The official video for McCartney’s classic has been released newly remastered. It’s just over 50 years since the release of his first solo album ‘McCartney’. A record recorded before we were even certain what was happening with the Beatles. Most of the record is pretty sketchy, McCartney was partly relieved and partly traumatised at breaking free of band democracy and so recorded a selection of half formed songs with just McCartney on all instruments and himself and his wife Linda on vocals.
‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ is the standout track by a long way, his drums might be a bit lumpy, his lead guitar might be a bit clumsy but that just enhances the wonderful inventive melody. Its a mixture of jaw dropping prowess and rustic charm.
Rustic being the operative term because this was McCartney’s Scottish rural period. The accompanying photographs on the video mainly originate from this time when he was focussing on raising sheep and children and generally getting it together in the country. There’s some charming pictures of Paul and Linda with a couple of children and a sheepdog. (I know the dog’s called Martha, not sure about the kids). Paul looks pasty, he was going through a difficult time with the Beatles divorce, but he rocks a beard like few other popstars.
More poignant is that its also 22 years since Linda McCartney died (the same day 17th April) during a dark period that also saw cancer deaths of the Beatles publicist and friend Derek Taylor and musical mentor and rock and roll star Carl Perkins as well as the beginning of George Harrison’s cancer journey. At the time of recording the album Paul and, especially, Linda were reviled by the rock and roll world for their lovey dovey musical collaborations. 50 years on it seems ground-breaking, unique and not a little touching. It demonstrates that as long as you stick to what you want to do it will all come around again.
My introduction to the song was not this version though but rather via the Faces who plonked a live version on their second LP a couple of years later. Like all their records ‘Long Player’ was flawed and partly formed rather like ‘McCartney’ but still a big favourite with me then and now. ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ had been in their set for a while and a pretty good version it was too. Starting with a Ronnie Lane vocal it moves up a gear when Rod Stewart takes over. Lane complained for years that he had to sing it in Stewart’s key but it sounds great as does the slightly sloppy band arrangement. Is it a case of the cover being better than the original?
Has a band ever made more eye contact on stage with each other than the Faces ?
Here’s an earlier post about Macca’s early solo career