This is off his very successful "Fireman" cd from a few years ago. It is nice to see an artist of his caliber who treats his fans with respect by dressing like it is an important occasion. Very rare these days.
Paul allows a local celebrity or performer or... something ... on stage for a promo that he turns into a humorous bit as she overstays her welcome. Hard to know how much, if any, of this was planned, though I highly doubt just anyone can simply waltz on stage at a McCartney show and do whatever they want. Who knows, maybe he met her earlier that day and gave her a break to plug whatever it is she is plugging. Oh, this is from his March 24 2012 Rotterdam show.
First time performed in his show, "My Valentine" sounds pretty good live. It also suits his mature voice better than a lot of his earlier tunes. It's nice to hear this version, because it gets just an occasional hint of a rock edge that is completely absent on the album version. From the March 24, 2012 Rotterdam show (five days ago as I write this).
Paul was in a generous mood in the late 1960s, giving away some quality songs to others. This one he gave to Welsh singer Mary Hopkins. She had a big hit with it, but there are some who would say that Paul's demo is better than her finished product. This ultimately found its way onto one of the Beatles' Anthology cds, even though it was all Paul, all the time.
Album track from the 1970 "McCartney" album. As always with Paul, it has a nice melody, and is fairly easy to play if you are into that. Sounds to me like a throwback to the "White Album" days.
"Teddy Boys," incidentally, was a term with which Paul would have been quite familiar. It was a name for young English toughs in the '50s who adopted peculiar throwback fashions and styles in the clothes they wore and the cars they drove. Digging even deeper into this, Ringo Starr played a Teddy Boy in the 1973 British film "That'll Be the Day," whose plot has certain general similarities to McCartney's song.
And going to the final level on this, one of Paul's songs on follow-up album "Ram," "Monkberry Moon Delight," has a definite rockabilly feel to it. Early Teddy Boys were associated with that genre, so for some reason these early influences on his life were on Paul's mind right after the breakup of the Beatles.
I include this demo version because it is slightly different than the final album cut, but still brilliant in this raw form. Paul lets a little more emotion creep in than in the polished version. Can't get too many versions of this, in my opinion, the best single medley in rock history.
Off of "McCartney II," Paul had a top 10 hit in the UK with this. It's another song that just didn't translate across the Atlantic, as it didn't even make the to 100 in the States. Not to my taste, particularly, as I find Paul's tendency toward choir-boy vocals a bit off-putting, but the English love this track, maybe you will, too.
Paul in Bologna, Italy, November 2011. Paul was hired to do the score for a Peter Sellers film, "The Magic Christian," and he prepared this song for a new group, "Badfinger." That song propelled Badfinger into the limelight and created an entire successful career for its members (and that is no exaggeration, they re-used this song in 1978 when they needed a new record contract). Aside from the (famous) demo he did one morning before an "Abbey Road" session, he never recorded or performed this publicly at any other time prior to this (to my knowledge). Note that Paul speaks pretty good Italian, which I'm sure for him was about as easy as learning to play the drums or produce his own records or organize a world tour or....
Some folks think only Paul's 70's-80's stuff is any good. I like his more recent stuff, too. This one has a jazzy feel to it that he developed further in "My Valentine." Off the very succesful "Flaming Pie" album.
Paul and Wings Pull Off a Terrific Rendition of "Wild Life"
Early Wings footage, apparently from The Hague, Holland, August 20, 1972. The band sounds tight and the concert footage and stage videos are a trip back in time. Paul is in fine form, wish the rest of the concert were available.
"Wild Life" is a fabulous environmental anthem from back before it was cool. What a concert this must have been for those lucky enough to be there. You can tell they are putting everything into this song, nothing is assumed as perhaps during the "Wings Over America" days when they knew they were a hit and just had to show up and sing whatever. I think what I'm trying to say is that he sounds strong, alive, in control and powerful, no wimpy, playful Paul here.
