- Album This interview has been made to promote the McCartney III Official album.
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From Manchester Wire, June 4, 2020:
The Charlatans frontman and Salford songsmith Tim Burgess has announced a slew of album listening parties that invite music fans far and wide to hit play on a selection of classic records, share memories and enjoy some great tunes whilst stuck in self isolation. Wondering how it works? Thankfully, it’s all pretty simple. To start, head over to TimsTwitterListeningParty.com to explore the full line-up of albums Tim will be listening to and find out when he’ll be listening to them. […] Once you’ve picked your date, simply head on over to Twitter, follow Tim and any other relevant accounts and get involved. By using the hashtag #TimsTwitterListeningParty you can ask questions, share your thoughts on the album currently playing and interact with like-minded music fans.
Paul: Hey Tim, hey guys, thanks for having me. Pour yourself a drink. This is going to be fun!
Paul: Hey Twitter, let’s all say a big thanks to Tim for these brilliant events this year! We really needed them. So much great music being talked about.
About “Long Tailed Winter Bird”
Paul: Here we go! The great thing for me about this album is that I didn’t know I was actually making an album and it all started with this track really as I was making a bit of music for a film project. The title came about when it was extended into a full-length song so we called it Long Tailed Winter Bird. And a little fact for you, in my bird book I saw a long-tailed duck!
About “Find My Way”
Paul: I used my Mustel Harmonium which was from Abbey Road on this. I started “Find My Way” on the piano, it was based on an idea that I’d had in the car when I was listening to music and there was a beat on the radio I liked so I just started singing along with it making up my own words and tune. I actually had a whole different idea for the verses which I decided I didn’t like and eventually put in a new idea which is now the middle!
About “Pretty Boys”
Paul: “Pretty Boys” came from a newspaper article about some male models who’d got annoyed at a photographer who’d been too aggressive and a bit abusive. I was walking along the street in New York, I saw a big line of bicycles and I thought ok well that’s a nice idea, ‘a line of bicycles for hire…’ So the idea is about male models being for hire. I got to use the Kay M-1 upright bass on this. Previously played and owned by Bill Black when he played and toured with Elvis. How cool is that!
About “Women And Wives”
Paul: Women and Wives I wrote when I had just been reading a book on the Blues artist Lead Belly, so I was trying to get in this bluesy mood so I played simple chords and started singing in what I imagined was like a bluesy style. If anyone asked me to sing one of the songs off this album it would be this one!
About “Lavatory Lil'”
Paul: Lavatory Lil’ is about anybody that you don’t like and that you didn’t get on with and I think in our lives we have a lot of people like that. It’s not about anyone in particular but it is a fictitious character. It harks back to one of John’s old songs, Polythene Pam, and what you do is you take half an idea of someone, you just make a fiction about what they do and what they’re like, so that was Lavatory Lil’. My missus gave me this beautiful little 1954 Telecaster which I haven’t played too much until this album, so it gave me a great chance on the lead part of Lil’.
About “Deep Deep Feeling”
Paul: Deep Deep Feeling was from a kind of jam that I had done, I’d wanted to get in a particular mood, a very sort of empty spacey mood, so I just made up stuff so it was just a combination of ideas that became an 8 minute song. I was thinking of editing it down to a shorter more reasonable length but when I listened through to it I liked it so much (he said modestly…) that I kept it 8 minutes. The thing about making an album like this is, to some degree, indulgent. But then it’s also about having fun. I used my vintage Brenell Tape machine on this to create a guitar tape loop ‘orchestra’ – which consisted of two different chords each made up of five notes.
Paul: Slidin’ came from a soundcheck jam when we were playing in Dusseldorf in Germany. During soundchecks when I’m checking my guitar, I like to try and make something up and the band will join in. I started jamming and this riff came out that I liked, it stayed in my brain, so we recorded it for Egypt Station with my band but it didn’t work out. I had it half finished and I changed some things here and there, and it became Slidin’. I would listen to the Winter Olympics and hear the announcers saying ‘sliding’ when they meant Snowboarding, Skiing or Tobogganing – anything with slides! I thought that’s great, a nice group name for all of those, and that became the song. We used our Studer J37 Tape Machine on this track. The drums were recorded at double speed.
About “The Kiss Of Venus”
Paul: Kiss Of Venus… A friend of mine gave me a little hippy book which was fascinating because it’s all about the movements of the planets and Earth and Venus and Mars and the moon. In the book it shows you that if you look at all the orbits over time, they actually trace out really fascinating patterns and some of them look like a lotus flower which is kind of wow, kind of magical! I was looking for ideas and the book said the phrase ‘the kiss of Venus’ meaning when Earth comes closest to Venus, and I thought well that’s a great idea for a song.
About “Seize The Day”
Paul: I started this on the piano, at home on the farm and was letting the words spill out so I didn’t know what the song was going to be about. I got to this line ‘Yankee toes and Eskimos can turn to frozen ice’ and thought what is this about? I think it’s best not to question lyrics too deeply, so instead of it making an amazing amount of sense it becomes a little bit surrealistic which I like. The chorus is about the cold cold days – ‘when the cold days come we’ll wish that we’d enjoyed today’. So that became ‘Seize The Day’ which is basically English for carpe diem! This song has a little bit of a feeling of covid times, because it is saying even though times are tough, let’s try and remember that we’ll be glad if we seize the day.
About “Deep Down”
Paul: I didn’t quite know what I meant by ‘deep down’ except ‘I want to have a deep relationship with you’ or whatever, so i just really kept going on it. Some songs you know you don’t quite know where you’re going, you’ve just got half an idea and it’s really just that you’re enjoying the groove and that one was one of those, I just thought of ideas as I went along and it ended up as this.
About “Winter Bird”
Paul: Like I said at the start, Winter Bird was the reason I went in the studio first of all to do a little bit for the opening titles of a short film. The music I was working on was for a short animation film about the song When Winter Comes so this is all full circle! Now I’d come from the beginning of the album to the end, so we have the song that had started the whole thing.
About “When Winter Comes”
Paul: I made a record called Calico Skies a while ago that George Martin recorded, and at the same time because I was in the studio, I just thought oh wait a minute there’s this other song I’ve just written, so I did When Winter Comes! This song is kind of an idealistic thing, a hippy existence on a farm, planting trees, mending fences and living the good life which is something I like, I love nature and I love that idea of getting down and getting your hands dirty. This is the last track on the album, so there you have it!
About “Wonderful Christmastime”
Paul: Wonderful Christmastime! I recorded this during sessions for my McCartney II album, it was actually the summer time too! We filmed the video at a pub in Sussex which was a lot of fun.
Hey guys – before I forget I’d like to say to everyone have a great holiday, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year and enjoy yourself!
Thanks so much Tim and everyone who took part tonight. That was good fun. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Sending you all my love! See you soon X