Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Paul McCartney - Tug of War (1982)


Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

By 1982, I was a full-fledged Beatles fan, and that led me to buy this album. This is a mixed bag, with McCartney trying his hand at a number of different styles. Bringing in George Martin to produce was a stroke of genius and helps McCartney move from ballads to rockabilly to reggae to vaudeville. McCartney can't help but write fantastic, memorable melodies and there are great tunes aplenty on this release. This release is notable because it was McCartney's first release since the death of John Lennon in December 1980 and the demise of Wings in April 1981.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (3 consecutive weeks, May 29 - June 12, 1982)
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #11
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #1 (6 consecutive weeks)

Tracks: My favorites are Take It Away, which sounds like something he might have recorded with Wings in the '70s, the Beatlesque Wanderlust, and his tribute to Lennon, Here Today. I hate to suggest that Sir Paul could write a bad song, but I usually skip Somebody Who Cares and The Pound Is Sinking. The two collaborations with Stevie Wonder are as good as you would expect; however, I just can't stomach Ebony and Ivory anymore. It should be noted that hit was written by McCartney without Stevie, which explains a lot. I liked it the first 2,000 times I heard it, but now I change the radio station if it ever comes on. The song spans both ends of the continuum, reaching #59 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time while also being honored as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and the worst duet in history by BBC 6 Music listeners.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember taking the LP back to K-Mart on the east side of Avenue F to trade it in for a copy that wouldn't skip. Also, the song Ballroom Dancing reminds me of summer trips with the CCAA Bay City swim team to pools around the area.

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