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Solo forums => Paul McCartney => Microscopes => Topic started by: Bobber on May 07, 2012, 01:22:41 PM

Title: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Bobber on May 07, 2012, 01:22:41 PM
...is coming up. I'm a bit delayed. Hold on.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Ovi on May 07, 2012, 01:48:20 PM
I'll participate on this one.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 07, 2012, 11:56:39 PM
Looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on May 08, 2012, 11:18:09 AM
meanwhile heres a seal  ha2ha

(http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s320x320/574784_3896730459190_1306975242_3638403_731007478_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: In My Life on May 09, 2012, 03:42:20 AM
meanwhile heres a seal  ha2ha

That was certainly unexpected!
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on May 10, 2012, 08:36:47 AM
Oh no. Does this mean I have to listen to that flannel again?
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Bobber on May 18, 2012, 02:13:29 PM
Back To The Egg

Reception
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.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: 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.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Bobber on May 20, 2012, 06:34:42 PM
Alright, cant wait to read this review. This is one of my favorites. I'll post the review up monday.

I can't wait to read yours. lol
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 25, 2012, 04:25:37 PM
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.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 25, 2012, 04:27:28 PM
Sorry it took so long Cor. I almost didnt get it done today either.

I cant believe that nobody else has chimed in on this gem yet either. Kind of blows my mind that nobodys interested. Oh well.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 26, 2012, 12:19:00 AM
Winter Rose / Love Awake
Love Awake is a simple singalong kind of song.


Winter Rose/Love Awake - Love Awake which is a standard little Wings song. Acoustic playing with the usual singalong feel.


(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing002.gif)
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Bobber on May 26, 2012, 02:13:50 PM
Great review Todd. I love how you pick up different kind of things which makes me listen to the whole thing once more. Are you looking forward to the next one? I have started listening to it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be actually.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 26, 2012, 11:36:55 PM
Great review Todd. I love how you pick up different kind of things which makes me listen to the whole thing once more.

Same here Cor. Like your comment on 'We're Open Tonight' at the 1:19 mark. I had to go and listen to it again and i'm not really sure if it was intentional or not. I dont think it was.

Quote
Are you looking forward to the next one? I have started listening to it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be actually.

Are you being sarcastic now?  ha2ha  No seriously, I look forward to all of them. Sure i'm probably going to rip this one apart, but you cant win them all.

Sad thing is Macca 2 will probably have all kinds of participation.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: jamesbjorkman on May 27, 2012, 03:46:53 PM
A partial review of the album, with a couple of extras from the era.  The ones that are missing I didn't feel merited much attention, i.e., not to my taste.

http://youtu.be/ysYqQjru_fM (http://youtu.be/ysYqQjru_fM)

Intro to the TV special.  Just including this to set the mood.

http://youtu.be/4uGK3uAN3zY (http://youtu.be/4uGK3uAN3zY)

"Reception."  Actually, not a bad bass line intro to the album, though the radio snippets are way overdone.  It sounds like Paul was just having a little self-indulgent fun with this, sitting in the studio by himself pretending to be Funky.  And, he almost pulls it off.  Which is fine - for a home recording for his own amusement.

http://youtu.be/mC-kt8qBIWk (http://youtu.be/mC-kt8qBIWk)

"Old Siam Sir."  Wings trying to be Van Halen, with all the mugging for the camera in the video and Linda acting goofy.  Better song than the presentation would suggest.  A good song, not very good or great, but more than just a filler.  Pleasant enough. 


"Arrow through me."  Great bass line and synthesizer, Paul doing his mellow schtick. Did he get the title from the Steve Martin bit?  Don't laugh, "Sgt. Pepper" apparently came from salt and pepper shakers.  Not my favorite on the album, for sure.


"Getting Closer."  A very good song, hardly great, but still listenable.  Nice harmonies, a neglected art these days.  I like it, but not particularly memorable.


"Winter Rose/Love Awake."  I personally don't like the raspy voice thing, but opinions can differ.  Paul goes for a medieval feel with "Winter Rose," and succeeds, but they did it better back then with the originals.  ;)  A good song, I don't put it in the "masterpiece" category like some, but certainly under-appreciated.  I don't think he needed the whole group for this, simply sitting by a fire with a guitar like in "Calico Skies" would have sufficed.


