The Beatles icon Paul McCartney discussed facing backlash from his colleagues for his decision to appear on a song with Kanye West that excessively used the N-word in a GQ interview. McCartney said he ultimately felt that rappers like West had ‘re-appropriated’ the word. McCartney also worked with Rihanna. “I mean, Rihanna is something else. She’s cool. So it was a great thrill, actually. I loved it. I feel a kind of privilege that they think I’m worthy of their world. I know I’m worthy of my world, but I didn’t know that they think I could fit.”
The song “All Day,” brought new challenges. “The big surprise was the use of the N-word,” McCartney says. (Multiple use, too. Forty-four times, to be precise.) Some people around McCartney saw this as a problem—”They said, ‘You can’t be connected to this'”—and McCartney suggests that he looked into the issue with some care. “There’s basically two schools of thought: One, that the N-word has been re-appropriated by black rappers and they’ve sort of taken the sting out of it. And the other point of view is Oprah’s point of view, which is that any use of the word denigrates black people, and I can see that, too.”
In the end, he decided to go with it. “I thought, you know, ‘It’s urban poetry. It’s Kanye.’ I like the record. I thought he did a really good job on it.”
Source: Brett Buchanan/alternativenation.net
It was supposed to be a vacation. Paul McCartney wanted to take his band someplace sunny and exotic to record a new album. That way, they could work and be tourists at the same time — the same reason every movie filmed in Hawaii has a better cast than it probably should. EMI, McCartney’s label, had a studio in the Nigerian city of Lagos, and that seemed nice enough to McCartney. He figured it would be a breezy, pleasant experience. It was not.
There were complicating factors. During a rehearsal on McCartney’s Scottish farm a week before recording started, McCartney got into an argument with guitarist Henry McCullough, and McCullough quit on the spot. And the night before the band left for Nigeria, drummer Danny Seiwell left the band, as well. At the time, Wings weren’t a hugely successful enterprise. They’d made hits, but critics had generally come to regard McCartney as a lightweight hack, at least compared to his ex-bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison. Now, suddenly, he was a lightweight hack whose band had three members instead of five, and he still had to make this damn album.
Nigeria was not the tropical paradise that McCartney had envisioned. Instead, it was a country recovering from a civil war and controlled by a military junta. Infrastructure had crumbled. Disease was rampant. And rather than relaxing in finery, McCartney had to make do with a studio that only had one eight-track recorder.
Source: Tom Breihan/stereogum.com
The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles (Cornell University Press, October 2019), acclaimed Beatles historian Kenneth Womack offers the most definitive account yet of the writing, recording, mixing, and reception of Abbey Road.
In February 1969, the Beatles began working on what became their final album together. Abbey Road introduced a number of new techniques and technologies to the Beatles' sound, and included "Come Together," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun," which all emerged as classics.
Womack's colorful retelling of how this landmark album was written and recorded is a treat for fans of the Beatles. Solid State takes readers back to 1969 and into EMI's Abbey Road Studio, which boasted an advanced solid state transistor mixing desk. Womack focuses on the dynamics between John, Paul, George, Ringo, and producer George Martin and his team of engineers, who set aside (for the most part) the tensions and conflicts that had arisen on previous albums to create a work with an innovative (and, among some fans and critics, controversial) studio-bound sound that prominently included the new Moog synthesizer, among other novelties.
Source: BWW News Desk/broadwayworld.com
This summer, Sir James Paul McCartney will turn 77 years young, and even while he continues to put out new albums and tour the world several times over, his legacy of literally hundreds upon hundreds of songs remains undiminished. Five decades ago he was planning the end of his run with The Beatles, the Fab Four dropping both the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack and the legendary "Abbey Road" in 1969. The following year would see the release of the Beatles' final album ("Let It Be") as well as McCartney's first-ever solo record. In the 49 years since then, he's been dropping decade-defining pop numbers that still illicit massive roars from concert crowds. "Beatlemania" isn't a time frame: it's a mindset.
So unite your hands across the water (water) and heads across the sky as we put together the ultimate Paul McCartney playlist. From his time with The Beatles to his collaboration with Rihanna and everything in between, let's take a look at all of the great songs from "Yesterday" and beyond.
Source: Evan Sawdey/yardbarker.com
If you wanted to define “on top of the world,” you could just point to The Beatles in 1967. In July, the band released Sgt. Pepper’s, which included “A Day in the Life” and other classic songs. It was widely hailed as a masterpiece.
Commercially, the band could hardly have more success. Starting in July, Sgt. Pepper’s held onto No. 1 on the Billboard charts for nearly four months. In those days, the only thing that could stop a Beatles album from taking the top spot was usually another Beatles album.
However, amidst all the success, The Beatles had to deal with a major tragedy. Brian Epstein, the band’s manager and friend since the Liverpool days, died of an accidental drug overdose in August ’67. John Lennon later said the band “collapsed” after his death and actually “broke up then.”
John pointed to the Magical Mystery Tour film, completed the month after Epstein’s death, as evidence. That film, which was mainly the work of Paul McCartney, got received with such contempt at the time it’s hard to believe. It lacked a plot and was simply too trippy for British audiences of the day.
For those of us who never got to see The Beatles in concert, The Fab Faux are the next best thing. The band has dedicated themselves to faithfully recreating some of the most extraordinary music ever written. The band’s current US tour continues throughout 2019, and includes an ambitious array of set lists that include songs The Beatles never performed in concert. On Saturday, June 1st the band will perform songs from the Beatles Psychedelia Years: ‘66 - ‘68 and a set of fan favorites at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. Showtime is 8:00pm and the night features The Hogshead Horns & The Creme Tangerine Strings.
Now in their 20th year performing together, The Fab Faux’s members are celebrated bassist Will Lee (CBS Orchestra/David Letterman, countless artists,) Jimmy Vivino, Music Director/Guitarist for 'Conan' and long time music partner of Levon Helm, John Sebastian, Laura Nyro, lead-singing drummer/producer Rich Pagano (Rosanne Cash, Roger Waters, etc.), guitarist, Frank Agnello (Marshall Crenshaw, Phoebe Snow, etc.) and multi-instrumentalist, Jack Petruzzelli (Joan Osborne, Patti Smith, etc.).
A recent Fab Faux mini-concert at SiriusXM was filmed via a ten-camera video shoot. Here is their performance of "Strawberry Fields Forever."