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Paul & Linda McCartney

Out of all the former Beatles, Paul McCartney by far had the most successful solo career, maintaining a constant presence in the British and American charts during the '70s and '80s. In America alone, he had nine number one singles and seven number one albums during the first 12 years of his solo career, and in his native United Kingdom, his record was nearly as impressive. McCartney's hot streak began in 1970, when he became the first Beatle to leave the group. A little more than a year after the Beatles' breakup, McCartney formed Wings with his wife Linda and Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine, and the group remained active for the next ten years, racking up a string of hit albums, singles, and tours in the meantime. Wings disbanded in 1980 but McCartney stayed near the top of the charts over the next five years, thanks in part to a couple big duets with Michael Jackson. McCartney revived his solo career in 1989 via Flowers in the Dirt and its accompanying international tour, setting a template he would follow into the new millennium, when he'd support his records by playing concerts around the world. Between these massive endeavors, McCartney pursued other projects, including classical compositions, an electronica outfit with Youth called the Fireman, and overseeing archival projects such as the Beatles' Anthology series. As the 21st century rolled on, McCartney continued to take risks, including recording an album of standards from the Great American Songbook and collaborating with rapper Kanye West, proving that there was no area of popular music he couldn't touch.

Like John Lennon and George Harrison, McCartney began exploring creative avenues outside the Beatles during the late '60s, but where his bandmates released their own experimental records, McCartney confined himself to writing and producing for other artists, with the exception of his 1966 soundtrack to The Family Way. Following his marriage to Linda Eastman on March 12, 1969, McCartney began working at his home studio on his first solo album. He released McCartney in April 1970, two weeks before the Beatles' Let It Be was scheduled to hit the stores. Prior to the album's release, he'd announced that the Beatles were breaking up, against the wishes of the other members. As a result, the tensions between him and the other three members, particularly Harrison and Lennon, increased and he earned the ill will of many critics. Nevertheless, McCartney became a hit, spending three weeks at the top of the American charts. Early in 1971, he returned with "Another Day," which became his first hit single as a solo artist. It was followed several months later by Ram, another homemade collection, this time featuring the contributions of his wife, Linda.

By the end of 1971, the McCartneys had formed Wings, which was intended to be a full-fledged recording and touring band. Former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell became the group's other members, and Wings released their first album, Wild Life, in December 1971. Wild Life was greeted with poor reviews and was a relative flop. McCartney and Wings, which now featured former Grease Band guitarist Henry McCullough, spent 1972 as a working band, releasing three singles -- the protest "Give Ireland Back to the Irish," the reggae-fied "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and the rocking "Hi Hi Hi." Red Rose Speedway followed in the spring of 1973, and while it received weak reviews, it became his second American number one album. Later in 1973, Wings embarked on their first British tour, at the conclusion of which McCullough and Seiwell left the band. Prior to their departure, McCartney's theme to the James Bond movie Live and Let Die became a Top Ten hit in the U.S. and U.K. That summer, the remaining Wings proceeded to record a new album in Nigeria. Released late in 1973, Band on the Run was simultaneously McCartney's best-reviewed album and his most successful, spending four weeks at the top of the U.S. charts and eventually going triple-platinum.

Following the success of Band on the Run, McCartney formed a new version of Wings with guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Geoff Britton. The new lineup was showcased on the 1974 British single "Junior's Farm," and the 1975 hit album Venus and Mars. At the Speed of Sound followed in 1976; it was the first Wings record to feature songwriting contributions by the other bandmembers. Nevertheless, the album became a monster success on the basis of two McCartney songs, "Silly Love Songs" and "Let 'Em In." Wings supported the album with their first international tour, which broke many attendance records and was captured on the live triple-album Wings Over America (1976). After the tour was completed, Wings rested a bit during 1977, as McCartney released an instrumental version of Ram under the name Thrillington, and produced Denny Laine's solo album Holly Days. Later that year, Wings released "Mull of Kintyre," which became the biggest-selling British single of all time, selling over two million copies. Wings followed "Mull of Kintyre" with London Town in 1978, which became another platinum record. After its release, McCulloch left the band to join the re-formed Small Faces, and Wings released Back to the Egg in 1979. Though the record went platinum, it failed to produce any big hits. Early in 1980, McCartney was arrested for marijuana possession at the beginning of a Japanese tour; he was imprisoned for ten days and then released, without any charges being pressed.

Wings effectively broke up in the wake of McCartney's Japanese bust, although its official dissolution was not announced until April 27, 1981, when Denny Laine left the band. Back in England, McCartney recorded McCartney II, which was a one-man band effort like his solo debut. Ironically, the hit single associated with the album was a live take of the song "Coming Up" that had been recorded in Glasgow with Wings in December 1979 and was intended to be the B-side of the 45, with the solo studio recording as the A-side. DJs preferred the live version, however, and it went on to hit number one. Later in 1980, McCartney entered the studio with Beatles' producer George Martin to make Tug of War.