"Rockestra."  This was a big deal when it came out, getting a lot of publicity, which I'm sure was the only reason for doing it at all.  Lots of stars involved, everyone no doubt had fun making it, all hiding the fact that it isn't much of a song at all.  That I don't like it probably says more about me than the song, but if you are going to jam, you could liven things up with some solos and extended riffs.  Did not do particularly well when released as a single.  Having everyone simply hammer the main line, heck, you could do that by yourself on a Moog.


"Spin it On."  Another strained attempt to be Van Halen.  The lyrics are bit cute for me, but as a loud rocker it is fine.  Linda, you really didn't need to spin around in the video, we get it....


"Again and Again and Again."  I am probably alone on this, but I find this a refreshing break from the overbearing rockers on this album.  It actually has a nice melody and nice breaks.  Everybody seems more relaxed, just being themselves rather than trying to be someone else.  Almost a duet between Paul and Denny, there should have been more of this - and, yes, I realize most people find this one of the worst songs on the album.  But a nice song.


"So Glad to See You Here."  The full Rockestra lineup again.  I will say this for it, it is better than the "Rockestra" theme because it's an actual song and it has a little variety, with (too few) harmonies and backing vocals that are greatly needed.  If you are going to assemble talent for the sake of assembling talent, you need to relax control and let the others show their individuality.  That is something Paul has never excelled at doing.  Good, not great.


"To You."  Nice guitar solo to open it, making you think it might be sparse and even acoustic, but then it opens up in a good way.  Unfortunately, it loses its way midway through, as Paul shows signs of giving in to the unfortunate tendency that overlays the entire album of substituting noise for creativity instead of maintaining a steady theme.  The little Van Halen riffs in the middle show where his mind was while producing this album, and the repetition simply gets old by the end of the song.  Nice start that unfortunately peters out.  Have I used the word "unfortunate" enough yet?  Should have been the title.


"Daytime Nighttime Suffering."  The B side to "Goodnight Tonight."  Paul at his vocal best, sort of a precursor of the classic "Wanderlust."  It doesn't have the persistent noise that infests "Back to the Egg," which is a good thing.  Nice melodies, and it sounds like he actually is trying to say something, unlike, oh, "Spin it On."  Better than anything actually on the album.


"Goodnight Tonight."  The hit single from the "Back to the Egg" era.  One of the smoothest bass lines of all time.  I would make the argument that this was the genesis for the entire "new romantic" movement that followed, though that might be a stretch.  Very nice guitar work, the occasional goofiness works, and Paul is in good voice.  It certainly foreshadowed some stuff in the 1980s.  A very good song, not quite in the great category.


"Wonderful Christmastime."  Not a Wings song, even though they are in the video, but it gets included with the album.  Good move by Paul financially, keeping it to himself, considering the millions it has generated for him by becoming a seasonal.  This song takes its hits because it doesn't match what people expect from a "rock" star, but personally I think it has a very advanced sound for 1979 that still sounds fresh today.  The synthesizer work is just outstanding.  I like it.  A lot.  A great song, and a classic, and a great promo film, too.




Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 27, 2012, 11:11:25 PM
Nice review James. We dont see eye to eye on a lot of the album, but thats what makes music fun. Looking forward to future reviews from you.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on May 28, 2012, 12:01:32 AM
Quote
"Winter Rose/Love Awake."  I personally don't like the raspy voice thing, but opinions can differ.  Paul goes for a medieval feel with "Winter Rose," and succeeds, but they did it better back then with the originals.    A good song, I don't put it in the "masterpiece" category like some, but certainly under-appreciated. I don't think he needed the whole group for this, simply sitting by a fire with a guitar like in "Calico Skies" would have sufficed.

Im the opposite.
When I listen to Winter Rose, I cant help thinking he could have made something much bigger with it, but lazily tagged another half song on the end of it......... an wonderfully atmospheric piece with great possibilities that doesnt go with the rest of this album at all, the fretless bass fits very well.
For me this is another one (A Typical) collection of Pauls flaky directionless recycled ditty's, ok were jumping onto the disco/punk bandwaggon but the result is still the same......completely average songs with nonsensical lyrics..

What a shame the man who wrote truly great songs (that once were covered by other major artists) churned out these kind of albums, he really needed someone to tell him .....NO !

Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 28, 2012, 12:31:55 AM
The next album would be the one where somebody needed to tell him no.  ;D
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: jamesbjorkman on May 28, 2012, 03:26:39 AM
Im the opposite.
When I listen to Winter Rose, I cant help thinking he could have made something much bigger with it, but lazily tagged another half song on the end of it.........

What a shame the man who wrote truly great songs (that once were covered by other major artists) churned out these kind of albums, he really needed someone to tell him .....NO !

I agree with your "Winter Rose" comment 100%.  It would have worked better either stripped down completely or fleshed out with the full treatment.  What we get instead is a soggy limp noodle, half-completed song fragments masquerading as finished product.

If I can put my own spin on your latter comment, about someone to say "No" - I interpret that to mean that he needed George Martin.  That is spot on.  Someone needed to turn this undisciplined mess that had so many good concepts into a real album composed of complete songs with beginnings, middles and ends and proper treatments.  A riff with radio noise is not a song!  When Paul fortunately finally realized this, we got "Tug of War."
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 28, 2012, 03:29:33 AM
Worked with Nigel Godrich and 'Chaos and Creation' too.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on May 29, 2012, 11:02:26 PM
I'll hang this tomorrow or the next day. Then we can all get very high and listen to a good album.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on May 30, 2012, 04:34:21 PM
A very wishy-washy album. It has a harder rocking sound which I generally appreciate with
Paul/Wings work but the material and the writing is pretty lame. Err here goes...

Reception
Deputy Sheriff? The bassline is cool, the radio effects are awful and WTF is that syth
doing there? It's way too loud and sounds very out of place.

Getting Closer
Was this aimed at John and Yoko? Whatever. Voice is good as has been said, as for his best
I don't think so. Dislike the choppy guitars during the chorus. Could do without the coda,
it gets all noisy. I read a review once which said this was warmed over "Jet" and I can see
where they're coming from. This does very little for me I'm afraid. I don't like the drummer.

We're Open Tonight
Insipid. Warmed over Venus and Mars. It's like Paul realised he'd been trying to be too
contemporary and punky and needed an acoustic number in there somewhere. A couple of
nothing verses then some ooo's thank fook it doesn't last long.

Spin It On
I can't stand this song, it's annoying as hell. The drums I dislike again the shuffle
sounds cheap, the words mean nothing to me, it's all a bit dizzy and not really there. The
guitars sound good but that can't lift this from being a bit pappy.

Again and Again and Again
Tiresome, yawn, this whole album sounds incredibly uninspired. Paul McCartney and Wings
going through the motions and sounding like a dead end.

Old Siam, Sir
Finally a decent riff and Linda came up with it a few years previously when Wings were
actually good. The words again are nothing, it starts to try telling a story but Paul gets
bored and doesn't end up finishing it off, pity. With a little pruning and better words
this could've been a hit I'm sure. Oh yeah, where was the big hit off of this album?
Unfortunately the singles ball was dropped with Back to the Egg. It really is a rotten
album. I don't like the drums either, they sound so awkward and detract from my overall
enjoyment of this song. But it's a bit better.

Arrow Through Me
Cheese disco balls pap. Makes me want to puke. Sounds like Shakatak or whomever that group
was in the early 80's, they made a living out of this chucka-chucka-chucka nonsense, Steve
Holly again shows that he's technically proficient (I guess) but I can't stand it. Horrible.

Rockestra Theme
A gang of talented musicians and Steve Holly plop out a big fat turd. A waste of time,
given the people involved it should've been somethng at least to remember. It's
forgettable, ham fisted and over played.

To You
What exactly? This is nice enough I guess, the intro is inviting but it's not much of a
song, the synths don't sit very well and I'm bored before the fade out. Blah.

After The Ball/Million Miles
Paul finally writes a song with feeling. This would've been a great finnish to an album if
it was on a great album. Holly does alot better and the organ and bass are great. Nice
guitars which bleed into an accordion, with the gospel Million Miles. It's a good funeral
song. That's better Paul.

Winter Rose/Love Awake
This could've and should've been the best one on the album, actually it probably still is.
Haunting melody, Paul is singing with phlegm in his throat and it works. Is that a
harmonium? Whatever it is it's very nice indeed. Probably needed a killer middle eight.
Love Awake is pretty average fluff.

The Broadcast
Utter sh*te.

So Glad To See You Here
See "Rockestra Theme". At least it's an attempt at a real song.

Baby's Request
It's nice enough. I prefer the 2012 version.

