Friday, January 22, 2016

Those loveable pop veterans

Bono (and some politician) at Davos

Rod Liddle writes:
"I was desperately worried that you hadn’t read or heard enough platitudinous drivel about David Bowie — and therefore felt compelled to weigh in with my own observations. In all honesty I haven’t heard so much repetitive, imbecilic guff since Mandela shuffled off this mortal coil. It was even worse than the confected sobfest that greeted the passing of the charming and likeable Lou Reed."
Yes, if ever there was a man who made a career out of being a nasty piece of work, it was Lou Reed.

Liddle then correctly observes that the key thing was that Bowie wrote and performed some memorable songs, but let's move on to his views on some other musicians.
"Paul McCartney. The rock press always adored John Lennon and rather despised McCartney. But favourite Beatles songs are almost all by McCartney. Lennon was loved for his supposed ‘edge’, for his fatuous political convictions (the attendant hypocrisy forgotten). McCartney just carried on writing tunes which had about them a sophistication and vast melodic range.

"Compare the melodies of two songs which, initially, have a similar chord sequence: ‘Here, There and Everywhere’, by McCartney and ‘Woman’, by Lennon. McCartney’s soars all over the place and then, just for fun, changes key — twice. Lennon’s sticks doggedly to the base note of every chord."
I was never a fan of Lennon, whose persona seemed to be mostly juvenile bully, leavened by a large sprig of self-righteousness, But McCartney is equally hard to love, with his platitudinous petit-bourgeois sensibilities. You don't have to be Sigmund Freud to figure out that calling your 2013 album 'Kisses on the Bottom'* underscores your toe-curling 'down-with-the-kids' insecurities.

Yeah, yeah, yeah; it's hard to love these ageing, narcissistic, preening pop veterans.

Luckily, we have their music.


* Yes, I know the reference and no, it's no excuse.

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