Released in the spring of 1982, Tug of War received the best reviews of any McCartney record since Band on the Run and spawned the number one single with "Ebony and Ivory," a duet with Stevie Wonder that became McCartney's biggest American hit. In 1983, McCartney sang on "The Girl Is Mine," the first single from Michael Jackson's blockbuster album Thriller. In return, Jackson dueted with McCartney on "Say Say Say," the first single from McCartney's 1983 album Pipes of Peace and the last number one single of his career. The relationship between Jackson and McCartney soured considerably when Jackson bought the publishing rights to the Beatles' songs out from underneath McCartney in 1985.

McCartney directed his first feature film in 1984 with Give My Regards to Broad Street. While the soundtrack, which featured new songs and re-recorded Beatles tunes, was a hit, generating the hit single "No More Lonely Nights," the film was a flop, earning terrible reviews. The following year, he had his last American Top Ten with the theme to the Chevy Chase/Dan Aykroyd comedy Spies Like Us. Press to Play (1986) received some strong reviews but was another flop. In 1988, he recorded a collection of rock & roll oldies called Choba B CCCP for release in the U.S.S.R.; it was given official release in the U.S. and U.K. in 1991. For 1989's Flowers in the Dirt, McCartney co-wrote several songs with Elvis Costello; the pair also wrote songs for Costello's Spike, including the hit "Veronica." Flowers in the Dirt received the strongest reviews of any McCartney release since Tug of War, and was supported by an extensive international tour, which was captured on the live double-album Tripping the Live Fantastic (1990). For the tour, McCartney hired guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Hamish Stuart, who would form the core of his band through the remainder of the '90s.

Early in 1991, McCartney released another live album in the form of Unplugged, which was taken from his appearance on MTV's acoustic concert program of the same name; it was the first Unplugged album to be released. Later that year, he unveiled Liverpool Oratorio, his first classical work. Another pop album, Off the Ground, followed in 1993, but failed to generate any big hits, despite McCartney's successful supporting tour. Following the completion of the New World tour, he released another live album, Paul Is Live, in December 1993. In 1994, he released an ambient techno album under the pseudonym the Fireman. McCartney premiered his second classical piece, The Leaf, early in 1995 and then began hosting a Westwood One radio series called Oobu Joobu. But his primary activity in 1995, as well as 1996, was the Beatles' Anthology, which encompassed a lengthy video documentary of the band and the multi-volume release of Beatles' outtakes and rarities. After Anthology was completed, he released Flaming Pie in summer 1997. A low-key, largely acoustic affair that had some of the same charm of his debut, Flaming Pie was given the strongest reviews McCartney had received in years and was a modest commercial success, debuting at number two on the U.S. and U.K. charts; it was his highest American chart placing since he left the Beatles. Flaming Pie certainly benefited from the success of Anthology, as did McCartney himself -- only a few months before the release of the album in 1997, he received Knighthood.

On April 17, 1998, Linda McCartney died after a three-year struggle with breast cancer. A grieving Paul kept a low profile in the months to follow, but finally returned in fall 1999 with Run Devil Run, a collection that primarily included cover songs. The electronica-based Liverpool Sound Collage followed a year later, and the pop album Driving Rain -- a successor, of sorts, to Flaming Pie -- came a year after that. The live album Back in the U.S. appeared in America in 2002 with the slightly different international edition, Back in the World, following soon after.

McCartney's next studio project included sessions with super-producer Nigel Godrich, the results of which appeared on the mellow Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard, released in late 2005. The album reached the Top Ten in more than a dozen countries, including the U.S. and U.K. McCartney performed every instrument (not including the strings) on 2007's David Kahne-produced Memory Almost Full, a bold but whimsical collection of new songs, some of which had been recorded before the Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard sessions. It too reached the Top Ten across the world. A live CD/DVD set, Good Evening New York City, appeared in 2009. The following year, McCartney kicked off an extensive reissue campaign with a box set of Band on the Run, and he supported the reissue with an American tour in the summer of 2011.

