Against the conventional wisdom that holds John Lennon to be the most "artistic," "political," and "radical" member of the Fab Four, Ian Svenonius traces many of the Beatles' most important innovations to the direct influence of Paul McCartney: the Sgt, Pepper "concept album," the surrealist and vertié experiments of the Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be films, the band's first public admission of LSD use, and the vaudevillian, music hall aesthetic tat spawned psychedelia and glam, to name just a few. Lennon, meanwhile, has been lionized for his selfish post-breakup rejection of his former bandmates ("I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.") and self-conscious pose as the rebellious outsider. Endlessly scapegoated as "lightweight," Paul's penchant for melody and showmanship actually facilitated a far-reaching conceptual project, one that would seek to fashion the Beatles into the world's first "rock'n'roll Gesamtkunstwerk."
Excerpt taken from the essay: R.I.P. Notes on the Paul Mccartney Shadow Canon, by Mark Owens. Dot Dot Dot magainze issue 20, Summer 2010
The Walrus Was Paul