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POLL: How do you rate Paul McCartney's "Off The Ground" album?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mrjinks, Jan 16, 2015.

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  1. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    It's 2015 and the end to these McCartney album polls is slowly approaching! :)

    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.

    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. 374 votes, with an average rating of 3.64 (edging slightly towards "solid effort").
    The "Back To The Egg" poll. 301 votes, with an identical (!) average rating of 3.64.
    The "Wild Life" poll. 369 votes, with an average rating of 2.90 (just below "not bad").
    The "Driving Rain" poll. 291 votes, with an average rating of 2.77.
    The "Flowers in the Dirt" poll. 313 votes, with an average rating of 3.72.
    The "Flaming Pie" poll. 330 votes, with a very favorable average rating of 4.11.
    The "McCartney II" poll. 261 votes, with an average ratingof 3.10.
    The "Red Rose Speedway" poll. 293 votes, with an average rating of 3.33.
    The "Memory Almost Full" poll. 218 votes, with an average rating of 3.35.
    The "Pipes of Peace" poll. 226 votes, with the lowest average rating to date of 2.47.
    The "Band on the Run" poll. 395 votes, with the highest average rating of 4.63 (!!).
    The "Give My Regards to Broad Street" poll. 211 votes, with an average rating of 2.55.
    The "McCartney" poll. 318 votes, with an average rating of 4.00.
    The "At The Speed Of Sound" poll. 325 votes, with an average rating of 3.13.
    The "CHOBA B CCCP" poll. 162 votes, with an average rating of 2.97.
    The "London Town" poll. 197 votes, with an average rating of 3.23.
    The "Kisses on the Bottom" poll. 180 votes, with an average rating of 2.54.

    Thanks to all those who continue to take place in the voting!

    For those who question/dislike the poll choices, I take full blame. My fullest attempt to explain the "logic" behind the rating options is explained here.
    Peter Pyle and theMess like this.
  2. HeavensAbove

    HeavensAbove Forum Resident

    Lower Tier Macca, IMO, right next to Driving Rain and Wild Life (I realize Wild Life is suddenly an SH board favorite, for some inexplicable reason). :hide:

    I found the lyrics to be overly-preachy, and the performances/production a little too dry (two of my favorite PM albums are Press To Play and Tug of War, so I guess I like my Macca with all the bells and whistles).

    Only a few good tracks worth revisiting: Off The Ground, Hope of Deliverance, and Come On People.
    Moonbeam Skies likes this.
  3. pdenny

    pdenny 19-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    For me it's the last Wings album. Love it. Certainly the last album that I connected with in that old school kind of way. Everything since (including Flaming Pie) sounds tired or forced or cobbled together.
    Shak Cohen likes this.
  4. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I know this album is going to get hammered in the poll. But I personally consider it among Paul's better records. A lot of good, catchy, melodies. Some dopey lyrics, sure, but it's Paul and that goes with the territory. IMHO, this is possibly his most underrated album.
  5. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    For those trying to remember what's on the album:

    1. "Off the Ground" – 3:40
    2. "Looking for Changes" – 2:47
    3. "Hope of Deliverance" – 3:22
    4. "Mistress and Maid" – 3:00
    5. "I Owe It All to You" – 4:51
    6. "Biker Like an Icon" – 3:26
    7. "Peace in the Neighbourhood" – 5:06
    8. "Golden Earth Girl" – 3:45
    9. "The Lovers That Never Were" – 3:43
    10. "Get Out of My Way" – 3:32
    11. "Winedark Open Sea" – 5:27
    12. "C'Mon People" – 7:42
      • Followed by a hidden excerpt of an unlisted song called "Cosmically Conscious", originally written by McCartney in 1968 during The Beatles' stay in Rishikesh.
  6. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    I'd rate it "slightly off the ground". I do like most of the associated B-sides much more than the album tracks, so I think there was a better album at hand.

    Here are those B-sides:
    1. "Long Leather Coat" (McCartney/McCartney) – 3:35
    2. "Keep Coming Back to Love" (McCartney/Stuart) – 5:01
    3. "Sweet Sweet Memories" – 4:03
    4. "Things We Said Today" (Lennon–McCartney) – 3:38
    5. "Midnight Special" (Arranged by "Lead Belly" Ledbetter/Alan Lomax) – 4:57
    6. "Style Style" – 6:01
    7. "I Can't Imagine" – 4:40
    8. "Cosmically Conscious" (FULL version) – 4:39
    9. "Kicked Around No More" – 5:29
    10. "Big Boys Bickering" – 3:22
    11. "Down to the River" – 3:32
    12. "Soggy Noodle" – 0:28
  7. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    A pretty solid effort. Paul at his hippiest.
    I prefer Flowers, but I also have sentimental attachment to that one because it was my first new Paul album, having become a Beatles fan in 1987.
  8. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    "Long Leather Coat" is probably my favorite song from these sessions, oddly enough.

    I dig the title track, and "Looking For Changes" is a great song other than the lyrics, "Hope Of Deliverance" is a great little pop tune, and "C'mon People," while silly, has some cool orchestrations and a neat arrangement.
  9. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I enjoy much of the album, but also think that it was a bit of a missed opportunity to release something stronger. As others have pointed out, he was sitting on quite a few decent songs that would later be released as B-sides, and he also had songs like Calico Skies, Is It Raining In London and other Costello collaboration songs available. These would have greatly strengthened the album IMO.

    As it is, I really enjoy the effortlessly catchy title song, the latin tinged Hope Of Deliverance (Paul's last worldwide, apart from in the US), the delicate Golden Earth Girl (which I see as the 'cousin' of Warm and Beautiful), Mistress and Maid, the lovely Winedark Open Sea, The Lovers That Never Were (one of my favourite McCartney power-ballads) and the grand and Beatlesque C'mon People.

