Paul McCartney is a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Liverpool, England. After his career with the Beatles ended in 1970, McCartney began an independent career still in progress. In terms of popularity, Paul has been the most successful Beatle, with nine Billboard #1 hits and over 100 million albums sold worldwide. The list of accolades is long for this affable, prolific pop musician. Sir Paul was granted knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in December, 1996.
Paul McCartney (b. 1942), singer, songwriter, bass, guitar, piano
Denny Laine (b. 1944), guitar, singer, songwriter
Jimmy McCulloch (1953-1979), lead guitar, bass
Linda McCartney (1941-1998), wife, photographer, keyboards, singer
Abraham “Abe” Laboriel, Jr. (b. 1971), drums, vocals
Brian Ray (b. 1955), guitar, bass, singer
Paul “Wix” Wickens (b. 1956), keyboards, vocals
Rusty Anderson (b. 1959), lead guitar
David Gilmour (b. 1946), lead guitar, vocals
I grew up in a Beatles household. Starting with Meet The Beatles! in early 1964, Mom bought almost every album and 45 RPM single the band produced. The Beatles were the best, my idols, and all things Beatles were great.
After The Beatles disbanded, the momentum to purchase Beatles solo projects was there for a short time. Mom bought John and Paul’s first solo records, plus George’s three-disc All Things Must Pass and a few singles, like Ringo’s “It Don’t Come Easy“. Abruptly, the love affair ended there, except for following their exploits on radio. Around the same time, we moved to a new neighborhood and new friends, and my attention moved to other music. I never purchased another McCartney song until buying a cassette single of “Hope Of Deliverance” in 1993, after which I eventually augmented my collection with two greatest hits compilations.
McCartney is still my favorite solo album, with “Junk”, “Maybe I’m Amazed”, and “Every Night”. The romantic, weary “Every Night”, along with the lyrically ambiguous “Hope Of Deliverance”, are my favorites, and always among the hundred most played songs on my iPod.
Silly Love Songs
Paul McCartney is a hero to me, and Beatles music is the foundation of my musical experience. His contributions to my iPod collection are so extensive, perhaps I feel a bit more freedom to offer gentle criticism of his solo career, since Beatles songs are sacred.
Among his dozens of hit singles from the seventies, quite a few are musically inventive, but I find less about the poetry to gnaw on. Often the words seem like a vehicle for a melody. In general, the big hits don’t move me — I prefer some of his simpler, less popular songs. I’ve included seven of his nine #1 singles; “With A Little Luck” and “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” are left out. “Listen To What The Man Said” was removed, then added back after I learned that guitarist Dave Mason and saxophonist Tom Scott contributed. Some of McCartney’s songs have extended outros which lose my interest, an extra minute of repeated chords without notable improvisation on top. Two examples of repetitive fade sequences are “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five” (included) and “Take It Away” (not included).
One day, a girl friend and I were driving along interstate 280 through the Alemany section of San Francisco, on our way into town to see a show. “Silly Love Songs” came on the radio. The five week #1 hit has always seemed trite, never a song I cared for, and destined for the “Songs That Failed To Make The Cut” folder. But that evening my friend launched into an animated, compelling car dance, bouncing around and singing each word and note perfectly, to my mock horror and full amusement. That experience pushes “Silly Love Songs” over the cut line, and an earned position in the collection, with an anecdote to share.
Sir Paul The Rock And Roller
In recent years, some of Paul McCartney’s solo albums explore old rock and roll songs. He’s so good at this simple, rocking music, a melodic bass player with a powerful voice. Listen in as Paul and Carl Perkins share memories in two of Carl’s finest songs:
The next two video clips are excerpts of the live performance Paul McCartney: Live At The Cavern Club. The first one is “Blue Jean Bop”, originally by Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps. The second video features three songs, the first of which is “Fabulous”, originally by Charlie Gracie, a minor rockabilly star from the fifties. As a reminder, remember that the Beatles, like all Liverpudlian rock and roll bands, learned rock and roll as the merchant marines returned from sea with the latest singles from America.
And yes, the musician to Paul’s left is indeed David Gilmour, Pink Floyd’s master guitarist.
Hope Of Deliverance
“Hope Of Deliverance” only reached #83 on Billboard’s American pop chart. It did better in other countries. Cryptic, spiritual, and swinging, with only a passing reference to romantic love. This audience from a 2012 performance in Bogota, Colombia seems to understand:
Paul McCartney Songs:
Every Night, Paul McCartney ✭✭✭✭
Hope Of Deliverance, Paul McCartney ✭✭✭✭
Maybe I’m Amazed, Paul McCartney ✭✭✭✭
Singalong Junk, Paul McCartney ✭✭✭
Hope Of Deliverance (Live), Paul McCartney ✭✭✭
Helen Wheels, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭✭✭
That Would Be Something (Live), Paul McCartney ✭✭✭
Band On the Run, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭✭✭
The Girl Is Mine, Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney ✭✭✭
No More Lonely Nights, Paul McCartney ✭✭
Too Many People, Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney ✭✭
Junk, Paul McCartney ✭✭
Blue Jean Bop, Paul McCartney ✭✭
Here, There And Everywhere (Live), Paul McCartney ✭✭
Junk (Live), Paul McCartney ✭✭
Jet, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭✭
Another Day, Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney ✭✭
Hi Hi Hi, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭✭
That Would Be Something, Paul McCartney ✭✭
Movie Magg, Paul McCartney ✭✭
Wonderful Christmastime, Paul McCartney ✭
Coming Up (Live), Paul McCartney ✭
Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭
Oo You, Paul McCartney ✭
Ebony And Ivory, Paul McCartney ✭
My Love, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭
Listen To What The Man Said, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭
Bluebird, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭
Let Me Roll It, Paul McCartney & Wings ✭
The Lovely Linda, Paul McCartney ✭
Good Rockin’ Tonight (Live), Paul McCartney ✭
Be-Bop-A-Lula (Live), Paul McCartney ✭
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps ✭✭✭✭
Good Rockin’ Tonight, Elvis Presley ✭✭✭✭
Good Rockin’ Tonight, Roy Brown ✭✭✭
Good Rockin’ Tonight, Wynonie Harris ✭✭
Movie Magg, Carl Perkins ✭✭
Blue Jean Bop, Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps ✭✭
Here, There And Everywhere, The Beatles ✭✭✭✭✭