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View Diary: Father and Son and Paul McCartney (25 comments)

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  •  Ram is my favorite (8+ / 0-)

    I listened again a few days ago, and I love it.

    I agree with our diarist that George Martin might perhaps have helped bring some of the songs to full flower, but the thing that hits me over and over about McCartney's music is his extraordinary melodies.  Many of the catchiest tunes ever written, and he makes it seems so effortless.  "Ram On" is great example -- a "ragged gem" indeed.

    My kids love the Beatles, and my nine-year-old likes to gues who's singing and whose song it is.  I taught him that, many times, when the voice isn't going many places but the background's unusual, it's John -- think the static melody at the start of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" or the tick-tock melody of "I Am the Walrus."  I'd play him a couple of examples, and he'd say, Okay.  Then I showed him that so many McCartney tunes are recognizable because they're just insanely catchy.  The lovely melodies of "Yesterday" or "Penny Lane."  The catchiness of "When I'm 64."  He got it.

    I think McCartney is often dissed by rock critics and Beatles fans because he seemed apolitical and because, frankly, melody is often considered the least important component of "important rock."  Not much melody to write home about in "songs of the decade" like "London Calling" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit."  Nor in the Stones' great riffing songs, like "Satisfaction" or "Jumping Jack Flash."

    And McCartney is a melodist.  Take a song like "Lady Madonna."  It's just unbelievably catchy in about five different ways, from the melody to the piano line, then the bass line.  

    A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

    by deminva on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 04:03:47 AM PDT

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