Articles::Paul McCartney 65th birthday coming

In conjunction with the release of Paul McCartney’s new album today as well as his 65th birthday this month, URGE has posted a feature on the legend and a dissection of his past works, including Wings and his solo efforts, as well as McCartney’s approach to releasing his music.

Here are some excerpts:

Pipes of Peace, in 1984, was McCartney’s last platinum studio record. His discography since then is a checkerboard of live records and hits collections that invariably go platinum, sometimes many times over, and studio albums that invariably go gold. Now, there are worse fates than having half a million people in the United States who’ll buy pretty much any record you put out. But you have to imagine for the street-fighting McCartney, this situation is not what becomes a legend most. We’ll never know whether he’s gritting his teeth each time he rerecords “Hey Jude” or remasters “Take It Away,” but his behavior since the mid-’80s suggests a singular pattern.

Most artists of a certain age have an audience they can count on to buy every new record. Often these records are at best excuses for tours for groups that still feel like they’ve got to have a product to appear behind, regardless of its quality (cough! Rolling Stones! cough!). While many such artists view their core audience as needing to be fed, many more view them as loyal subjects to be taxed.

The fascinating thing about Paul McCartney is how much disregard he shows his core audience. Don’t get me wrong, Sir Dude’s a classic British showman who loves his fans, does his encores, plays the hits and never grimaces. But considering that he could have happily kept making Tug of War over and over again, it’s fascinating how willing McCartney is to experiment with his sound, a recipe for alienating your fans if there ever was one. No, for McCartney, who’s admittedly in a unique situation as far as built-in audiences go, the casual fans are the ones he taxes. It’s his nearest and dearest he continually challenges to keep up with him.

You can read the full article here: Paul McCartney article

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