109: Desert Island Solo Discs

June 20, 2017

Podcast, Podcasting

872-93 - 10Suggested by a listener, your hosts, Robert and Richard divulge their favorite post-Beatles desert island discs (and books and videos, too), in a follow-up to their earlier Beatles Desert Island Discs show. Songs include…well, listen and find out!
“Sleepy Lagoon” performance by Martin Wheatley – check out his music here.
Find Richard’s books here.
Find Robert’s books here.
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    25 Responses to “109: Desert Island Solo Discs”

    1. David Says:

      Love the Desert Island Disc theme on the uke! Very cool!


    2. Marshall Says:

      It’s shocking how blase Richard is about Macca’s solo years. I don’t understand how he can be so enthusiastic about most of his Beatlesongs yet practically dismiss him after 1970. I share some of his views regarding: PMcC’s shortcomings in his lyrics, Wings could be terribly insufferable (cf “London Town”), Linda didn’t deserve a spot on stage and his lack of quality control but c’mon!!! The man trafficked in POP music. He gets more mileage out of his incredible melodies, his arrangements and his golden voice (not-so-golden now, I’d concur). I’m dumbfounded how a Beatle scholar/fan/writer downgrades of the most gifted tunesmith’s in popular culture.

      It’s almost as though he doesn’t like McCartney the man. Or maybe he’s just tired of him? Will his views change once his ashes are floating down the Mersey?

      Desert island discs are subjective. I listen to the show for the opinions (which I like) but damn, as far as Macca’s work goes there’s so much to love from 1970 to 1980. To pick a cover song? I’ll take “Junior’s Farm” over “Lonesome Town” on my island. Take me down, Jimmy!

      Great show!


      • WingsFan2012 Says:

        Marshall I agree 100%. In spite of its shortcomings and song omissions, I have no problem playing the 4 CD “Pure McCartney” box set and enjoying 90% of it. I also am not a fan who likes all Macca has done since 1970 but what an incredible Wings/Solo Artist! Keep going Paul, 75 years old or not!


      • Robert Says:

        I agree, and support Macca 100% to the hilt. There is almost a universal attitude in the media to dismiss Macca out of hand. It is a uniformity of attitude that reminds me in politics of the Trump hatred. The media universally hate Trump, there is no diversity of opinion. So too with Macca. Ok, he has made some duff tracks.

        I would prefer to be tortured alive than listen to C-Moon or Biker Like An Icon, but there are HUNDREDS of great tracks that counteract that. I presume Gershwin, Bacharach, Rodgers & Hammerstein etc did the odd duff track as well.

        Put it this way, I have just a tad over 200 songs on my ipod that Macca has recorded, I have about 90 Lennon songs and about 30 Harrison songs. I only put songs on my ipod I like. Macca wins on sheer quality and sheer volume of quality. That is a fact.


      • Tony S. Says:

        I consider Paul McCartney the preeminent songwriter of the 20th century and the ultimate pioneering bassist.

        And yet…I never, ever play his solo albums aside from the occasional odd song I like (“One Of These Days”). As a performer, he just was not capable of producing an album-length collection of songs that was compelling from start to finish.

        Notice I said “compelling” and not “tuneful” or “melodically engaging.” There is something about Paul, musically and personally, that doesn’t get you emotionally engaged with his works on a deeper level. And that’s where we need to connect. Music and singing alone don’t cut it. For a full album to be brilliant there needs to be something more.

        Brian Wilson had it at times. Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle knew how to bottle it. Paul and John Lennon captured that with the Beatles, but neither was able to do it on their own. There is no solo Beatles “In The See Small Hours” or “Pet Sounds” or even “Unknown Pleasures” or “London Calling.” Paul didn’t have the depth and John didn’t have the musical know-how. They needed each other, which is why sparks flew when they were together, even when they could barely stand each other.


    3. BW Says:

      Flaming Pie’s a great album. How come “Souvenir” never gets any love? Man, great song and so Abbey Road to me. The END of “Beautiful Night” is great. Love that coda! The rest of the song though… yeah, the lyrics kinda blow. “Daytime Nightime Suffering” was a great track that never gets any nods. Never got your guys’ love for “Wanderlust”, it’s just “ok” to me. “Tug of War” on the other hand, man, when it kicks in, that’s just a great moment in McCartney-dom. Wish it was heavier when it does kick in with the whole band. “Through Our Love” from Pipes of Peace was also cool and underrated. “So Bad” too. Holy crap… I could go on all day. “Sun is Shining” from the Fireman would also be a great island tune. “Letting Go” would need to be in there as would “Let Me Roll It”. “No Other Baby”? Dayum… 😉

      “Woman” and “Beautiful Boy” are great songs. “I’m Losing You” only gets on if Bun, Tom, and Rick are in there. 🙂
      “Instant Karma” was always a favorite, but it was like “All You Need Is Love”, “Nobody Told Me” – same chord sequence behind all of them. But out of the 3 of those, “Instant Karma” wins for me. Just a great rock tune and groove. One of his best vocals too. (By the way, is anybody elses version on the box set completely distorted??). It’s too bad that “Cold Turkey” had all the shrieking at the end. That could’ve also been a great track except for that (again, Cheap Trick’s version is preferred for me). In John’s mid-period stuff, always hated the sax stuff. Good playing but just not what I want from John. “Stand By Me” would be a good one to have in there too. “Number 9 Dream” was also great. The production on it makes it.

