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Microscope: Venus And Mars

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To be honest: I've been struggling with this review and it took me a long time. It's not even complete. Sometimes it's nothing more than my opinion about a song. Maybe that's the problem I'm having with this album: I like it, but there's something missing or wrong and I can not get my finger on it. Give me a hand.

Venus And Mars
A nice introduction to an album that sounded much rockier than I remembered. Tho I must admit I can hardly remember playing the album in the right order and listening to all the songs. Somehow I can imagine Paul asked John Lennon to join in on the album. It’s almost as if Paul had John in mind in certain songs. Not especially this one. Venus And Mars (the song) has a nice atmosphere. Acoustic guitar sounds great and so does the sound effect on the voices. Nice transition to Rock Show as well.

Rock Show
Great rocker. Excellent vocals by Paul.

Love In Song
Listening to the album in the car in the past few weeks, this song has grown from a hardly known to a very beloved song for me.

You Gave Me The Answer
I’m not sure why Paul keeps bothering us with songs like When I’m 64, Honey Pie and this tune. It’s not bad and actually has a great melody line in my opinion, but the arrangement in top hat twenties style is not my piece of cake. I prefer the more rockier version of this song on Wings Over America. Especially Paul’s ad libs like ‘Shall we dance?’ are a pain in the ass.

Magneto And Titanium Man
Another rocker that I like.

Letting Go
Maybe I’m becoming monotonious here, but I like this song as well. Great guitar lick.

Venus And Mars (reprise)
What’s that with Paul and reprises? Ram On, Mumbo and now Venus And Mars. A song I don’t need on the album.

Spirits Of Ancient Egypt
Denny Laine makes it painfully clear that he shouldn’t be a lead singer in a band with Paul McCartney in it. His opening lines are a disaster. When Paul is joining Denny on the chorus, the song gets an immediate uplift.

Medicine Jar
Jimmy McCulloch handles the lead vocals a little better than Denny Laine, but the song is a forgettable rocker. Not bad, nothing special.

Call Me Back Again
A showcase for Paul’s voice and he makes it clear why he and nobody else should take the lead vocals within Wings.

Listen To What The Man Said
In fact a lightweight song within the context of the complete album, but one I always get happy about. I can listen to this song a hundred times in a row.

Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People
Is Paul trying to create a great finale here? If so, he didn’t succeed. If he was trying to give us a slow ballad, he did succeed. Nothing special song to me.

Crossroads Theme

Yeah, but dammit if I dont have to listen to this one again. I dont think i've cared for it as well as other people have, but we'll see.

Probably my favorite Wings album.


--- Quote from: JimmyMcCullochFan on February 15, 2012, 01:15:38 PM ---Probably my favorite Wings album.

--- End quote ---

Why? Alright, Jimmy plays very well on this album, but don't you agree something (what?) is missing?

It's a good album but it's missing the couple of real classic songs that would have turned it into a GREAT album. I don't think there's anything on V&M that can rival songs such as BOTR or Jet.

Perhaps if he'd left off the Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch songs and added in two more of his own numbers then it would have been an improvement. I think it's great that Paul was happy to hand the limelight over to the other members of Wings (he often gets criticized for being egotistical but moves like that show that it doesn't all have to be about him), but to be honest even the best songs written by the other Wings members were only ever as good as a mediocre McCartney song. They add very little to the album for me (and it's the same on albums such as Wings at the Speed of Sound and London Town). Denny and Jimmy were both fantastic instrumentalists and helped Wings become a brilliant live band in the mid '70s, but as songwriters they were way below the standard of Macca.


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