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by Barry Walters

July 2, 2013

Paul McCartney Deep Cuts

by Barry Walters  |  July 2, 2013

The standard critical assessment of post-Beatles Paul McCartney is that most of his albums are only good for their hits. Yet although we give kudos to his singular singles, Sir Macca's got a crazy amount of brilliant tracks either overshadowed by familiar favorites on his best long-players, or buried on albums that should've otherwise been beneath him. Yes, he does sometimes let his quality control slack. Yes, he has been guilty of some shockingly insipid lyrics. So has John.

But when he's on, McCartney's musical intelligence is huge in ways that most critics just can't put into words. He can combine notes and sounds the way nature balances the elements. McCartney is the essence of harmony: playful and complex. He's all sorts of things that scholars miss yet the average five-year-old understands.

But sometimes his wheat must be separated from his chaff, and so we've done that here as we did for our Elton John Deep Cuts guide, avoiding both his dreck and his oldies you can't escape. Instead we present Macca's more sophisticated, experimental and overlooked sides culled from 43 years of albums, B-sides and side projects. We think you'll agree that he tends to be at his best when he's not nailing those silly love songs we've come to expect. And, as you'll also be sometimes reminded here, he's damn good at those too.

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