Monday, 8 November 2010

Give my Regards to Broad Street

The thing with Paul McCartney is that he's often a genius, but more often than not he's a plant pot - take for example his 1984 movie, Give my Regards to Broad Street which rates as one of the biggest piles of tosh ever put on celluloid. The music's great, though even if the 80's versions of Beatle classics pale besides the originals. Though to be honest a better version of Silly Love Songs you won't find anywhere. It's all this middle of the road stuff that leads people to think he's a smug bastard... you know, on times it's hard being a Paul McCartney fan.

The movie depicts a day in the life of Paul McCartney, as in the style of A Hard Day's Night, but the problem is there's no Lennon, Harrison or Star here to provide relief from the saccharine moments - well actually Ringo is here but he's merely there for decoration and doesn't really offer anything to the movie. No this is Paul's movie - he wrote it, produced it and sort of acted in it. I say sort of because whatever Paul McCartney is he is no actor, nor for that matter is he a scriptwriter and the plot, what there is of it, is nonsense and the kind of thing a ten year old could have dreamt up.

Let's look at the good points - the Eleanor dream sequence is imaginatively staged and the classical piece by George Martin and McCartney that spins off from the Eleanor Rigby song is excellent and perhaps gives an hint of the full scale classical pieces McCartney would compose later. And of course all of the music is great which is no surprise since it comes from one of the most important voices in 20th century music.

There are two Paul McCartney's - the one who is true to his artistic self and produces groundbreaking works like McCartney, Ram, Red Rose Speedway and others of that ilk and then there is the man who is so desperate to please the masses that he shamelessly produces pap - he's still doing it, you know. How can the same man who gave us Electric Arguments then appear on something so banal and tacky as The X-Factor.

McCartney's firmly in pap mode with the Give my Regards to Broad Street movie - Now don't get me wrong, I love Macca and am a huge fan of his massive talent but it's hard to defend crap like this. So defend it I will not.

Give my Regards to Broad Street - good music but the film's shit. And of the music - the (then) all new power ballad, No More Lonely Nights is great and soft rocker No Values is a hidden gem. I also like the medley of acoustic Beatle numbers which then leads into a great version of Wanderlust. The soundtrack album is a must buy - the film isn't but then maybe that's why it remains unavailable on both DVD and VHS.

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