Last Wednesday on June 18th, Paul McCartney had a birthday and turned 72-years-old. In honor of the mighty Mac getting older, but not really losing much hair, I thought we’d devote this Sunday Record Party to a half a dozen of his solo, post Beatle songs.
"Queenie Eye” from the Album, “New”
I thought we’d start with something fairly new from, Sir Paul. “Queenie Eye” was the second single from his latest album, “New,” that he released in 2013. It was written by McCartney and Paul Epworth, who produced the song. McCartney sings and plays all the instruments (guitar, bass guitar, lap steel guitar, piano, Moog synthesizer, synthesizer, mellotron and tambourine) and Epworth plays drums.
The song’s title and chorus are from a game he played as a child in Liverpool called, "Queenie, Queenie, who's got the ball?"
McCartney played the song on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards with the other living Beatle, Ringo Starr on drums.
“Hot As Sun/Glasses” from the album, “McCartney”
This instrumental from Paul McCartney’s first solo album is actually one of the oldest songs in his career. He wrote it back in 1958 when he was still in The Quarrymen and The Beatles name had not yet arrived via a flaming pie. He noodled with it for years and the first known recording of this tune is from a “Let It Be” session in January, 1969.
As with most of the songs on his debut solo album, the Mighty Mac plays all of the following instruments on the song: guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboards, drums, maracas, bongos and wine glasses.
“Hi, Hi, Hi” from the album, “Wingspan”
While John Lennon was always considered the most controversial Beatle, Paul McCartney had his moments as well. In early 1972, Wings released a single, “Give Ireland Back To The Irish,” which was promptly banned by the BBC as they didn’t agree with the political content of the song. The song was a response to “Bloody Sunday,” a day (January 30, 1972) in Northern Ireland, where 26 civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army.
Later in the year, Wings released another single, “Hi, Hi, Hi,” which became Wings’ second banned single by the BBC, this time for drug and sexual references. This record truly branded Wings as a “Banned On The Run.” Ouch!
“Here Today” from the album, “Tug of War”
This song from “Tug of War” was McCartney’s tribute to John Lennon. Here’s a passage I found online where he’s explaining how he wrote the song and his feelings behind the tune:
I was kind of crying when I wrote it. It’s like a dialogue with John. One of my feelings even when he used to lay into me was that he really didn’t mean it. I could always see why he was doing it. There was this spectrum of me, which I understand because he had to clear the decks just like I did. In the song, John would hear me saying that and say, ‘Oh, piss off! You don’t know me at all. We’re worlds apart. You used to know me but I’ve changed.’ But I feel that I still knew him. The song is me trying to talk back to him, but realizing the futility of it because he is no longer here, even though that’s a fact I can’t quite believe, even to this day. The ‘I love you’ part was hard to say. A part of me said, ‘Hold on. Wait a minute. Are you really going to do that?’ I finally said, ‘Yeah, I’ve got to. It’s true.’
“My Brave Face” from the album, “Flowers in the Dirt”
In the late ‘80’s, Paul McCartney started writing songs with Elvis Costello. One of the results of this collaboration was, “My Brave Face,” which was the first single from the “Flowers in the Dirt” album that came out in 1989. There were many more McCartney/MacManus (Elvis Costello used his real name, Declan MacManus for the writing credit) songs that came out of this work, including Costello’s single, “Veronica”, from his album, “Spike,” which came out a year earlier in 1988.
Here’s a list of the songs the two wrote together, which were compiled for a bootleg album that was released in 1998.
“Sing The Changes” from the album, “Electric Arguments” by The Fireman
In 1993, McCartney teamed up with Martin Glover A.K.A. “Youth,” to form an experimental electronic band they called, The Fireman. The first album they put out was in that same year and was called, “Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest.”
In 2008, the duo recorded the album, “Electric Arguments” and the first single from the album was, “Sing The Changes.” He performed the song live on David Letterman on July 15th of that year during a seven song concert on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater.
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