I am a huge fan of The Beatles and when I say huge, I mean astronomicallyHUGE! In High School I went through a John Lennon phase (as we all do), especially being from the Upper West Side near The Dakota. Then in College, I became enamored with the incredible George Harrison in all his spiritual glory. My Ringo phase, as expected, was anti-climatic, being shorter and less exciting than even my Billy Preston phase. Finally that leaves Paul... The one who died, the Walrus, Michael Jackson's former friend, The Simpsons character (Actually everyone but John was on it).
For most of my life, Paul and I had a love/hate relationship. I feel that he represented the early Beatles very well, but as the Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles emerged, with their more abstract, psychedelic sounds and themes, Paul, and his fiction novel-esque storytelling style was sort of left behind (see Strawberry Fields Vs. Penny Lane). It was not until earlier this year when somebody turned me on to McCartney's first Post-Fab Four album, Ram, that my rocky opinion turned into sheer admiration.
It is interesting to see how the seperate parts of the biggest band ever chose to cope with the break-up. The parting of the talents produced some of the biggest solo albums of the time, John Lennon's Imagine and (the watershed first ever triple album by a solo artist) George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, but amongst all the praise, Macca's Ram is often forgotten. It is an incredibly solid record top to bottom and features Paul and his amazing late-wife Linda's take on the world front and center, without compromise. The final product is a view into the strength of Paul's songwriting and musical prowess, combined with the fact that although he may not be the martyr of the Beatles, but he is still cooler than any of us will ever be. His lyrics might not be as rebellious, or metaphysical, but Paul McCartney is a world treasure, and any time he says anything... everybody should shut up and listen.
I have a very vivid memory of driving through non-gentrified Soho in 1995 with my father, and my friend at the time, Andres (aka Gonzo) listening to this song on Z100. If I were to try to remake that entire scene, to quote Led Zeppelin, only "the song remains the same." None of those things are anything like they were back then, except the song.
I have also heard rumblings that this 90's alternitive classic will be featured in an upcoming Guitar Hero game, which is also awesome because Bassist/Lead Singer/Liv Tyler's Ex Husband Royston Langdon, lays down one of my favorite bass grooves of the pre-lennium. Good luck with the Lyrics though. Anyway here is one of top cult favorite bands, Spacehog, with their biggest hit "In The Meantime."
Even though the gender gap has been slightly equalized, it's only fair for a little bit of Boy Pride. Listening to this song, I can really empathize with the demasculinization of boys in society. Apparently if they like running around, or being at all rambunctious, they are labeled as Bad or during my adolescence, ADD Positive. As an attendee of NYC public schools I can safely say, most teachers would have been happier in a class full of Girls. Obviously I am not a leading mind on the subject, but I can say from experience, that being a rough and tumble kid never got anyone into any real trouble. Plus we all have to grow up someday, why does it matter so much what we grow up from?
Anyway, here are a few blokes who were troublemakers far into their adult lives, trashing hotel rooms, smashing guitars, and blowing up drum sets. Actually maybe boys (myself included) are too much trouble.
Song #39: The Who - I'm a Boy
P.S. Sorry about Rasta Monday. I felt like this song was a more appropriate first song back from Ladies Week, plus I kinda just wasn't feeling it. Tune in next week for a reggae post twice as good as usual.
Ladies Week has been a great success in terms of decreasing the gender gap here at Every Day, Another Song. Obviously there are still many many women that have not yet been represented, but Marcia, Amy, Janis, Dolly, Nina and Yoko, have all had a large impact on my life, as well as many others, by helping to liberate women from any form of musical subjugation they may have endured. As a small token of my appreciation, today (01/10/10) EDAS is exclusively made up of the fairer sex.
Our final female has done the same for a different sphere of music, and in fact there could not be a more appropriate song to come on Biggie Sunday. Christopher Wallace's first hit came by piggybacking on the success of Mary J. Blige's song "Real Love." In 1993, a remix version was released with a short verse by Biggie Smalls (a name he would have to give up when he discovered it was already in use, probably because it's the name of a fictitious Gangster in Bill Cosby's 1975 Film, Let's Do It Again, which I HIGHLY recommend) which helped Blige's Whats the 411 sell millions of copies. It also put a little known rapper, newly named The Notorious B.I.G. and his scrappy producer, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs on the map. Within a year, Biggie released his eternal masterpiece Ready to Die and took his place atop the throne as the King of Rap forever. Not to be outdone, Mary Jane Blige continued her success, blossoming into what Diddy dubbed, "The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul." She has won 9 grammy's and sold over 65 million records worldwide. Even though she now spends more of her time as a producer and Actor, you can still hear that great voice that was bestowed on this little girl born in the Bronx. This one, as they all do, goes out to Big.
Song #38: Mary J. Blige featuring Biggie Smalls - Real Love Remix