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YMMV / Paul McCartney

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: "Mull of Kintyre" was one of McCartney's biggest solo hits, a smash all over the world, except for the U.S.A., where it was ignored note . His US label Capitol Records, figuring that your average American would have no idea what the Mull of Kintyre was and thus wouldn't care about the song, promoted the single's B-Side ("Girls' School") instead.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The joyful, ringing guitar chords that open the third section of "Band on the Run".
    • His 1982 duet with Michael Jackson, "The Girl is Mine". Particularly when he enters bass territory. His other duet with Jackson, "Say Say Say", was absolutely awesome as well.
    • The moment in the above-mentioned "Mull of Kintyre" when the pipe band kicks in, especially in his more recent concerts, which feature guest appearances by local pipe bands.
  • Cult Classic: McCartney II is this for a lot of fans. He knocked it off by himself in a month, partly as a way to test his new synthesisers, while Wings was preparing what would be its final tour, and it was released to what had become predictably negative reviews. In the early 2010s was when it began to be hailed as a precursor to a lot of modern indie pop, and it now sounds like one of his freshest, quirkiest and most interesting albums. That said, everyone agrees that there's no hope of saving the memetically-disliked "Temporary Secretary".
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  • Dork Age: McCartney's output during the 1980's is widely considered this by fans and critics. McCartney II got Vindicated by History 30+ years later and Tug of War was widely praised from the outset (though "Ebony and Ivory" is still infamous for how glurgy it is), but the next few albums after that are widely considered McCartney's worst, owing to a perceived lack of direction and the fact that McCartney spent much of it playing catch-up with the popular zeitgeist— a far cry from his culture-rewriting days with The Beatles— which came to a head with the gratuitously synth-heavy Press to Play. This bad streak was ultimately broken in 1989 with Flowers in the Dirt, which was widely considered a major improvement over his recent albums and a more than welcome return to form for McCartney.
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  • Epileptic Trees: Once upon a time, there was a common conspiracy theory saying he actually died in the '60s and a Doppelgänger took his place, an event believed to be alluded to in some of The Beatles' works and album covers. This makes very little sense when you consider that the doppelgänger needs to do a perfect Liverpool accent and play the guitar like he did. And Paul is left-handed. The "Paul Is Dead" conspiracy ultimately fell apart as the decades went on, and Paul himself would repeatedly take jabs at it, most notably with the title and cover for Paul is Live in 1993.
  • Fair for Its Day: McCartney and Michael Jackson are seen in blackface for portions of the video for "Say, Say, Say". Even though it was appropriate for the context of the video (he and Jackson were depicted as performing a minstrel show late in the video, and the video as a whole is a subtle satire of race relations in America), even with that it probably wouldn't fly today.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Paul wrote a lot of songs about financial insecurity—most notably "You Never Give Me Your Money"—that started to hit a lot closer to home after his messy divorce with Heather Mills. Select lines from "If You've Got Trouble" ("I don't think it's funny when you ask for money and things") and "I've Had Enough" ("I earn my money and you take it away") seem especially prophetic.
    • If you consider it to be about Paul and Linda, "Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People" from Venus and Mars is one after Linda's death.
    • Putting aside the obvious conundrums about Michael Jackson, the video to "Say Say Say" is kind of harsh to watch because of the infectious chemistry he and Paul had in both the song and the video, considering a few years later they would have a bitter falling out over Jackson buying the Beatles catalog. In turn, the playful banter between the two on Jackson's own "This Girl is Mine" can also become difficult to listen to given that their dispute over a fictional girlfriend can just as easily be read by post-feud listeners as a tug-of-war over the Beatles' back-catalog.
    • "When I'm Sixty Four" is one as well, if you think of it as Paul addressing Linda. Linda never did get to see Paul turn sixty-fournote  (nor Heather Mills due to their divorce), as many journalists pointed out in 2006. Heather actually broke up with him just before he turned 64, leading to a lot of Big "NO!" jokes.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A variation. One version of the "Paul Is Dead" theory specifies that he died in a car accident on November 9, 1966. In reality, this is still a significant date in Beatles history, since it's the day John Lennon first met Yoko Ono.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Temporary Secretary" has become one among not only Macca fans, but the music community as a whole, due to the fact that it's widely considered one of Paul's absolute worst songs. While the rest of McCartney II has been thoroughly Vindicated by History, "Temporary Secretary" is a common subject of jokes for how hectically disjointed it sounds, to the point where it's a minor Running Gag among the remix group SiIvaGunner (alongside jokes intentionally misnaming the song "Jerry Temporary" after a YouTube comment).
    • "The moon is right!"Explanation 
  • Signature Song: Despite not ever having been released as a single, "Maybe I'm Amazed" is considered one McCartney's finest love songs and got extensive radio play upon its release. It is still often regarded as McCartney's best post-Beatles song; Rolling Stone even ranked the song #347 on its "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list in 2011.
  • So Bad, It's Good: While "Temporary Secretary" is near-unanimously considered one of McCartney's worst songs— if not his absolute worst— many describe it as weirdly entertaining as a result of its poor quality. It's perhaps because of this that the song became a subject of Memetic Mutation decades down the road.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Flowers in the Dirt is considered this by critics, who felt that the majority of the 80's encompassed a Dork Age for McCartney (especially in light of Press to Play, which saw heavy accusations of We're Still Relevant, Dammit!) and found Flowers to be an unexpected— but very much welcome— return to form.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • McCartney and Ram were largely panned when first released (even Ringo didn't like Ram). These days they are considered among Paul's finest post-Beatles records.
    • This applies to Paul as a whole after The Beatles broke up. Back in the day he was less popular than John Lennon and George Harrison critically, yet his albums kept selling. Partly a case of It's Popular, Now It Sucks! Also a case of True Art Is Angsty, as Paul was unapologetically writing Silly Love Songs while John and George were dealing with (allegedly) weightier subjects. In later years, this began to wear off, and not only have Paul's musical contributions been revalued upwards— he was the most cosmopolitan Beatle, and the one who first investigated avant-garde art and music— his solo work has been reevaluated too.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!:
    • He got accused of this when he released the disco-infused "Goodnight Tonight" in 1979.
    • Press To Play is also accused of this, containing gratuitous '80's production (courtesy of Hugh Padgham) and an overabundance of synths and drum machines.


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