THE FIREMAN (PAUL McCARTNEY & YOUTH) Electric Arguments (2008), Electric Arguments (Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc) (2009), Rushes (1998) & Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1993)

Electric Arguments (2008)
Electric Arguments (Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc) (2009)
Rushes (1998)
Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1993)
Four Sides Of Just One Of McCartney’s Experimental Alter-Egos

Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest and Rushes are Paul McCartney’s first two slabs of ambient house electronica, via one of his numerous pseudonyms, The Fireman. In reality, The Fireman is a joint effort (pun intended) by McCartney and producer, Youth (ex-bassist of Killing Joke), that delves into sampled/instrumental electronic dance rhythms. For the sake of accuracy, Strawberries, the duo’s first effort is primarily Youth’s work, using samples he made of material from McCartney’s Off The Ground sessions. To be honest, I’m not much of a fan of it, as it’s a bit too repetitious for my tastes, which rarely extend into electronica anyway. Rushes is a meatier exercise in the same vein, with more varied textures and effects – even guitars – finding their way into the mix. It’s not as robotic as Strawberries and is far more entertaining as a result. Rushes also quickly went out of print and is now trading at collectors’ prices. Electric Arguments, McCartney & Youth’s third, is an altogether different animal. It’s also McCartney at his best, acting as a solid primer for his more eclectic and experimental ideas. Recorded a track a day for two weeks, Electric Arguments is filled with vocals, off-the-cuff ideas, full band instrumentation, chaos, spontaneity and who-knows-what’s-coming-next surprises. The kind of pure invention Paul usually leaves off the albums he tours behind, making this a McCartney almost like you’ve never heard him before. There are familiar elements – balls out vocals, disparate styles, melodic asides and plenty of improvisation – it’s just that Paul usually offers this sort of thing in bite-sized morsels, so as not to alienate his fan base. Electric Arguments is McCartney untethered and it has quickly become one of my all time favorites from the ex-Beatle. He re-writes his own book for this one – a marvel for a 65-year-old guy… and, probably for anyone half that age, too.

Many thanks to Reggie, from over at Music My Owner Listens To, for providing the Deluxe Edition bonus disc to Electric Arguments. Seven tracks in all, most are extended versions of material from the album proper. “Sawain Ambient Acapella” was originally an iTunes exclusive. We’ve got lots more from McCartney in the archives, HERE.

Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight (4:59)
Two Magpies (2:17)
Sing The Changes (3:48)
Travelling Light (5:10)
Highway (4:21)
Light From Your Lighthouse (2:36)
Sun Is Shining (5:16)
Dance Till We’re High (3:41)
Lifelong Passion (4:53)
Is This Love? (5:56)
Lovers In A Dream (5:26)
Universal Here, Everlasting Now (5:10)
Don’t Stop Running (10:32)

Dance Till We’re High [Long Version] (5:02)
Highway [Long Version] (5:42)
Light From Your Lighthouse (2:54)
Sing The Changes [Long Mix] (3:56)
Sun Is Shining [Short Version] (4:28)
Highway [Electro Dynamo Lemon Sherbet Sunrise Dubstep Mix] (5:43)
Sawain Ambient Acapella [”Lifelong Passion” Remix] (4:53)

Watercolour Guitars (5:48)
Palo Verde (11:57)
Auraveda (12:46)
Fluid (11:20)
Appletree Cinnabar Amber (7:09)
Bison (2:40)
7am (7:49)
Watercolour Rush (1:41)

Transpiritual Stomp (9:04)
Trans Lunar Rising (9:10)
Transcrystaline (8:39)
Pure Trance (8:40)
Arizona Light (8:39)
Celtic Stomp (8:34)
Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (8:07)
4 4 4 (7:35)
Sunrise Mix (8:16)


  • Willard
    April 10, 2010 - 08:31 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Reggie
    April 12, 2010 - 18:32 | Permalink

    Seriously? Metal Machine Music drew 47 comments and this one gets none?

    The first two Fireman releases are what I would describe as for completists only. Slightly entertaining, but mostly as a curiosity.

    But Willard's dead on: Electric Arguments is essential Macca.


  • the saucer people
    April 12, 2010 - 20:03 | Permalink

    Well, here is another comment to start the ball rolling…strange actually, I was looking for 'Paul MacCartney II' (the track 'Temporary Secretary' has imprinted itself heavily, infact to an alarming degree, the main chorus its more infrctious than Ebola) when I stumbled on this post. I must admit, I never knew these albums existed and to be honest if someone had told me about them I would not have believed them…..Youth! Macca! Its as crazy as Bowie/ of those strange moments when different parts of your musical categories melt into each other)….Anyway, both posters are completely spot on, 'Electric Arguments' is shockingly good..its funny to think how differently he would be regarded in certain circles had he released more of his experimental material and less 'Frog Chorus/Ebony & Ivory'….

  • Art Ducko
    April 13, 2010 - 00:03 | Permalink

    Macca does it again. Wonderful material. Were there not some bonus tracks from 'Electric Arguments' floating around? I'd love to track those down. "Rushes" is a real trip to listen to in the wee hours of the morning while watching the sun come up. Groovy stuff, guys, as always.

  • Reggie
    April 13, 2010 - 00:25 | Permalink

    Willard….I've got the 2nd disc of Electric Arguments at 320.

    Email me and let me know how to get it to you.


  • Willard
    April 13, 2010 - 00:03 | Permalink

    The Electric Arguments cover looks like Paulie's original artwork. I was in a book store years and years ago and bought his hardcover art book, Paintings. I'd never even heard of it, wasn't really aware that he even did serious art, and there it was – a $50 retail book already in the discount bin for $2.99. I bought two. Jeez… it's like, if he doesn't slap BEATLES on the front of everything, nobody gives a shit.

  • Willard
    April 13, 2010 - 01:05 | Permalink

    You ARE the man.

  • Miles
    April 13, 2010 - 06:11 | Permalink

    Hey Captain…

    I was recently reconsidering some of my comments regarding Macca's strengths and weaknesses (comments which you graciously plugged, thank you). I regretted my neglect in mentioning how much better his material often became when he collaborated with others. Never having heard Electric Arguments when I wrote my comments, I just today sought EA out at a local record store. After hearing it this evening, I regret my omission even more. EA is strong evidence of how McCartney works best when bouncing ideas off others (ie: Lennon, Costello, etc.) The fact that I dropped by here only to discover that you had posted it and the other Firemen CD's is pure serendipity, or synchronicity. Well done.

  • Argantonio
    April 13, 2010 - 11:32 | Permalink

    I'm completely fed up with The Beatles.
    They're everywhere.
    However, I really thank this post.
    For me, (the fireman) Rushes (in) is one of my favourite albums ever.
    I bought it ages ago, and when I listen to it, I do it more than once in one row.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2010 - 11:58 | Permalink


    Once again, thank you to make us discover unusual and rare stuff

    All the best

  • Willard
    April 13, 2010 - 09:14 | Permalink

    Don't forget his favorite collaborator… pot.

  • bglobe313
    April 13, 2010 - 14:24 | Permalink

    I generally agree that the first two are for completists only, while Electric Arguments is one of Paul's best releases. (I am pleased to know that at least some who like the type of sounds contained on the first two like what Paul and Youth did, but it just doesn't resonate with me.)

    As for EA bonus tracks, I wait droolingly.


    Ace K.

  • The Northern Miles
    April 13, 2010 - 15:19 | Permalink

    Just great, great stuff. Electric Arguments is Macca's best since Run Devil Run. I'd love to see him stretch himself out more like this. Whenever he stops trying to be Sir Paul McCartney & is just plain old Paulie, he hits a home run.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2010 - 15:19 | Permalink

    Thanks for this. Other than Ram, I'd have to say Electric Arguments is my favorite Paul CD. I bought it before going to a Paul concert last summer, and made my kids listen to it (since I thought Paul might play something off EA at the show), and now they love it, too. Fun to hear it blaring from my 12 year old daughter's iPod dock. The only track I don't like much is Highway, the song that seems the least unusual of the lot (naturally, that's one of the ones he played at the show).

