“McCartney II!” Paul McCartney’s Experimental Masterpiece! The Secret Stories Of “McCartney II”!!

McCartneyII2


McCartney’s “Secret” Masterpiece!

Based on these photos, Paul McCartney was in a playful mood when he returned to his solo career in 1980 – after many years recording with his band Wings – and from these recording sessions he created what has become one his most acclaimed albums – even though it was trashed by critics – AND SOME FANS – when released!

mccartney_ii_special edition


Time To Spin The Brilliant “McCartney II!”

Even though it was released a decade after the breakup of The Beatles, “McCartney II” is only the second solo album by Paul McCartney, and the first since the formation of Wings in 1971!

Paul McCartney

Remember that “RAM” is credited to Paul AND Linda McCartney, so even though it was his second solo album, it’s not considered that…which brings us to “McCartney II!”

mccartney_ii_special edition

The final Wings CD was a commercial and critical failure – even thought it has also emerged as a neglected gem as well:

Paul McCartney Back To The Egg

You can read about the final Wings album, “Back To The Egg”, by clicking on my story here:


https://johnrieber.com/2015/09/30/paul-mccartneys-cracked-back-to-the-egg-the-all-star-rockestra-band-a-musical-farewell-to-wings/

After Wings broke up, Macca went back into the studio for a very experimental album, a significant departure for McCartney. Much of “McCartney II” utilizes synthesizers and studio experimentation.

It all began when McCartney went north to his farm in Scotland to begin some private recordings in July 1979. The first song he recorded was “Check My Machine” as a way to test the equipment, hence its title. By sessions’ end, he had recorded over 20 songs!

Linda McCartney photos McCartney 2

This classic Linda McCartney photo of Paul at works shows just how experimental Macca had become, showing once again how committed he was to music, and his willingness to try anything!

McCartney 2 review

With no immediate use for the recordings, he put them aside – and only released one song – just in time for the holiday season 1979…

paul+mccartney_wonderful_christmas_time

Paul released his first solo single since 1971 – the holiday hit “Wonderful Christmastime”, which was recorded during those “McCartney II” recording sessions.

Here is the fun music video Macca released at the time:

McCartney 2 recordings

As for the rest of the songs, “McCartney II” was released the following May to very mixed reviews; many critics found the album, with its experimental, synth-based compositions and its handful of instrumentals, slight and unlike McCartney’s classic rock of the “Band On The Run” era…

But it was just what the fans wanted at the time, and the album hit number 1 in the UK and number 3 in the US.

The driver of the albums’s success was one of McCarney’s most unique singles ever!

coming_up_music video

“Coming Up!”

“Coming Up” – an uplifting dance number – appeared that April with a video (Paul playing all the bandmates, dubbed ‘The Plastic Macs’, except for the backing singers – played by Linda!

Here is a great “making of” video as well as the song!

The song was was a #2 hit in England – and it was released with the reverse side a live version recorded during Wings’ December 1979 show in Glasgow…

paul_mccartney_coming_up_live_version_1980_the80sman

“Coming Up” was flipped over for the live Wings version in the US where it became another No. 1 for McCartney, and helped launch the album’s success around the world!

Here is Paul McCartney performing “Coming Up” in “The Concert for Kampuchea”, held in London in 1979.

The other song that achieved great notoriety from the album also highlighted McCartney’s experimental phase at the time:

Paul McCartney Temporary Secretary

“Temporary Secretary”

This computerized, synthesized beat was unique, putting McCartney at the forefront of the 80’s new wave sound! Here is Paul still performing the song today, live from London is 2015:

Thanks to “FAB GEAR FAVE RAVE” for posting this on youtube! These first two songs set the stage for a great collection of McCartney songs, from the bluesy “On the Way” to the absolutely gorgeous ballad “Waterfalls”:

Next up was the funky, 50’s sound of “Nobody Knows”, then more experimental songs like
“Front Parlour”, “Summer’s Day Song”, “Frozen Jap”, “Bogey Music”, “Darkroom”, and ending with the beautiful “One of These Days”:

Thanks to MetalGuruMessiah for that very inventive music video honoring the song, which I found on youtube!

classic Paul McCartney II

As you can see from these photos, Paul was in quite the experimental mood, perhaps feeling freed from having to keep the band Wings going forward….instead, he let his inhibitions go, and released a masterpiece!

mccartney2_cover

“The Record Is Muddled And Confused!”