The album version is not nearly as good as this live performance. In fact, the entire album probably was Wings' worst. But this is a great performance of a song that is great when done right, showing that sometimes it's all about the presentation. I'm told the entire concert is available somewhere.
Rare British documentary focusing on Paul's return to Liverpool on tour. Fascinating clips of various locals who knew him as a boy. Some odd moments, with Paul not seemng particularly enthusiastic about it all at times (I think he was going through "a phase," as my mother would say), and he even sounds a bit confrontational. But it is surprisingly real and not the usual packaged product from Paul. His old teacher (who looks very uncomfortable) reports that he only saw Paul once since graduation, when Paul returned to repay his wife "a sixpence" that he had borrowed to see a movie. Now why was he borrowing money from his teacher's wife....
There are a few amusing moments, such as when a clueless reporter notes at a McCartney family gathering that his family is tight, and Paul replies, "Well, they'll be tight in a minute." There is a strong class undercurrent throughout that is just... odd, with Paul going on about how his kids are in public school and how, despite unemployment rates, everyone can still get ahead in life just like he did. He says that his job as a musician has become boring, "just like your job."
We get to see brother Michael, Auntie Jin, sister Susie, and cousin Ian. Includes a couple of interesting Wings performances of Beatles tunes ("Got to Get You Into My Life" and "Yesterday"), and no Wings numbers, which again is just ... odd.
Well, you can't blame Paul ... too much ... for trying different things and taking new directions. Here, he tries to impart a Steely Dan vibe to late disco and, well, a lot of fans like it, so here it is.
Album track off of "Ram" 1971." Paul goes for a sort of hillbilly sound on this one, doing strange things with his voice. If you didn't know it was a Paul song, it would be difficult to figure it out just from the track. Linda contributes some good, I think, backing vocals.
During this period, Paul sometimes sounded like he was doing a Billy Joel impression, which doesn't come across very well. Off the "Tripping the Live Fantastic: Highlights" cd in 1990. This was an old protest song from the 1950s and 1960s and a rare McCartney cover.
Paul sings lead on this cover of a Little Richard medley of "Kansas City" and "Hey Hey Hey Hey." It was the B side to the "Boys" single. It appeared on "Beatles for Sale." While it is common to believe that the Beatles became completely different people during the course of their career, a version of this song from their earliest Hamburg days appears at their very end in the film "Let It Be."
This is a lovely song that Paul still routinely plays in concert. It actually is from "The Music Man," in which Robert Preston sang it to Shirley Jones. I'm not sure exactly why the Beatles took it up, but nobody, but nobody sings it better than Paul. Paul acquired the rights to this song and everything else in "The Music Man" some years ago, so that may be another reason he still likes to perform it.
From "With the Beatles."
Some have this as their favorite off the "A Hard Day's Night" album. I wouldn't go that far, personally, but it a top, top track. Paul's vocals were never sharper, none of the fuzziness that sometimes creeps in, and the band is tight, especially with the famous harmonies.
For my money, one of the top Beatles tracks, singles included. What gets me the most about this song are John Lennon's backup vocals. Don't know why, but I think they are among the best I've ever heard, his voice so distinctive and perfect. Oh, and Paul does a fine job, too. ;)
Oh, off of "Help!," of course.
This is one of the best tracks off one of the best albums of all time, so little more needs be said - but I'll say a little more anyway. ;)
One of the few highlights of the 1978 Sgt. Pepper movie - which I actually went to see with a bud, I think we were the only people in the entire huge theater - was when George Burns, then about 90, sang this in a kind of soft-shoe way. He did a pretty good job, I have to admit, but ol' George was no Paul.
Off of "Rubber Soul," this is one of those songs you might hear once on the classic rock station and go, wow, that's great, why haven't I heard that before. Where's it from?" Anyway, I would if I hadn't heard it so long ago. Anyway, Paul is in full voice here, with the others providing that harmony for which they were so famous in the beginning. Gems like this are hidden throughout the catalog, songs which would have made the career of any other band simply forgotten because of all the other hits.
