Over the past few weeks I’ve been indulging my fangirl obsession for a certain musician’s back catalogue by dipping into ‘Take it Away: The Complete Paul McCartney Archive Podcast’.
The subject matter is as self-explanatory as it is ambitious: the hosts Ryan Brady and Chris Mercer set out to discuss all of Macca’s post-Beatles work, from his 1970 solo album McCartney through to the present day - with an episode per album - while also taking into account as much of his unreleased material as they can lay their hands on along the way.
Listening to them cover a topic I’m so familiar with is like comfort food for the soul (to use a clunky image). It’s the sort of thing I would have loved to have been part of myself, if there’d been someone around to do it with; curse the massive distance between the podcast’s hosts and me. And even I've learnt stuff I didn’t know about my most revisited subject, and heard snippets of demos I was unfamiliar with too.
For some reason, I’m working my way through the series out of sequence, mainly to hear them discuss Paul’s more eclectic - and to me, more interesting - work first. Consequently, I started with their episode on perhaps his most obscure (and admittedly patchy) unreleased material, the Return to Pepperland bootleg; from there, I went to Flowers in the Dirt, then Back to the Egg, Ram, London Town, McCartney II and finally Tug of War, which I’m currently in the midst of. It’s been an enjoyable ride, reminding me of the countless gems sprinkled throughout his epic recording career; just for the sake of it, here's one of my favourites: