Paul McCartney - Egypt Station (#1 album in US) Appreciation Thread 2.0 - New and Improved

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dr. Pepper, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. OobuJoobu

    OobuJoobu Forum Resident

    Leeds, UK
    I've been largely absent from this thread for several weeks (just been very busy) so have not even read much of what's been said in the last month, so I don't know whether much or all of what I'm about to say has already been suggested/debunked....

    A few days after the album was released I listened with a couple of other guys, and one of them (his first listen) suggested at the end that he felt this was intended as Paul's last album - "It's him saying goodbye". I didn't take much notice of the remark at the time, but it's stayed with me and every time I listen that point of view seems more and more plausible (including one more potential clue I picked up on just today for the first time).

    Here's some possible clues that might back up the theory (which on occasion gets a little morbid, sorry!)-

    The cover and Egypt symbolism – Pyramids have been prominent right from the start of the advertising campaign and feature clearly on the cover. What was the purpose of the pyramids? As a burial chamber and last resting place for kings. Is Egypt Station intended as the last resting place for this King of music’s body of work?

    Opening Station - Those first few seconds, it's Sgt Pepper minus the orchestra, Paul starts off as the album continues, with a nod to his glorious past, reminding us who is he is and what he's done, not for the last time on this album.

    Dominoes – “In time we’ll know, it’s all a show, It’s been a blast” – It certainly has Paul, and that’s something you usually say at the end of a particular event, once you know it’s over.

    Despite Repeated Warnings – Those backing vocals towards the end (Wow! – while we’re mentioning them!). They sure sound to me as though they’ve been designed to remind us of Paul’s past. These could be straight from Tug Of War or Pipes Of Peace, I don’t know how did them ‘cos there’s notes he’s not been hitting for a long long time. Anyway, another nod to his past, and a different part of his career.

    Some interesting things but nothing really major so far, then, for me, the theory starts to take hold a little more…

    Station II – Like Opening station of course, but there’s the choir again. Choir of angels, whisking him up to heaven? He gets there and what’s the first thing he wants to do? Plug his guitar in of course, he’s got mates up there he can jam with.

    Hunt You Down – Here’s the bit that just occurred to me today. What was the first song Paul claims he wrote? “I Lost My Little Girl”. Hunt You Down begins by saying the same thing in different words “I can’t find my love, no matter how hard I try”. He evens goes one step further later in the song by singing “I found myself a little girl”. If that’s not completing the circle he started back in the 1950s then I’m not sure what is.

    Naked – the final lyrics of the album are “so long, so long, so long now”. So long Paul?

    C-Link – How did Paul’s career in The Beatles/Quarrymen start? As guitarist rather than a bassist. Here he is, once again, back on guitar to finish with, back where he started before he got stage fright that time and flunked his solo, before Stuart's departure caused a shift in career for him, completing the circle again. Then, right at the end, how did Paul kick off The Beatles debut album? With a spoken count in before the song, again, let’s mirror that at the end with a final vocal flourish after the song has ended. Start by counting in, finish with a closing whoop!

    So, every time now that I hear the album, I feel like I’m listening to Paul sign off on his career. On the one hand I so hope that’s not true, I want to be getting albums from this man for ever (and with the slow pace of the Archive campaign that might not be far off the truth, but I digress!), and on the other hand I just think – this is a perfect end, you cannot complete your story in a better way than this.
    theMess, dralan, Clem865 and 9 others like this.
  2. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Hunt You Down v I d e o should be a blast ..hope Paul is in it.
  3. susyredstripe

    susyredstripe Forum Resident

    I heard Hand in Hand on the Sirius Tom Petty channel today.
    theMess, JDeanB, angelees and 2 others like this.
  4. The Band

    The Band Forum Resident

    I can’t even summon up the enthusiasm to watch it! Got to say I’m not a fan of Paul’s music videos, as a general rule...
  5. paulmccartneyistheman

    paulmccartneyistheman Forum Resident

    Back in Brazil’s was so good imho. One of his best.