Hard core Beatles fans - I know you're out there - will only look at the title of this song and say, "Ah, he made a mistake, that's a John song." True enough. However, my blog is "everything" Paul McCartney, and his bass line makes this song go. Remember, these were the days before it was common to have any kind of heavy emphasis on the bass line, so simply by being the best bass player of his time, Paul helped shape the future direction of rock.
There's a reason why The Beatles' White Album became one of the best selling albums of all time. It is because of songs like this that most people who've heard the album probably wouldn't even know the name of - they just know they like it when they hear it. Paul at his most melodic, with George Martin contributing backing horns. Truly magnificent.
Here, Paul is imitating the sound of the songs his parents loved and which he undoubtedly heard often as a kid. Just an odd sound for the '60s, though this would have fit in perfectly in the 20's-30's era. Just shows what a genius Paul is, that he can reproduce the sound so perfectly and put it on one of the most iconic albums of the late 20th Century.
This is one of the strangest of Paul's songs. It has an almost hypnotic quality. Just another to add to his short list of songs that are not politically correct, which includes "Biker Like an Icon" and "Give Ireland Back to the Irish." Off the White Album, of course.
Off of "Revolver," this wasn't released as a single until 1976, when it became the Band's last top ten hit until the "Anthology" days. Paul, at that time, was at the apogee of his Wings fame and found himself once again competing with his former life. I read somewhere sometime that they "beefed up" the horns for the single release, and this sounds as if it might be the single version.
This is the original Beatles version that went to no. 1. One of the most interesting of Paul's songs for several reasons. As I write this, there is a court case in England regarding tapped telephone calls by media types (calling them "journalists" doesn't really seem appropriate somehow). One of the tapped phone calls was to Heather Mills from Paul McCartney. He sang this song on the tape, somewhat pathetically. Obviously, the song meant and means a lot to him, and clearly it has meant a lot to other people, too.
And here, ladies and gentlemen, on the very last official track on their very last album, The Beatles via Paul a) have Ringo perform their very first and only pure drum solo, and b) give us the greatest single-line lyric of the entire rock era. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Oh, in case you were wondering, it is Paul, then George, then John.
In some ways, "Abbey Road" is as much a "concept album" as "Sgt. Pepper." It never gets its due in that regard, in my opinion, but you get references within different songs to each other. Just such a beautiful listening experiencing, today, then, whenever.
You just don't get better than side two of Abbey Road. Paul supposedly played lead guitar on this track for some reason, he has a slightly more rigid style, I think, than Harrison and Lennon, but all three obviously were great in their own ways.
I believe that, aside from clean-up work on some "Let it Be" tracks, that this was the last song the Beatles ever recorded from the start, in late summer 1969. Lennon, deep in his protest phase, refused to have anything to do with it and basically walked out. It's actually a catchy tune and nowhere near as mawkish as, say, "Martha My Dear," but this was the straw that broke the camel's back. If you had to pin one song on the break-up, this would be it. For all that, I think it is a brilliant production, way, way ahead of its time with the use of synthesizers and sound effects.
If put on a desert island and offered the choice of one track to take with me, this would be it, but also including the whole Golden Slumbers etc. ending as well. Just sums it all up. Will never be bettered.
Supposedly it is all in reference to financial dealings with Allen Klein, who Paul did not want managing the group but was over-ruled by the others. Klein probably was a bad choice in the end, but, realistically, Paul was never going to get away with his choice: Linda's father.
While this is (rightly) considered a "John" song off the Beatles' 1968 White album, I include this because Paul did his usual multi-instrument thing on this track, doing most of the drumming and an awesome bass line. It's easy to forget what an overall musician the man is, he can play just about any instrument in a modern rock band at the level of the very, very best, standing aside only for the true masters at their specialties like Clapton, Harrison, Starr, Preston etc.
