Paul McCartney is 70: 12 songs

When I first heard this song about John Lennon, I thought it was too cloying. Moreover, I thought Lennon would think so too.


The thing about Paul McCartney that I appreciate is that, these days, he’s still trying. Oh sure, he’s doing legacy stuff such as reissues of some of his old albums, including recently, Ram. But he’s showing up on the TV show 30 Rock and touring in Latin America, even reimagining old songs. He keeps putting out new music at a reasonable pace, even if that last album had a bunch of old songs; the less familiar I was with a song, the more I liked it. He has played for his queen and will perform at the London Olympics opening ceremonies.

Here’s my Top 12 Macca songs, with links, at least this week. I could have picked a dozen more. I’ve stayed away from live songs, and re-recordings of Beatles songs.

12. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five – the last song on the extraordinary Band on the Run album.

11. Let Me Roll It – another song from Band on the Run. I especially like the guitar line and the somewhat disconnected vocal.

10. My Valentine – a sweet song for his bride Nancy from the mostly cover album Kisses on the Bottom. Apparently, Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp used incorrect sign language in the promo.

9. Oo You – from that first McCartney solo album. Love the quality of the vocal, and the fact that it’s all Paul.

8. Jenny Wren from the 2005 album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. It does remind me of the Beatles song Blackbird a bit, but it is lovely. Here’s a shorter version.

7. Every Night – again, from the first album.

6. Here Today – from Tug of War. When I first heard this song about John Lennon, I thought it was too cloying. Moreover, I thought Lennon would think so too. But after seeing Macca perform it in a live concert (on TV), I changed my mind.

5. Band On The Run. The title cut, of course.

4. What’s That You’re Doing? The OTHER Stevie Wonder collaboration from the Tug of War album. By this point, Stevie was doing MOR stuff such as I Called to Say I Love You, so I was happy that he and Paul got a bit funky. And I’m always a sucker for a Beatles reprise.

3. My Brave Face – from the Flowers in the Dirt album. As I recall reading, Elvis Costello gave Macca permission to play Beatle Paul bass lines.

2. Jet – from Band on the Run. Again.

1. Maybe I’m Amazed – from McCartney. I remember hearing that Paul was going to be on The Ed Sullivan Show, and then being sorely disappointed that his “appearance” was actually this video. The strength of the song, though, won me over.

I have about half of Paul’s solo output, but I ended up gravitating to two or three albums for these cuts.
Apparently, Macca saved Mark Ronson from drowning, when Ronson was a kid.

A live webcam trained on the crosswalk on Abbey Road in London where a certain Beatles cover photo was shot.

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