Paul McCartney greatest flaw as an artist ?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by johnny moondog 909, Mar 11, 2018.

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  1. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    He attracts obsessional fans ....
  2. Six String

    Six String Senior Member

    Even if you take away the fact that lyrics aren't his strong suit, for me it comes down to a lack of a filter. He needed someone to tell him when he needed more or less work on a song. He had it with John but after that, not really. Plus John helped him with lyrics when it was needed, right? I had high hopes that Costello would be his John during their collaboration but it didn't really bear the fruit I expected. Maybe my expectations were too high?
    noahjld likes this.
  3. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    All this and he's still the most successful songwriter in the HISTORY OF RECORDED MUSIC!
    I'll take so called flaws and all!
  4. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I think his biggest flaw relates directly to his partnership with John Lennon. Maybe coincidence, maybe not but Paul appeared much more lyrically competitive when he was writing side-by-side with John; almost as if he wanted to continually prove himself which, while in The Beatles, he did beautifully and seemingly effortlessly. Once John fell out of the "picture", so did the consistency of Paul's lyrical content. I can't really say if it was due to his (undesired) newfound distance from Lennon or if he simply felt he'd proven himself for do long as a Beatle that it just didn't matter anymore. Either way, this made for some very questionable moments throughout his post-Beatles career (especially the 70's). Great as the 70's were to him, overall, much of the love for some of those albums is largely due to "70's-ex-Beatle-Paul-and--solo-Beatles-in-general' nostalgia. Yes, there were some truly great moments but some equally bad ones which, let's be honest. have been upgraded to "not-SO-bad" through the kind passage of time. Commercially, he may have been one of the primary Pop artists of the 70's. But artistically, he seemed-sometimes quite willingly-to just drop the ball and let it roll. So in closing, his greatest flaw...?? Allowing himself to NOT be the even greater 70's artist he had the ability to be.
    Paul H likes this.
  5. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    His music never moved me in the way some of Lennons or Dylans songs did. They wrote from the heart. McCartney was song writing by numbers. Well that's how it seemed to me anyway.
    For example, If Lennon was alive in 1985 and was around for Live Aid, which song would have moved the audience to tears more,
    Imagine or Let It Be?
    Although, Dylan's performance at Live Aid was abysmal. :D
    goddammitjanice and DK Pete like this.
  6. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Tries to do too much. Some of his solo output I would probably like better if he had brought more talent in to work with him.
  7. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    ....that conjures up one hell of a possibility had John been alive.....had Yoko allowed it, one has to wonder if John and Paul would have put everything aside for a few minutes and done a joint appearance at something as monumental as Live Aid......
    carrolls likes this.
  8. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    Paul's biggest "flaw" is that the music he created during the 1960s was so great that he can never possibly live up to the expectations that people have set for him. An excellent song that he writes today could never hope to compete against a time-honored classic he wrote in 1965.
  9. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    They both worked better as a team, so, it would have been wonderful.
    DK Pete likes this.
  10. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    McCartney has written songs with lyrics just as good as those with the Beatles, they'll just never ever get that kind of credit, the Beatles legacy just won't let some see past it!

    I know I'm in the minority, but I don't see where Lennon is any better at lyrics than McCartney, In fact most of the time Lennon's lyrics depress me. I've never understood the he's better than McCartney at lyrics sentiment? How's Lennon better, they both wrote goofy crazy nonsensical lyrics and they both wrote lyrics that people could relate to. The only difference I see is subject matter. I'll take optimism over depression any day!

    So I don't see lyrics as a weakness for McCartney, anymore than for Lennon.
  11. Bullis

    Bullis Forum Resident

    Better than anyone on this message board
    noahjld and Colocally like this.
  12. The Elephant Man

    The Elephant Man Forum Resident

    Paul's biggest flaw as an artist is the fact that he mixes too much linseed oil to his oils and
    the paint runs too much.
    angelees likes this.
  13. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan Thread Starter

    I think personally comparing McCartney & Wings or solo to the Beatles is impossible, or nearly so, why? Because take at random say 1968. As good as McCartneys songs were that year, Harrison chipped in with While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Lennon offered up, Sexy Sadie, Dear Prudence & Revolution to name just 3. No one guy however talented, can get that variety in writing, lead vocals, that big a scope, it's impossible, even if McCartney had 10-12 great songs, in a variety of styles, & sang them all great. He couldn't offer up the variety & richness of Lennon McCartney & Harrison, no one can.

    Having said that, I'd like to nearly contradict myself & say this. In 1984 McCartney wrote, demoed, & then gave away "Wings of a nightengale" to the Everly's who did a nice job with it on EB 84 their comeback album.

