Paul McCartney’s Best Songs
In addition to his eight illustrious years as a Beatle, Paul McCartney has also managed to develop a prolific solo career spanning 50 years. His powerful songwriting skills and musical experimentation have produced a wide-ranging catalog of new material, ushering in a whole new audience to enjoy the former Beatles’ music.
“Live and Let Die”
Although McCartney initially encountered blowback when he decided to write for a James Bond movie of the same name, this song quickly became one of his most popular and enduring tracks. McCartney composed the song with his band Wings (which included his then-wife Linda McCartney, guitarist Denny Laine, and drummer Denny Seiwell). Former Beatles producer George Martin also worked on the hit, encouraging McCartney to add a reggae section and fast-paced, explosive orchestration. Nearly fifty years later, this song is still a staple in McCartney’s live shows (and is usually accompanied by a pretty impressive fireworks show).
“Maybe I’m Amazed”
Released on his 1970 debut solo album McCartney, McCartney wrote this song during the height of the Beatles breakup. In addition to exploring themes of loneliness, the song also highlights the strength of his relationship with his then-wife Linda. Besides providing the lyrics and the vocals, McCartney also plays all the instruments on the track, including guitar, piano, organ, bass, and drums.
Although the song was never released as a single, it still charted well in both the U.S. and the UK, even making it onto Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.
Although this song about a junk shop was originally composed by the Beatles for White Album, it ended up being another staple in McCartney’s solo catalog. One of the aspects that makes it such a standout is its lack of polish. You can hear people laughing in the background and the sound of a door opening, making the track seem more familiar to a newly post-Beatles audience.
“Too Many People”
This song, which appeared on the 1971 album Ram, takes some pretty direct shots at John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Expressing his frustration at their hand in dissolving the Beatles, McCartney sings, “You took your lucky break and broke it in two.” The music in particular has garnered a lot of praise over the years, particularly the inclusion of brass instruments and two loud, powerful guitar solos sandwiching the end of the song. McCartney later went on to record an instrumental version of the track, which featured both jazz and psychedelic influences.
“Find My Way (feat. Beck)”
This 2021 release includes everything from bongos and synth to whistling, and Beck’s strange sensibilities are a great match for McCartney’s steady guitar. The slightly unsettling music video also features Beck dancing with a young McCartney’s face superimposed over his (thanks to some pretty impressive deep-fake technology). A step outside of McCartney’s usual comfort zone, this strange, catchy song is certainly a keeper.
Paul McCartney Tickets
Like what you hear? Check out Paul McCartney on his Got Back 2022 Tour. You can view the full list of dates and tickets here.