Friday, September 16, 2011

Paul/Linda McCartney--Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (1971)

     It's hard to imagine now the atomic blast that was the break-up of the Beatles. Although not a true fan of their music at the time (or anyone elses), I distinctly remember at the age of 9 hearing about the breakup. Having been a rabid fan over the years since, reading as many accounts as I could get my hands on, it's sad that something so totally unmusical caused the break up, at the same time it being so inevitable. Those first few years afterward the microscope on their lives was as intense as ever, as each of them dealt with it in totally different (and predictable) ways. 

     Many of the fans were looking for outside sources to blame for the breakup. Yoko took heaps of abuse for her perceived role, in a lesser way Linda did as well. However, the press seemed to take dead aim at Paul. Maybe it was because he was the first one to "officially" leave, this despite the Ringo and George quitting for brief periods of time and John being begged not to break the band up during a time where a new record deal was being negotiated. His leaving, along with leaving behind a debut album that was as much therapy session as it was album gave many in the media a boatload of reason to take dead aim at Paul AND Linda.  

     The album, "McCartney" came across then (as now) as a lot of unfinished ideas and one brilliant song (Maybe I'm Amazed). It wasn't bad at all, it just seemed so un-Paul like that it was jarring in it's own way. The second album which was much more filled out, included Linda on some of the background vocals. It also gave more of a template (for better or worse) of the kind of music that Paul was to make over the next decade. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey according to McCartney was based on an uncle of his while Admiral Halsey was built on a real General, William Halsey Jr who fought in the Pacific theater during World War 2.

     The album, "Ram" had mixed reviews at the time, but over the last 40 years has aged well. The single was his first of seven #1 hits in the decade (in the US), and at least for me, one of his most creative....


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