Monday, February 23, 2009

XM Radio Gets It Right With McCartney Channel

I have been listening a lot lately to XM Radio channel 27, which is called Paul McCartney's Fireman Radio. The channel runs for a month and plays nothing but Paul McCartney solo stuff, Wings and the three Fireman albums. The only time you hear a Beatles tune is if they run a live McCartney/Wings version of it, of which there are plenty, so you get a fair amount of Beatles too.

I know a lot of people are totally sick of McCartney and probably feel like 24/7 of the man is akin to going to the dentist. But I have to say, I am enjoying it quite a bit.

He has had such a long career, there is a lot to choose from. And unlike XM Radio's Zeppelin channel, they are getting the playlist right.

The Zep channel was basically a souped up rock-block weekend for a month. Yeah, they played every track from the 8 or 9 albums, but they barely dipped into the live stuff (even official releases like the BBC concerts and Song Remains the Same). The only solo stuff they played was Robert Plant's more popular stuff. No Firm even. It sucked.

In contrast, I have heard a bunch of very deep McCartney album cuts (Ram On, for example), as well as stuff that is fairly obscure. For example, there was a short instrumental called In Private that I thought was from a Fireman album. But a quick iTunes search told me it was a bonus track from the deluxe version of Memory Almost Full.

So I bought the song. There have been a few other cool tracks I have bought as one-offs after hearing them, actually. Which I guess is the idea.

They are for sure pimping the new Fireman album but that's OK, as I like that as well.

Anyway, good for XM for getting it right this time. What other artists would benefit from this format? They ought to have a Dylan channel that not only plays the umpteen hundred Dylan albums but goes into his stuff with The Band and how about the umpteen thousand cover versions of his songs? I don't expect you'd hear many repeats on that channel! Maybe they have it in the works? Who else?


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I would LOVE to have satellite radio again!!! I just can't justify the cost at the moment.

bushmeister said...

There are few who would qualify (few who have lived long enough to qualify!). Clapton maybe, but you don't get as much variety with Clapton as you get over McCartney's career. You'd turn the channel pretty quickly.

Paul Simon I could make it through a day or two of...he's tried so many different kinds of world beats and instrumentations all throughout his stuff that there would be quite a variety, and the lesser-known b-side tunes are all stellar too. I could listen to Paul Simon channel for a while.

Danny Elfman.

The stones would be a good one if they stayed away from the obvious rainmakers and included all the separate solo projects (I even like Mick's solo pop crap that everyone hates) - Mick Taylor, all the other bands the various guitarslingers were in, which would add some deep stuff like Bluesbreakers and one of my all-time faves The Faces.

Maybe You could have a 6 degrees of Rock station. Start with Ronny-era stones. Jump to the faces and then you have Kenny Jones on drums. Jump from there to The Who, to some Pete solo, you get the picture.

then you could do the classic session players... a day of chuck leavell, here's a channel featuring all the albums steve gadd plays on... you could really geek out when you think of it like that...hey cool, hey cool the ansley dunbar channel! that would actually be really cool...with ansley as the common denominator you'd have bluesbreakers, zappa, bowie, lou reed, journey, sammy hagar, jefferson starship, whitesnake, UFO, the list goes on...