After Wings at the Speed of Sound I stopped buying Paul McCartney albums. I still enjoyed some of the hits and collaborations, but my general reaction to his work could largely be measured in yawns.
Last weekend I read this favourable Guardian review of Macca’s latest release, Egypt Station. According to Kitty Empire, the man was back in the groove.
So I sat down, selected play on Spotify, and listened for just shy of an hour, 16 tracks. Hmm… sadly the only groove I detected was the one carved out by repetition and predictability. It just didn’t seem to get going. The battery was obviously fully charged and the starter motor was turning, but there was no real spark.
I hear a lot of people say fair play to the man, still doing his thing at 76. I wonder if this sentiment is largely born out of affection, or wishful thinking. A nod to past achievements, or a deep seated longing for one more masterpiece?
I was/am a loyal Beatles fan, and I still play McCartney’s first three albums from time to time. I probably would have drawn the line after Wings Wildlife, but the next three albums made up the bulk of the Wings set, on their 1975/76 tour. I saw them on the first night, in Southampton, and again at Wembley Empire Pool on the third but last gig on their itinerary. They were sensational. They weren’t just in the groove, they were scratching deep and leaving audiences with all the right kinds of scars. The kind you never attempt to cover up.
As for Egypt Station, this is the best of the bunch, for me. Have a listen. See what you think.