    The other two so far have been awful. I hated Fuh You’s, founded kinda strange that a kid was singing “I just want it for you”/“I just wanna Fuh you”. Still love that song though
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  6. The Band

    The Band Forum Resident

    Interesting theory, but I’ve believed Paul since the Put It There documentary in 1989. I’m paraphrasing but, when asked if he ever saw a day when he might retire from music, he said wasn’t even interested in that question. So, unless Paul knows something about his health that we don’t (God forbid), I don’t think Egypt Station is any more his final statement than, say, Memory Almost Full finishing with The End Of The End 11 years ago. (I’ve banished Nod Your Head from my, er, memory). Just my thoughts.
  7. Ringo Hendrix

    Ringo Hendrix Resident Pest

    I have a random thought, not enough for a thread, but to Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd fans...

    Every time I hear "Any Colour You Like", especially 2 minutes in, I can't help but think of "Cuff Link" as well. (Not the other way around though since Cuff Link is simpler)
  8. forthlin

    forthlin Forum Resident

    And it's good to see you:)
    While I think you make some interesting points in your post, I have good news for you: I don't think he's even close to quitting. Because you've been busy you might have missed the onslaught of PR Paul has put into this album. The reviews are very good and it seems that Paul has finally found the favor he deserves in the media that we've known all along-- He's Paul Freakin' McCartney. Paul is eating it up with a spoon, and who wouldn't? It's going to take some kind of physical impairment to keep him off the stage and he'll be in the studio until...well I don't know what.
    theMess, JDeanB, angelees and 5 others like this.
  9. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry? Thread Starter

    Yeah, and four albums ago he ended MAF with a song called The End of The End, then released more albums. I think from Chaos on up, Paul has approached each album as though it may be his last. Probably wise, and it gets us some epic songs and albums!
    theMess, JDeanB, angelees and 7 others like this.
  10. planckera

    planckera Brain Caper Kid

    Minneapolis, MN
    Good work! But couldn't these just be regular old "Paul is Dead" clues? ;)
  11. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry? Thread Starter

    Well you see, Paul has been dead since '66, but luckily Faul is alive and well and releasing some great music that sounds for the life of me just like Paul would write were he around today.
    theMess, JDeanB, Bruce M. and 3 others like this.
  12. planckera

    planckera Brain Caper Kid

    Minneapolis, MN
    I found some time!

  13. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Stick to your day job ... ;)
  14. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry? Thread Starter

    Putting a black "New" template over existing album covers is his day job!
    theMess, smoke and linclink like this.
  15. planckera

    planckera Brain Caper Kid

    Minneapolis, MN
    Well shoot Arnie, and to think your request was next in my queue:
    I guess I’ll skip that one then!

    theMess and Dr. Pepper like this.
  16. Ringo Hendrix

    Ringo Hendrix Resident Pest

    It sounds for the sunshine life for me like what Paul would write were he around today.
    Sail away, Raymond, Sail away!

    yes, i just made that joke.
  17. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Forum Resident

    To catch up on a few things:

    1) The "Come On To Me" video is just ... meh. It's cute for about a minute, then you expect some sort of twist or new direction and ... not much. I certainly don't see it being clever enough to reach people not already familiar with the song and album.

    2) I'll bet any amount of money you want that ES is not a retirement statement. As Rolling Stone said about his Austin show, the guy just lives to perform. It's what makes him get up in the morning. He'll stop only when he has to. I can't imagine him doing what Paul Simon just did -- not in 100,000 years.

    3) The debates continue about Paul's voice. Someone on another thread joined Frank in saying he can't enjoy ES because of Paul's voice. Over on Macca's board, there's a whole "he sounds just fine" thread which I finally stopped participating in when people accused me of "declaring war on Paul's voice" (!) for saying that no, he really doesn't sound fine, though he mostly makes it work on this album. Apparently having a middle position just gets you yelled at by everyone. But really, there are just 3 songs where his voice bothers me: "Confidante," where it sounds truly ravaged, and yet somehow works in the context of the song, "Hand in Hand," and "Do It Now." The latter two don't actually sound bad to me, but I can't help but long to hear them as Paul would have been able to sing them 25 years ago, and that does get to me a bit. And yet all three tunes I just named are among my favorites on the album.
    theMess, mrjinks and Zeki like this.
  18. angelees

    angelees Forum Resident

    Absolutely perfect brilliant observation. The thought has crossed my mind which is another reason this album makes me so emotional. What do you guys think about the words to Get Started?

