McCartney (1970)


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Paul, Linda and baby Mary in 1970

At the end of 1969, the Beatles are in process of breaking up. John Lennon announces his intention of quitting the band to Paul, but this decision has to remain confidential because of some negociations in progress between Beatles' manager Allen Klein and EMI.

This is now a hard time for Paul who has to fight against some bad feelings as uselessness and unemployment. He retires to his farm in Scotland with his wife Linda, his step-daughter Heather and his newly born daughter Mary. With a little help from Linda, Paul gets over his bad feelings and starts out to write his first solo album.

Just before Christmas, Paul comes back to London and records his solo album, almost secretely. He uses his own recording hardware, a four-tracks studio, and plays himself all the instruments. The whole recording takes four months and Paul finally reappears in public.

Paul announces that he leaves the Beatles, his solo album being scheduled for the 17th of April 1970 (just before the commercial issue of the Beatles Let It Be album in May).

Paul McCartney is not the first Beatles' member to release a solo album. John Lennon has already done some solo stuff like Two Virgins or The Wedding Album. Ringo Starr has just released Sentimental Journey in March 1970. And George Harrison works on a solo album too, All Things Must Pass being scheduled for November of that same year.

Paul and Linda going through hard times...

Paul plays Ringo's drums at home with his daughter Mary.  

Paul's solo album, simply entitled McCartney, doesn't please the critics because of its simplicity and its under-production. Anyway the album reaches #2 in the charts, right behind Bridge Over Trouble Water by Simon and Garfunkel. And even more, Paul McCartney will soon been awarded with a Golden Record for his solo work.

This first solo album will stay among the favourite ones for many Paul's fans despite the simplicity of the production.

The album starts with The Lovely Linda, which is a short song that was used by Paul to test his four tracks studio.

Then follows That Would Be Something, a nice acoustic ballad backed up by an electric guitar and by some percussions. It really has a countryish style in it. This song will be covered again by Paul 21 years later for the MTV Unplugged programme in January 1991. This live cover will be included on Paul's Unplugged album.

Next comes Valentine Day, an instrumental title mostly based on Paul's electric guitar solo. A skilful rendering.

The fourth track is a nice acoustic ballad entitled Every Night. It's one of the bests songs on this album. Paul will cover this title many times during his solo career, especially during the 1979' Wings Tour (a live recording can be found on the Concert For The People Of Kampuchea album). It will also be performed as part of the MTV Unplugged programme in January 1991.

An old instrumental song is part of the McCartney album: it's called Hot As Sun and was written by Paul in 1959. At the end of this song, there is some musical link called Glasses which lasts a few seconds and features an excerpt of Suicide, an unreleased song by Paul. Even today the complete Suicide recording can only be found on some bootleg albums.

Then follow Junk which was written by Paul in 1968 during the Indian stay with the Beatles in Maharishi's home in Rishikesn. This is a simple and melancholic ballad played on the acoustic guitar.

Man We Was Lonely is the next track and it brings us some joyful atmosphere. It is a special track as it is the first song ever written together by Paul and Linda.

Oo You comes then as a strong rock song with straight electric guitar lines in the background. It's followed by an instrumental composition, Momma Miss America, in which Paul can exhibit all his skill in playing various instruments and particularly the drums. A good electric guitar solo dominates the second half of the song.

  Guitarist Paul...

Another nice acoustic ballad follows with Teddy Boy which was rejected from the Beatles' Let It Be album. Like Junk, it was written by Paul in 1968 during the Indian stay with the Beatles in Maharishi's home in Rishikesn.

The next song, Singalong Junk, is an instrumental variation on the theme of the previous Junk composition. It features a beautiful orchestration on piano and acoustic guitar. A newer cover of this instrumental song can be found on Paul's Unplugged album that was recorded during the MTV Unplugged programme in 1991.

  But the strongest title on this album is definitely Maybe I'm Amazed, a wonderful ballad played on piano and enhanced by an unforgettable electric guitar solo. This tremendous song will remain one the most famous masterpieces composed by Paul.

It will be covered many times by Wings on stage and more recently by Paul and his band during the 89/90' World Tour. Some of these astounding recordings can be found on
Wings Over America and on Tripping The Live Fantastic.

Amazingly, no single will be released from the McCartney album. Clearly Maybe I'm Amazed should have been this missing single. This unfairness will be repaired in April 1977 with the release of the single Maybe I'm Amazed / Soily taken from Wings Over America.

The last title of the McCartney album, Kreen-Akrore is an instrumental and experimental composition with some unusual percussion rhythms and a more classical electric guitar line to end the track.

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