A Paul song to John Lennon, originally released on the Wings 1973 album Red Rose Speedway. The song was originally recorded during the sessions for McCartney's Ram album in early 1971, and thus Hugh McCracken plays guitar on the recording rather than Wings' guitarist Denny Laine. As is often the case with Paul songs that aren't hard rockers - which is a goodly portion of them to be sure - reaction to this runs the gamut from "his best" to "too many la la la la's." It is a gentle song, of the kind at which Paul excels but which most jaded music critics simply cannot abide.
All right, so what do you do if you come into work an hour before everyone else and have nothing special to do while you wait. You a) grab some coffee and flirt with the girl down the hall, b) go outside for a walk, c) call your friend on the phone or spend the hour texting or playing on the computer, d) you prepare a demo of a song you've written and complete it, playing all instruments yourself, before your co-workers arrive. If you guessed D, then you understand what it means to be Paul McCartney and why he deserves every accolade he's ever gotten.
Paul gave this to Badfinger, and they recorded it and got their first top ten hit with it. Basically, it made the group, and they re-used it in 1978 to get another recording contract.
Just all in an hour's work for Mr. McCartney. Incidentally, according to a recent Rolling Stones article, he still goes to work at Abbey Road Studios early each morning and gets right down to business.
Off of "Electric Arguments," this is Paul as "The Fireman." Paul has said that his lyrics as "The Fireman" tend to be just random thoughts, and his videos as The Fireman follow in that tradition. Lots of beautiful natural images accompanying Paul at his hand-waving best.
The song Paul wrote for the 2009 Robert Deniro film "Everybody's Fine." No, I don't remember the film either. This was just a download, not on any albums. It was nominated I think for a Golden Globe. Lots of clips from the film in the video and Paul singing at the piano. Kind of a mournful song, I think, though maybe you will think it just sentimental, or hopeful, or something else entirely.
Paul did not do any music videos for his latest album, the hit "Kisses on the Bottom," so, to date, this is his last music video.
This was the B side to the "No Other Baby" single off 1999 "Run Devil Run," and for some reason Paul decided to make a video for this, too. Another cover of a '50s tune. Interesting video showing people of different backgrounds simply enjoying the tune.
This is Paul's cover of a '50s tune for "Run Devil Run (1999)." It has a certain poignancy - with its themes of isolation, alienation and deprivation - considering it was his first release after Linda's death. Not a big hit, but I don't think he did this album to make hits. It was more personal.
One gets the impression that Paul sorts through his emotions at least in part through his work. That wouldn't be at all unusual, particularly since the man always seems to be working. If you take that leap, then there are disturbing images in this video, such as the implication that he just doesn't care anymore by allowing his legs to dangle near circling sharks. Making his way through storms and ice - signifying emotional coldness, or barrenness - could be interpreted as reflections on his then-current emotional state. Or he may just be playing to what his audience expected him to be feeling, you can never be too sure how much is genuine and how much is pure artifice.
"A song written by Dickie Bishop and Bob Watson, originally recorded in 1957 by Dickie Bishop and The Sidekicks. Early cover versions were recorded by The Vipers (1958) and Bobby Helms (1959)."
Lead single from "Flaming Pie," went to no. 19 in the UK. Lots of surfing imagery in this video, along with some awesome picking. I might be wrong, but this may be Linda's final appearance in a music video, at least during her lifetime.
Album track from "Flaming Pie," some great guitar work on this. "Flaming Pie" was sort of a comeback for Paul after a lackluster period, and this is one of the reasons why. He seems able to come up with unheralded winners all at once, out of the blue, as if the creative genius ebbs and flows, echoing the mysterious pulses of his own life.
Paul was doing reggae-influenced stuff with the Beatles half a decade ahead of everyone else. He followed up with some similar material around the "Band on the Run" time, such as C-Moon, but by then it was more common. This - the Beatles original - was the theme for a TV show in the US that ran 1989-1993, "Life Goes On." Not one of their more famous tunes, but it still sounds fresh. Never released as a single until 1976, when it went to no. 19 in Canada and no. 49 in the US.