    I would love to go to a Fireman concert (entirely Beatles-free) but I think you're right, people don't seem to want to hear anything from Paul that isn't Beatles related. I think his Chaos and Creation is underappreciated, too.

  • OleD
    April 14, 2010 - 03:30 | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the Fireman stuff. Have been looking for the earlier releases for a while, especially looking forward to the special edition add. You rock, captain.

  • Art Ducko
    April 14, 2010 - 08:05 | Permalink

    Thanks to Reggie for the bonus goodies. Good kitty!

  • ElementaryPenguin
    April 14, 2010 - 04:21 | Permalink

    I found Rushes about a week ago, and have been washing the dishes to it (that's a good thing). Many thanks for the bonus disk, which I didn't know existed. I always seem to buy albums before the definitive version is released!

  • Willard
    April 14, 2010 - 04:32 | Permalink

    Record companies plan it that way.

  • tjpython
    April 15, 2010 - 04:24 | Permalink

    Paul played a rocking version of "Sing The Changes" at the Hollywood Bowl show two weeks ago, which stunned me. Because I figured I was one of maybe 100 people who owned the album or had heard the song. He wedged it in the setlist between "Something" and "Band On The Run" which means 18,000 people got tuned into Fireman that night.

  • bglobe313
    April 16, 2010 - 01:12 | Permalink

    To typython,

    When I saw him at Fenway Park (which I only did because my brother who saw him at an earlier show on the tour said I just HAD TO see it) "Ring The Changes" got a pretty enthusiastic response.

    Who would think that even now there could be anything sort of hidden and cult about a Paul McCartney track/album? I've shared the album with friends, who've shared it with their friends, and so far not one negative response and a lot of extremely positive ones.

    I don't know what it means for what Paul will/ought to do going forward, but it really is great for him to hit with this unexpected greatness at this late stage (as opposed to crap like "Freedom").

    Ace K.

  • jbull49
    April 16, 2010 - 02:30 | Permalink

    My goodness! Why aren't these EVERYWHERE? Like Dylan, Mc seems intent on burying the good stuff much of the time (cf. amazing video/download of Dylan & the Plugz from Letterman show over at Music Ruined My Life blog).

    Thanks Capt.! So much here has/is/will be so lovely. Much appreciated.

  • the Armadillo Rekkons
    February 16, 2011 - 22:44 | Permalink

    i have been a longtime McPersecutor. It took less than 1 MINUTE of 'Electric Arguments' to turn me around. Now that i've confessed i can't wait to hear 'Ram' and of course the 1st LP. A 'thank-you' to Reggie ..and To Capt. Willard – your whole scene is BEYOND SPECIAL. THANK YOU for a place that restores my hope in mankindness. A.Wrekk

  • Willard
    February 16, 2011 - 22:52 | Permalink

    Yeah… EA's a winner. Thanks for the kind words.

  • annmargretfan
    April 8, 2011 - 03:56 | Permalink

    I had no idea there was a bonus disc for EA. Score another one for this blog. Luv it.

  • January 18, 2016 - 13:32 | Permalink

    Aha! Never had the EA bonus disc. Now I do. Hooray!

  • January 18, 2016 - 16:30 | Permalink

    Thank you these are so much on Amazon, there are a lot of great tunes on these lps.

  • Noisegate
    January 18, 2016 - 16:33 | Permalink

    Sheezus! You NEVER know what treasures you’re gonna find here. Thank you mightily.

  • Anonymous
    February 8, 2016 - 22:47 | Permalink

    I agree with previous comments on the repetition of “Strawberries…”. I look forward to hearing the rest of these. I have a question about the “Electric Arguments” Bonus disc. I can’t find this particular track list in any album description/listing I’ve come across. They all agree with:
    Any idea where I can get the discogs ‘tracklist’? And where the tracks offered here come from?


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