mainstream tracks, but he didn’t play them because of crab mentality. It seemed that he drank too much coffee. He wasn’t the same as the way he used to host FRC.

Rick Stryker would start his show with a remixed version of Swing Out Sister’s “Waiting Game”. His playlist is just good, a balanced mix of mainstream & not-so-mainstream tracks. He has room for Hip Hop, and he’d occasionally play such tracks such as Will Smith’s “Miami”, Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations”, Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes The Hotstepper”, Paperboy’s “Ditty, K7’s “Come Baby Come”, Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker”, Naughty By Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” & Mellow Man Ace’s “Mentirosa”, among others. He’d end his program with Fra Lippo Lippi’s “Stitches & Burns”.

Raymond Stone would start his show with The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”. Towards the end of a particular song, he’d begin with “Thank you, <Artist>. Song called <Song name>, right here sa Pinas FM…”. It sounded as if that singer/band performed that song in front of him &¬† the guests inside the studio. Initially he had a very good playlist, but in the later years, he played more too mainstream retro tracks. He’d occasionally dish out some great tracks such as Mike + The Mechanic’s “Taken In”, Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True”, Simple Mind’s “Alive & Kicking”, Strawberry Switchblade’s “Who Knows What Love Is”, James Ingram & Michael McDonald’s “Yamoh Be There” & Michael McDonald’s “Sweet Freedom” among others. I made phone requests twice & he played them.

Peachy would start her show with Johnny Hates Jazz’s “Turn Back The Clock”. Her playlist is toned down, she’d play more mellow tracks & love songs. Nonetheless, she’d occasionally play upbeat tracks, notably disco.

Moody Jam would start her show with Little River Band’s “Reminiscing”. Towards the end of a particular song, she’d make puns of the title (sometimes the lyrics) of that song. She has a very good playlist, which is a bit better than Raymond Stone’s. She also plays a lot of great tracks, such as Andrew Gold’s “Thank You For Being A Friend”, Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time”, Queen’s “The Game”, “Second Wind”,¬†Eric Clapton’s “I’ve Got A Rock N Roll Heart” & the mentioned tracks played by the latter.

Retro Friday was one of the programs I looked forward to every Friday. The songs played there reminded me of DM Saturday, sort of. Each of the DJs have their own taste of music.