Overall a very poor outing. This group thing was getting tired, Wings should've been put
out to pasture after London Town. It didn't take Paul long to rectify this. McCartney 2 is
a far more interesting and cohesive work. It's daring, fresh and inspired. Back To The Egg 
is tired, boring, uninspired and punk-pretensious. Bring on the 80's!
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on May 30, 2012, 04:49:42 PM
Delete.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Ovi on May 31, 2012, 06:32:31 PM
Reception - An instrumental that is suppose to give this album a concept feel. I think the radio sounds and the opera ones are suppusedly heard from Earth, while the rest of the song sounds like a journey to it. But of course, I'm reading too much into it, and let's not forget, this is still McCartney (not saying it as a bad thing). While not long enough to bore you, this is still pretty unnecessary and can be regarded as filler.

Getting Closer - That's more like it. A great catchy rocker with great bass and drums work. I'm not a big fan of Paul singing in that goofy voice accompanied by the silly backing vocals (like at 1:17 - 1:30) but a good performance and song overall. Also, I am too a fan of the chaotic ending.

We're Open Tonight - Great acoustic song. Excellent McCartney vocals wheather he sings, harmnonises or hums. I like the bongos (?) at 0:32 (and 0:54 again) that seem to be passing from the left channel to the right one. Pleaseant tune, but I'd certainly wish they would've made it longer.

Spin It On - An angry, spontaneous song that has always been kind of neutral to me. If there is one thing I like, it's definitely the guitar. The drumming starting at 0:11 is pretty cool, too. McCartney's delivery is definitely suitable for the song's atmosphere. I've never been a big fan, but it's decent enough.

Again and Again and Again - I've always enjoyed this one. For what it is, it works. Love it when McCartney joins Denny. I kind of like the guitar solo and the organ being played in the background. The repeated "again and again and again and again..." at the end gets annoying and I certainly could do without that. Not a very strong song, but for a Denny written and sung song it's better than I first expected.

Old Siam, Sir - Amazing song. The guitar-driven intro is excellent. The keyboards riff is great. The climax at 1:05 may as well be the best moment on the whole album. At 2:15 there's a weird sound going on in the background (mainly in the right channel) which lasts for about 15 seconds until the next climax arrives. Anyone knows what is it? Paul's shouting is very powerful, souding a bit like he did 10 years before in 'Oh! Darling'. It may as well be the best song on the album.

Arrow Through Me - Another great one. Love the synth riff. It does give it a disco feeling, though it's certainly not as disco as 'Goodnight Tonight'. Incredible harmonies at 1:40. What I've always liked about this song is the contrast between the first and the second choruses. On the first one, McCartney sings in a falsetto voice (0:41), while the second time around (1:59) he sounds completely different, almost like his vocie is about to crack at times. Great horn sections and great use of reverb (as Bobber mentioned), giving McCartney's voice a spacey feeling. One of my personal favourites.

Rockestra Theme - I like the idea of doing these kind of unfinished instrumental jams and McCartney seems to be enjoying it very much, weather he does them all by himself (McCartney I and II) or with such big names as here. But sometimes I do wish he'd finish them. I think this would've worked better with a set of lyrics. It's enjoyable, and I love the piano licks, especially at 0:54 and 1:42 (Paul? or maybe John Paul Jones?) and the ending is good (even with Paul's silly vocals), but in my opinion, it could've been better.

After The Ball/Million Miles - A suite of 4 ballads, grouped in 2 songs, starting with this one. It's a pretty emotional ballad, maybe because of Paul's soulful performance. The lyrics are pretty good, too. Weird guitar lick at 1:02, but it works. The song builds itself up slowly, finally descending into a guitar solo which connects it with the next number, 'Million Miles', which sounds just boring and uninspired. It's not extremely bad, it's just not going anywhere. Paul's voice is good, but the accordion ruins the song in my opinion. All in all, the first song is great, the second mediocre at best.

Winter Rose/Love Awake - I'm a big fan of the first song here, so I'll do my best to defend it. First of all, I really enjoy the atmosphere : very mystical. The harmonies starting at 0:09 are heavenly. I wish they'd carry throughout the whole song. Paul's voice does sound a bit hoarse, but I do like it. I don't know, to me, he sounds like a desperate, powerless man hoping for that "winter rose" to bring some light into his life. I am probably reading too much into it, and I don't think McCartney was trying to sound like that, but that's how I've always seen it. At 0:55 the chorus sounds great. The second song is not as good, but still decent enough. It's a nice pop song, with not much else to add.

