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POLL: How do you rate Paul McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, Dec 29, 2014.

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  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Time to evaluate our last McCartney album for 2014. Round Seventeen (!) in an ongoing series, spread out a couple weeks between albums (to show a modicum of mercy to those sick of Beatle-related threads).

    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 may have a completely different take on the same album. Just consider how YOU would rate it in comparison with his other post-Beatles work.

    NOTE: Unlike most of his official discography, this is the third of his albums to not feature (almost) all original new material, but I feel it's worth rating with the same scale as the other albums and hope you'll agree. The other two albums of oldies will also have this issue, as did the Broad Street soundtrack. I will not be doing polls on all the lesser, experimental/fringe albums, just those that could reasonably be considered part of his regular post-1970 STUDIO output

    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" poll. 371 votes, with an average rating of 3.64 (edging slightly towards "solid effort").
    The "Back To The Egg" poll. 297 votes, with an identical (!) average rating of 3.64.
    The "Wild Life" poll. 368 votes, with an average rating of 2.90 (just below "not bad").
    The "Driving Rain" poll. 289 votes, with an average rating of 2.78.
    The "Flowers in the Dirt" poll. 310 votes, with an average rating of 3.72.
    The "Flaming Pie" poll. 325 votes, with a very favorable average rating of 4.12.
    The "McCartney II" poll. 258 votes, with an average ratingof 3.10.
    The "Red Rose Speedway" poll. 291 votes, with an average rating of 3.34.
    The "Memory Almost Full" poll. 215 votes, with an average rating of 3.36.
    The "Pipes of Peace" poll. 225 votes, with the lowest average rating to date of 2.47.
    The "Band on the Run" poll. 392 votes, with the highest average rating of 4.63 (!!).
    The "Give My Regards to Broad Street" poll. 210 votes, with an average rating of 2.56.
    The "McCartney" poll. 316 votes, with an average rating of 4.01.
    The "At The Speed Of Sound" poll. 313 votes, with an average rating of 3.12.
    The "CHOBA B CCCP" poll. 159 votes, with an average rating of 2.97.
    The "London Town" poll. 196 votes, with an average rating of 3.23.

    Thanks to all those who continue to take place in the voting! With this poll, we've officially killed off a decade of Paul's career - the 2010s. Two albums each remain from the 70s/80s/90s/00s to tackle in the new year...
    theMess likes this.
  2. pdenny

    pdenny 19-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    On the bottom.
  3. jl151080

    jl151080 Senior Member

    Bristol, UK
    Lower tier, but good for what it is. Not an album I spin often.
  4. Bull Moose

    Bull Moose Well-Known Member

    Portland, ME
    I'm sure Paul had fun making this, but I didn't care for it. So many other people sing these songs so much better.
    Moonbeam Skies, Yankee8156 and CDC like this.
  5. DonnieT

    DonnieT Forum Resident

    I nick-named this album "Paul McCartney Broke My Rose-Colored Glasses."
    samurai and Moonbeam Skies like this.
  6. Paul H

    Paul H The fool on the hill

    Nottingham, UK
    I think it's a fabulous album. I don't enjoy all the song choices but that's also true for both of his rock 'n' roll covers albums. But it works. The production avoids falling into soppy shmaltz and there are some keepers.
    theMess likes this.
  7. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    I don't really like the voice he uses for most of it.
    Moonbeam Skies and CDC like this.
  8. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Although I think his Valentine cut works well, most of this album doesn't work at all for me. I enjoy the old standards, and the arrangements - for the most part - but his higher-pitched vocals really didn't appeal (and "Inchworm" should surely be reserved for one of the seven circles of hell)...

    btw, for those who follow these polls, here's an amusing factoid: almost every time I update the numbers on the older polls, there's usually been anywhere from a few to a bunch of "new" votes cast for the various albums, but not so this time. A couple of the older polls had no change in votes, and several had only one new vote - but the new votes were in the "clearly one of his worst" category. Those albums that had a bunch of new votes also had an addition to the "clearly one of his worst" category. So I can only conclude that someone who doesn't care for his solo work at all came in and voted in about a dozen of these separate threads, marking all the albums "one of his worst". I found that highly amusing, for some reason. But it worked! That individual managed to lower several albums ratings by 1/100th of a point - good job, chap! :wave: :laugh:
    theMess likes this.
  9. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    You must find out who it was so that they can be banned from the forum.

  10. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    IMO, the best thing on the album:

    The worst song in perhaps the entire McCartney catalog: Inch Worm!
    Bryan Harris and heatherly like this.
  11. Paul H

    Paul H The fool on the hill

    Nottingham, UK
    I love Inch Worm!
  12. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    Don't think very highly of it.
  13. jgkojak

    jgkojak Mull of Kansas

    Lawrence, KS
    Its a good record - you almost wish he had done this back when he had his voice.

