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A ripoff 1960s soundtrack gets the Dominic treatment, Macca's elf-indulgent declarations of independence from his bands and a jangly take on old-time bluegrass


To Sir With Love Original Soundtrack

Like most Sixties soundtracks, this is a ripoff, sprinkled with a few pop vocals to lure the kids in but mostly teeming with disembodied incidental music to orchestrate your household chores with. Hearing a teenage Lulu sing the title track so expertly, it only makes me wish they had assigned lyrics for such explosive instrumentals like "Potter's Loss of Temper in the Gym" and "Thackery Loses Temper, Gets an Idea." The latter idea does not involve Thackery ("Sir," to you) hitting snotty Britkids with a cricket bat. No, he gets down with the kids at the end of term dance, fruggin' to the Mindbenders' freakbeat classic "It's Getting Harder." Listening to this dusty elpee for the first time ever, I came to the frightening realization that I cursed myself to a life of free form spaz dancing by subconsciously emulating Sidney Poitier's Swinging London arms and limbs in more nightclubs and danceterias than I care to remember. Proof indeed that white men can dance like a black man but only if that black man won an Oscar for his role in Lillies in the Field. —Serene Dominic



Paul McCartney
McCartney / McCartney II

Paul McCartney's two self-titled solo albums — 1970's McCartney and 1980's McCartney II — were effectively self-indulgent declarations of independence from his bands. The first fired the final shot that ended the Beatles; the second put an end to Wings. Faced with this freedom, McCartney used his new solo stature to play around in the studio and tinker with tunes that would most likely never get an OK from his old groups. There are a few gems — "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Every Night" (from McCartney), "Coming Up" and "Waterfalls" (McCartney II) — buried on these well-mastered deluxe reissues, which include a disc of leftover songs and a DVD, and more if you're willing to cash out. —Michael Gallucci



John Holk & the Sequins
"Lady Jane"

Says Holk: I wrote "Lady Jane" 10 years ago, while living in Boston and feeling lonesome. It's a jangly take on the old-time Appalachian and bluegrass music I was obsessing on at the time. John Holk plays River Days at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26. —TRW

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