    I enjoy Get Out Of My Way as a song, but not as a recording. The album version is not as good as the live version that he performed at the time, which is a shame, because it is a good rock and roll song.

    The songs that I have problems with are his attempts at political anthems. Despite agreeing with the messages in the songs, and liking the music, I find that the lyrics are too clunky.

    I personally think that he should have released an animal rights/political E.P. to be sold with his New World Tour tickets, which would include songs like Looking For Changes, Big Boys Bickering, Peace In The Neighbourhood, etc.

    This would have freed up more space on the OTG album for songs like So Like Candy, Is It Raining In London, Playboy To A Man, etc, which would have led to a stronger and more consistent album IMO.

    As it was, OTG had a fairly strong commercial performance around the world (it even became his biggest selling solo album in Germany) and got fairly positive reviews, so it is a shame that he didn't swap out a few of the weaker songs, because then the album would have had an even more positive reception, and his career renaissance would then have been continuous since FITD in 1989.
  10. Somewhere between Not Bad and Lower Tier McCartney. I voted for Not Bad, but this is very inconsistent. For every "Looking For Changes", "I Owe It All To You" and "Get Out Of My Way" (quite good) there's a "Peace In The Neighborhood", "Biker Like An Icon" or the title track (awful).
  11. goodboyfred

    goodboyfred Forum Resident

    The full Cosmically Conscious is one of my favorite solo Paul songs. Also enjoyed Elvis Costello's contributions. Not his best but better than most.
    theMess likes this.
  12. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    Thanks for keep these going, I really enjoy them.

    Can I suggest Ram as the next album?
    linclink likes this.
  13. cublowell

    cublowell Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    I love OTG, it's one of his best for me. It rocks in a relaxed way with a great band behind him, as if he was actually comfortable not trying to sound "hip" and "radio ready" for once. I've never liked the b-sides though, which a lot of fans seem to think are better than what was put on the album.
  14. Shilling the Rubes

    Shilling the Rubes Well-Known Member

    Swindon, UK
    I voted Lower Tier MacCa.

    After the return to the form which was Flowers In The Dirt this felt a very underwhelming album, to my ears it had too many well meaning clunky rockers lacking strong hooks. Apart from the lead single (Hope Of Deliverance) my favourite track is Golden Earth Girl.

    Whilst if Long Leather Coat had been included on the album (proper) then it would have been the 3rd best track on it, just ahead of the "secret" final track Cosmically Conscious.
    Moonbeam Skies likes this.
  15. julotto

    julotto Forum Resident

    Kiel, Germany
    I like it. I went to one of the 1993 concerts he did for that album. My favourite tracks are "Biker like an Icon" and "Kicked around no more" (B-Side)
    Shak Cohen, EVOLVIST and EddieMann like this.
  16. BZync

    BZync Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    I had been wishy washy about Paul between McCartney II & Off The Ground. I felt his stuff was really hit or miss but he was missing more than hitting.

    I voted Lower Tier. If there was a "meh" option, I would have voted that.

    Flaming Pie was the first of a series of strong albums that continues to this day.
  17. Yorick

    Yorick Forum Resident

    the Netherlands
    One of his most underrated efforts IMHO. Socially engaged and cosmically conscious lyrics, wonderful melodies, good playing and a lot less dated than the more highly regarded Flowers In The Dirt.
  18. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    That is a good point; the one area where OTG is better than FITD is the production. Although I don't mind the 80's production touches on FITD, I would like it even more if it did have the more timeless sound that OTG has.
  19. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK

    I personally think that McCartney 2 is stronger, because many of the songs are interesting and different to what he had been doing. With the exception of Bogey Music, I really enjoy every song on the album, and other songs from the sessions like Secret Friend, Blue Sway and Check My Machine.

    With McCartney 2, Paul was experimenting, having fun and trying to remain cutting edge, whereas with FITD and OTG he returned to a more classical-McCartney sound, after the relative commercial failure of Press To Play.

    I still really enjoy most of FITD, and a good percentage of OTG, I just wish that he had removed the political anthem songs, and replaced them with more of his Costello collaboration songs.
    goodboyfred likes this.
  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    "A pretty solid effort - worth recommending"

    I always enjoyed it...
  21. Norbert Becker

    Norbert Becker Senior Member

    Philadelphia PA
    Lower tier for me, reminiscent of Speed of Sound and not in a good way.
  22. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I'm a diehard Beatles bafoon and have everything Paul put out as an ex-Beatle (except for the so-called, "classical" albums). For my money and glory, he never topped himself beyond Ram and/or Band On The Run. Those are actually the only albums which I would personally categorize as "great".

    That said, I find Off the Ground to be his most embarrassing ex-Beatle moment in terms of albums. I'm not quite sure what happened here but lyrically, he truly fell to an all time low. The album wreaks of an "I-have-something-relevant-to-say" vibe that makes it, for me, almost unlistenable. Melodically, it's not the worst or the greatest..but the self-conscious, self-important nature of the lyrical content puts it at the bottom of the (my) heap.
  23. Mike Visco

    Mike Visco Forum Resident

    Newark, NJ
    I voted "lower-tier" though "The Lovers That Never Were" is in my top five of Paul post-Beatle songs. It was a waste there were not more Elvis songs finished off.

    I agree with the message, but "Looking For Changes" should have just been a pro-animal public service announcement, NOT an album cut.
  24. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Riverside, CT
    Didn't we do this one already?
  25. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged Thread Starter

    Boise, ID.
    No duplications, I promise!
    Given all the latter-day love that Ram receives, I decided to save that one for LAST!

    We have two albums left from the 70s, two 80s albums, one 90s and two from the 00s remaining!
    theMess and 905 like this.
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