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Microscope: London Town

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This was the first proper McCartney album I bought from my own pocket money and therefore I have played this album over and over again in the late seventies and early eighties. However, I had not heard most of the album since long before looking through this microscope. I may not be as critical as usual as it brought back some nice memories.

London Town
Nice three voice harmony throughout the whole song. It’s a bit too soft an atmosphere to my liking, but I really do like the melody. Love the harmony at 1.47. The slide bass at 2.16 is another highlight. Nice little brass in the background here and there. The guitar solo and the change of rhythm at 3.23 is good. Co written with Denny Laine, but I don’t see where.
The video coming with the song is plain silly:
Paul McCartney and Wings- London Town

Cafe On The Left Bank
Rocker. I hate that semi spontaneous talk in the background, like done in the intro of the song. I understand it has to sound like pubtalk, but it annoys me. On the other hand I like the cowbell. Nice guitar throughout the song. Is this Jimmy playing or had he left by then? The song itself is not a favourite of mine, but I can bear with this song because of the great guitars.

I’m Carrying
Some critics regard this song as overrated, but I seem to like it enough. It’s the standard McCartney ballad that’s coming on most of his albums, but the acoustic guitar is delicate and I like it. The entrance of the strings at 0.39 is nice. Simple notes, but they really add something to the song. The hummed solo is a skip for me, a pity, although the cello gives a touch to it.

Backwards Traveller
The first real highlight on the album for me. Superb vocals by Paul and great harmonies. Keyboard sound, probably by Linda, are a good addition. A pity it’s a bit short. Paul should have made more of the song.

Cuff Link
Backwards Traveller merges into this instrumental. It has always sounded a bit like a jam to me, but still it’s interesting enough to give it a listen every now and then. It looks like Paul is ready to experiment with synthesizer and all that in the early days and use it in his song. Unlike most of his work from the eighties, here it is done in a tasteful way in my humble opinion.

Children Children
Through the years this has been one of the favourites of many critics. Not for me. Written by Paul and Denny and sung by Denny. It’s about children and maybe therefore it sounds childish. Denny’s voice is better than on his previous efforts and the harmonies are fine as usual, but the song in itself is not good enough to my ears. The part from 1.52 sung in semi Scottish is a painful moment.

Paul wrote this song with Michael Jackson in mind. Maybe he had better left it there, instead of recording it by himself. He sings it with a falsetto mostly and it’s not bad. The harmonies are terrible to make an exception to the rule (I mean the ‘yeah’s’ after every first two lines of the verses). The guitar solo part is the strongest part of the song and I really like that. After that, it starts to get a little annoying again.
Michael’s version of the song:
Michael Jackson ''Girlfriend'' Music video

I’ve Had Enough
I have always liked this song, although listening to it now I think Paul could and maybe should have made an even heavier version of the song. Nice touch of the beatring. Strong guitar work once again and I suspect this is Jimmy playing (maybe JMF can fill me in here?). Love the little scream at 1.38. I’m not surprised it was released as a single (with Deliver Your Children), but it didn’t make it big.

With A Little Luck
The big hit on the album. Paul repeats the atmosphere of London Town here at the start of side 2. It’s a nice song, with great harmonies and all that, but it has never really worked for me. I mean, I can listen to it and enjoy it, but it doesn’t make a bad day good. Plus I think it takes too long. At the 3.40 point it’s enough for me. The rest isn’t necessary, although Paul finally shows some great basslicks here.

Famous Groupies
When I was younger, I liked this song well enough. When listening to it today once again, it was a low point for me. The best part is from 2.06 onwards, the little slide solo. Linda adds some strange sounds to the song, especially at the end. Nice touch, but not enough.

Deliver Your Children
A McCartney/Laine co-operation that’s finally working. Acoustic guitars in the Mull Of Kintyre style, but I like this song better. Great vocal harmonies by Paul to guide Denny’s weaker voice. Bass is simple but effective. Nice middle eight too (it’s longer than eight bars, I know). A spontaneous high note at 3.00 by Paul. Like that. Nice coda from 3.46 (with another high note) to the end. Great song.

Name And Address
Sounds like a semi spontaneous recording to me. Nevertheless, I like this song enough. Great bass by Paul (listen to the start of the start). Paul sounds like a fifties rocker and that’s his meaning of course. Great drumming and guitar, especially the solo’s are great and the band really rocks there. Good stuff. I’ve always liked the end as well. The sudden stop is just the best way to end the song.

Don’t Let It Bring You Down
Best song on the album as far as I’m concerned. Love love the atmosphere at the start created by the recorder (?) and guitar. Great lead guitar as well and the drums really fit in. Paul is looking for the lower ranges in his voice and it works really well. He hardly sings as low as he does at 1.17. Switching to his highest range in the part following directly. The ‘up and down’ section starting at 2.10 is wonderful. Great acoustic guitars in here and harmonies. Towards the end the guitar solo is something special. Co written by Paul and Denny.

Morse Moose And The Grey Goose
Another song credited by Paul and Denny. When I bought this album at the age of 13, I didn’t know what to think of this song. Still it’s a strange thing, but I have learned to appreciate it. Great piano and what’s that sound from 0.12 onwards. Guitar? The song sounds like a ‘grand finale’ when the drums come in at 0.50. Great vocals by Paul and his bass at 1.48 is superb. The folk part starts at 2.04 and is a bit too long for my liking. The whole seems to start all over again at 3.16. A bit too much, although the guitar solo here is wonderfully strange. Paul tries to make this song to make it sound a bit like 1985 on Band On The Run and it does sound like a proper last song on an album, but it’s a bit too much of the same thing. Plus it’s too different comparing it with the rest of the album.

All in all: was I really that positive? ha2ha

Jimmy plays on London Town, Cafe on the Left Bank, I've Had Enough, With A Little Luck, Famous Groupies, Don't Let It Bring You Down & Morse Moose that I know of. I'll ask his brother Jack when I see him in a couple weeks.

Cool, another review. I'm going to break it out tomorrow and see if it still sits how it did before.


--- Quote from: JimmyMcCullochFan on April 06, 2012, 02:29:06 PM ---Jimmy plays on London Town, Cafe on the Left Bank, I've Had Enough, With A Little Luck, Famous Groupies, Don't Let It Bring You Down & Morse Moose that I know of. I'll ask his brother Jack when I see him in a couple weeks.

--- End quote ---

Ask about Waterspout too. I think that was in '77. My review is 5 songs in, I'm listening to it again now. I really like this album. Maybe too many synths for some. I guess the crux of liking this one is whereabouts you stand on the biggies, i.e. "With A Little Luck" and "Girlfriend" if they are not to your tastes then you are unlikely to like the album as a whole. IMO. I think it flows better than any since Band On The Run, it's a little broader but still as about as concise.


--- Quote from: JimmyMcCullochFan on April 06, 2012, 02:29:06 PM ---Jimmy plays on London Town, Cafe on the Left Bank, I've Had Enough, With A Little Luck, Famous Groupies, Don't Let It Bring You Down & Morse Moose that I know of. I'll ask his brother Jack when I see him in a couple weeks.

--- End quote ---

That's great. Much appreciated.


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