An Old Beatle Offers Us A Bit Of  Bright Light In Dark Times

“Who cares what the idiots say, Who cares what the idiots do, Who cares about the pain in your heart, Who cares about you, …. I DO.

  • From ‘Who Cares’, one of the 17 new songs on Paul McCartney’s 25th and latest solo album, ‘Egypt Station’, released This September 7th, 2018

A Brief One from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted September 7th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Paul McCartney is back – not that he ever went away – with a very nice new album.

In a world where music lovers everywhere are still mourning the passing of Aretha Franklin and some of us are still coming to terms with the all-too-soon –and-sudden death last year of Tom Petty – all with the madness of King Trump deconstructing decency and democracy 24/7 – how good it is to still have Paul McCartney with us, releasing a whole album of songs that rise up from the kinder side of human nature.

The album, called ‘Egypt Station’, also features great cover art from paintings produced by McCartney himself and was released this Friday, September 7th, 2018 – just a little over 50 years to the day that he and the rest of The Beatles released what would be one of the biggest singles every, ‘Hey Jude’, with ‘Revolution’ on the flip side.

The very worst you can say about Paul McCartney’s new album is that it, like almost every other album that he and other members of The Beatles recorded during their solo careers, may never have the instant “wow” reaction that Beatle albums did the first time you heard them.

When Hey Jude was released as a single at the end of August in 1968, this was the first time the world saw a Beatle record on the now iconic Apple label. The song became one of the biggest selling singles of all time – 50 years ago this summer and fall.

Having said, that it is still a very nice set of songs and how fortunate we should be that one of the world’s greatest writers and performers of music over the past 100 or more years is still writing brand new songs for us at age 76, and sounding like he still enjoys it.

At this stage of the game, most of Paul McCartney’s contemporaries, have either stopped  writing and recording new songs altogether, or are doing duets of their own songs with other artists or letting other artists “reimagine” their songs in recordings they don’t even perform  in.

There are some notable exceptions. Earlier this year Chris Hillman of The Byrds came out with a great solo album called “Bidin’ My Time’ and legendary folksinger Joan Baez released an album at the onset of her ongoing “farewell tour” called ‘Whistle Down The Wind’.

Speaking of legends, another queen of soul, Mavis Staples, released a very fine album called ‘If All I Was Black’, and one of the great horn-backed funk band of all time, Tower of Power (some of you may have seen them in concern at the Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines last winter), released a hot album of new songs called ‘Soul Side of Town’.

The cover of Paul McCartney’s new solo album ‘Egypt Station’, from McCartney’s own paintings.

Two other legends in rock music put out albums that took a strong punch at forces of intolerance and fascism. Jeff Beck did it with an album called ‘Loud Hailer’ and Neil Young did it with an album called ‘The Visitor’.

Then there was a recent release by one of the last giants of Muddy Waters/B.B. King era of blues standing – Buddy guy – with a great one called ‘The Blues is Alive and Well’. Another great blues artist, Boz Scaggs’, has also released a hot new album called ‘Out of the Blues’.

And this Friday, September 7th, another Paul – Paul Simon, to be specific – released ‘In The Blue Light’, a fantastic album of songs he wrote and recorded earlier in his more than 50-year-long career, but with a very interesting wrinkle. The songs he re-recorded, with some of the best musicians in the business, were not the obvious “hits,” but some very strong album songs that did not receive the attention they deserved at the time.

Getting back to Paul McCartney, if you like him anyone, and could use a lift, you can’t go wrong picking up his new album on CD or vinyl in a real brick and mortar record store.

Long live Paul McCartney! And thank you Paul for continuing to gift us with some new songs.

To hear ‘Who Cares’, one of the tracks on Paul McCartney’s new solo album, ‘Egypt Station’, click on

And if you are in the mood for a little nostalgia, click on the screen below to hear and watch The Beatles, in September of 1968, performing ‘Hey Jude’ on television for the first time

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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