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POLL: How do you rate Paul McCartney/Wings "At The Speed Of Sound" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, Nov 7, 2014.

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  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Time to evaluate another McCartney album. Round FOURTEEN in an ongoing series, spread out a couple weeks between albums (to show a modicum of mercy to those sick of Beatle-related threads). This week, we'll pick an album that some of you might have just listened to! ;)

    The ground rules: this poll, like the others, is designed for people familiar with the album in question and with at least some familiarity with some of his other post-Beatle catalog (for comparison purposes). If the poll doesn't interest you, please kindly move on to a thread that does. I intentionally don't name "comparison albums" on the best-to-worst scale, as some may think a particular album of his is awesome, while others have a completely different take on the same album. Just consider how YOU would rate it in comparison with his other post-Beatles work.

    If you've missed a previous poll, feel free to vote below. Here's a recap of how the others have rated so far:
    The "New" album poll. 351 votes, with a weighted average of 3.68 (edging slightly towards "solid effort").
    The "Back To The Egg" album poll. 273 votes, with a weighted average of 3.62.
    The "Wild Life" album poll. 312 votes, with a weighted average of 2.89 (just below "not bad").
    The "Driving Rain" album poll. 268 votes, with a weighted average of 2.76.
    The "Flowers in the Dirt" album poll. 250 votes, with a weighted average of 3.71.
    The "Flaming Pie" album poll. 302 votes, with a very favorable weighted average of 4.12.
    The "McCartney II" album poll. 231 votes, with a weighted average of 3.10.
    The "Red Rose Speedway" album poll. 165 votes, with a weighted average of 3.42.
    The "Memory Almost Full" album poll. 179 votes, with a weighted average of 3.37.
    The "Pipes of Peace" album poll. 152 votes, with the lowest rating to date of 2.46.
    The "Band on the Run" album poll. 364 votes, with the highest weighted average of 4.63 (!!).
    The "Give My Regards to Broad Street" poll. 148 votes, with a weighted average of 2.56.
    The "McCartney" poll. 211 votes, with a weighted average of 4.00.

    Thanks to all those who continue to take place in the voting!
    theMess likes this.
  2. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    I went with "Not Bad". It's not an album I play very often because I mainly hear the hits ("Silly Love Songs" and "Let Em In") on other compilations. I also enjoy "Beware My Love" and "She's My Baby", but I'm not wild about most of the other songs done by the other Wings band members. When I hear an album by Paul it's Paul I'm wanting to hear (though I love "Medicine Jar" from VENUS AND MARS). But I admire the fact that Macca tried to make this a "band" album.
  3. warewolf95

    warewolf95 Forum Resident

    Greenville, SC
    I went with Not Bad as well. Its kind of odd, because the album was Wings' commercial highpoint, but its definitely my least favorite Wings album.

    My issue is less with the songs or the vocalists and more with the fact that the album is just a bit too soft for me. I mean, V/M definitely still had a harder edge on the rock tracks, but on ATSOS, aside from Beware My Love, I dont think anyone would begrudge someone for calling it a soft rock album.

    Again, nothing wrong with that - its just my preference that I wish the album had more balls, so to speak.
  4. Col Kepper

    Col Kepper Well-Known Member

    Texas, Where else?
    Not a bad album, but definitely a low point between V&M and WOA.
    dlokazip likes this.
  5. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Middle of the pack, but "San Ferry Anne" gets my vote for the very best McCartney Deep Track of all time.
    Fullbug, Mechanical Man and theMess like this.
  6. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    Not bad.
  7. peteneatneat

    peteneatneat Forum Resident

    Liverpool UK
    One of the blandest albums ever made, and a perfect example of why punk had to happen as soon as possible.
  8. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    Well, its got some tracks I love (Beware My Live, Note You Never Wrote, Silly Loves Songs, Let em In)...the rest, not so much. It seems like Paul was coasting a little on this one. Lower tier.

