Addressing the ever-shrinking credibility of rock journalism since 2007. With a sasquatch.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Deep Cuts: Instrumental

Thrillington by Percy ThrillingtonNothing is better to enjoy that a cleverly perpetrated hoax - once it's revealed. Famous horror writer Stephen King once wrote a series of books under a pen name that later became best-sellers. The Beatles themselves, prior to their 1970 break-up, fostered the idea that Paul McCartney was killed in a car crash in 1966 and replaced by a look-a-like. Radio DJ Russell Gibb announced his own Paul Is Dead Theory on Detroit radio adding to the mystique - taking us all for a ride so to speak.

In 1970, the legal wrangling for the Beatles material was in Britain's High Court. Paul McCartney and his wife Linda began working on three new albums. The first was a solo album simply entitled McCartney (1970), the second was with his first band after The Beatles - Ram (1971) which - let's face it - was poorly received. The last album? This last album is a gem. It was an orchestral themed, instrumental record that was put together with Richard Hewson who had also arranged "Let It Be".

The result: Percy "Thrills" Thrillington (1977). It wasn't until 1989 at Los Angeles press conference that Paul revealed that he was Mr. Thrillington. The album tripled in value and became a collector's item when Paul and Linda confirmed it in the Spring 1995 issue of Club Sandwich. This record is so oddly compelling that it merits more than a footnote in music history. Right off the bat, the lead track "Too Many People", echoes Sgt. Pepper but with a dreamier context. "3 Legs" is the soundtrack for a the bad side of town - on Mars. This album only gets better with a rather formal version of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" anchoring the record.

Original 1977 pressings are exceedingly hard to find. This album was reissued in 2004 and also as part of the deluxe edition of Ram in May of 2012.

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington - Uncle Albert


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