It’s never easy trying to find your audience in the music world. When you sit down to write something from the heart, there’s almost a fluke that comes into play, almost praying that someone else understands the kind of emotions you’re dealing with in your songs. It’s nice when they do, but you shouldn’t be surprised when people don’t really know what to think either.
Because while these albums can be praised to the highest heavens these days, it wasn’t always that way. If you look back at how some of them were treated upon release, they were pretty well beaten, either by fans who didn’t like the new direction they took or by critics who thought these records would tarnish the band’s career.
Everyone is a critic though, and most of these groups ended up having the final say on each of their enemies. Over the years, the weather has been quite kind to these records, with the imperfections giving the records character and making them far more relevant to what the current music scene is doing. Some of them might have been a little ahead of their time, but maybe we just needed to listen a little closer to see what was really going on.
After the Wings disbanded, Paul McCartney seemed a bit lost creatively. Although he was known as the force and spirit of good times behind the Beatles, his new band was starting to fall apart and his infamous drug deal in Japan certainly didn’t help matters, as he was detained for a few weeks. The whole lifestyle he led seemed like too much, and the biggest way around that was for Paul to just be himself when he walked into the studio.
Much like his first solo album, McCartney II is the result of Paul having fun in a recording studio, using different electronic effects to create wildly goofy sounds at the time. While something like Temporary Secretary might still be hit or miss for some people, Coming Up sees Paul tapping into the sounds of a band like Talking Heads, as well as the back half of the record where he puts together different instrumental sections reminiscent of what David was doing. Bowie a few years earlier on Low.
Even though some of Paul’s critics were harsh on this record and preferred the now classic Wings sound, McCartney II has seen a much better reappraisal over the years, with various indie bands commandeering his odd style and even garnering attention. by John Lennon, who was inspired to make new music after hearing it on the radio. Paul may have been a little lost trying to find his muse at that time, but his talent for writing melodies never left him at that time either.