This is the first of two columns that, much like I did with Bruce Willis, outline the finest works of a man I feel should be celebrated while he is still with us. Not only with us, but as McCartney III showed, still producing some really fine music.
I think I've done a lot with The Beatles, so it's time to look at his career after the Beatles broke up. And so this column focuses on his work from the 1970s and 1980s, which includes not only solo work but the stuff he did with Wings.
This is my personal favourites, and for that reason, you will not find too many duets here. They just don't do it for me.
Anyway, let's start our celebration of Sir Paul with the years immediately following the break-up of The Beatles, and 14 tracks. No live tracks, all songs released on albums or as singles.
'Another Day' by Paul & Linda McCartney (1971) from Ram
A gentle track with some possibly simplistic lyrics, but it is such an ear-worm and it always brings a smile to my face when I hear it. I know this is the sort of song that people use to put McCartney down, but it has stood the test of time.
' Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' Paul & Linda McCartney (1971) from Ram
This is a strange song, I know, but I think it is that strangeness that pulls me in and makes this track an enthralling one. Not often remembered nowadays, it is a fine example of McCartney's early work as he finds himself as a solo artist.
'Band On The Run' by Paul McCartney and Wings (1973) from Band On The Run
Seemingly made up of so many different sections, this amazing track is the stand-out on the album where he finally hit his post-Beatles straps. Wings hit the ground with a bang, and this track is a fine example of that.
'Jet' by Paul McCartney and Wings (1973) from Band On The Run
Sticking with the same album, a song that has some weird lyrics but the music is so very good. Another awesome song.
'Live And Let Die' by Wings (1973) non-album single[/I]
One of the best James Bond theme songs, certainly my favourite, this track is another that has stood the test of time, and shows that McCartney did know how to rock with the best of them.
'Mull Of Kintyre' by Wings (1977) from London Town
And we go straight to the opposite end of the spectrum. I know a few people who claim this is the worst solo song by a Beatle, but it is the first McCartney song I ever heard, and it has stuck with me ever since. I even learnt to play this on guitar. To me, the bagpipes make it.
'Rockestra Theme' by Paul McCartney and Wings (1979) from Back To The Egg
Essentially an instrumental, with a few yelled bits in it, this is another example of McCartney knowing how to rock. He apparently brought along a bunch of extra musicians for this (I only have a bare bones CD and that has no info on it), but it sounds so very good.
'Coming Up' by Paul McCartney (1980) from McCartney II
This was a song where the video clip got me before the music. It took me a couple of watchings "back in the day" to realise they were all Paul and Linda. Going more for the pop sound, this is a nice way to introduce the new decade.
'Ballroom Dancing' by Paul McCartney (1982) from Tug Of War
Weird song topic, but I just liked the way the song sounded. This was the first post-Beatles McCartney album I owned, so that could account for some of that positivity.
'Take It Away' by Paul McCartney (1982) from Tug Of War
While I really like this song, I always wait for it to go up a gear. It feels like it's being held back, but I still really enjoy this track and do sing along to it.
'Pipes Of Peace' by Paul McCartney (1983) from Pipes Of Peace
A great song about peace, with a video clip that I can still remember beat for beat so many years later, as it comes to my mind whenever I listen to this song.
'No More Lonely Nights' by Paul McCartney (1984) from Give My Regards To Broadstreet
From the soundtrack of a film that, while not truly terrible, was "meh" with the flimsiest of plots. Most of the music was re-recordings of earlier tracks, including some by The Beatles, this track, though, was one I really liked and it stood out on the album.
'Angry' by Paul McCartney (1986) from Press To Play
After so much pop, it was good to hear McCartney go back to his rock roots with this album cut. I think because it stood out from the rest of his work at the time, I've always enjoyed this one.
'Spies Like Us' by Paul McCartney (1986) from Press To Play
Originally a single, the title track from the mediocre Dan Ackroyd-Chevy Chase movie was included on this album (as a "bonus track") and is one of its highlights. The song is the best thing about the film, to be honest.
So, that's a nice way to start. There will be a second column in the next few days to finish this look at Sir Paul, to celebrate a life worth commemorating.
He has produced so much music that has been a part of so many lives, and long may he continue to do so.
Happy birthday, Paul McCartney.
Another great list. Uncle Albert & Another Day would be my favourites.
I loved the Venus and Mars album (1975) - title track & Rock Show.
I also owned the London Town album - but this hasn't aged as well.
Amazing, love some of his music after The Beatles, some not so much.
I was lucky to see him in concert in Melbourne in 2017 and he played for 3.5 hours non stop.
Not bad for a guy in his mid 70s at the time. He sure has an incredible legacy of music to leave us with.