The Broadcast - Same as 'Reception'.

So Glad To See You Here - The exact kick the album needed after 'The Broadcast'. Awesome rocker. 1:01 not too keen on the backing "Carry on, carry on". The 'We're Open Tonight' reprise is enjoyable enough. Good song, definitely better than 'Rockestra Theme'.

Baby's Request - I've never been a jazz fan, but I think this is a nice, mellow tune. At 1:42 I like the horns. The piano sounds great throughout. Good song and a worthy album closer.


All in all, while not as good as 'Band on the Run' or 'Venus and Mars', I think 'Back to the Egg' is a worthy swan song for Wings.

P.S. I struggled with this review and it didn't turn out to be as inspired as I expected. Anyway, I haven't heard any McCartnney solo stuff that came after this, until 'Chaos and Creation In The Backyard'. So, I'll try to listen and participate on each one of them. Keep it up !
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 31, 2012, 11:39:29 PM
Rockestra Theme
A gang of talented musicians and Steve Holly plop out a big fat turd.

I know you dont care for Holly (still not sure why) and you've been on him for the duration, but I have to ask you Ollie, how in the hell are you picking out his drumming to rate it as being a big fat turd? Are you sure it wasnt Bohnam or Kenny Jones instead? Sorry but that was a WTF comment to me.

Quote
McCartney 2 is
a far more interesting and cohesive work. It's daring, fresh and inspired. Back To The Egg 
is tired, boring, uninspired and punk-pretensious. Bring on the 80's!

Realizing everybody has different tastes, but its still mind boggling how somebody would prefer McCartney doing his best Depeche Mode over one of his hardest rocking albums ever. Oh well.

Nice review though Ollie.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on May 31, 2012, 11:52:24 PM
Old Siam, Sir - At 2:15 there's a weird sound going on in the background (mainly in the right channel) which lasts for about 15 seconds until the next climax arrives. Anyone knows what is it?

I'd have to listen to it again. Give me a second it might be on my ipod. Great review by the way Ovi.

The 2:15 mark is Denny or Laurence Juber crunching a guitar chord. At least thats what it sounds like to me.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on June 01, 2012, 12:26:36 AM
I knew you'd pick up on that, it was just me being silly really. I don't like his drumming, the change of tempo in the verse of Old Siam, Sir just sounds awkward to me, it doesn't jel with the rest of the group. I think he's the only drummer that Paul has worked with where he has had to play alongside a drum machine called Robbo for a live performance, I'm not saying that says much, I'm just saying. Denny Laine later admitted that there were "musical issues" in this line-up which led to them being disbanded. I'm also afraid that the hard rocking aspect of the album doesn't compensate for the relatively poor song writing throughout.

It's all opinions.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Ovi on June 01, 2012, 05:15:32 AM
I'd have to listen to it again. Give me a second it might be on my ipod. Great review by the way Ovi.

The 2:15 mark is Denny or Laurence Juber crunching a guitar chord. At least thats what it sounds like to me.

Thanks, for both the compliment and the information.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 16, 2012, 01:44:15 AM
John Lennon's thoughts on Back To The Egg...

"Garbage".

For the most part I agree entirely.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 16, 2012, 02:37:16 AM
John Lennon's thoughts on Back To The Egg...

"Garbage".

For the most part I agree entirely.

I never knew he said that, which interview was it in ?
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 16, 2012, 01:11:04 PM
It's in the book that was banned.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 17, 2012, 12:00:55 AM
It's in the book that was banned.

which book was that ?

Ive heard this before, but I simply dont believe John ever said that, it cant be substantiated in any interview (as far as I know)
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 17, 2012, 03:14:18 PM
The Last Days of John Lennon by Frederic Seaman.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 17, 2012, 11:18:13 PM
I dont think it was ever banned, you can still buy it, it is out of print though.

whether you believe what Seaman says though is up to the reader I guess, theres no actual proof that John said that.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 18, 2012, 07:50:21 AM
It's not allowed to be reprinted and yes there's no evidence that John said that.

