Rob Sheffield’s Dreaming the Beatles (highly recommended) has a great Paul McCartney quote on his own solo work:
I hear some of them and think, blimey, you should finish that one someday, son.
I don’t think that applies to his more recent ones, which I really like: 2005’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, 2007’s Memory Almost Full, and 2012’s jazz standards cover album Kisses on the Bottom.
I also like his first two solo records, 1970’s McCartney and 1971’s Ram. But I also think, in the spirit of Better The Beatles and Paul’s own above quote, that they could be improved. Basically by becoming one album.
Here’s what my version of Ram McCartney would look like:
- The Lovely Linda
- That Would Be Something
- Every Night
- Man We Was Lonely
- Teddy Boy
- Maybe I’m Amazed
- Too Many People
- Ram On
- Dear Boy
- Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
- Heart of the Country
- Eat at Home
Gone are all the instrumental or noise songs, and the ones that simply annoy me like “Kreen Akrore” and “Monkberry Moon Delight”. The result is a much tighter, cohesive album that shows off McCartney’s renowned talent without the self-indulgent piffle of these early solo works.