      For George, “You are the One” and “Cheer Down” are great songs that nobody mentions (was typing this before you mentioned Cheer Down!). “You are the One” while about God, just has such a beautiful melody and his slide playing is so “ON” in that track. It’s easy to pick things off of “All Things Must Pass” but harder to find other ones that standout. “What is Life” is a great choice too. “Awaiting on You All” is even better for me- gotta be the Bangladesh version. “Devil’s Radio”, “Dark Horse”, “Living in the Material World” also get nods from me. Last one is “Your Love is Forever”. Just a beautiful track from him.

      For Ringo, obviously “It Don’t Come Easy” and I also love “Don’t Go Where the Road Don’t Go”. Never gets mentioned. Very cool Jeff Lynne produced track. Just a great rocker from Ringo. “Never Without You” is also great as a nod to George and “King of Broken Hearts” (typed this before you guys mentioned it)- both great.
      Why is it that you guys don’t like Hudson’s production of Ringo? I thought it was pretty good and they were a good team… though Mark seemed a bit anxious to be the fifth Beatle, but that might just be my spin.

      Why does Gilbert O’Sullivan sound so much like Paul McCartney??

      “Self Portrait”- hahaha nice Richard!


    4. Marshall Says:

      Also, this occurred to me: What’s the longest Ringo has ever held a note? Five seconds?


    5. Andrew Chess Says:

      I agree with you guys about the real emotion Paul shows with “Lonesome Town”, another one like that on that record is “No Other Baby”. You can really feel his pain in these songs, a bit rare for Paul indeed.


    6. Paul T Says:

      Back on top form boys with the last few casts (apart from a big dip IMO with 105, but Rich knows I don’t like you going too far ‘Off The Beatle Track’ – thx George). My choices would be 90% different to yours (not actually made them yet!) but that’s the beauty of personal opinion & taste. PS BW above is bang on with Your Love Is Forever – DEF in my George 3.


    7. jim t Says:

      another vote for ‘your love is forever’


    8. David M Says:

      Another vote for the magnificent Souvenir, I would be choosing from about 50 for Paul, not sure where all these twee songs he is flooding the market with are. Enjoyed the shoe, but made slightly pointless NH having to pick 6 Ringo tracks.


    9. David M Says:

      Oops. By having to pick 6 Ringo tracks, I think not even his wife would retreat to a desert island with 6 songs of his. Again no mention of the wonderful “George Harrison” album, Blow Away would certainly make my list.


    10. The Applesauce Project Says:

      I might make a few changes, but over all I agree with your choices. I do agree with David M — the George Harrison album is woefully neglected, and Blow Away (and maybe Soft Hearted Hana because it’s just delightfully goofy) are high on my list.

      A side note — I always dismissed Walls And Bridges for the most part (#9 Dream being the exception), preferring Mind Games as “Son of Imagine”, if you will, but you gents gave me a brand new appreciation for W&B. So thank you.


    11. David M Says:


      Maybe I’m Amazed
      Little Lamb Dragonfly


      Instant Karma
      Gimme Some Truth


      Wah Wah
      Blow Away
      That’s What It Takes


      It Don’t Come Easy
      Um …


    12. CrimsonKing Says:


      Mind Games
      Going Down On Love
      Watching the Wheels


      Too Many People
      Junior’s Farm
      The World Tonight


      Dark Horse
      Crackerbox Palace
      Blow Away


      It Don’t Come Easy
      Instant Amnesia

      The Beatles (from your Desert Island Show of November 2015

      Day Tripper
      Paperback Writer
      Penny Lane
      Getting Better
      A Day In the Life
      Dear Prudence
      Let It Be
      Get Back (w/ coda)


    13. Cajun Queen Says:

      What I get from all this: it’s pretty well pointless to try and get any agreement (not that this was the point of this podcast at all) on what 12 representative tracks should be. Too much personal taste. For example, I wouldn’t agree with a single choice by David M above, nor any of the choices offered by BW (in spite of the essay he provided).
      I feel pretty sure if I posted my own choices, no one else would agree with them either. (Hence, no need to bother!)


      • David M Says:

        True of course. I find that Paul is extremely unfairly dismissed by R and R when it comes to solo stuff though. And they overate George.


        • Cajun Queen Says:

          haha, I agree with them re: Paul. 🙂
          With George, I find I change from time to time; currently I agree with them, other times I agree with you. Can’t decide.


    14. Rob B Says:

      I loved this episode … and it was good to hear Richard mention the Take it Away video shoot as well, as I was there as a 14 year old Wings fan and actually got to shake Paul’s hand….and sat next to some great people who were putting on the Beatlefest in Liverpool, where we met up again and ended up having lunch with John’s uncle and Victor Spinetti.
      Great show guys! Thank you Richard & Robert 😀


    15. Joseph Dwyer Says:

      “Cheer Down” was on the soundtrack for Lethal Weapon 2 (not Mad Max 2). Both Mel Gibson films I guess


    16. Jim Mullahy Says:

      Ironically, ‘Heather’ is one of Paul’s finest moments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1rTIGnh4b8


    17. Dave Levy Says:

      Fun discussion! Something I’ve noticed on a lot of these podcast discussions of the Beatles (not just this one with these two hosts), is that Harrison and Lennon have achieved near Sainthood, while McCartney’s efforts are judged based on how well he “conjured up The Beatles spirit.” Um, excuse me? These are solo artists, none of which should be expected to be The Beatles. So, when Paul is discussed, we always have to wade through a lot of chat about his lazy lyrics, poor song choices on his albums, m, But, we nearly never hear that level of criticism about Harrison’s solo work, for instance. That’s very confusing because, George’s solo work, in my opinion, is a very mixed bag.


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