Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Oh Lord, Why?

Paul McCartney, Beatle, is responsible for some of the most outrageously beautiful songs of all time – Yesterday, For No One (quite possibly my favourite Beatles song ever – certainly in the top five), Hey Jude and Eleanor Rigby for example; he also wrote some of the Beatles’ best rock tracks, including Helter Skelter, Get Back, Paperback Writer and the greatest opening track to a debut album ever, I Saw her Standing There.

However, James Paul McCartney is the author behind the worst of the Beatles’ canon: the insufferable Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, the truly execrable Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and that one man ego trip that was Let It Be…Naked. The Love album aside (which I think is a remarkable, beautiful achievement) I don’t think you should mess with a body of work; once a recording is out there it no longer belongs to the artist, it belongs to the paying audience. Let It Be…Naked was wrong in exactly the same way that the 40th anniversary Doors remasters were wrong. We all know Jim was censured, that his words were adulterated, but we’ve lived with the ‘official’ version of Break On Through for 45 years now – why change it? Let It Be…Naked may have unearthed a new version of Don’t Let Me Down, but it should never have existed.

Anyway, no matter how bad the worst of McCartney’s Beatles compositions were, they are nothing compared to the worst excesses of his solo and Wings years. You could easily fill a double CD with some of the bollocks he’s produced since the greatest band that ever walked the planet split. The world can get by quite happily without one version of Oobu Joobu: it certainly does not need six! And as for certified turds like Morse Moose and the Grey Goose, Wonderful Christmastime, Bip Bop, Spies Like Us, the stupid The Other Me (with its ridiculous opening couplet ‘I know I was a crazy fool for treating you like I did, but something got a hold of me and I acted like a dustbin lid’), Move Over Busker, that awful bloody Frog Chorus garbage and almost all of his moronic vanity projects, such as the Thrillington album (instrumental versions of the hugely underrated Ram), the Country Hams, Rockestra and so on, the world would be a better place without them.

He’s been producing garbage for more than 40 years, but nothing quite as awful as this. Today, ladies and gentlemen, for your enjoyment the World’s Worst Records presents Paul McCartney dragging down the career of another one-time great with the nadir of his solo work, Ebony and Ivory.

Everything about this half-assed project is wrong, from the fact that the two of them didn't even record their parts at the same time or in the same studio to the wretched cover (above) with a whimsical Paul leaning against an oversized keyboard and a crappy photo of Stevie tacked on as a last-minute sop to the co-creator of this pap. It's horrible, horrible, horrible. Lord knows how it managed to get to number one in the UK, US, Canada, Japan, Norway and Germany. Still, not everyone was fooled: the song was named as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and was cited as the worst duet in history by listeners of BBC 6 Music.

I love the Beatles...but I hate this.


  1. Of all Sir Paul's atrocities, you pick Ebony and Ivory?! Sure the ending is appalling and the instrumental which is characteristic of this period cringe-inducing. But it has a fine melody anyone can whistle, a message worth aspiring to, and lyrics that don't insult the intelligence but offer a simple effective metaphor.
    You would not DARE criticise the obscenity that makes up both of the so-called Duets albums featuring a technologically-enhanced Sinatra, would you! Besides, one could argue that convicted-murderer Spector raped the Beatles with his choirs and wall of sound which Paul rescued and delivered, pure as a newborn. Are you suggesting that Sir Paul allow the insult to continue, despite the disgusting way his own creations were perverted?
    Personally, I think 'I've Just seen a Face' beats 'For No One'. And "The Night Before' finally gets recognised for the gem it is.

  2. Unfair I would moot. Massively so in fact! Clap your lug-ettes round - for example - 'Little Arrows' by Leapy Lee for aural torture comparison in order to hopefully gain some well-needed perspective, grasshoppers. Or are we all too far gone? Perhaps, but why isn't that track on here? Maybe it is. I don't know, obviously. Chillingly, although a huge fan, I do have suggestions for more stinkers....

    (But of course they're probably here. Sorry, as you are providing an unrivalled resource)


    Bruce Chanel

  3. of the site, not Leapy Lee obviously. honest.....

  4. Well, I knew some of you would disagree; there are many other terrors in the McCartney catalogue - C Moon, Let Em In, Mary Had A Little Lamb were other huge singles which I could easily have substituted for E&I, for example. God knows what you'll be saying when I get around to highlighting some of Bob Dylan's atrocities!

    Maybe there's someting wrong with me, but I don't find Little Arrows THAT offensive...

  5. Ack! Almost as bad as Temporary Secretary! ;)

  6. RobGems.ca wrote:
    Some people also didn't like McCartney's duets with Michael Jackson, which you failed to mention (Like"The Girl Is Mine, Say,Say,Say", Admit it, you know 'em...)for me the worst McCartney solo song had to be the re-makes of Beatles songs on his "Give My Regards to Broadway" Soundtrack from 1984; These re-makes are lifeless next to the original Beatles' renditions.

  7. I was wandering around the net and came across this "article". I haven't the slightest idea who you are, where you came from or think you know who you are, but this is your bottom line sir- you have absolutely no earthly idea what you are saying and,in my opinion, should stop this moment and relisten to everything The Beatles, McCartney, McCartney and Wings, and Wings produced. The sheer genius of McCartney is mind boggling. No one has accomplished what he has, period. No matter how "bad" or "ridiculous" or "insufferable" your thoughts of McCartney's songs may be, everything he produces is absolute genius. YOU go produce as he and then YOU go criticize. Seriously, son.

  8. Ridiculous. 'Everything he produces is absolute genius'? Without thinking about it too hard I'd cite Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Mumbo, Bip Bop, Kreen-Akore, Lunchbox/Odd Socks, Rockestra Theme, My Carnival, Figure of Eight, Morse Moose and the Grey Goose...I could go on, but clearly sir you need some context. And a sense of humour.

  9. 9/12/14
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    You want the worst of Bob Dylan? Try his goofy double-tracked "duet" cover of "The Boxer" from 1970's "Self-Portrait" Now THAT was what Greil Marcus was talking about when he said "What Is This Shit?" in his 1970 review of Self-Portrait in Rolling Stone. Also, his "Christian" songs on the dreary 1981 album "Saved", His rambling, incoherent live disasterpiece "Live At Boudikan" from 1978, or any of his wretched "synth-pop" albums from 1983-90, with at least one or two good songs on them at least, and about ten or eleven more songs of bile. Oh, and don't forget his 2010 dreadful Christmas album, by playing it straight with that scraggly voice of his on some Christmas Classics which all fall flat, That album is hilarious at selling out his fans to sound like a hoarse-throated Andy Williams (who would out-perform him in Christmas songs any time, RIP Andy 1927-2012.) As for Paul, don't get me started on "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reggae" from 1979. (WTF?!)


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