|Studio album by Paul McCartney|
|Released||17 April 1970 (UK)
20 April 1970 (US)
|Recorded||December 1969–February 1970
McCartney's home, St John's Wood; Morgan Studios, Willesden; Abbey Road Studios, London
|Genre||Rock, pop, experimental|
|Paul McCartney chronology|
McCartney is the debut solo album by English musician Paul McCartney. It was issued on Apple Records in April 1970 after McCartney had resisted attempts by his fellow Beatles to have the release delayed to allow for Apple's previously scheduled titles, notably the band's Let It Be album. McCartney recorded his eponymous solo album during a period of depression and confusion, following John Lennon's private announcement in September 1969 that he was leaving the Beatles, and the conflict over its release further estranged McCartney from his bandmates. A press release in the form of a self-interview, supplied with UK copies of McCartney, led to the announcement of the group's break-up on 10 April 1970.
Apart from then-wife Linda's vocal contributions, McCartney performed the entire album solo. Featuring loosely arranged (and in some cases, unfinished) home recordings, McCartney explored the back-to-basics style that had been the original concept for the Let It Be project in 1969. Partly as a result of McCartney's role in officially ending the Beatles' career, the album received an unfavourable response from the majority of music critics, although the song "Maybe I'm Amazed" was consistently singled out for praise. Commercially, McCartney benefited from the publicity surrounding the break-up; it held the number 1 position for three weeks on the US Billboard 200 chart and peaked at number 2 in Britain. The album was reissued in June 2011 as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection.
- 1 Background
- 2 Recording
- 3 Apple Records' scheduling conflict
- 4 Album artwork and promotional package
- 5 Release and reception
- 6 Track listing
- 7 Personnel
- 8 Charts
- 9 Notes
- 10 Citations
- 11 Sources
- 12 External links
Following John Lennon's announcement in a band meeting on 20 September 1969 that he wanted a "divorce" from the Beatles, Paul McCartney withdrew to his Scottish farm – "brokenhearted, shocked, and dispirited at the loss of the only job he had ever known", in the words of author Robert Rodriguez. While the announcement was not made public, the following months coincided with the "Paul Is Dead" hoax in America and a period of severe depression for McCartney. He later admitted in an interview with daughter Mary: "I nearly had a breakdown. I suppose the hurt of it all, and the disappointment, and the sorrow of losing this great band, these great friends ... I was going crazy." With wife Linda Eastman's encouragement, McCartney began to consider a future outside the Beatles, by writing or finishing songs for his first solo album, McCartney.
A 25-second sample of the song
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McCartney and his family returned to London shortly before Christmas 1969, and he started work on the album at his home in Cavendish Avenue, St John's Wood. Using a Studer four-track tape recorder, McCartney began with "The Lovely Linda", a song he taped in order to test the new equipment. Enjoying the experience, he continued, composing and improvising new material and overdubbing his singing and further instrumentation; reflecting the sequencing on the released album, the second and third songs McCartney taped were "That Would Be Something" and "Valentine Day". On 3 January 1970, he interrupted work on McCartney to participate in the Beatles' final recording session, when he, George Harrison and Ringo Starr recorded the Harrison composition "I Me Mine".
On 12 February, McCartney took his Studer tapes to Morgan Studios, in the north-west London suburb of Willesden, where he copied the four-track recordings onto eight-track tape, to allow for further overdubbing. These recordings included "Junk" and "Teddy Boy", two songs he had begun writing during the Beatles' 1968 visit to India and had rehearsed with the band in January 1969 for their abandoned Get Back film project. Later in February 1970, McCartney moved to the more familiar Abbey Road Studios. There, he carried out further mixing on the previously recorded material and, on 22 February, recorded "Every Night" – another track rehearsed during the Get Back sessions – and "Maybe I'm Amazed". Wishing to maintain secrecy about his forthcoming solo album, McCartney booked the studio time at Morgan and Abbey Road under the pseudonym "Billy Martin".[nb 1]
McCartney played all the musical instruments on the album – from electric and acoustic guitars and bass to keyboards, drums and various percussion instruments – with Linda supplying backing vocals on a number of songs. She also contributed the breathing and animal-like sounds, with McCartney, on the album-closing instrumental, "Kreen-Akrore", one of the collection's forays into experimental music. With this homemade approach to recording, McCartney eschewed the musical sophistication that had distinguished the Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road and instead returned to the "as nature intended" ethos of Get Back. On 23 March, while American producer Phil Spector began mixing the Get Back tapes for release as the Beatles' Let It Be album, in Abbey Road's Studio 4, McCartney completed work on his eponymous album in Studio 2. The most notable song on McCartney is "Maybe I'm Amazed", one of its composer's many love songs to his first wife. McCartney has said that Linda was instrumental in bolstering his spirits and confidence during the making of McCartney. Upon completing the album, McCartney suggested: "Maybe John was right. Maybe the Beatles were crap. The sooner I get this album out and get it over with the better."