    So let’s get started,
    I’m ready to be heard
    Before the dear departed
    Can have the final word

    ??? What does it mean/refer to ??? Paul always has such cryptic lyrics.
    theMess, OobuJoobu and tteal like this.
  19. Chief

    Chief Over 10,000 Served

    This is my take. Paul made his voice work. While sometimes, it appears to do what it had in the past (“Dominoes”, “Get Started”), it’s not the same voice. Claiming otherwise, somewhat minimizes how great Paul’s voice was in earlier years. Vocals like “Wanderlust” or “The Back Seat Of My Car” are amazing achievements, and unique performances. Those days are gone. The voice isn’t the same. That’s okay, if perhaps sad. Nonetheless, Egypt Station works as a whole. The vocals are good enough to be effective and the entire thing sounds right.
    theMess, Bruce M., jricc and 13 others like this.
  20. Bemagnus

    Bemagnus Music is fun

    Pauls voice is not what it used to bot ven close. However I think he uses what he have to advantage on Egyopt Station
    Do it now for one I think he nails. Of course the younger Pauls could have made more out it but the stanina Paul current voice has makes up for it.
    Overall one if the surprises on ES is how well Pauls vocals works

  21. I’ve always took that as a different way of saying “Do It Now”.

    Dearly departed, may, reference that part of his legacy George and John popularized about Paul - and his music is both a musical refute to the parts he disagrees with and using his love for them (and Linda) as a motivational tool to make more music.
    angelees likes this.
  22. Ringo Hendrix

    Ringo Hendrix Resident Pest

    It's most certainly not a retirement statement...Unless he just has to quit - I don't foresee the man stopping until he drops. I agree with that completely.

    I am quoting myself from page 61, although I have heavily edited it; I can't really word parts of it better for myself than i did then (also I say this to invite discussion)

    Paul has seen how so many of his peers are going away. He consciously knows each day could be his last. I know that may seem obvious, but when you're really famous and you have such a legacy... And are arguably the most important living musician living in this world in which we live in and one of only two people left with memories of being in the most legendary band that ever existed while they were famous for what they were famous for...
    I am not usually one to (over-)analyze lyrics... But I feel that he made Egypt Station as though it were his last. Just in case. Many of the songs have messages that sound like advice he may want to pass on, or to raise awareness of situations for when he's not here to say it anymore. People Want Peace, Do It Now, Despite Repeated Warnings, Who Cares, even Dominoes....

    I have read that he musically quoted "The End" in Despite Repeated Warnings...

    I truly consider it a very high possibility that it's no coincidence that the last words on the album are "So Long Now"- which, could very well be an intentionally subtle hint, a double entendre. Just in case. Not a definitive goodbye, but one just in case, cleverly disguised as just a part of the actual lyric, which has a completely different meaning. That way, if he makes another, it isn't after saying some big grand obvious goodbye but on the chance he doesn't get to make another, then there's the subtle goodbye.

    He set out to make a great album, perhaps so as to go out with a bang, again, just in case. Surely he wouldn't want Give My Regards To Broadstreet to be his last work, what people remember him by. He seems to be trying to secure his legacy more and more.

    He sees to have been making each one as though it were last for quite some time now. But especially after New, when so many peers have been sadly leaving us- I am not saying he is making it his sign off, I am just saying there is absolutely good reason to believe, ESPECIALLY now, that he kind of treated this as his last and made just-in-case subtle hints or got across some things that needed to be clarified. So to speak.

    Many people may take this as though I am being unnecessarily downbeat or thinking too much about it- and some may respond as though they are in denial, which is unnecessary. People seemed to ignore the original post, i suppose they didn't like the topic. It's not like I'm sitting here bawling while I write the post and it shouldn't be interpreted that way, it should only be interpreted as causal-conversational. But I feel there is good, strong evidence behind this.
  23. streetlegal

    streetlegal Forum Resident

    More randomish ramblings.

    “Dominoes” and “Hunt Me Down”/”Naked”/”C-Link” are standouts that surely will stand the test of the time (pre-booked for Pure II) . . .

    “Hunt Me Down”/”Naked”/“C-Link.” Like “Despite Repeated Warnings,” but more so, there are these moments when you find yourself in a different part of the trilogy but you can’t remember when this transition actually happened. You’re mentally playing catch up-- and it makes for an exhilarating ride, getting lost in song: “Where you're taking me, I don't have a clue.”

    I hear three different “lead voices” here (I’m including the lead guitar solo in “C-Link”), and these leads build on each other.

