Once More, With Feeling: ‘Mull of Kintyre’
Now that I think about this, I’m dead certain I’ve done this riff on the Paul McCartney and Wings song before, but for the life of me, I cannot remember where. So what the hey and all of that, I’m doing it again!
Now, Mull of Kintyre …
What I remember most about the clip above is seeing it through bleary eyes in the living room of my folks’ home in North Richland Hills, Texas, in the late ’70s. My stepfather had sent me off to bed that night with a promise that he’d wake me when McCartney came on — even at that young age, I was a huge fan of Macca. (I had made this determination on the basis of the song Rocky Raccoon a few years earlier, and while that may strike you as dubious, the fact is that I’ve remained a faithful McCartney fan for the many years since. I can think of few things that have remained with me that long.)
The story behind the song is pretty interesting, too. It was recorded between albums, and while it was fabulously successful in the U.K., it barely made a dent here in the U.S., topping out at No. 45 on the Billboard charts.
Because it wasn’t on a regular studio album, I promptly forgot the song after my slumbering stupor, until I read about it in McCartney’s tour program during his New World Tour in 1993 (I caught the May 5 show in Cincinnati). The next week, I had a copy of Wings Greatest and proceeded to wear it out, listening to the song repeatedly. It has everything that makes a McCartney fan happy: an undeniable hook, those great pipes (McCartney’s and the bagpipers’), terrific musicianship and a soaring chorus. If you’re one of those unfortunate McCartney detractors, I suppose it also has everything that fuels your contempt. You can go talk about that bullroar on your own blog.