70s Artist Watch: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney and the Beatles split up in 1970, after making the world a richer place and making tunes that never die, but the legal ramifications took years before The Beatles were legally split in 1975.

The last Beatles album "Let It Be" in 1970, included the tracks "Get Back" and the "Long and Winding Road

All the Beatles had hits after the group was dissolved, but McCartney was the one that seemed to have no problem with the hits continuing. The Beatles still had Greatest Hits out through the 1970s, and it therefore, kept Paul further in the public view, and maybe everyone was still hoping that The Beatles would get together, but as we know it never happened.

The first album was called" McCartney" and included the song "Maybe I’m Amazed", although not released as a single but it had enormous radio play, he credited that track to Linda for helping him through the split up of The Beatles. The song was eventually released by Paul McCartney and Wings in 1977, and makes 70s music complete.

Part of the lyrics
Maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time
Maybe I'm afraid of the way I love you
Maybe I'm amazed at the way you pulled me out of time
And hung me on a line
Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you
Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man and maybe you're the only woman
Who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand

The next album was "Ram" in 1971, this was written by Paul and Linda and included tracks like "Too Many People","Uncle Albert" which got to No. 1 in the US, the song was based on a favourite uncle of Paul’s. Linda Eastman vegetarian, was married to Paul in 1969, she being an American photographer.

Still in 1971 , Paul and Linda formed a new group with drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Denny Laine ,who was a member of The Moody Blues, and that now formed the new group "Wings" which went on to dominate 70s music.

There first album "Wild Life", which included "Love Is Strange", the album did very well in both the US and UK, but there were no single hits from the debut album.

In 1972 with Wings, Paul released singles, the first "Give Ireland Back to the Irish", which was banned by the BBC, as this song was a political reaction to the killings by the British Army in Ireland in 1972, through the events known as Bloody Sunday. The song was not played. and mostly not mentioned in the charts either.

The next single "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was the nursery rhyme , not really sure how that was released or even became a hit.

The next single was my favourite from Wings that year "C Moon" a reggae style record, however it started life as the b side to "Hi Hi Hi", but the BBC banned it assuming it was a drug related record, so "C Moon", got the radio play and became the hit.

The next album by Wings in 1973 " Red Rose Speedway " was a more popular album, and spurned the single hits like "My Love", all about his feelings for Linda. The album got in the top ten in both UK and US.

New Bond in 1973, a Mr Roger Moore, formally "The Saint" from the 1960s TV series. The new film was "Live and Let Die", the soundtrack this time was performed by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song was even Oscar nominated, and it was a mini-reunion in the fact that Beatles producer George Martin worked on the single with Paul. This version was not the original to be used, but thanks to Paul’s insistence that only he would do it, it became a Bond anthem, and later covered by 80s group Guns and Roses.

Part of the lyrics
When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say live and let live.
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry,
Say live and let die!
Live and let die,
Live and let die,
Live and let die.

In the same year the amazing "Band on the Run" album was released, it was a huge hit into 1974 too, with the front cover had a who’s who of famous at the time , including Michael Parkinson, James Coburn and Christopher Lee.

Many hit singles from this album, which explains why it was the No1 selling album of 1974 in the UK., and in 1975 it won a Grammy.

The title track itself "Band on the Run", as the title suggests its about a band being imprisoned and then escaping on the run, this record was over five minutes long, but in the US it was cut to under four minutes...shame..

Some of  Paul's the lyrics
Stuck inside these four walls
Sent inside forever
Never seeing no one nice again like you
Mama you, mama you
If I ever get out of here
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity
All I need is a pint a day
If I ever get out of here
If we ever get out of here
Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the sun
And the first one said to the second one there
I hope you’re having fun
Band on the run
Band on the run
And the jailer man and sail

"Jet" was another successful single from the album, along with "Helen Wheels", that did NOT appear in the UK version of the album., and also on the album was the beautiful song "Bluebird"

In 1975 Wings were on tour, a few changes to band members occurred over the years, but the sound remained top notch.

"Listen to what the man said", was another single hit in, a stand alone single, in which Paul is seen on the video playing everything, very clever for its time. The single came from the next album Venus and Mars, and also included a rework of a theme to a British soap called "Crossroads", and the ATV network actually used the version for several months, before reverting back.The album was No1 on both sides of the Atlantic.

Another year, and another album,1976 saw the birth of "Wings at the Speed of Sound" with the hit singles "Let Em In", that include names of Paul’s friends and family, and a fade out and a fade in and a fade out again.
A live album "Wings over America" was released too.

But for me the best hit was "Silly Love Songs", which is assumed to be a retaliation to people saying he made light weight love songs, well if he did, this is a great record, and its not silly.

See the Silly Love Songs video here

1978 Wings released London Town , that included the hit single "With a Little Luck", and this was written on a boat whilst Linda was pregnant.

"Wings Greatest" was released this year, but it also included "Another Day" from 1971, along with that banned record "Hi Hi Hi".

There were in most territories a double A side released too, two more singles, the first being "Girls School" and the other the biggest selling record of all time in the UK, "Mull of Kintyre", and the Christmas number one too. It was written about Paul’s Scottish home in Argyll.
This record even outsold some of the Beatles classics, and was non stop on the radio, but not really a hit in the US, who had the flip side "Girls school ".

See Mull of Kintyre here

Wings last album was "Back to the Egg", in 1979 it hit the charts. The same year they had "Goodnight Tonight" which was their last big single hit  contribution to music of the 70s. Of course Paul  was a huge hit through the 80s and 90s, and is still performing to huge crowds all around the world even today.

Paul and Linda from the mid 1970s in an interview for Australian TV.