    The first vocal (“Hunt You Down”) struts and swaggers, with attitude--younger (1970’s?) sounding, on the chase and in your face (a la “Come On to Me,” “Fuh You”). Did I say 1970’s? More like a primeval, a hunter-gather.

    The second voice (“Naked”) is quite a reversal. It sounds quavering, timid, drunk perhaps . . . or is that sobbing? Baby-like. Naked, and vulnerable. Stripped and raw, and far more vulnerable than the first part of the trilogy suggests. No longer chasing, but following.

    One interpretation that interests me (at least) is to see this is as a song in part addressed to the Muse, a conversation with his art. “C-Link,” the third voice, is the muse taking flight (flying but no longer fleeing).

    Between “Hunt” and “Naked” the hunter becomes the hunted, exposed, captive, and supplicant, but addicted by the chase none-the-less, a predicament forecast in the first verse: “She's giving me the runaround/And makes me wanna lay down and cry.” Naked in part, perhaps, because the Muse is his confidante, to whom he tells “every secret thought.”

    So who’s doing the chasing here?

    Perhaps this is the narrator’s double-edge relationship with his artistry, chasing inspiration, (“Hunt You Down”) but simultaneously "Naked," drunk on it, held captive by its burden, and by the expectations of the audience and its “sea of faces” (the artists’ many guises but also the audience staring back and projecting their own disparate images onto the singer, put together from countless sources).

    I’ll declare my hand here—I also like to hear “Caesar Rock” in part as another song dedicated to this beguiling Muse, mysterious, unknowable, inexpressible, and dual-natured; “my inspiration coming” that also “breaks me up, takes me down.” The Muse as “Rock.”

    Hail Caesar! Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll.

    So for me, I experience this album partly as a relationship with someone who is “only a man” and a fickle muse who occasionally “flashes a smile” and who brings all the ambiguities of artistic success (“dogs at my door”). Someone mentioned that “Happy with You” could really be addressed to the self (as if looking in the mirror); it could also be addressed to the artistic self, his brother(?) (“People want peace” . . . with themselves). I hope it’s not too much of a stretch: Egypt Station, an exotic, contradictory, contrary, place he tunes into but doesn’t completely control or understand, a conversation with his artistry.

    But in the end, this is mostly about me and my experience with music that takes me to different worlds. So excuse my nerdiness, but this album has brought immeasurable warmth, relaxing with a favourite tipple; an album that flirts, dances, and beckons; questions, confides and comforts, takes you by the hand; rocks you, urges you, and warns; acts silly but also enchants and transports. What more could I ask?
  24. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, 60173
    Wow, that is a hard thing to do... so I'll give it a shot:

    Memory Almost Full
    Flowers in the Dirt
    Tug of War
    Egypt Station
    Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard
    Flaming Pie
    Electric Arguments
    Off the Ground
    Driving Rain
    Run Devil Run
    Kisses On the Bottom
    Press to Play
    McCartney II
    Pipes of Peace
    Give My Regards to Broad Street
    Снова в СССР

    I should try this again a week and I'll probably have really different results! Especially those top 4. I'm not really sure what the order should be for me. I honestly don't know if I can compare these albums as easily as other people. Especially looking at this list. It's a pretty diverse list of material and approaches to albums. And I guess that's what I love about all of them.

    Flowers in the Dirt was such an important album to me since the day of release and I still have a major affection for most of the songs. But many of them, I tend to like different versions.
    Memory Almost Full is another album that I find to be completely under-appreciated and quite brilliant in many places and I wouldn't be surprised if the horrible mastering has turned many people off to it.
    New: It's 5 years later and I'm still listening to it like it was still new. (pun intended) Although now that we have Egypt Station, I have something to replace it with.
    Tug of War like Flowers is another important album to me and has been since it first came out and I think the only reason it has deteriorated at all is time.

    Egypt Station is still new enough for me to not be able to make a firm decision on ... and it's got some very tough competition!
    Chaos, Flaming Pie & Electric Arguments are also brilliant albums. But I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes the praise for each of those albums brings out the things that I find 'flawed' with them and makes me hear those critiques a bit more clearly, which is pretty ridiculous on my part.
    jricc, planckera and Ringo Hendrix like this.
  25. Frank

    Frank Forum Resident

    *Frank never said that. Frank enjoys it just fine, he just doesn't have a month-long priapism over it.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018

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