For all the many good things we can say about Paul McCartney, one we couldn’t say until recently was that he created memorable music videos. The Beatles were among the first English-language artists to record music videos for their songs, but, with the exception of his video for Dance Tonight (thank you, Michel Gondry, for that), none of music videos he had made in the years since the breakup of the Beatles have been very memorable, and, bear in mind that, according to Wikipedia’s list, he, in his solo career, has made a total of 68 music videos to date! Such was the case until today.
On May 16, Paul released the new music video for “Appreciate,” from his new album New. The video, directed by Andre Chocron, almost certainly breaks new territory for Paul McCartney, unless anyone else can find any evidence that Macca has previous experience of experience with giant robots.
The story for the video is like this: a robot, known as Newman, is visiting (or patrolling, according to the press releases I’ve read) what is best described as a human museum. It passes through several tableaux of human life, but gets intrigued by one that has Paul McCartney in his studio. He starts to play “Appreciate”, and Newman pulls him out of wherever Paul’s living in (needless to say, the nature of Paul’s imprisonment is never explained.) They dance and the other tableaux in the museum start to come alive and move to the music. Paul and Newman even trade licks on the guitar solo. Newman’s playing a Fender Stratocaster, and Paul’s playing the infamous cigar box guitar he used to play “Cut Me Some Slack,” which inspired me and dad to make one of our own a few months ago.
Paul McCartney had this to say about how the video came about: Speaking about the video, McCartney commented: “I woke up one morning with an image in my head of me standing with a large robot. I thought it might be something that could be used for the cover of my album ‘New’ but instead the idea turned out to be for my music video for ‘Appreciate’. Together with the people who had done the puppetry for the worldwide hit War Horse [read: Mervyn Millar and Ed Dimbleby of Significant Object Ltd. puppetry company.] we developed the robot who became Newman.”
And now, without further ado, the most awesome music video of Paul McCartney’s career, “Appreciate.”