    The two new songs are classic (My Valentine) and very good (Only Our Hearts). Baby's Request shows off that its a possible standard in the making.
    theMess and heatherly like this.
  14. zen

    zen Senior Member

    I'd tell anyone who's starting out (discovering McCartney post Beatles) to avoid it.
  15. heatherly

    heatherly Well-Known Member

    I love it and I'm not a fan of that type of music to be perfectly honest. His two original songs are up there with some of the best stuff he's EVER put out IMO. And "More I Cannot Wish You" is just beautiful, his voice sounds a bit rough in spots but it fits in perfectly with this material. I went with
    A pretty solid effort - worth recommending
    theMess likes this.
  16. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Moonbeam Skies likes this.
  17. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    Per Ben's wishes (and some targeted editing), you have been banned from the forum, @Paul H!
    theMess likes this.
  18. peteneatneat

    peteneatneat Forum Resident

    Liverpool UK
    An album only a McCartney obsessive could like. If it wasn't McCartney, no-one would be proclaiming it's greatness. In fact nobody would even be remotely interested.
  19. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    This one is hard to rate. Although I think it is an-OK album for what it is, I voted "Lower-tier McCartney - only a couple songs worth revisiting" because I only listen to the two original songs any more. My Valentine belongs among his greatest hits IMO, but the rest is only good for one or two curious listens.
  20. Yorick

    Yorick Forum Resident

    the Netherlands
    It's a great album, but it could have been much better if Paul had went ahead in 2000 when his vocal chords were in much better shape. He had already recorded some standards and new songs with an orchestra then, but decided to put the project on hold because of Robbie Williams' success with a standards album.
    heatherly and theMess like this.
  21. Peter Pyle

    Peter Pyle Forum Resident

    Ontario CAN
    Solid effort.
  22. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I am with Quincy Jones on this; I personally think that KOTB is one of the best ever attempts at recording a 'standards' cover album in the last few decades by a major act, especially when it comes to the arrangements and instrumentation.

    The only reason that I did not rate it in the highest bracket is because his vocals could have been stronger, which is my only real complaint about the album. It would have been perfect for me had he recorded it when he was younger (maybe around the same time as Run Devil Run?), especially when it comes to the cover songs, where a stronger voice would have been helpful.
    Still, his vocals don't in any way stop me from enjoying the album, and I feel that he was overall very successful when it came to revitalising and emoting these classic songs. He definitely took inspiration from the understated and relaxed way in which Fred Astaire sang, and I personally think that it was a good choice considering Paul's voice is not what it used to be.

    I am a huge fan of the two original compositions. I am glad that My Valentine has received so much attention (both of the music videos have millions of views), and I am also happy that he continues to play the song at his concerts. It hit me the very first time that I heard it, and it has only grown on me since. It is a great example of his diverse songwriting talents, and I feel that he wrote yet another classic with this song, one that fits perfectly alongside the 'Standards' around it. I especially love Clapton's wonderful guitar work, which lifts the recording up to another level.

    I am an even bigger fan of Only Our Hearts, and I was a bit disappointed that it didn't get the same type of attention and praise that My Valentine had. I see it as an even more emotional and beautiful ballad, and I love Stevie Wonder's harmonica part. Hopefully this song will be discovered in future and covered by other acts; it deserves to be IMO. I would put this down as one of the greatest songs that he has written over the last 30 years.

    As for the covers, all I can say is that whether I liked the song choice or not, Paul, Diana Krall, Tommy LiPuma and the band arranged and recorded everything with a lot of class and skill; none of the songs sound like muzak to me.

    Some of my favourites include: Bye Bye Blackbird (which is a nice nod to Blackbird, and a better version than Ringo's IMO), It's Only A Paper Moon, Home (When Shadows Fall), More I Cannot Wish You, and my favourite cover on the album, 'Always', which I can imagine the Beatles covering in 1963 or 64 alongside the likes of Till There Was You and A Taste Of Honey. The song seems perfectly suited to him, as others have pointed out in the past.

    I am also a fan of the bonus version of Baby's Request. I still prefer the original, but it is nice to hear him revisit it and record it with the sort of arrangement that highlights what a good song it is.

    The only other disappointment that I have is that Paul did not release the new version of Tomorrow that he recorded during the sessions, which I would love to hear. I imagine that he recorded a slower version of the song like Linda's Father would have wanted.

    Overall, I would consider the whole project to be a success; the album received a lot of attention, it charted well and sold well, the two originals fit in well alongside established classics, and the album never gets close to being schmaltz. It also gave Paul the chance to record the live special, which was a great addition to his 'live' catalogue, and I actually prefer some of those live versions of the songs to the album versions, especially in regard to the more lighthearted songs.

    Paul always spoke of his love of the Great American Songbook and the songs of his youth and he has always dabbled in the 'Standards' genre, so it is nice to see him pay respect to the classic songwriters who influenced him (and John) so much. The project could have been an embarrassment, but he managed to pull it off with commercial success and mostly positive reviews, and I am glad that he released it, because it works as a nice companion to Run Devil Run, and because it was crying out to be done after he released songs like Honey Pie and You Gave Me The Answer.
    PhilipB, DLant, VinyLen and 2 others like this.
  23. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    Thanks, he had to go!

    mrjinks likes this.
  24. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    I voted "not bad," but I don't agree Paul albums have "usual throwaways."
  25. Slokes

    Slokes Cruel But Fair

    Greenwich, CT USA
    I really love Paul's take on "The Inch Worm," so you can ban me too and give me some years of my life back. Paul's husky timbre sometimes connects with the material on other tracks, like "My Very Good Friend The Milkman," but it's inconsequential material that explores the wider-than-expected gulf between "vocalist" and "singer." Just because Paul is good at the latter, doesn't make him the former.

    Certainly worth having if you are a Paul fan, but not one I play a lot. I ranked it "lower-tier" but it's not bad.
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