I posted under the "Red Rose Speedway" thread that "Brainwashed" linked us to, but as long as everyone else seems to be posting here...here we a-go-go...
In context this ranks with "McCartney" in my final level of last great Macca works.
Level I: Band On The Run; Chaos & Creation In The Backyard; Flaming Pie
Level Ia: Ram; Memory Almost Full; Off The Ground; Tug Of War; Back To The Egg
Level II: Venus & Mars; Flowers In The Dirt; Driving Rain
Level IIa: McCartney; RED ROSE SPEEDWAY
As far as the tracks go, there very little to totally dislike here, and lots to love. It certainly gets overshadowed by "Band On The Run", and that's too bad. The medley also suffers from having to follow the unfollowable "Abbey Road" medley. It didn't help that it led off with "Hold Me Tight" which is, by far, the weakest part of it, and as lousy & inconsequential track as "Loup (First Indian On The Moon)".
This was initially supposed to be a double album. I know there are always some great things that he leaves off, and puts in stuff that makes you scratch your head. Why? well 1) You can't please everyone...everyone will have their fave version, or running order- burn your own mi amigos! 2) He's Paul McCartney, that's what he does, get used to it. 3) When we finally get his Anthology/Bootleg Series, it'll be REALLY great.
That said this is weird enough (I LIKE that about it, don't get me wrong), and from what I've heard of some of the other stuff, we would have been veering more towards "Wings Wild Life" crazy variance, and quality levels, so it was a good thing that he didn't get indulged, but...
on the other hand...this guy was just putting out great single after great single that wasn't on any album, and this period is no exception. Try these, post-WWL/pre-RRS singles on for size:
Give Ireland Back To The Irish/Give Ireland Back To The Irish Version (pretty old released 2/72, but a great one- b-side is just instrumental version of a-side)
Mary Had A Little Lamb/Little Woman Love (I actually dig both of these sides with a nod to the incredible b-side as the best of the two)
Helen Wheels/Country Dreamer (realeased in 10/73 these are probably more "Band On The Run" tracks, but who knows how early they were available? Like the next two, both sides are stellar and equals in different ways)
******Hi Hi Hi/C Moon (Terrific b-side, & even better a-side, and as it was released 12/72 we have our first two songs that really should have been on RRS for sure)
*******Live And Let Die/I Lie Around (yes the a-side is a classic, but the big news is that so is the b-side, one of his best, and released in June of '73 these also should have been on the album)
Talk about an amazing streak of singles only releases, from Hi, Hi, Hi/C Moon, to Live & Let Die/I Lie Around, and finishing with Helen Wheels/Country Dreamer. There are at least 4 tracks that really would have pushed this album over the top had they been included...Hi Hi Hi; Live & Let Die; I Lie Around, and to a slightly lesser extent C Moon. Either just add them, or drop whatever you'd like, my choices are obvious, and you've now got an album that is up there nearing "Band On The Run", or "Ram" quality. He was doing great and very underrated work at this time, especially in you take into account ALL the material that was released at this time.
Note: "The Medley" is Hold Me Tight (which I'd say is, by far, the weakest & a Level IIIa, or Level II at best song)...then we have Lazy Dynamite; Hands Of Love; Power Cut...I guess Hands Of Love is my least fave of these three, but it would only be a Level IIa track, or maybe even Level II track here... and both Lazy Dynamite, and Power Cut would be solid Level Ia tracks. I kept The Medley at Level II due it's having two Level Ia tracks in it, & it's being an ambitious & overall good work...it stayed there despite the fact that 1/2 of it's songs are in fact Level IIa & Level IIIa tracks.
Level I: Little Lamb Dragonfly; My Love; Big Barn Bed; *Live & Let Die; *Hi Hi Hi; *I Lie Around
Level Ia: Get On The Right Thing; *C Moon (also Power Cut & Lazy Dynamite sections of Medley))
Level II: Single Pigeon; "The Medley" (Power Cut=Ia, Lazy Dynamite=Ia, Hands Of Love=Level II, Hold Me Tight= Level IIIa)...(also Hands Of Love section of Medley)
Level IIa: When The Night; One More Kiss
Level IIIa: Loup (First Indian On The Moon); (also Hold Me Tight section of Medley)
**Bonus tracks/singles from the period. Those in parenthesis are questionable as to whether or not they could have been part of RRS, other aren't and were also included above, but put them all together and you've got close to another full album!!!
Singles from that era:
Level I: Hi Hi Hi; Live & Let Die; I Lie Around (Helen Wheels; Country Dreamer)
Level Ia: C Moon; (Little Woman Love; Give Ireland Back To The Irish)
Level II: (Mary Had A Little Lamb)
Level IIIa: (Give Ireland Back To The Irish (Version))
Om Namah Shivaya !!!!