An album track off "Tug of War," a brilliant work whose best songs inexplicably weren't released as singles. This is one of my personal favorites. Reminds me of an old Kinks song whose name escapes me at the moment. Just a hint of a big band sound to this, obviously harkens back to his childhood in the contemporary dance halls. Paul shows his lower range on this, and it lightly echoes the whole "Tug of War" theme with a dance competition. Oh, wait, I just remembered, it was "Come Dancing (1982)" by the Kinks, awesome tune also on the same theme, complete with terrific music video, which may be why this one wasn't released in competition with it. Judge for yourself if you wish:
Perhaps Paul's clearest vocals on this soaring tune. This is one of those overlooked gems in Paul's career, off the brilliant "Tug of War." He's got the entire orchestra behind him on this one, with an emphasis on horns. As with so many songs by Paul, this is claimed by some to take its theme from something quite unexpectedly prosaic - a boat Paul used to charter. But that may be apocryphal, though he did write songs inspired by his dog and his wife's camera and ham and eggs and....
From the album of the same name, this is Paul and Linda clowning around a bit in this environmental and anti-war anthem. George Martin makes one of his rare appearances in a video as well. Some interesting clips of futurism and, well, tugs of war, from, I think "Things to Come (1936) and "Mighty Joe Young (1949)." The single did just OK as the third single from the smash hit album, one suspects he and Linda released this for non-commercial reasons, as evidenced by Linda's unusually prominent role. I think that comparisons with John Lennon's "Imagine" are a bit stretched.
A performance video of Wings doing C-Moon, which was the B-side to "Hi Hi Hi" in 1972. The single was top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. This is a fairly rare McCartney song that has a heavy trumpet backing and a reggae sound. Even though it was a B-side, the "A" side was banned by the BBC, so the single was carried on radio by the B-side song, so people obviously liked this song, too.
OK, one more from the Letterman show. While this sounds like something off of "Let It Be," it actually is from the "Band on the Run" album. While not released as a single (well, it was the "B" side on some versions of "Jet"), Paul must really like it, because he plays it practically every chance he gets.
McCartney has said that the vocal "does sound like John... I hadn't realised I'd sung it like John."[
Another performance from the Letterman show. I think this is a terrific performance of this song, Paul's voice is still just perfect for it. His band is real tight, too, though they don't have quite that occasional much-appreciated quirkiness that the originals. More of a tribute-band feel when they do Beatles stuff, which isn't so terrible and if probably the best you can do, I'm just giving my personal reaction.
"With Helter Skelter all I wanted to do was to make a very loud, raunchy rock 'n' roll record. And I think it's a pretty good one." ~Paul
John Wayne presents the Beatles with their Grammy for Best Original Score for "Let It Be." This entire clip is fascinating for too many reasons to list here (but the joking going on is pretty edgy even for 1971, don't you think?), but I will point out a few things. First, why is Paul hiding out in the back? Why is he wearing sneakers and a sweater? Aside from him, this looks like a meeting of The Establishment, and he may have wished to draw a pointed contrast with how young and counter-culture he was. Linda looks different than in her Wings days, and Paul sure doesn't have much to say. Lots of questions from this video, with no answers, just a curious clip. Remember, this was a year after the Beatles had broken up. Anyway, it's definitely worth watching.
While I'm pretty sure this primarily is a John song, I include it because the video is all Paul. He is quite the sport here, and shows that he has no trouble making a fool of himself, which also qualifies him as a great actor. Anyway, one of the under-rated Beatles songs and one that can be hauled out regularly to play as background music for the nightly news.
