That Paul McCartney managed to build a solo career after the overwhelming era of the Beatles is, in itself, a miracle. It’s a career that’s had its ups and downs, with global hits (“Live and Let Die”, “Ebony And Ivory”, “Say Say Say”), cult albums (Ram, McCartney II), huge successes (Band On The Run, Chaos And Destruction In The Backyard) and records that have flopped. The Liverpudlian has also made his mark using a series of pseudonyms (Percy Thrillington, The Fireman, the band Wings), made tracks for other artists, and worked on a number of collaborations.
This playlist traces the left-handed bassist’s side career. First, with a series of songs written and/or produced for different artists – the great jazz performer Peggy Lee, prodigies on the Apple label (Mary Hopkins, Jackie Lomax) as well as friends and relations (Ringo Starr, Linda McCartney, Mike McGear, Denny Laine from Wings). There is then an overview of his solo albums.
We travel from the romantic, soaring McCartney of the 1970s to the experimentations of the decade that followed, to the ethereal charm of the 1990s. There are some stunning surprises such as an extract from his first soundtrack in 1967, The Family Way, the track “Nineteen Hundred Eighty Five” served up with a solo piano intro from the documentary One Hand Clapping, and the track “Girlfriend” which Michael Jackson would cover on Off The Wall. There is also a duet with Jackson, as well as with Johnny Cash. You’ll find the proto-house bravura track “My Secret Friend” from 1980, as well as the more successful tracks from his recent albums – although not everyone’s a fan!