Except the evidence of actually listening to the album, where any level headed person (who isn't looking through rose-tinted spectacles at some long lost youth or completely p*ssed out of their skull) will certainly come to a similar conclusion.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on September 18, 2012, 10:49:01 AM
How anybody with a set of ears can prefer such horrendous drivel such as McCartney 2 (his worst ever) and London Town (awful) is beyond me.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 18, 2012, 11:00:18 AM
Except the evidence of actually listening to the album, where any level headed person (who isn't looking through rose-tinted spectacles at some long lost youth or completely p*ssed out of their skull) will certainly come to a similar conclusion.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Kevin on September 18, 2012, 05:10:40 PM
Back To The Egg was the album that made me decide to no longer buy McCartney albums as a matter of course.*
To his credit though, I think he was very aware of the new wave scene, and is his want, decided to have a bash. (look at the video for Spin it On - all "spontaneous" hand held camera and angry Johny rotten faces. Nice try mate, but you're too old). But I have to agree with others - what was supposed to sound brash and exciting sounds plodding and dated to me. 

*To level the playing field, Double Fantasy did exactly the same for my Lennon buying habit. At least I guess Paul tried to stay current.
To be honest by then both of them were running out of steam (as were The Stones, the Who, Clapton, Pink Floyd, Dylan etc.)
They all had had their day in the sun.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 18, 2012, 11:03:35 PM
At least John admitted as much. He was making music for 40 year olds. Paul was attempting to bridge the gap between Baby-boomer and Punk/New wave and falling flat on his sagging facial features. After he put out McCartney II (which I commend because it's almost as if he didn't give a) and John's murder he seemed to play it safe in the hands of George Martin for a few years. The Broadstreet film is very self-indulgent "Ain't I great" it's almost like he's trying to kiss goodbye to the past in some way or another. Press To Play is a marvelous document of a mid-life crisis. By 1986 it was too late, like he was trying to make a comeback appealing to the sythersiser gated-drum youth commercial when he'd only just been touting Ebony and Ivory, Pipes of Peace and We All Stand Together. It was over-kill, by 1989 the cycle is complete and he's playing his Beatle show to millions all over the world. Well done.

Flowers is alright, Off The Ground is utter sh*te. Pie is fair, Chaos is the best thing since Band On The Run... I hope he's got at least one more album that will at least make a challenge to my senses, something to get my teeth into.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on September 18, 2012, 11:53:53 PM
Chaos is the best thing since Band On The Run...

I agree with you here Ollie. After reading Kevin and your posts, I was thinking about how Paul tries to stay hip and fit in and then I thought of Chaos. I like Chaos so much because I think its an honest album. Nigel let Paul have one song for self indulgence' sake (A Fine Line) and then brought the reins in on him. There's no masterpieces on the album by any stretch, but all the tunes were decent to very strong. Great adult contemporary album.

I disagree with you on 'Flaming Pie' though and 'Off The Ground'. I thought 'Flaming Pie' was excellent and probably my second favorite Paul album ever. 'Off The Ground' might be his most underrated.

Quote
I hope he's got at least one more album that will at least make a challenge to my senses, something to get my teeth into.

I do too, but I dont think its going to come in the form of a pop/rock album. Sadly, i've been looking forward to the ballet music he's supposed to be doing. That would challenge my senses.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 19, 2012, 02:18:21 AM


*To level the playing field, Double Fantasy did exactly the same for my Lennon buying habit. At least I guess Paul tried to stay current.


at least John didnt get so goddam twee
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Bobber on September 19, 2012, 07:34:07 AM
at least John didnt get so goddam twee

Instead, he let a woman who could not sing fill half of his album.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 19, 2012, 10:38:43 AM
Instead, he let a woman who could not sing fill half of his album.


can sing cant sing, thats subjective Cor, I like this, its better than Kylie :D


Yoko Ono: "I'm Moving On" (1980) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJt2UVbrbUk#)

Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Bobber on September 19, 2012, 10:43:11 AM
its better than Kylie :D


But I like Kylie's video's better to be honest.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 19, 2012, 12:34:58 PM
Kylie's better looking I have to agree :D
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Kevin on September 19, 2012, 01:24:27 PM
at least John didnt get so goddam twee

