Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 251
Thursday Sept 20, 2012
One of the rarest and unbridled enthusiastic songs from the Wings canon is the gem written by Linda McCartney. I discovered this treasure a few years back, after coming back from our honeymoon in Santa Barbara. I still had dreams of cool air beaches, walking on the sand and being by the sea—Linda definitely captured the essence of living joyously by the ocean in her hit single “Seaside Woman. Linda described how “Seaside Woman” came to life in Gary McGee’s Band on the Run: A history of Paul McCartney and Wings, ““Seaside Woman” is very reggae inspired. That’s when ATV was suing us saying I was incapable of songwriting, so Paul said, “Get out and write a song.”
Yes, it was that simple, all it took was Paul’s loving encouragement for Linda to pen this seaside jewel. Linda loved visiting Jamaica she and Paul would land on the island buying up all the reggae 7 inch singles and ship them back home to the UK. Linda was enamored by the lovely native sound of Jamaican reggae as she explained in Danny Fields most excellent biography, Linda McCartney: A Portrait, “I was so in love with reggae music when I heard the Wailers that I wrote a reggae song.”
The sights and sounds of the island also inspired Linda to create a name for her band. In the spirit of Paul invented a fictitious persona aka Percy Thrillington instrumental string project of the Ram. Linda inspired by Paul’s alter-ego of Thrillington came up with her own band name as she said, “When we were in Jamaica, there had been a fantastic version of “Suzie Q,” so they used to call me Suzy. And the beer in Jamaica is called Red Stripe, so that makes it Suzy and The Red Stripes.”
“Seaside Woman” sounds like Linda’s penned sequel to “C-Moon.” I like to think the theme of her adventurous song is what happens on the island, by the “Seaside” under the “C-Moon.” It’s a joyous number that’s a lovely tribute to Jamaica and Linda’s adoration of the reggae sound. Although, “Seaside Woman” chartered in America, Linda still struggled to find respectability as a solo artist.
Throughout her marriage, Linda, because she married Beatle Paul and like Yoko Ono, was ridiculed by fans and the press just because she was devoted to the man she loved. Think that Linda only stood by her man and sang back-up vocals in Wings? All you have to do is listen to her harmonies and co-writing brilliance on their first single after leaving the Fab Four, 1971’s “Another Day.” All Music’s Scott said describing Linda’s contribution in his Allmusic song review of ‘Another Day,” “Linda earns her pay, delivering her finest supporting performance on any of her husband’s records. This is also the point where Linda’s contribution comes to the fore. Her harmony on this latter line matches Paul’s lead vocal in presence, and the passionate swell in volume is truly the selling point of the song […] but perhaps the importance of her part here is not just her complete commitment to it, but also the fact of the female voice being identifiable with the song’s subject character.” This is the reason that their subsequent collaboration, Ram is listed as Paul and Linda McCartney. Without Linda, there would have been no “Maybe I’m Amazed,” no Ram, and no Wings. Linda not only saved Paul’s life, by encouraging him to begin writing and recording his own music away from the Beatles, but she found her own voice in their historic and most famous partnerships in music history.
There’s no denying, Linda displayed her eclectic brilliance and her love of reggae in this song like slice of island life. “Seaside Woman” is an essential listen to any Linda, Paul fan and an ideal addition to the illustrious Wings canon. One of her most popular penned songs, “Seaside Woman,” Linda McCartney’s legacy remains a jeweled snap-shot in the joyous life in one of most inspirational artists of the last forty years.