Friday, 2 September 2011

Paul McCartney - McCartney (1970) - Part Six

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

Now here is a song that could easily not have been.  Oo You started out as an instrumental, much like a lot of material that is on here.  It was called 'Don't Cry Baby', but by the time he went in to Abbey Road studios to record some overdubs, he had written some lyrics for the song, allegedly the night before the session.  So, on top of recording a second guitar and some tambourine, he also put a vocal down.

The lyrics are very bluesy in style, with a directness that is almost matter of fact like.  They are incredibly simple lyrics, but the song has a strange power to it that makes it more interesting than it could have been.  If it had remained an instrumental, then perhaps it would have been one of those songs that are frequently skipped.

His vocal on the song is the rocker McCartney to the max, especially the "eat like a hunger" line with the incredible edge to it.  When Macca does rock out it is an astonishing and amazing thing.  It's an underrated talent, but he is one of very few people who have a different types of voice, much like someone such as Lenny Kravitz today.  He can sing an all-out rock song with grit and steel, and then be sweet and angelic for a ballad, but also have a couple of other voices as well.  Reggae songs are also a different voice for him as well, but that's veering away from this song.

Much like a lot of the material on this album, it's a very basic and raw production, with rough edges to it.  Some of the parts aren't absolutely perfect, but in a lot of ways that adds to the overall feel of the song.  Here he has captured a song for the general emotion of the piece rather than the note perfect, which could have actually been less interesting essentially.  This is a case where literally less is best.

Musically it is a sort of Southern blues style, albeit with the twist that he's working around the root, flattened third, and the fourth chords.  In this case that means G, Bb, and C.  He also uses some very blues/jazz style notes a lot in the choruses beautifully under the G chords, leading up to the change to the C chords.

The actual riff that leads it all of is just the perfect riff, showing McCartney's innate ability to come up with classic and unforgettable hooks.  Proof of this can also be seen in The Beatles' 'Day Tripper' and Wings' 'Let Me Roll It', to name just a couple.

It's certainly not a song that was sweated over in the writing of it musically, because it tends to stick to the main axis of the G, Bb and C chords, with other chords only being used as passing chords essentially.  The choice of passing chords (and passing notes in the lead runs) is also fascinating, using a mix of natural notes, off key "blue" notes, and chromatic runs (pretty much a staple now of all funk based rock bands, hip hop, and the like).

The song works really well, when it probably shouldn't.  It is also incredible fun to play.

As a little extra I have recorded two versions of this song.  I have recorded a band-type version, but have also done a version just using my voice and body to perform without any instruments.  What can I say except that I just felt like it, but also think that it sounds cool.

The next song on the album is the instrumental Momma Miss America.  I'll be looking at that next then.

Links -
My version of Oo You
My vocalised version of Oo You
A video of someone playing along very well - thanks to him