Paul McCartney has been in the news recently for different reasons, and one can’t help but wonder if recording duets is the kiss of death for him as none he’s recorded before have worked and neither does his recent cameo appearance on a maudlin piece of rubbish with Kanye West.

If “Say Say Say” and “That Girl Is Mine” with a devious Michael Jackson who used that “friendship” to purchase the Lennon-McCartney publishing catalogue behind Paul’s back, and the cringeworthy “Ebony And Ivory” were examples of great talent coming together to produce pap, then “Only One” with Kanye West is doodling that should have never left the mixing board- if it was mixed at all- with Macca on the track in name only.

One can only suppose he was playing keyboards based on that twee throwaway song of his called “Just A Little Luck.”

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUMOQct042g

To add insult to mediocrity were those from the Twitterverse who wondered who this “newcomer” Paul McCartney was.

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As a friend and game changer in the entertainment industry wrote, “We know the names of kings and queens and what they did and appreciate the work of artists, musicians and poets from centuries ago, but kids today are barely interested in what happened yesterday.”

Of course, he’s right and which is why music and musicians are so devalued and discarded today.

As for Paul McCartney, his name is seen in a more positive light in an interesting video project where 550 people- actors, actresses, musicians, some famous, some not- were asked that age-old question, “McCartney or Lennon?”

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From the earliest days of Beatlemania to the creativity of Sgt Peppers, Revolver and Abbey Road to their solo work, many of us took sides in one way or another. We were either fans of John Lennon or Paul McCartney with George Harrison being The Third Man and Outsider in this debate.

Watching the video what came through was, perhaps, how much of McCarthey’s work has been underrated- all those brilliantly different vocal styles to give life to all those brilliantly different songs during his Beatle years, his incredible work as a bass guitarist, and the volume of his solo efforts and those with Wings.

Listen for example to the sweetness in his voice on “Blackbird” and “Mother Nature’s Son” and “I Will” to the far more “soulful” vocals on “Lady Madonna”, “Oh Darling” and “Golden Slumbers”.

Paul McCartney Performs At The Joint At The Hard Rock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMFJizea2HA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWMQsr8_mz4

And then there is the Little Richard-inspired rocker heard on “Long Tall Sally” and the hugely underrated “Helter Skelter”, a track as heavy as anything by Led Zeppelin.

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It would have been interesting to hear Robert Plant cover the song-the song that held “secret messages” for all the evil inside the insidious Charles Manson and the title of the chilling book written by Victor Bugliosi who successfully prosecuted the mad man.

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One also can’t help but wonder what difference John Lennon might have brought to “Helter Skelter” had he sung it.

We’ll never know, but what we have is an incredible body of work that includes Paul McCartney, bass guitarist extraordinaire from the driving simplicity of “I Saw Her Standing There” to the complexity of every track on “Sgt Pepper’s”, especially, “Fixing A Hole” and John’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gwg_d3XZ5A

There’s then all that solo work with “Ram” being a rough diamond that is so honest in its imperfection.

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With Wings, there’s “Jet” and the amazing “Band On The Run”, which could easily have been a Beatles record.

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McCartney or Lennon? It’s a tough call. Like love and marriage, one can’t have one without the other.

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