Paul sings lead on this, though John came up with the idea and did most of the composing. That's what John claimed, anyway, though Paul sees things a little bit differently. Anyway, the song isn't really about what it says about, which isn't unusual at all with John's songs. The "day tripper" is his personal slang, not for a tourist or person on holiday, but rather for people who pretend to be cool (hippies) but really aren't in that life completely. Which is why it was so important to "find out" this important fact about the girl in question. Yoko, presumably, was the real deal. Or, if you listen to Paul's take, it was the same idea, only relating to drug use. Anyway, yet another smash hit for the group.
Paul supposedly wrote this as a tribute to the Maharishi, who the Beatles had recently visited in India. I scratch my head how this would be a tribute, but then, my consciousness wasn't enhanced like theirs was. Anyway, this was a hit for the group, and peaked at #3 and spent 9 weeks in the US Top 100. It ranked 75th on Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1967 chart. It went to no. 1 in Canada and Australia, but strangely was not released in the UK. But, then, the calendar is only so long and they had plenty of other stuff to release there.
Paul wrote this one (yes, Lennon/McCartney officially) and gave it to Ringo to sing. Ringo did a fine job with it, since it did not require much of a range. Donovan helped McCartney with the lyrics "sky of blue, sea of green" Paul has continued to popularize this song/film throughout the years. Song was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, hitting no. 2 in the U.S. Personally, I think the entire film rocks.
"There's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of
any children's song." ~Paul McCartney on Yellow Submarine
Paul sings "Blackbird" to a select group of friends at Abbey Road Studio. One of Paul's unique talents was writing songs in his youth that he can still pull off remarkably well 40+ years later, despite it being just him and his guitar, no sonic effects or backing vocal help.
Paul performed this at the Super Bowl and at Live 8, so he must think highly of it despite it never being released as a single. From "Rubber Soul (1966)." Does have the unusual distinction of having been on a No. 1 single, though not by the Beatles, when "Stars on 45" covered this as part of a Beatles medley in 1981. The "Beep Beep" is still on the radio today introducing traffic updates.
One of Paul's singles from "Flaming Pie," this includes the lyrics. Very retro feel to this tune. Supposedly about Princess Diana, this includes the fine lyric, "I go back so far, I'm in front of me." By the way, it's not just the lyrics that are shown, but also some asides about them that are quite thoughtful.
"I'll tell them how I dreamt of a girl on a flaming pie who told me to call the band 'Beatles' with an 'A' and so it was." -John Lennon
This original video for the song has striking similarities to the "Eleanor Rigby" Beatles video. Alienation, religious imagery and striking visuals of ordinary people dominate. A surprising emphasis on the Beatles themselves, from start to finish, really sets this apart. Many thought they were still feuding at this point.
My interpretation is that Paul is celebrating his Beatles past, while implying that the Beatles themselves were ordinary people like everyone else. The theme is that everyone has greatness within them and that the Beatles just managed to express it in their own way. I think that Paul realized he finally had hit a home run with this song and album that equaled the Beatles albums, so he felt that now was finally the time to explicitly associate himself with that grand past. Previously he had downplayed his past. He went so far as to simply start over with a new band from scratch. He was still very young, just entering his 30s, so he probably felt burdened by his past until this album.
Though I don't think he has come right out and said it, this video strongly suggests that the "band" in the song is, indeed, the Beatles. They have escaped from the confining straightjacket of being "The Beatles" and now are on their own. Forces keep trying to put them back in that cell, but it will never happen: the people trying to do so will "search forevermore."
What's striking is the heavy emphasis on celebrating Brian Epstein, who passed away right around the time of "Sgt. Pepper." Epstein was credited by many with keeping the group together in some kind of harmony. When he passed, the four Beatles flew away from each other like suddenly disconnected spokes of a wheel. Perhaps this video was a silent nod by Paul to the huge impact Brian had on their development, and the fact that his passing led directly to their breakup and their being "free."
A very sentimental journey, especially with the elaborate nods to Epstein. One gets the impression Paul was trying to tie his life together after having had it ripped apart with the Beatles breakup.