    This is important it gives us a clue to McCartneys psychology. Somehow McCartney wrote this incredible song "Wings of a Nightengale" this song has every earmark & earworm of a 1964-65 Beatles #1 smash. It's as good as most Beatles #1s I'll stand by that belief & remark. He gave it away sigh. But here's my point, whether by accident, or I think excitement about The Everly's, he admired them the way we admire the Beatles, he wrote this incredible song, however he managed to do it. But never recorded his own version. Other McCartney songs imo are as good as Beatles classics, Maybe I'm Amazed for example. But again it wasn't issued as a single for 7 years ! & Even then it was the Live version to promote Wings Over America !!!

    Then again we look to his work writing 16-20 songs with Elvis Costello, bam all of a sudden the quality goes up !

    Whether it's the inability to make Paul McCartney take good advice, or to predict or know what will inspire him, a collaborator, an assignment, look how good he is at assignments, he wrote Live & Let Die in 73 & Nightengale 84 to order. But rarely or never did McCartney assemble 10-12 of his absolute best songs with little to no filler like a Beatles album. Maybe 3-4 times, arguably.

    In 1984 he had exactly No More Lonely Nights in the can, along with No Values & Not Such A Boy. Yet he didn't even bother recording Wings Of A Nightengale. There's no explanation for things like that. It's not like he had 10 Winners waiting to go.
    Neil Anderson likes this.
  14. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    Paul and John have same flaw - they were the only ones on earth who could musically influence the other.

    Who tells Paul something sucks? No one.
  15. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    Of course you would :)
  16. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Forum Resident

    Paul's biggest flaw is that, like many artists, he desperately needs an editor and hasn't consistently had one since he and John went their separate ways. John once said that he and Paul were each other's "bulls*** detectors," and that just about nails it. Some of Paul's choices about what songs to include on albums, etc., are borderline incomprehensible. That said, John suffered from the same problem. Some of his post-Beatles work is just dreadful, even though every album (like Paul's) has at least flashes of brilliance. I think the other thing that has hurt Paul's reputation is his willingness to be unabashedly sentimental or flat-out goofy, territory where rock stars generally are not allowed to go.
  17. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Nigel Godrich apparently... ;)
    goddammitjanice likes this.
  18. DmitriKaramazov

    DmitriKaramazov Forum Resident


    He sukks, he’ll never sell any records and never have a number one.


    Never mind. :yikes:
  19. Three problems
    1)lyrically he can be lazy at times.
    2) he is the worst judge of his own material.
    3) he doesn’t take criticism well when it comes to his material.
  20. Do you mean Hugh Padgham? I don’t think Lillywhite has ever worked with him.
  21. Mr.Sean

    Mr.Sean Senior Member


    I was only referring to another thread here where there's a discussion regarding Lillywhite who stated that Macca (and Elton John) had made too many albums in their time.

    Elton John and Paul McCartney have Made too many ALBUMS
    wayneklein likes this.
  22. BlueSpeedway

    BlueSpeedway overground | underground

    London, England
    He is what he is, a genius, and I’ll take the whole picture.

    But he shouldn’t have spent so many years playing the hits in stadiums. I was hoping by the early 2000s he would have started doing stuff like Bowie in 2002: performing a whole earlier album (Low), followed by the new one (Heathen).

  23. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Greatest flaw ?
    Too frickin humble " great little band".
  24. rod sphere

    rod sphere Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA, USA
    none. i am gratefull alive to have been able to here his music, and to feel it too. the "good" and the "bad". had made my life better.....and i would not change a thing...and maybe paul would not either.
  25. Paul H

    Paul H Forum Resident

    Nottingham, UK
    I really don't buy the "He needed Lennon" line. If Lennon was so good at telling McCartney that something sucked, how come we have Wild Honey Pie, Rocky Raccoon and Maxwell's Silver Hammer? What, I think, happened is that in the 1960's the Beatles achieved everything. And, of course, their end was acrimonious. McCartney didn't need to work and he didn't want to work at being an artist: he just wanted to have fun. To this day, he still talks about how one plays music and doesn't work music; he talks about not wanting to sweat over stuff. And, of course, he doesn't need to. He dreams classics, melody just pours from him. Why would he need to make his life difficult by putting in effort when half the time he doesn't need to to create great music, and ALL the time he doesn't need to to make a living?

    His biggest flaw: loss of appetite to work at songs.

    And, yet, as @maccafan noted, he's still the most successful songwriter in history. Just think how good is body of work could have been if he'd put some effort into it :)
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