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  • Paul McCartney: A Life

    Tue, 09 Feb 2010 04:53

    The Boston Times takes a look at Peter A. Carlin's life of my fellow Scouser, Sir Paul McCartney:

    The story is familiar: As arguably the greatest rock n' roll band, the Beatles ruled 60s culture. John Lennon was the smart one and the leader; Paul McCartney, the cute No. 2; George Harrison, the restless genius-in-waiting; and Ringo Starr, the funny reality check.

    In Paul McCartney: A Life, Peter A. Carlin offers a reconsideration of the dynamics of the band and McCartney's role in it, arguing that Paul was as much a leader as John. But he also offers a complex portrait of an artist whose insecurities were fanned when he was in the presence of talented musicians with strong artistic visions, but who did his best work when around them.

    As primary evidence, Carlin presents an appropriately unflattering analysis of McCartney's work after the Beatles broke up in 1970. Despite occasionally great post-Beatles music like the singles Maybe I'm Amazed, Live and Let Die, and the albums Band on the Run and the fabulously retro Run Devil Run, he observes that McCartney failed to grow beyond the work he did with Lennon.

    For this warm, fair book, Carlin interviewed childhood friends, former business associates, and members of various McCartney bands, particularly Wings -- but was not, unfortunately, granted interviews with McCartney or Starr. Carlin's description of the process involved in McCartney's creation of Yesterday and of the influence McCartney's effortless musicality had on the group underscore how much influence he had on the direction of the iconic band (more...)

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