249. E=mc2

“Speaking of Performance (the movie), it features prominently in Big Audio Dynamite‘s sample rich E=mc2, along with other bits and pieces from various films directed by Nicholas Roeg. And what a cool track it was (and still is), promising so much from Mick Jones in the wake of the Clash‘s rather ridiculous crash and burn, except they never really got any better, which can only mean they got worse. Not that Big Audio Dynamite were ever really bad (even if they were definitely B.A.D.) – just lacking Joe Strummer‘s overall sandpaper edge, I guess. Rather like Paul McCartney operating without John Lennon post-Beatles. At least B.A.D. never did a Christmas song.” (Philip Random)

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344. too many people

“I believe I’ve covered this ground already. Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles stuff has only ever really mattered to me when he’s, to some degree, working off or in response to his old band mate John Lennon. In the case of Too Many People, that means wondering about the perhaps dubious sympathies of Power to the People, because, ummm, well there’s too many of them — people that is, happy to grab a handout (Paul never was much for nailing it lyrically). But what matters most is the track has serious bite, Paul the nice Beatle having not yet lost all of his carnivore tendencies, in spite of the vegetarianism.” (Philip Random)

490. let me roll it

“Found on Wings’ 1973 album, Band on the Run, Let Me Roll It has been tagged by some as a Paul McCartney attack on John Lennon, part of an ongoing musical feud that stretched back to before the Beatles even split. But to my ears, it sounds more like an homage, raw and to the point (whatever the point is), and maybe the best track from the best thing he ever did post The Beatles.” (Philip Random)

(Jack Kay, Hulton Archive, Getty Images)

682. I’m only sleeping

“To my ears, the split that eventually sank the Beatles was evident as early as 1965-66. Because while Paul was getting all moist about Yesterday, John was penning a psychedelic love letter to lethargy, just wanting to roll over and sleep for a few more hours, or perhaps days. Which is why John will always be cooler, better than Paul. Or as my friend Tim used to say, the key question isn’t, who do you like better, the Beatles or the Stones — it’s John or Paul? And anyone who says Paul, well, they’re probably nice enough, but can ever really trust them?” (Philip Random)

(image source)

1008. Picasso’s last words (drink to me)

Paul McCartney (and Wings) still seemed to matter in 1974. No, he wasn’t cranking out Hey Judes anymore, but the stuff was still sounding better than most of the other pop dreck on the radio. Picasso’s Last Words, the last song from Band on the Run, is a loose stumble through various angles and forms which is probably supposed to reflect the great painter’s cubist form. “As with pretty much any post-Beatles McCartney or Lennon track, I can’t help thinking it would be better if the other guy was still involved, calling bullshit, throwing in ideas and whatever. But it’s still fun in a sad sort of way. Feel free to playlist it at my funeral.” (Philip Random)

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