50 - 1 Paul McCartney

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Zuma

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13 - Early Days - New - 2013

A late career masterpiece to my ears. Paul has done nostalgia before but this song is something special with a look back to his teens and the importance of music and friendships "I lived through those early days" He describes the moment he and John sat down to write a song. Paul's voice shows its age and his acoustic guitar playing the perfect foil and his delivery of vocal and lyric sits very comfortably amongst his best songs.

 

Zuma

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12 - C'mon People - Off The Ground - 1993

Some of you may have been lucky enough to have heard this epic power ballad live when Macca last graced our shores back in 1993. This song surely should have been a massive hit, a torch song that empowers people to be the best that they can be. This is Paul McCartney's top 5 vocal moments he knocks this one out of the ball park with his powerful and sweet voice he had at the time and the song builds up into a celebration of music, people, life.

 

Zuma

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11 - Hope of Deliverance - Off The Ground - 1993

Irresistibly catchy and vibrant "Hope" had an impact worldwide and got a fair bit of airplay even in this country. The song is driven by Latin/Bossanova percussion, strumming acoustics, beautiful harmony singing with wife Linda and an exquisite guitar solo and fills presumably played by Robbie McIntosh and was played live on it release and returned to the set lists off and on over the last 5 years in Europe and South America where it was received by fans just as if not as loudly and enthusiastically as many of the Beatles tunes.




 

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Zuma

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10 - Another Day - Single - 1971

Paul McCartney did not put out a single from his first solo album however early the following year just before the Ram album came "Another Day" credited to both Paul and Linda which describes the day in the life of a secretary who seems on top of everything except for after the "sound of five" when she retires for the day and the mood takes a sudden turn as nicely reflected in the music - she is sad and alone and waiting for the man of her dreams to come and get her out of the funk that has seemed to consume her personal life. It's an interesting story song and provided McCartney with a solid hit especially in Australia where it reached #1. It was a top 5 hit elsewhere and I really liked how Linda's vocals worked with Paul's on this track and Macca's ending "daaaaaaaaaaaay" lyric. Perhaps controversially John Lennon offered the lyric in his song "How Do You Sleep?" - "the only thing you did was yesterday, and since your gone your just another day"



43 years late he still likes to play this one live
 

Zuma

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9 - Jet! - Band on the Run - 1973

A Popular futuristic nonsensical rocker Jet the first single released from the Band on the Run album has been a live concert staple ever since. A top 10 hit around the world and whist the lyrics have been subject to intrepretation according to McCartney were written about his black labrador puppy at the time and it is said that Aussie rockers Jet derived their name from this song.

Studio

Live
 

Zuma

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8 - Backseat Of My Car - Ram - 1971

A dreamy romantic ballad brimming with melody and harmony that wouldn't have been out of place on the Beatles Abbey Road Side 2.
McCartney, influenced by Brian Wilson wrote this song back in 1969 about two lovers sitting in the backseat taking on the world climaxes with a final pulsating "Oh! We believe that we cant be wrong" that sends shivers down my spine.

 

Zuma

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7 - Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey - Ram - 1971

A prime example of McCartney at his eccentric and experimental best. The song with its rainy dreamy orchestration introduces Uncle Albert a character based around Paul's real uncle for whom Paul seems to be sorry for using British references that dont make too much sense. The raucous singalong of "Hands across the water" over a flugelhorn forms a bridge to Admiral Halsey of the US Navy perhaps with Paul using many of his character voices, noises and effects effectively 12 segments were flown into this one song which would have to be one of the more bizzare songs that have reached #1 but its so much fun.

 

Zuma

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6 - Coming Up - McCartney II - 1980

A peppy, funky, catchy, inspiring and experimentally groundbreaking pop song Coming Up even got the attention of John Lennon who returned into the studio shorty after being impressed by Paul's hit that was all over the radio.

Coming Up was recorded in 1979 and played live in Glasgow of which the live version made its way to #1 when released the following year as the lead single to McCartney's first post Wings album the experimental one man band effort "McCartney II".

The music video is considered McCartney's best where Linda and Paul dress up as various characters including Beatle Paul and all play the song at the same time. For those playing at home: Summary of impersonations: Drums - John Bonham (from Led Zeppelin); Bass Guitar - Paul retro 1964 (playing his original Hofner Bass); Guitarists - Neil Young & Buddy Holly. Keyboards - Ron Mael (from Sparks). Background singers - Linda McCartney (both singers). Many years later Outkast's "Hey Ya" video used the exact same concept. A GIF of a wild Paul banging the drums has recently become popular, its on your Facebook Messenger GIF's :)

Coming Up became a popular live staple in Macca's set and is a song that has aged exceptionally well. The album version contains the more experimental elements where the live version rocks a lot more. Which one do you prefer?

