Sunday Spin: McCartney


This week in 1970, Paul McCartney's first solo album, the simply titled McCartney, began a three week residence atop the U.S. charts. Mostly recorded at his home studio (with a few sessions at Abbey Road under the pseudonym "Billy Martin"), his first Lennon-less effort is a paean to domesticity and simple pleasures. With the mood of a more barebones White Album without an editor, McCartney is an oft-overlooked treat in his voluminous catalog. Despite one of the most colossal love songs of all time ("Maybe I'm Amazed"), even hardcore Beatles fans are often unaware of refurbished ditties like "Hot As Sun," which dates back to late 1959, or the undisguised sweetness of "Man We Was Lonely."

I used to ride on my fast city line
Singing songs that I thought were mine alone, alone
Now, let me lie with my love for the time
I am home, home, home

Compared to later Beatles' works, McCartney can initially come across as slight, many tracks more sketches than fully fleshed songs, but let it spin and his palpable happiness creeps from the speakers. Begun in 1969 while The Beatles were in the process of crumbling, the album captures some of the weariness that was hitting McCartney, the fight to keep the "Fab Four" together ebbing. In their place, he finds a new voice, one less fraught with compromise or conflict, in this love note to his wife Linda McCartney, who contributes throughout. Released almost concurrently with Let It Be, this first solo salvo hit shelves just days after McCartney announced his departure from The Beatles. It is the sound of a man reminding himself of why he got into making music in the first place, and as such it remains one of his most sincere, unvarnished efforts.

McCartney track list:

1. The Lovely Linda
2. That Would Be Something
3. Valentine Day
4. Every Night
5. Hot as Sun/Glasses
6. Junk
7. Man We Was Lonely
8. Oo You
9. Momma Miss America
10. Teddy Boy
11. Singalong Junk
12. Maybe I'm Amazed
13. Kreen-Akrore

Here's the instrumental "Singalong Junk" from a 1991 Unplugged set:

Macca takes flight with Wings on this great version of "Maybe I'm Amazed" from 1976:

[Published on: 5/25/08]

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C00lmike Sun 5/25/2008 10:12PM
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yeah where have you been?

C00lmike Sun 5/25/2008 10:27PM
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McCartney has always been able to bust out pop songs with the best of them.

welting Mon 5/26/2008 06:49AM
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Momma Miss America is a great jam. "Rock and roll springtime, take 1"

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Mon 5/26/2008 06:51AM
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Great album. Best non John Lennon solo album every made by a Beatle...

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Mon 5/26/2008 06:52AM
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The thing about McCartney is that his last few albums have been the best shit he has put out since McCartney.....

21mmer Mon 5/26/2008 11:25AM
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i've got to say that i have been known to quite enjoy ram and band on the run as well. linda can get annoying, but i still think that these are great 70's pop albums.

redhed starstarstarstarstar Tue 5/27/2008 04:46AM
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every night has always been a favorite song of mine. my favorite solo album by a beatle would be all things must pass by george, i miss george

wagsinnorthernva starstarstar Tue 5/27/2008 09:31AM
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All things must pass is freaking sweet, Paul has some good stuff too you just have to look.

pkerr Tue 5/27/2008 10:00AM
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His album after this one, Ram, is also stellar. Plus, someone told me he was in a band before Wings? I'll have to look into that...

Jbsgroove Tue 5/27/2008 12:16PM
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Paul McCartney aye...I'll have to look into this guy. I agree George is most missed solo (even better than some of John's stuff)