The Back Seat of My Car

18 Jul

The other day I heard that Paul McCartney was playing Yankee Stadium and I realized I would have next to no interest in ever going to that.  Now I know a lot of people who did go to the Citi Field show a couple of years ago and loved it, but I can’t help but wonder why.

Now I’m as much (or more) of a Beatles fan as the next guy though, like many of them, I’d classify myself more as a John Apple Scruff.  But there are still plenty of Paul songs I think are amazing.  And there are several Wings tracks that are great too.  So why do I have to stifle an eye-roll every time I think of Sir Paul?  I have a feeling I’ll perfect my telekinetic powers sooner than I will be able to stop that eye rolling.  It’s just that the combo of the current Paul McCartney and the vast output of schlock is so distasteful.

But I realized I do in fact have a way to surmount this problem.  I will forgive “Wonderful Christmas Time,” “Silly Love Songs” and all the other crap  because Paul McCartney is, at the end of the day, responsible for one of the most epic and beautiful songs of all-time.

The Beach Boys-esqe “The Back Seat of My Car,” from ‘Ram,’ his second solo album, will erase all that and more.  ‘Ram’ was really under appreciated when it was released, but in the years since, nearly every critic who maligned it has done an about-face on the matter.

‘Ram’ was also hated by John Lennon, who felt that there were digs at him (including the line ‘we believe that we can’t be wrong’ from “The Back Seat of My Car”).   And to top it off, many fans hearing this for the first time in 1971 felt the album was inconsequential.  But they’re wrong.  I bet if I tracked down each one of those people who heard it when it was first released, 9 out of 10 of them would, like the critics, revise their initial reaction.

2011 ears are the perfect ones to listen to this.  I think rock critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine summed it up best:  Ram now “looks like nothing so much as the first indie pop album, a record that celebrates small pleasures with big melodies, a record that’s guileless and unembarrassed to be cutesy….(it) seems more like a unique, exquisite pleasure with each passing year.”

Okay, enough talking.  Listen to the pure beauty of this song.  It’s pretty amazing.

Plus it’s about having sex in the back seat of a car.

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