MICHAEL McGEAR Woman (1972) + McGear (1974)


Woman (1972)
McGear (1974)
Cursed By McCartney

I’ve always liked Mike McGear. He had his own (albeit minor) success with The Scaffold, a popular Brit musical/comedy team formed in 1962, and decided early on to use a pseudonym to avoid capitalizing on the emerging fame of his older brother, Paul McCartney. While he has always been one step ahead of any coat-tailing accusations, it’s worth noting that throughout his under-the-radar career, sales have consistently been one step behind. McGear’s debut solo album, 1972’s Woman, has all the hallmarks of an offbeat 10cc album, offering a variety of contrasting pop styles and a noticeable disrespect for commercial convention. Not surprising, in that Woman was recorded at 10cc’s Strawberry Studios (before “10cc” officially existed). The melodies are rather vague and hardly Top 40, but a few songs are pure pop and worth your iPod time. Most McCartney-ites know about Mike’s follow-up, 1974’s McGear, as brother Paul co-wrote and produced nearly the entire album. To be honest, the McCartney/McGear collaboration is a bit fruity, with excesses that can clearly be pinned on writer/producer McCartney. The songs aren’t as dreamy as Woman‘s and McCartney’s overbearing characteristics and harsh commercial instincts tend to rob McGear of any individual identity. For too many people, Paul’s the only reason to listen. Too bad, because McGear is his own artist. Woman‘s gorgeous title track, below, is audio evidence. McGear is the See For Miles reissue, by the way, with two additional tracks, “Dance The Do” and “Sweet Baby.” On a related side note, I pulled out my original vinyl LP and couldn’t help but notice that all the tunes were credited to McCartney/McGear. Which may very well be warranted. But, do you think McC pulled rank or suggested the alphabetical order scam to brother McG? Amazon’s got one & the other.


Woman
Woman (3:04)
Witness (4:13)
Jolly Good Show (3:08)
Roamin A Road (2:24)
Sister (3:11)
Wishin (3:24)
Young Young Man (Five Years Ago) (0:51)
Young Man (Five Years Later) (2:46)
Edward Heath (0:56)
Bored As Butterscotch (2:50)
Uptown Downtown (2:23)
Black Beauty (0:51)
Tiger (7:24)


McGear
Sea Breezes (4:29)
What Do We Really Know (3:50)
Norton (2:38)
Leave It (3:45)
Have You Got Problems (6:16)
Dance The Do (3:54)
The Casket (4:20)
Sweet Baby (3:50)
Rainbow Lady (3:31)
Simply Love You (2:51)
Givin‘ Grease A Ride (5:37)
The Man Who Found God On The Moon (6:32)

 

9 Comments

  • 1
    W
    March 30, 2011 - 14:46 | Permalink

    Find them both HERE.

  • 2
    VELVETBOB
    October 18, 2011 - 15:08 | Permalink

    This is the best music site on the planet! Thanks so much for this!

  • 4
    buzz baby jesus
    October 19, 2011 - 09:10 | Permalink

    Back in the day we thought covering “Sea Breezes” was pretty hip.

    • 5
      Willard
      October 19, 2011 - 09:41 | Permalink

      Some thought drinking Sea Breezes was hip, too.

  • 6
    MNW
    February 3, 2012 - 12:32 | Permalink

    The odd thing about the McGear LP is that, to me at least, the most McCartney-sounding track is the one and only cut NOT by the Brothers Mac — it’s the Bryan Ferry-penned “Sea Breezes”! Anyone else think so?

    – MNW

    BTW: McC/McG may not be the best thing since sliced MacLennon, but I’ll tell you what is: McC/MacM! It’s a tragedy that Paul and Elvis never made a complete album as a songwriting duo! (Heaton/Rotheray of The Beautiful South are pretty high up there on my list as well.)

  • 7
    Tony Lauber
    May 17, 2012 - 11:35 | Permalink

    The music on these two albums are much much better than the McGouch & McGear disc which contained a less than interresting appearance by Hendrix and some comic curios.

  • 8
    Matt
    December 7, 2013 - 23:20 | Permalink

    Some great somgs between these. Thanks for sharing them.

  • 9
    RobJam
    April 24, 2014 - 09:26 | Permalink

    Glad I found these, I needed upgrades on my copies.
    Thanks Willard!

  • Leave a Reply