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Microscope: Back To The Egg

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Oh no. Does this mean I have to listen to that flannel again?

Back To The Egg

Pieces of radio interviews, some opera thing and a tense start of this album. It is that I know that the real opening of the album is following pretty soon, otherwise this instrumental is of little importance to my ears.

Getting Closer
One of Paul's best ever songs. A firm rocker and Paul's voice is probably at his best on the entire album. Great drumming by Steve Holly here. Characteristic backing vocals by Linda and Denny. Love the basswork by Paul, but that's hardly surprising. The 'closer closer' bit from 2.15 onwards has always been a highlight. It always surprised me that this song didn't get higher rates on the singles lists all over the world. Great song.

We're Open Tonight
The usual Paul McCartney goes acoustic song. But this one fits in perfectly on this spot. Pauls vocals are spot on. Nice bass job. I've always wondered whether that bass note on 1.19 wasn't a little bit late or maybe that was Pauls intention? Maybe a filler, but a good one.

Spin It On
'This is it'. The introduction on Spin It On looks like an assist for the later Strokes album. This song proves that Wings' new line up is certainly not a bad one. Steve Holley is letting the drums roll at the start of the song and the guitar work is great. Spin It On is a wonderful rocker in the style of Name And Address on Paul's previous album. It sounds like a song that Paul could write in five minutes and maybe he did. Nevertheless, it's a great piece of rock 'n roll and something John Lennon should have picked up while recording his come back in the next year. Its semi-spontaneous sound and vocals make the song some special. Well done.

Again And Again And Again
Here's Denny Laine doing the lead vocals again. It's not my kind of thing, but this is an OK song. Pauls bass is basic. The backing vocals and the style of arrangement makes it some kind of a pub's singalong, but it is not. Not one of my favourites, but it fits in fine in side A of this album. Some strange flagolets at 2.31. Never heard that before.

Old Siam Sir
In the age of punk and new wave Paul recorded Old Siam Sir. A type of song that maybe takes the basic stuff of punk to a higher level. His vocals are outstanding. The break at 1.16 is simply great. Maybe the piano lick gets a little annoying after a while. Wonderful band-sound and Steve and Laurence are doing a great job in here. The band goes really wild at 3.45 and Paul throws in some more (somewhat silly) lyrics.

Arrow Through Me
I have always loved the overall atmosphere of this song. A showcase that Paul could easily switch from one style (Old Siam Sir) to another on an extremely high level. The brass is simply great and so is the bass (synth?). Nice production with the little touch of reverb in the vocals here and there. It's a nice suggestion that side b of London Town and side a of Back To The Egg would have made an outstanding album.

Rockestra Theme
Side b opens with the more or less instrumental Rockestra Theme. Personally I have never been fond of Pauls instrumental work, but this is a good job. Why haven't I had any dinner? The minimal lyrics would have made critics wonder what was meant by this in 1967, when John wrote I Am The Walrus. In 1979 it doesn't mean anything. Nevertheless, a good kick off for the b-side.

To You
The start of this song -chords played simply on an electric guitar- is not the strongest start of a song and certainly not on this album. The style that made side a is continued in this song, but somehow it sounds as if Paul wasn't really focusing with To You. The combined guitar/keyboard solo from 1.25 onwards sounds like it was inspired by Bowie's Boys Keep Swinging.

After The Ball / Million Miles
Back To The Egg is drifting away downwards, starting with this song. After The Ball is a slow ballad. A crooning Paul McCartney is still nice to listen to, but this song is lacking everything else. And what about Million Miles? Is Paul trying gospel here? An annoying thing at best.

Winter Rose / Love Awake
Once again two half songs put together in one. Winter Rose is another ballad kind of thing, but this is more like it. It's a nice piece of music, but it drags on too long, even being just a snippet. Indeed a pity that Paul didn't develop this song into a piece of its own. Love Awake is a simple singalong kind of song. Paul does these song pretty often (see the medley on Red Rose Speedway), but it's not my kind of thing. Musically it's probably alright, but it is a certain skip.

The Broadcast
It probably has a deeper meaning and maybe Paul regards this as the key part on the album, but I'm totally missing the point.

So Glad To See You Here
That's more like it. A thunderous first two minutes and this is really a great song. Great rocker. Even loves Linda's keyboards! After 2.30 the band slips into some kind of reprise of We're Open Tonight. Paul has tried the reprise a million times after Sgt Pepper and he should have know better. It doesn't work and that's a pity, because it brings down both the We're Open Tonight from side a plus So Glad To See You Here.

Baby's Request
Paul's usual 40's style song. He should have put all of those on one album, somewhere in 2012 and let nobody buy the thing.

All in all, a great side a and a side b with a few highlights. Pauls voice sounds great on all of the songs and so does his band. Steve Holly and Laurence Juber seemed to fit in smoothly and perfectly. A good album, but it could have been much better.

Alright, cant wait to read this review. This is one of my favorites. I'll post the review up monday.


--- Quote from: tkitna on May 19, 2012, 09:04:54 PM ---Alright, cant wait to read this review. This is one of my favorites. I'll post the review up monday.

--- End quote ---

I can't wait to read yours. lol

This has always been one of my favorite Paul albums. I think the change of cast members in the band contributed to a nice fresh sound. Pauls voice kills and his bass is more pronounced here again. I admit that it’s a mixed bag of tunes, but what Paul album isn’t.

Reception - I like the bass on this little jam piece to begin the album. The voices and music in the background are pretty cool too. Holly’s drums sound great. Kind of a meaningless little tune, but its so short and neat that its inoffensive.

Getting Closer - This is one of my favorite Paul tunes ever I think. His vocals know no equal here. This is Paul McCartney singing at his best. Love the drumming in this song too. Very tasteful. Guitars are awesome also. 0.33 love when the backgrounds come in. Smooth. 2:19 the song kind of goes into the chaotic, jam stance and I love it. Awesome, awesome song.

