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Paul McCartney's Experimental Side
by Johnny Moon

Experimental Beatle McCartney

John Lennon was not the only experimental Beatle. Paul McCartney was behind many of The Beatles innovations and he is still making experimental music today. I often feel that Paul McCartney gets a bum rap with John Lennon receiving most of the credit as the "experimental Beatle." This just isn't the case. It was actually McCartney who was the one pushing the envelope with much of The Beatles more experimental music.

While Lennon is well known for his avante garde "Revolution #9." Paul McCartney was actually the first Beatle to tackle avante-garde music with 1967's "Carnival of Light." Of course "Carnival of Light" has still never been released (many thought it would come out during the Anthology series but it did not.)

McCartney was also the brains behind a lot of The Beatles more "far out" ideas such as the whole Sgt. Pepper concept and the Magical Mystery Tour film and album. It was also the person who had the idea of using tape loops for John Lennon's breakthrough recording "Tomorrow Never Knows."

Another important aspect of what Paul McCartney brought to the Beatles was the idea of trying totally different types of musical styles. It was actually Lennon who was often against this. McCartney liked doing songs like "Your Mother Should Know" which were in a completely different style than one would expect from a rock band.

If you look at a modern experimental psychedelic band like Ween I think you'll see that they are actually far more influenced by the Paul McCartney side of The Beatles than the John Lennon side. McCartney liked doing things that were totally off the wall and weird like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." I think Lennon actually missed the point of this type of music when he called it "granny music." It's not "granny music." It's weird music. And it's really tripped out if you can dig on it. McCartney was very adventerous as a musician. Along with The Beatles producer George Martin, McCartney was the guy behind a lot of The Beatles more adventerous arrangements and he was behind the reknowned "suite" on side two of Abbey Road. Again Lennon didn't like that idea.

Modern Experimental McCartney

Too few people know about McCartney's experimental music in the 1990s and in the 2000s. If you've never heard his work as "The Fireman" then I think you are in for a treat (if you like psychedelic ambient music that is.) In particular I recommend 1998's Rushes. I also just found out that he's planning on releasing a new album as The Fireman this year.

2000's Liverpool Sound Collage is another great example of how experimental McCartney's music can get. Like with The Fireman projects, McCartney worked with Youth (of The Super Furry animals) on it. [http://www.musicbyday.com/purepitchmethod.html]Pure Pitch Method Ear Training Develop Golden Ears Like Sir Paul McCartney's. [http://www.musicbyday.com/category/album-reviews/]New Album Reviews




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Check out this video: The Fireman - Sing The Changes