Studio Album and Video Video


Hit Live Version
 

Zuma

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Stay Tuned For the Top 5, all in one hit then Zuma's honourable mentions will follow. Once the top 5 is revealed I am very keen to see you good folk put forth your favourites not on my list.

"I wanna hear from the people on the lefffft! from the people on the right now! the ladies ooohh and the men hey ho! oh yeah!"
 

Zuma

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5 - Tomorrow - Wildlife - 1971

A track from Wings Wildlife has made the top 5 the McCartney list you say? Absolutely! This piano piece is incredibly overlooked as one of his best efforts, its romantic, warm, melodic, beautifully recorded and emotionally delivered with McCartney perhaps at his peak vocally in the studio. The lyrics are heartfelt and very real about love between two people. Early day Wings harmonies add to the song and it is too bad that the album was panned at the time.

Bring a bag of bread and cheese and find a shady spot beneath the trees.
Catch a breath of country air and run your pretty fingers through my hair.

Honey, pray for sunny skies so I can speak to rainbows in your eyes.
Let's just hope the weather man is feeling fine and doesn't spoil our plan

Like a few of the early songs McCartney's voice soars towards the end as an impact statement "baby don't leeeeeeeeeet me down tomorrow"

 

Zuma

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4 - Mull of Kintyre - Single - 1977

Released in the midst of Punk and Disco it was Macca's Scottish waltz that scorched the charts becoming the biggest selling single in UK history and this record still stands to this day outside charity singles. Mull is written with such beauty where you can appreciate the landscape and actually put yourself there then when the Bagpipe band and drums come in over the rousing singing of the chorus it is easy to see why this song was a screaming hit. Sure overexposure grated on several critics and some people didn't dig it but for mine it is a proud and successful highlight of McCartney's time with Wings.

Original

Live from this year!
 

Zuma

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3 - Somedays - Flaming Pie - 1997

Such raw emotion from McCartney on this acoustic ballad and very Beatlesque especially on the choruses and with George Martin providing a score and high praise "I see you haven't lost your touch". Paul overdubs some nice flourishes of spanish guitar it really is a great song.



Somedays I look,
I look at you with eyes that shine.
Somedays I don't,
I don't believe that you are mine.

It's no good asking me what time of day it is,
Who won the match or scored the goal.
Somedays I look,
Somedays I look into your soul.

Sometimes I laugh,
I laugh to think how young we were.
Sometimes it's hard,
It's hard to know which way to turn.

Don't ask me where I found that picture on the wall,
How much it cost or what it's worth.
Sometimes I laugh,
I laugh to think how young we were.

We don't need anybody else
To tell us what is real.
Inside each one of us is love,
And we know how it feels.

Somedays I cry,
I cry for those who live in fear.
Somedays I don't,
I don't remember why I'm here.

No use reminding me, it's just the way it is,
Who ran the race and came in first.
Somedays I cry,
I cry for those who fear the worst.

We don't need anybody else
To tell us what is real.
Inside each one of us is love,
And we know how it feels.

Somedays I look,
I look at you with eyes that shine.
Somedays I don't,
I don't believe that you are mine.

It's no good asking me what time of day it is,
Who won the match or scored the goal.
Somedays I look,
Somedays I look into your soul.
 

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Zuma

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2 - Band on the Run - Band on the Run - 1973

One of rock musics great song medleys Band On The Run describes in song the feeling of confinement, desperation, escapism and running. It all starts with an elegant guitar lick highlighted by a nice melody on the keyboard and with a warm bass line underneath and a sole McCartney singing "stuck inside these four walls" Denny and Linda join in on harmonies with emotive tone "mama you"

Then the song takes on a lean and muscular sound on rhythm electric guitar a little more desperate with a line taken from Ringo's comment on the days of signing paperwork during the dissolution of the Beatles "If we ever get out of here". A thudding bass line run then explodes into a jubilant full sounding acoustic mid tempo rocker sung in Macca's great rock voice with Wings adding to the rousing finale of what is a mighty fine song suite that still stands tall as one of Macca's crowning achievements outside the Beatles.

Band on the Run hit #1 in early 1974 when released as a single and not surprisingly fast became a live staple of his live show and is still being played as Macca runs forever more. Groups of his fans that follow him around the globe have been dubbed "fans on the run" My great hope is that Macca finally returns to Australia which looks likely for 2017.

Keep on Runnin!