    I got no problem with songs by people who arent Paul (I love Medicine Jar and Anciet Egypt on Venus & Mars) but the material here isnt as interesting.
  9. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I went with with solid effort, but had Soily been added in place of Cook Of The House, then I would rate it even higher. I don't mind Cook Of The House, it is a catchy song with novelty value, but it would have been better off as a B-side IMO. I think that Linda's voice worked far better on harmonies than lead vocals.

    Despite the inclusion of Cook Of The House and Wino Junko, a solid song IMO, but one which also seems to divide opinion, I just don't know why the album has a reputation for being full of filler. I personally really like every song on the album except for those two songs, and even then, those songs are catchy and in no way offensive.

    I love the two big hits, Silly Love Songs and Let 'Em In, both classic pop singles, and I am also a big fan of the incredible Beware My Love, one of Paul's best ever rock songs.
    She's My Baby in another favourite of mine, with a White Album quality to it, and San Ferry Anne is probably my favourite lesser-known McCartney song. I personally think that both The Note You Never Wrote and Must Do Something About It are beautiful ballads, sung brilliantly by Denny and Joe. Time To Hide is my favourite Denny composition, and I am glad that they played the song live at the time, and Warm and Beautiful would be my choice for Paul's most underrated ballad.

    So overall, I think that the album is attacked more than it needs to be, based mainly on one or two songs, in a similar way to Venus and Mars, which I see regularly marked down because of one or two songs like Crossroads Theme. I see Speed Of Sound as a wonderfully recorded, melodic pop album and the only real negative I would agree with is that it could have 'rocked' a bit more, something that Soily would have helped solve. I just add it to my playlist version of the album in place of Cook Of The House, which I really enjoy.
    Chris from Chicago and Mkirk like this.
  10. ralph7109

    ralph7109 Forum Resident

    Franklin, TN
    It's good as a four song EP.
  11. anthontherun

    anthontherun Forum Resident

    Had this poll been posted a week ago, my vote would have been "Not bad." But listening to the remaster, I have to upgrade it to "A pretty solid effort."
    theMess and Mkirk like this.
  12. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    This gets bumped up one notch for the wonderful sound quality. After the V&M release, a very flawed recording and mix job, they went and made some serious corrections in that area. Plus Paul and Linda were floored by the Floyd's Wish You Were Here album, and knew that they had to up the sound quality.

    Too bad there is 50% forgettable tunes here.
  13. Scott S.

    Scott S. reluctant social media icon

    Walmartville PA
    well I ranked it one of his best simply because the only ones I'd rank higher are Venus and Mars, Band on the Run, Back to the Egg, and New. It's 5th best, that's one of his best, right ?

    That said, the one song that matters most to me there is Beware My Love, and I also think She's My Baby would've been a #1 song had they made it a single.
    theMess likes this.
  14. Slokes

    Slokes Cruel But Fair

    Greenwich, CT USA
    Middle for me, even grading as I do on my Macca curve. It's not much of an album, though there are undeniable highlights. I like Denny and Jimmy's contributions very much, and the singles are quite good. But songs like "San Ferry Anne," "Cook Of The House," and "Warm And Beautiful" are as bad as Wild Life's weak moments, and even lack for that album's rough charm. He was never as bad as his critics made him out to be, but this was about as close as he got to living down to his rep of empty-headed purveyor of bland platitudes with the exception of the later Pipes Of Peace and Off The Ground.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  15. Thesmellofvinyl

    Thesmellofvinyl Forum Resident

    Cohoes, NY USA
    It could depend on when one came to the record and with what prior listening experience. This is one of the first two or three albums I ever owned when I was a kid. Seemed like "Silly Love Songs" was always on the radio.

    I love every track, especially when the LP is played as a whole (that's how I listened to records nearly every time when I was younger - had more time). This was a headphone record for me back then but sounds great right now blasting through my living room speakers.

    I remember thinking my parents might not like me listening to a song like "Wino Junko" but was ready to explain I understood I should avoid whatever this junko guy was into, even felt bad for him. Part of me related to the guy in "Must Do Something About It". "Cook Of The House" was like a little excursion before the last act.

