U is for Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. I understand that I must justify the Beatles connection. First, I have to admit that I’ve loved this song for a very long time for a couple of different reasons, both of which directly relate to the Beatles catalog and are a part of the reason why I love their music so much.
- “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is really two songs or more, in one, connected by a bridge. The Beatles used this to great effect in both on both “A Day In The Life” and “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.” Paul McCartney discusses this technique in his recent interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. I discussed the interview here. I’m fascinated by this technique. I’m not sure whether it was Paul McCartney or John Lennon who first decided to try and combine songs, I’m just happy it worked. The Beatles used a slightly different version of this technique on Abbey Road. The entire second half of the album is a medley of snippets of songs. It all blends together well.
- “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” also makes extensive use of sound effects, such as a thunderstorm and an answering machine. The Beatles did this well – and to great effect – on Sgt. Pepper, the song “Piggies,” among others. This seemingly small point really does help the lyrics tell a true story. It is the fact that most of the Beatles’ music tells a story that fascinates me as a writer.
Released on 1971’s Ram, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1971. Although not technically a Wings’ release, it is featured on several later Wings compilation albums. It was the first #1 hit for Paul McCartney as a solo artist in the 1970s/1980s. It is very easy to imagine Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey as a Beatles song.
- 2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge: Beatles Edition (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- Paul McCartney To Release Box Set For ‘Ram’ (news.radio.com)
- S is for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/Strawberry Fields Forever (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- T is for Taxman (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- M is for McCartney, The Album (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- Uncles Arthur and Albert With a Little Admiral Halsey on the Side – January 28th 2012 (mindsongplaylist.wordpress.com)
- ‘Kisses on the Bottom’ (agogoofbooks.wordpress.com)
- P is for Penny Lane (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)