 

Zuma

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1 - Maybe I'm Amazed - McCartney - 1970

Coming in at my number 1 is the stunningly emotive love song to Linda from McCartney's debut solo album the self titled McCartney. Not initially released as a single a live version of Maybe I'm Amazed played on the Wings over America Tour of 1976 became a Top Ten hit when eventually released shortly after and became so popular in the live set that this was the way it has been performed ever since. A piano driven ballad it turns into almost a power pop showcase and features a ripping guitar solo from Paul and some of his best meaningful lyrics there is no doubt it remains one of his most treasured compositions.

1970 Original


1976 Live hit version


30 years later and he was still nailing it
 

Zuma

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Hope you enjoyed this 50-1 and that some of your discovered something new or rediscovered old favourites.

Please continue the thread with songs that didn't make my 50-1 and I shall reciprocate with my honorable mentions. Also any Macca stories you would like to share, moments in your life when a particular song resonated with you or if you have ever seen him live please share your experiences.

As promised a Midnight Oil 25-1 is in the works as my 50-1 format will be changing to 25-1 and focusing on some of our best loved Aussie acts, stay tuned
 

worbod

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In relation to sharing any Macca stories, this is kind of a Macca story, though he wasn't present when it unfolded:


In the early 1990s, a friend of mine was doing a computer course at TAFE, and told the story one day as to the identity of some of his fellow classmates.

Firstly, within his class, was a chap whose name happened to be Paul McCartney. Then, there was another fellow whose name was John George. In addition, there was another man who had served time in the air force, and thus had the nickname of ‘Wings’. Hence, present in the one classroom were John George, Paul McCartney and Wings.
 

Zuma

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In relation to sharing any Macca stories, this is kind of a Macca story, though he wasn't present when it unfolded:


In the early 1990s, a friend of mine was doing a computer course at TAFE, and told the story one day as to the identity of some of his fellow classmates.

Firstly, within his class, was a chap whose name happened to be Paul McCartney. Then, there was another fellow whose name was John George. In addition, there was another man who had served time in the air force, and thus had the nickname of ‘Wings’. Hence, present in the one classroom were John George, Paul McCartney and Wings.

Did you climb on his back and go for a ride in the sky ?
 

worbod

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I've always loved the Norman Gunston McCartney/Wings interview from 1975. The part where Norman "accidentally" mixes Linda up with Yoko is fantastic (just after the 3:30 mark). I believe there was another Gunston interview with Paul when he toured Australia in 1993, but it doesn't seem to be on the net anywhere.

 

worbod

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I wonder whether McCartney would have released We All Stand Together if John Lennon had still been alive. It seems the type of song Lennon would have been quick to criticise.
 

DIG

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Great thread Zuma thanks.

I don't know a lot about Wings except their hits but I did watch a doco recently about how Band on the Run was recorded in Nigeria, and 2 of the members quit the band virtually the night before they left. Bet they regret that now lol.

The cover of the album too has all famous ppl (of the day) as opposed to the mostly dead ones on Sgt Peppers, although I only really know a couple - Michael Parkinson on the left and Saruman Christopher Lee. Not sure if that's all common knowledge but I never looked closely at the cover.

Looking forward to the Oils one:thumbsu:
 

Timmy from Thomastown

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Both George and John it would seem. conversely John has some piffle in his solo career too

Lennon had far more piffle than McCartney! In fact I'd almost go so far as to say Starr and Harrison had better solo songs than Lennon.

Take away Mind Games , Whatever Gets You Through The Night and Instant Karma... Most of the rest is piffle! Including imagine, one of the most overrated songs in history
 

Fossie 32

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I didn't get into his stuff after the first few albums but very interesting thread thanks!

1 Get Onto the Right Thing

2 Live and Let Die
3 "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"
4 Goodnight Tonight
5 Letting Go
6 Let Me Roll It
7 Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People
8 Listen to What the Man Said
9 "Dear Boy"
10 Let 'Em In
11 "Another Day"
12 Mull of Kintyre
13 "Heart of the Country"
14 "Coming Up"
15 Junior's Farm
16 "The Back Seat of My Car"
17 "Too Many People"
18 Venus and Mars/Rock Show
19 "Smile Away"
20 No More Lonely Nights
21 "Long-Haired Lady"
22 Medicine Jar
23 Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
24 Band on the Run
25 Jet
26 "3 Legs"
27 "Maybe I'm Amazed"
28 "Monkberry Moon Delight"
29 Hold Me Tight/Lazy Dynamite/Hands of Love/Power Cut
30 Spirits of Ancient Egypt
31 Big Barn Bed
32 With a Little Luck
33 My Love
34 Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
 

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