Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fool on the Hill, The by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1967

When I first heard this song, I didn’t think much of it, but it was one of those McCartney or Beatles tunes that grew on me over the years. Though still not my favorite. I really appreciate the varied instruments used in the production. The performance in "Magical Mystery Tour" always makes me think of the close up of McCartney’s sleepy eyes and him running around like an idiot in France. It's also on 1967-1970. A (demo) version and (Take 4) appear on 1996's "Anthology 2".

Later, McCartney attached some Martin Luther King speeches to the song when played live, which I never quite understood. Maybe I’m just dense. Somebody feel free to explain it to me. Still later, the King speeches were removed when played live. The “King” version appeared on 1990’s "Tripping the Live Fantastic". A different live version appears on 2002/3's "Back in the US/World".

Fool, The by The Beatles – **; - by Paul McCartney – ***


Two different unreleased versions exist of this Ford/Clark song. One from the 1969 "Get Back" sessions and another from a 1989 McCartney sound check.

Follow Me by Paul McCartney – *

First released: 2005

Another Paul snoozer from "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard".

Flying to My Home by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1989

McCartney b-side to "My Brave Face" that seems to be an excuse for him to kind of sing it in a Beach Boys type of way.

Flying Hour by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1988

One of four tracks that Warner Bros. told George to cut from his "Somewhere in England" album in 1981. What were they smoking at Warners? This is easily one of George’s more cheery tunes and was given an official limited release with the "Songs By George Harrison" book’s giveaway single. In 2007, it was included as a digital download with the download of "Somewhere in England".

Flying Horses by Paul McCartney – ***


Paul composed and recorded the music for the uncompleted "Rupert" project in 1971 and recorded it in 1978. The horse gallops are a bit much and should have appeared sparingly in this mainly instrumental piece.

Flying by The Beatles – ***

First released: 1967

The first Beatles release credited to all four Beatles (unless you count some nonsense from their Christmas singles) and the first instrumental. It is very similar to "Aerial Tour Instrumental", minus the ending which ended up on "In the Park" by George Harrison. Works best in the "Magical Mystery Tour" film due to the rainbow colors.

2009 note: When the remastered Beatles albums hit the shelves, many publications and websites took polls asking people’s favorite or least favorite Beatles songs. This one frequently hit bottom. Is it because it’s an instrumental? It’s not that bad, folks.

"Fly On the Wall" by The Beatles – **

First released: 2003

Bonus CD or 7" single (depending on the format) of unreleased goodies from the "Get Back/Let it Be" sessions and included with "Let it Be...Naked". I would have much preferred entire tunes over these little snippets, and also a full-length disc. As a result, I rarely listen to this disc.

Fluid by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1989

Another trance track from Paul's (a.k.a. The Fireman) album "Rushes".

"Flowers in the Dirt" by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1989

Although I like this album quite a bit, to this day I would rather see all of the Paul McCartney/Elvis Costello compositions on one album. Instead we get a few songs here, a few on Paul’s "Off the Ground", a few on Elvis’ "Spike" and "Mighty Like a Rose" albums. The highlight is the first single "My Brave Face". Also, I much prefer the Japanese version of this CD which includes an extra CD that features a special message to Japanese fans by Paul and also the studio version of "P.S. Love Me Do". People at the time said that this was Paul's "comeback" record. Well, where was he? He had released at least an album or a single every year since he became a pop star, so the tag was kind of silly. Just a marketing ploy.

"Flaming Pie" by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 1998

McCartney’s last great album for a decade, and first one issued after the "Anthology" project. Apparently, listening to hours and hours of Beatles tunes inspired him to write a more straightforward tuneful album after the disappointing "Off the Ground" album issued right before the "Anthology" project. He should listen to Beatles tunes more often as virtually every track is an absolute gem with the only weak spots being Paul's collaborations with Steve Miller ("I Really Love You" and "Used to Be Bad").

Flaming Pie by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1998

Title track from McCartney’s last good album until 2007's "Memory Almost Full". This bit of nonsense harks back to a comment John Lennon made once about the origins of The Beatles’ name in which a man came in on a flaming pie and christened the quartet The Beatles. Paul kind of shouts the lyrics, which dings it a point for me.

Fixing a Hole by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1967

One of those nonsensical Beatles tracks that gets drug connotations because of being released on the "Sgt. Pepper" album. Regardless, it is finely crafted and is one of the better moments on that LP. McCartney never played it live except briefly on the 1993 tour (which was strangely left off of "Paul is Live"), then finally again on the 2005 tour.

"5.1" by Ringo Starr – ***

First released: 2008

Koch Records last Ringo CD is this compilation of the best songs from his albums "Choose Love" and "Ringo Rama". There is a DVD version with the music truly in 5.1 surround sound and the extra track of "I Really Love Her".

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fish on the Sand by George Harrison – ***

First released: 1987

George’s comment on himself (he is a Pisces you know). He would address this issue again on the posthumous "Pisces Fish" from "Brainwashed". A nice upbeat song similar to the "Got My Mind Set On You" hit from "Cloud Nine".

"First U.S. Visit, The" (feature) by The Beatles – ****

First released: 1990

This documentary film was deemed too similar to the faux documentary "A Hard Day’s Night", and so was shelved for years, until its video release. Filmed in and including the classic "Ed Sullivan Show" appearances from 1964, this is essential viewing for any Beatles fan.

First Stone, The by Paul McCartney – ***

First released: 1989

McCartney b-side from "This One" that is Paul's attempt to issue something a little more meaty.

"First of didn't do a thing here" by Paul McCartney – **

First released: 1995

Snippet of 1962 McCartney interview included on "Anthology 1".

Fine Line by Paul McCartney – ****

First released: 2005

Really the only decent track off of Paul's "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard". It was the first single off the album and actually deserved to be a hit, but it wasn't.

Fine Day, A by Paul McCartney – **

First released: 1993

Paul performs a soundcheck version for 1993’s "Paul is Live". Nothing much but noodling.

Find a Way by Paul McCartney – (NR)


Unreleased McCartney/Laine demo from the 1978 "London Town" sessions.