Wouldn't call  John's contributions to Double Fantasy exactly gritty. That he should spend a decade publicly mocking McCartney for making Beatle-lite muzak, then do exactly that himself when he needs to make a bid for chart action is one of the reasons I find the man so...........so........contrary.
But Im not after another John v Paul thing - more want to make the point that by the late 70's both were loosing revelance. New people were making waves. Their day as was done.
Like all their contempories their music veered from mostly okay, to ocassionally dissapointing, peppered with the unexpected "not that bad for an old bloke."
Not a big fan of Beatles as soloists post 75 (suprise suprise).
But not to trash those of you who do.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Kevin on September 19, 2012, 04:17:53 PM
I agree with you here Ollie. After reading Kevin and your posts, I was thinking about how Paul tries to stay hip and fit

I’m not sure that it he wants to stay hip (well, actually, who doesn’t, so he probably does) but it’s that the man can’t seem to  hear a musical style or genre without thinking “I can do that.”  So whether it’s twenties vaudeville, hard rock, reggae, white soul, musicals, children’s sing alongs, classical, he has a go. And the bugger thing is he mostly  but not always (as BttE shows) does it pretty well. Better than most.
And I think that’s the cross McCartney fans have to bare. You have to accept he’s going to listen to some children’s programme, go to the piano  and knock out The Frog Chorus. It’s what the man does. It can be annoying if you want him to be always  the rock god that did Helter Skelter, but to like McCartney is to accept that the guy is a musical magpie. Always was.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: tkitna on September 19, 2012, 08:16:32 PM
I’m not sure that it he wants to stay hip (well, actually, who doesn’t, so he probably does) but it’s that the man can’t seem to  hear a musical style or genre without thinking “I can do that.”  So whether it’s twenties vaudeville, hard rock, reggae, white soul, musicals, children’s sing alongs, classical, he has a go. And the bugger thing is he mostly  but not always (as BttE shows) does it pretty well. Better than most.
And I think that’s the cross McCartney fans have to bare. You have to accept he’s going to listen to some children’s programme, go to the piano  and knock out The Frog Chorus. It’s what the man does. It can be annoying if you want him to be always  the rock god that did Helter Skelter, but to like McCartney is to accept that the guy is a musical magpie. Always was.

This is a great post and there's a lot of truth in here. Paul is a composer and he tries his hand at everything. As a fan, should I hold that over his head when he fails at some of his attempts? No, but I do sometimes. Like McCartney 2, Paul had a go with some music that was the style of the period. I hate it, but that doesnt mean that it was bad for what it was. His 80's output gets to me, but I have to realize that i'm not a fan of that period to begin with. I thought he rocked pretty hard on BTTE and his voice never sounded better, so its petty of me to wish or hope that he would have continued to pump out similiar albums afterwards. Hard to grow when you do that. I think we need to look at the big picture sometimes and quit being so critical of what Paul does. His accomplishments are pretty impressive, but not everything is a homerun all the time.
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 19, 2012, 10:55:12 PM

Not a big fan of Beatles as soloists post 75 (suprise suprise).


on a scale of 1 - 10, Im a 10 Beatles fan and a 3 solo Beatles fan :D

For me Paul has never again reached the heights of Revolver (except with Hey Jude/Let It be singles) and John has never reached the heights of his pepper period, they both suck as solo artists imo, with the odd good song, George made ATMP which was mostly very good but then sank to ordinarydom with his later offerings, I dont have any Ringo albums so cant comment on him.
Paul just couldnt decide on a direction he seemed free to indulge & release 'whatever' and John lost the plot (and the muse) with drugs imo, your right, both came up with the odd good song (Imagine/Im Losing You), (Maybe Im Amazed/Band On The Run) but mostly it was average stuff .......sadly.
Sorry guys, its just my opinion. :(
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: nimrod on September 19, 2012, 11:02:09 PM
After further thought (not quite finished guys :D) I think the first albums (after the split) the 3 of them made were the best.

Of course please realise that it is only my opinion so dont beat me up :D

No-one is right in all this debate, its all subjective, Im just on about what appeals to me..(the most)
Title: Re: Microscope: Back To The Egg
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on September 20, 2012, 01:16:09 AM
The key to their relevance was being in The Beatles and the chances of them getting back together. I think I said before that you could've seen them sticking it out until '71 perhaps? They'd have had to have slogged out an album that was probably twice the size of the white one though and nobody wanted to do that. Unfortunate as that would have been one hell of an album.

I think they'd have made waves again if there would've been a chance of they getting it together as middle aged mulleted 80's Beatles. Probably not for long though.

I'd have really liked to have heard that, I think they'd have made a great clattery 80's album.

Haha.