Later in 2011, McCartney released his first ballet, Ocean's Kingdom, and less than a year later followed with another first -- his first collection of pre-WWII standards. The latter work, titled Kisses on the Bottom, topped the U.S. jazz charts and reached the Top Five in seven different countries. His busy year continued during the summer, when he ended the opening ceremony of London's 2012 Olympics with a set that included a customary, extended version of "Hey Jude." A surprising cap to 2012 came that December when he appeared on-stage with the surviving ex-members of Nirvana as part of a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The year 2013 brought recording sessions with four of McCartney's favorite producers: Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns, Giles Martin, and Mark Ronson. His initial intention had been to hold trial sessions with each producer, aiming to select one of them to oversee the whole of his next album. However, each of them had a hand in producing New, his first album of original material in six years, which appeared that October. True to form, it charted across the world and hit the Top Ten in more than a dozen countries. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Paul is one of the greatest human beings to ever walk the Earth. Anyone who says otherwise knows absolutely nothing.
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@ginalevy he's not dead....
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Love he will be missed.RIP
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PAUL IS THE GREATEST MUSICIAN ALIVE AT 71 I LOVE WINGS AND ALL THE BEATLES SONGS STEVE THE BASS MAN
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Paul is still my favorite Beatle
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Paul has such a wonderful voice singing those famous lyrics
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I love this song
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THE FIRST SONG ON THE FIRST SIDE OF ONE OF THE GREATEST ALBUMS EVERMADE !ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN !
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I seen Paul in August 2014 at the dodger stadium xD it was amazing xD My favorite Beatle xD
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Love, "for no one." Is that a French horn? They were always expanding the boundaries of poo-rock music.Paul McCartney was the real talent in this band. And I always believed that REVOLVER was their best overall album. Neck and neck with ABBEY ROAD. Though revolver prolly has a slight edge since the band was still a band at the time, and not a loose confederatio n of solo artists like the Beatlss were at the end of their career.
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Great song to listen to I like it a lot.
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Seen Paul in salt lake two times both concerts were great
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Beatles the greatest hall of fame
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Paul & Linda McCartney is a grate band :)
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This freaked me out. This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either be kissed or asked out. If you break this chain, you will see a little girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry.
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tjwcaw4
This freaked me out. This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either be kissed or asked out. If you break this chain, you will see a little girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry.
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Ive listened to PAUL AND I FEEL HES THE GREATEST MUSICIAN EVER AT 70? IM 62 AND GREW UP TO THE BEATLES A SUPER UNIQUE BAND I LOVE BAND ON THE RUN AND WINGS !
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My 24 year old daughter and I went to your concert in Minneapolis long story short I booked that months before ending up in Phoenix with my husband waiting for a heart transplant was the best time of my life with both my girls and grandson life long dream come true while in AZ via Iowa... Your music transcends generations love is all you need!! Thank you
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If we ever get out of here, thinking of giving it all away, all I need is a pint~a~day.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B a n d on the run......... . . .
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ONE OF Best bands
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ankita82011
Paul you r amazing. ;( i wish the rest of the Beatles were... Here. ;( your amazing. :) I played as you in our school play ;D
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bionin
Paul and...I don't know!! All of the Beatles were wonerful! (Although John and George died :( )
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Paul should have retired after his first solo material. For the last 40 years he has released nothing but namby pamby drivel.
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bevibenjamin
Best always. Love G.G.Mama Bevi
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inmylifeilov e u there isn't a word I can find that describes the way I feel and what I think about Paul , he is simply THE BEST at everything he does one exception was when he married that model. from the first time I layed eyes on him ed Sullivan show I was in love with him I was 9 I can say the beatles were such a big part of my life I lived an breathed for them I still do!Paul is the most brilliant musician there ever was and ever will be. I feel he is part of my family,he is awesome!!!!
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roy.barker4
These songs are the soundtracks of our life, makes me very emotional
, tears of joy.
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flowergirl19 9 9 9 1
Paul, I think silly loves songs are great-especi a l l y when you write them! Michelle, Maybe I'm Amazed, All My Loving, Can't Buy Me Love, Here, There, and Everywhere, I Saw Her Standing There, New, I mean, you just have a special knack. I would list every song by you I like (which is every single one, basically) but there's a lock on how much I can type, I think =( Love Heart in the Country and the video is really sweet.
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Faul...
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Please Let him in.....
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Seen him in Chicago took me way back . It was like seeing a family member,he is the best.. I think I taught a glimpse of him when he came thru Joliet I wish I could hang out with him for even just a few min.I just have to wait to see him in heaven always enjoyed the Beatles ,Paul was the best let Em in lord
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nikki.brown2 0 0 3
And the Beatles arr beak together nikki brown 2003!!!
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nikki.brown2 0 0 3
We love you too!!!
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nikki.brown2 0 0 3
I love you Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney!!! ! ! a n d the songs you sing!!!!!
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Though John Lennon is my favorite, you can't deny the talent
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Pauls Voice is so hypnotic! It still sounds kind of Beatle-ish. It sounds like the Beatles in the background. The strange thing is, you can tell by Pauls voice if the song is Beatles or Wings. Paul, please marry me!
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rflores867
I saw Paul in concert in Boston last week.
Genius!!!!!
I noticed:
Not one Fender Guitar in his rock show.
Hmmm?
Epiphones gibsons and of course his classic Hofner Bass
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davisw3
I went to Japan in 1975. I meet a true fan. He had his ticket stub from the'64 world tour. When the McCartney tour was canceled he kept the ticket. That was 1976, not 1980. Check your facts.
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LISTENED TO THIS ALBUM, OVER & OVER.....LOV E D IT....
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Paul!<3 Marry me please!!This is my favorite song!!
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magneto n titanium man
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Paul has always been and always will be the best of the best.Who else can say they have been entertaining as long as hes been and still be able to sell out crowds the way he does.
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johnduffy50
Wings over America was the tour to see!!!!!!! Never forget the band with that horn section. It was a quite a show.
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Paul Mccartney rocks
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with john below: yeah, I agree. it is impossible to dislike the beatles either collectively or individually . the music is too good.
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kvons1
Great artist but to quote an even greater one (John Lennon) How Do You Sleep At Night?!
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i
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Linda McCartney should be forbidden to ever say butter pie.
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Why would you need it for any of the BEATLES?!!
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aniemancroch e t
Never mind. Found it.
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