Paul McCartney | Wrigley Field | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Paul McCartney Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: July 31-Aug. 1 2011

Orthodox Johnists consider Paul McCartney, with his tendency toward poppy treacle and general air of well-adjustedness, to be the Beatles' weak link for the second half of their career. But that perspective overlooks the fact that Paul introduced the group to experimental composers like Stockhausen and did more than any other Beatle to incorporate nonrock instruments into the band's recordings. McCartney naysayers should check out the recent Concord reissues of his 1970 solo debut and its 1980 sequel, McCartney and McCartney II; Paul made both albums in a home studio by himself, and they highlight his love for goofy experimentation. The first record, which came out as the Beatles were breaking up, is a shambolic stylistic pileup that sounds like an immensely talented musician getting super stoned and having a bit of a flip-out on tape—which is apparently exactly what it is. The second was McCartney's means of escape from yet another bloated band, this time Wings—he retreated into solo mode to explore an apparent Devo fascination with the help of a bank of analog synths and what was probably a shit-ton more weed. Miles Raymer

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