Monday, July 11, 2005

Apollo C. Vermouth

Paul McCartney - Check My Machine

I've been getting a little obsessed with Macca at the moment and this LP in particular but the thing is I don't really know why or what started it? I'm not a Beatles fan and i've never really paid much attention to his solo work except for the splendour of the Frog Chorus. (I was 10 and it was ace so there). Yet this LP has just hit the spot right from his grainy startled face on the sleeve to the captivating collection of wonky old songs.

McCartney II was Paul's twelfth solo LP recorded around July 1979, 10 years after the first 'McCartney' album. It was made without the rigmarole of a conventional studio and all the microphones and instruments were plugged directly into the back of a Studer 16 track tape machine at home. 'Check My Machine' was actually the first song recorded but left off the album instead appearing as a B-side to the single 'Waterfalls' yes, it's a bit similar to the TLC song of the same name. It starts off with some odd vocal samples which sound like they were recorded off the telly. "Hi George", "Morning Terry", and then Barney Rubble says, "Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me"... Perhaps this was Paul letting his naysayers know that whatever a mauling he may get, that he doesn't give a toss. Go on Paul.

The song has a sloppy (in a good way), second-hand Albarn meets the SFA feel to it and is thoroughly charming which pretty much sums up the whole LP. Anyway i've bought three copies of it from varying charity shops in as many months and I even went as far as getting the CD off Amazon as it had the some b-sides which I don't have. If you ever see a copy for under a fiver then I recommend it thoroughly. There's a lot of experimentation but that's also matched by some beautiful, melodic and touching little songs, oh and most importantly Paul single-handedly manages to invent both Drum n'Bass with 'Darkroom' and Acid with 'Temporary Secretary'.

Which brings me to a close and that is, Sir Paul has a new record out today called 'Twin Freaks' (named after his painting from 1990) which compiles remixes that DJ Roy Kerr, Freelance Hellraiser to his Mum, made for Paul's last tour. 'Darkroom' is on there and so is 'Live and Let Die' which sadly has been mucked about with too much in my opinion but if it gets the 'kids' hip to Macca then a good job has been well done. Personally I wouldn't have minded a compilation of the tracks without any of the modernising, if it ain't broke why try and fix it.

So remember, McCartney II it's gear.

Visit - Twin Freaks
Visit - Paul McCartney
Buy - McCartney II

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Right then, I have a spare 'mint' copy of this LP on gatefold vinyl which needs a good home. It will need plenty of lovin' and should be taken out if its sleeve at least once a week and given a good seeing to. I will donate this record and post it out free of charge (sorry UK only) to the SVC reader who comes up with the best answer:

Apollo C. Vermouth was Paul's pseudonym when he produced the Bonzo Dog hit record 'I'm the Urban Spaceman'. I would like a pseudonym, what could that be?

Post your answers in the comments or send SVC an email, winner will be announced this Friday.

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