Or did he?

The initial reviews were mixed, with many criticizing McCartney for the experimental nature of the album. Yet time has, once again, given fans a chance to embrace the unique sound and classic McCartney songwriting.

McCartney 2 special edition review


“McCartney II” Special Edition Extras!

As well as the original album that I have discussed above, Macca’s terrific archive special edition includes a ton of great extras!

Disc 2 – Bonus Audio 1

“Blue Sway” (with Richard Niles Orchestration) – 4:35
Previously unreleased
“Coming Up” (Live at the Apollo Theatre, Glasgow – 17 December 1979) – 4:08
“Check My Machine” (Regular Single B-side Edited Version) – 5:50
“Bogey Wobble” – 2:59 – Previously unreleased
“Secret Friend (Full Length Version)” – 10:31
“Mr H Atom” / “You Know I’ll Get You Baby” – 5:55 – Previously unreleased
“Wonderful Christmastime” (Regular A-side Version) – 3:47
“All You Horse Riders” / “Blue Sway” – 10:15 – Previously unreleased

McCartney 2 special edition review

Disc 3 – Bonus Audio 2

“Coming Up” [Full Length Version] – 5:34
“Front Parlour” [Full Length Version] – 5:15
“Frozen Jap” [Full Length Version] – 5:43
“Darkroom” [Full Length Version] – 3:45
“Check My Machine” [Full Length Version] – 8:58
“Wonderful Christmastime” [Full Length Version] – 4:15
“Summer’s Day Song” [Original without vocals] – 3:25
“Waterfalls” (DJ edit) – 3:20

McCartney 2 trivia

Disc 4 – DVD

“Meet Paul McCartney”
“Coming Up” – Music video
“Waterfalls” – Music video
“Wonderful Christmastime” – Music video
“Coming Up” – Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea – 29 December 1979
“Coming Up” – Taken from a rehearsal session at Lower Gate Farm, 1979
“Making the Coming Up Music Video”
“Blue Sway” – Music video

This special edition is one of my favorites, as it is full of great unreleased music and tons of videos!

It certainly made me appreciate the album all the more…and speaking of under-appreciated McCartney albums – I hope they do a special edition of this as well:

Red_Rose_Speedway

“RAM 2!”

Well, you can call it “Red Rose Speedway”, but it WAS actually “RAM 2!” Read all about it here:


https://johnrieber.com/2015/08/21/paul-mccartneys-brilliant-ram-2-wings-soar-with-red-rose-speedway/

I love all of McCartney’s music, and have come to appreciate his more eclectic music as well, perhaps none more that this:

Paul McCartney Twin Freaks

McCartney’s “Twin Freaks!”

Here is one of McCartney’s most obscure collaborations – read all about this amazing project by clicking on my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/06/20/twin-freaks-the-fireman-paul-mccartneys-neglected-solo-music-masterpieces/

And let me know what you think of “McCartney II!”

mccartney_ii_special edition



Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, documentary films, Independent Cinema, London, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

Trackbacks

  1. “Driving Rain!” Paul McCartney’s “Casio” Cover! “Freedom” Tribute! Two Week Recording Session! – johnrieber
  2. My Paul McCartney “Electric Argument!” Was The Fireman Actually “McCartney III?” Macca’s Heather Mills Dis Myth! – johnrieber
  3. “Pipes Of Peace!” Paul McCartney’s Rap! Ringo’s Drumming! Misunderstood Classic Or “Tug” Leftovers? – johnrieber
  4. Paul McCartney’s “Rockestra!” The Last “Wings” Single! First New Grammy! Macca Rocks Kampuchea! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Roberta Writes

How you see life depends on how you look at things

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

enjoying new places, one plank at a time

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Pages, Places, & Plates

Reviews of books, eateries, experiences, and travel.

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

A potpourri of books and things

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

From Michigan to Germany

A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.

JR-Sploitation!

The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

fancypaper

Little Things Make Us Happy

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Come for Adventure. Stay for the Ride!

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists

%d bloggers like this: