Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Goodbye (Paul McCartney demo) and Mary Hopkin

Mary Hopkin paulmccartney.filminspector.com
Paul McCartney and Mary Hopkins in the 1960s.

Paul was in a generous mood in the late 1960s, giving away some quality songs to others. He gave his composition "Goodbye" to Welsh singer Mary Hopkin. Hopkin had a big hit with it. Some say that Paul's demo, which as usual he did in his spare time all by himself during an odd hour or two waiting for the other Beatles to show up at the recording studio, is better than Hopkin's finished product. Paul's own demo version ultimately found its way onto one of the Beatles' Anthology albums despite the fact that it wasn't a Beatles project, just all Paul, all the time. There also is a 2015 remastered version of Paul's version of "Goodbye."

Hopkin had a No. 1 hit in the United Kingdom with "Those Were The Days" (produced by Paul McCartney) and "Goodbye" was the followup. Written by McCartney (and credited to McCartney/Lennon), "Goodbye was released on 26 March 1969 and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. It would have been another No. 1 McCartney composition, but was kept out of No. 1 by "Get Back" by the Beatles. Of course, that's the immutable fact, but you can consider "Goodbye" another No. 1 for McCartney because it was kept out of the top spot only by Paul's own song. "Goodbye" peaked at No. 13 in the United States on the Billboard 100. If it hadn't been blocked by his own song, "Goodbye" would make all the lists of Macca No. 1 compositions - close but no cigars. As it is, it's practically forgotten aside from people who heard it on the radio in 1969.

Reportedly, Hopkin wasn't really happy as a high-profile singer - she was a low-key folk singer - so the title of "Goodbye" basically was a commentary on Paul McCartney's musical relationship with her after several years (nobody ever accused Paul of subtlety about his relationships, but this one appeared to be purely professional). McCartney and Hopkin did work together a bit into 1970, but that was it. It sounds as if it was a very mutual parting, and Paul had a lot of other things on his mind, such as his marriage around this time to Linda Eastwood and the beginning of his own solo career.

Hopkin never again had the same kind of success that she enjoyed while working with Paul McCartney, but that didn't seem to bother Hopkin. However, Mary Hopkin remained in show business sporadically while raising a family with Tony Visconti and had her own 6-episode television series. She also worked at times with other Beatles people, such as George Harrison and George Martin. Mary Hopkin's children have become singers and occasionally accompany Mary on folk tunes.


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