    So, yeah, this record is like taking a little dose of my youth. I could never review it objectively. Definitely essential listening.
  16. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    Oh my fave track is Wino Junko, and I want to like the whole album like you would not believe. And I love the sound of the album. And I liked the last two Wings albums of course. So too bad it was not one of the first I ever owned. But maybe that's ok because my first was the White Album. And then Abbey Road. The next two were 8-tracks of McCartney and Let it Be.

    I was an 8, 9. And 10 year old Beatles junkie.

    Speed of Sound should have had 4 more great songs. Paul's best sounding studio album maybe.
  17. Bemagnus

    Bemagnus Music is fun

    I voted for solid. I wouldn t have done that some years back but this album has grown for me through the years . The great songs are for me true and timeless pop-classics . Let em. IN and Silly love songs. Beware my love is a brilliant rocker and Warm and beatiful a should be classic ballad. Something Elvis Costello proved when he sang it at the Linda memorial. Cook of the house is incredible bad imo but that s just about the only dog around here
    The note you never wrote is a gorgeous song with a lovely arrangement.Be my baby and Must do something about it to
    lightweight but very strong poptunes. The two non-Macca track are pretty solid to-ecspecally Time to hide- a true classic-rock anthem
    San Ferry Ann is a bit weird but pleasant song that I always found a bit unfinished.
    It might be lightweight but contain more good stuff than most other popalbums from the era. Real ear-candy
  18. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Nuttier than a Snickers bar

    I've written at length on this before, on more than one occasions - in other threads discussing the album and possibly elsewhere as well. :) Just to echo what I've said in the past...

    Suffice to say, I've voted for option #1 because I would give the album at least 8/10 - and possibly a 9, depending on how I feel. Not being too aware of other Wings albums when I first heard it, I have no problem with there being so many non-McCartney songs on it and actually like some of these best (The Note You Never Wrote, Time To Hide and Must Do Something About It is a great one too) plus I love Beware My Love as one of my very favourite Paul vocals.

    I was given this and Venus And Mars at the age of 9 - I just got London Town, the Christmas of the previous year - so they're two other albums I rate very highly as I'd say this is to do with good memories of first getting into music. But I still love the songs on SOS anyway!
  19. Bemagnus

    Bemagnus Music is fun

    The note you never wrote and Must do someting about are Pauls songs-but sung by Denny Laine and Joe English
    OneStepBeyond likes this.
  20. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Nuttier than a Snickers bar

    Sorry - hastily typed. :D Probably should have just typed 'Not sung by McCartney.'
    theMess and Bemagnus like this.
  21. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    I like this one. As I've said elsewhere, Silly Love Songs and Let 'Em In were all over the radio in the hot summer of 1976. To the point where I became quite sick of them. Rod Stewart was another big radio act at this time, but that's by the way! I didn't actually get the LP until some 25 years later. I sort of expected it to be really commercial like the singles, but of course it isn't really. I didn't like the hap-hazard nature of it to begin with, but as usual it grew over time. It's not my favourite Wings album. I'd say I prefer Back To The Egg overall, even though it's not overloaded with hits. I think I (along with most of the critics) were still looking for another BOTR. WATSOS certainly isn't that, but it's held up well and there are flashes of brilliance all over it.
    OneStepBeyond likes this.
  22. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    One other thing I neglected to mention in my opening post: this has got to be one of the blandest front album covers of all time (though the back makes up for it).
  23. vitorbastos123

    vitorbastos123 Forum Resident

    Time to Hide is a top 5 Wings song imo
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  24. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    New England
    It was my first Wings album. And man did I have to wrangle with my parents to get it.
    My mother scorned the photos on the back cover. (!!!)
    And she later scorned the drawing of the "sleazy" guy in the inner sleeve.
    Only made me love it more.
    Beware My Love is my current favorite.
  25. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    "Beware My Love" is pretty punky.
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