Remixing McCartney

I’m posting this because I’m a fan of Paul McCartney (best live show I have ever seen, period), it’s an interesting use of technology, and it’s just plain cool. McCartney’s solo work has been prolific and of … well, let’s call it “variable” quality. About 10% is pure crap, maybe 70% is just fine, but that last 20% is brilliant. (This collaboration with George Martin could have come from Revolver.) Macca is reissuing RAM in a special edition on May 22nd, and he’s placed four tracks online for people to remix, save, and submit. The best remixes will be posted on the site.

The songs are Band on the Run, Monkberry Moon Delight, Let Me Roll It, and Maybe I’m amazed. You can adjust keyboard, vocals, percussion, and guitars separately, as well as play with echo, flange, and cutoff frequency.  It’s a long way from when I was wee bairn, adjusting the fake stereo on “For No One” so I could learn the bass line.

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • http://www.virtue-quest.com/ Robert King

    So, I take it you are a bassist then?

    Can’t say I share your appreciation for McCartney’s solo songwriting, but his bass work (esp. w/ the Beatles) almost always hits exactly that sweet spot of both rhythmically/harmonically solid and melodically captivating.

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    I haven’t touched a guitar since I was 18, but I diddled around a bit in my misspent youth. Always wanted a Hofner.

  • Drew

    I think your assessment of Paul’ solo work is about right, though I’d say 20% is terrible, 60% is just fine, and that last 20% is brilliant. Ram is his masterpiece. And I’m thrilled that what I’ve heard of this reissues sounds fantastic.

  • victor

    No love for the “Spies Like Us” themesong? :-(

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    It takes a lot of “Live and Let Die” quality songs to make up for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o8-eLZhrOA

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    I have to give it to the guy: he just keeps making music, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. About once a decade he puts out an album that hits all the right spots, but a lot of his LPs have too much filler that goes nowhere. He’s best when he’s working with someone else, like Elvis Costello, Denny Laine, or Steve Miller.

  • Drew

    See I like McCartney best when he’s working alone, playing all the instruments (or nearly alone). His best records are McCartney (alone), Ram (him with a few session musicians), McCartney II (alone), Electric Arguments (with just Youth) and Chaos and Creation (with just Nigel Godrich). And yes, Band on the Run but yada yada. McCartney just demonstrated (once again) with his recent song My Valentine that he can still craft a beautiful conventional song. But he already did the carefully crafted pop genius with the Beatles. Nothing left to prove there. That’s why I like weird quirky Macca. The tracks that make you go, Where the heck did he come up with that?

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    I’d say almost the exact opposite, and put most of those albums pretty far down, with Ram, London Town, Flaming Pie, and the like much higher. I agree that the small stuff can be pretty interesting, but I don’t go back to it too much. And I do agree that My Valentine was terrific. It’s the only track I’m returning to on that one.

  • http://www.xdollarx.com Michael K

    ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’ is the only xmas song I look forward to hearing every year! It’s annoyingly catchy, yes but also so ‘new wave’ and structurally quite avant-garde for an ultra-pap song and I love the guitar solo.

    Meanwhile, there’s a lot of that 60% that keeps growing and with time, there’s an awful lot of McCartney that ripens. Here’s another one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUZ_rGMygL0


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