Monday, 25 July 2011

Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970) - Part Three

ALBUM 1 - Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970)

UK Amazon - 
US Amazon -

1. The Lovely Linda
2. That Would Be Something
3. Valentine Day
4. Every Night
5. Hot As Sun / Glasses
6. Junk
7. Man We Was Lonely
8. Oo You
9. Momma Miss America
10. Teddy Boy
11. Singalong Junk
12. Maybe I'm Amazed
13. Kreen-Akrore

The fifth song on the set is also the second instrumental on here.  Hot As Sun has a sort of Carribean blue beat feel to it, which is hardly surprising since both McCartney and Lennon both loved the genre, and Jamaica itself.

Kept rigidly in the key of G major, the lead line employs an almost claw like guitar technique where Macca plays a dual note line (two notes simultaneously).  For this playing technique look up players like Mark Knopfler, who use this technique frequently.  This lead line shows precisely why Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson have both called McCartney one of the best melodists of all time.

He is essentially playing both the melody and harmony lines at the same time here, and it fits beautifully with the chords and arrangement.

On the version of the song on the album, Macca is doing a really good approximation of the Caribbean traditional style, whereas when performed live by Wings later in the seventies, they give it an all out ska style (video link provided, the same version of which is an extra track on the recent CD reissue).  Both versions are great, and show how well he could learn styles.  Like a sponge he could soak up something so quickly and then be able to do it himself, and therein lies one of the most important parts to his songwriting - the ability to do just that and include it in his writing.  For more examples of his being influenced by Caribbean music listen to C Moon, How Many People (from Flowers In The Dirt), Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (The Beatles White Album), and the middle eight in Live And Let Die - "What does it matter to ya...".

The version on the album features a keyboard of some kind in the chorus, which he uses to try and mimic steel drums.  He is basically playing an arpeggio here, but obviously it's not a part that he is that bothered with, because when played live it is replaced with another lead line on the guitar.

As I said, the song is in the key of G major, and the basic chords are as follows;

Verse - G|G|G|C|G|D|G|D7
Chorus - C|G|C|D|D7

Have fun playing this.

Attached to Hot As Sun is another instrumental piece entitled Glasses which is basically Paul making music with... ... Yes, you guessed it, glasses.  I remember my friend Paul (not Macca but a different Paul) and I doing the same thing a couple of times where we experimented (something we did often I might add).  We took seven of the same style of glasses, wet our index fingers and then basically kept our fingers moving around the rims of the glasses touching them lightly.  This would make a sound from the glasses.  The glasses can be tuned to specific notes, depending on how much liquid is in them.  Beer and such would deaden the sound as they are a thicker liquid.  Water is brilliant for this.

When you have the right balance of water in the glasses, it is a beautiful sound, but watch that the glasses don't smash!  Here in this instrumental Paul shows what can be done with this.

Then attached to the ending of Glasses is an outtake from an unused song from the album sessions, which was called Suicide.  This song is included in a complete form on the second disc of the extra special edition that was reissued recently.

2011 Reissues
Next time we will be looking into the absolute gem that is Junk.

Links -
My version of Hot As Sun
Wings performing Hot As Sun live at Glasgow in 1979
Paul McCartney Chord songbook at Amazon UK