We’re Open Tonight - Paul brings us back down with this offering after a nice rocker. Starts off with a clean acoustic guitar and Paul singing. I always felt that it kind of sounded like a space type song (Venus and Mars) with the electric guitar and bass notes. Background harmonies are killer again. Very short and again, somewhat senseless, but nice enough.

Spin It On - When did Paul start singing punk? Guitar sounds awesome. Nice lead also. Holly gives us a kind of Ballroom Blitz snare shuffle which is nice. If theres a bad thing to say is that there’s parts where they sing together and they sing from a high scale going constantly lower and I could do without that (I know I didn’t explain that very well, but if you listen you’ll know what I mean). Short again and I like it.

Again And Again And Again - This is one I don’t care for. I think Denny sings this. It has a country kind of flare and it just has filler stamped all over it. The best part of the song is Pauls background vocals. To beat all, this song suffers from being too long too. A pass for me.

Old Siam, Sir - Love this song. Had the 45lp when I was young of ’Arrow Through Me’ and this was the B-side. I played this one to death. Love how the song sounds somewhat oriental with the piano and guitar. Guitars are great and Steve Holly’s drums sound massive. Pauls kind of screams through the whole song and its hard to make out what he’s saying, but its needed to add to the atmosphere. 1:05 is sublime. Love the lead guitars, the sliding bass notes and Holly’s decision to go to the ride. Awesome. The hi-hat splashes are very cool throughout also.  3:45 is cool when the frantic change of pace. One of my all time favorites.

Arrow Through Me - The modest hit of the album. People label this song as disco. Maybe it is. I just think its good 70’s pop. Regardless, its starts with the cool keyboard intro. Love Hollys hi-hat, snare groove. Pauls voice is incredible again. Seriously, he is in top form. 1:15 the horns come in and sound great. 1:38 the harmonies from the backgrounds are smooth as a babys bottom. Very nice song.

Rockestra Theme - Paul decided to get who’s who in rock and roll and play a huge instrumental. I have a soft spot for this tune because Bonzo plays the drums on it (along with Holly and I think maybe Kenny Jones but I would have to look). There’s a ton of guitarists like Pete Townsend and other musicians, but if the song suffers in any way, it could be that theres too many cooks in the kitchen if you get my drift. I like it though and it’s a cool jam that doesn’t really do anything. I’m onboard.

To You - Like this one too. Starts with a cool guitar intro. Do I have to mention Pauls voice and bass playing again? Awesome. Its not a frantic rocker, but it’s a toe tapper in the same sentence. I like the background vocals (Linda and her signature sound) and even the almost silly keyboard at times. The lead guitar solo is cool, because the keyboard plays along with it. Juber plays some mean guitar on this and through the entire album actually. I like this one. Maybe somewhat overlooked in his catalog.

After The Ball/Million Miles - Paul takes us to the piano for this slower ballad. It truly sounds like the last song of the ball when people are filing out and your holding onto that last dance. Has a gospel feel also. Very much so actually. Love the steady drumming and guitar playing. 1:41 it kind of kicks in and feels powerful. Nice lead playing again. 2:20 harmonica comes in and takes us to Million Miles. Maybe it’s the accordion. I suppose it is. Its just Paul singing along with it and this part is pretty boring. Should have just finished off the first part of the song. I’ll take it though.

Winter Rose/Love Awake - Piano brings us in with this one again with a few bass plucks and the acoustic. I’ve been bragging up Pauls great voice and this song shoots it all down. Pauls sounds like he’s been on a three pack a day habit here. Awful. Even the backgrounds bother me. Shame because the music is nice and clean and kind of haunting. 2:04 Paul introduces Love Awake which is a standard little Wings song. Acoustic playing with the usual singalong feel. It all seems kind of flat to me. Its better than the first part, but boring. Pass.

The Broadcast - Paino playing with some talking in the background. Perhaps trying to get the feel of an radio broadcast I suppose. Slow and meaningless. The strings are nice though. Pass, buts so short, who cares?

So Glad To See You Here - A great rocker with the Rockestra cast again. Paul sounds great singing this. I prefer this song to the actual Rockestra Theme. Lindas backgrounds are great. The song is a bit monotonous but fun and it does rock. I like it.

Baby’s Request - Jazz number that ‘My Valentine’ wishes it could have been. Fantastic piano and guitar playing. 1:23 keyboard playing the horn section. Big no no in my book. The real deal would have been better. Here’s an instance where there might be too much Linda for my taste, but I really like the song.

Daytime Nightime Suffering - I’ve always liked this song. Middle of the row paced with a lot of guitars and keyboards. Cool drumming as usual. 0:59 love this part here when Pauls starts singing ’Come On River’ etc,,. just sounds awesome. 1:47 love how the backgrounds repeat Pauls vocals here. Nice. 2:33 best part of the song. Kind of like a Beach Boys type singing. Cool. Good song all around. Nothing great but enjoyable.

Wonderful Christmastime - Not one of my favorites and I get really sick of it when the season arrives. I’ll be honest though, I would miss it if I didn’t hear it around Christmas though. Its just unfortunate that its on every speaker in every store. Oh well. Most people are harsher on it than I will be, but even I will admit that Johns offering was far superior.

Rudolph The Red Nose Raggae - Please just make it stop. A reggae version of Rudolph done with a country fiddle. The worst of both worlds. My ears are bleeding.

There you have it. Great album in my opinion. Plenty if nice rockers with very little throwaways. Paul has never sounded better singing and the lineup meshed well. Shame they didn’t keep this lineup for more projects. Whats even more unfortunate is that the 80’s were just around the corner.


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