Apple Records' scheduling conflict
McCartney had privately agreed a mid-April release date with Apple Records executive Neil Aspinall, one of the few people associated with the Beatles who was aware of the project. Its late addition to Apple's schedule clashed with the imminent release of the long-delayed Let It Be album and film and of Starr's solo debut, Sentimental Journey. On 25 March, after discovering that Allen Klein, the manager appointed by Lennon, Harrison and Starr to run Apple, had already arranged to have the release of McCartney postponed, McCartney received an assurance from Harrison, as a director of Apple Records, that his solo album would be issued without delay. Harrison and Lennon then reviewed the situation and, on 31 March, they wrote to McCartney to say that they had instructed EMI, Apple's parent label, to postpone his album until 4 June, explaining the need to stagger the various new releases, particularly in America, where the Hey Jude compilation had been issued the month before. Rather than have a member of staff deliver the letter to McCartney, Starr decided to take it to him personally.
McCartney later described the tone of Starr's message as "the party line", to which he reacted badly: "I told [Starr] to get out. I had to do something like that in order to assert myself because I was just sinking. I was getting pummeled about the head, in my mind anyway."[nb 2] According to Starr, McCartney "went crazy", threatening: "I'll finish you now. You'll pay!" Although the other Beatles backed down over the release of McCartney, the confrontation initiated what Rodriguez terms "a three-against-one war" within the band.
Album artwork and promotional package
The design concept for the album's gatefold cover was McCartney's, with artist Gordon House and designer Roger Huggett hired to "bring Paul's concept to life", author Bruce Spizer writes. Photos by Linda McCartney featured throughout the packaging, including a collage of 21 family snapshots in the gatefold's inner spread, variously depicting Paul, Linda, seven-year-old Heather (Eastman's daughter by her first marriage), newborn Mary, and the McCartneys' sheepdog, Martha. Set against a black background, the front cover image consisted of a bowl of cherry-red liquid placed on a cream-coloured counter and surrounded by loose red cherries, as if the fruit had been emptied from the bowl. On the back cover, a photo taken by Linda in Scotland – described by Beatles biographers Chip Madinger and Mark Easter as a "stunning picture" – showed her husband with Mary tucked inside his fur-lined leather jacket.
On 9 April, McCartney released a Q&A package to the British press, in which he explained his reasons for making the album and described its overall theme as "Home, Family, Love". Compiled with the help of Apple executives Derek Taylor and Peter Brown, the self-interview also contained questions McCartney imagined he would be asked regarding the possibility of the Beatles splitting up. While stopping short of saying that the band was finished, McCartney stated that he did not know whether his "break with the Beatles" would be temporary or permanent. That same day, McCartney called Lennon, who was undergoing primal scream therapy at the time, to tell him that his album was coming out, but he made no mention of leaving the Beatles. Author Peter Doggett suggests that McCartney's intention was not necessarily to break up the band, and cites Beatles confidant Ray Connolly's recollection that McCartney was "devastated" by the press' interpretation of his self-interview. After its original publication in the Daily Mirror on 10 April, author Mark Hertsgaard writes that "newspaper headlines around the world reduced the story to screaming variations of PAUL BREAKS UP THE BEATLES".
Release and reception
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Pitchfork Media (reissue)||(7.9/10) |
McCartney was released in Britain on 17 April 1970 (as Apple PCS 7102), and three days later in America (Apple STAO 3363). Although McCartney's standing among Beatles fans had plummeted as a result of his announcement, news of the band's break-up ensured that the album was highly publicised. Adding to this exposure in the US, McCartney commissioned a second set of print advertisements for the album, to counter what Doggett describes as Klein's "incendiary statement of fact" in the official advertisements, that Apple was "an ABKCO-managed company". In the UK, McCartney debuted at number 2, where it remained for three weeks behind the best-selling album of 1970, Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. By 15 May, McCartney had sold over 1 million copies in the US, and from 23 May, began a three-week stay at number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, eventually going double platinum. Despite "Maybe I'm Amazed" receiving considerable airplay on US radio, McCartney refused to issue it or any other song from the album as a single.[nb 3]
On release, McCartney was widely criticised for its "homespun" approach and "half-written" songs. Madinger and Easter write that the "general sentiment" among music critics was "something to the effect of '[McCartney] broke up the Beatles for this?!'" Richard Williams of Melody Maker suggested that "With this record, his debt to [Beatles producer] George Martin becomes increasingly clear"; the reviewer found "sheer banality" in all the tracks save for "Maybe I'm Amazed". Shortly after the album's release, Harrison described the same song and "That Would Be Something" as "great", but the rest, he said, "just don't do anything for me". Harrison added that, unlike himself, Lennon and Starr, McCartney was probably too "isolated" from other musicians: "The only person he's got to tell him if the song's good or bad is Linda." Lennon stated in his December 1970 interview with Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner that, given McCartney's penchant for demanding perfectionism in the studio from his fellow Beatles, he was surprised at the lack of quality in the album; Lennon also made several remarks comparing McCartney negatively to his own solo album debut, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
In 1999, Neil Young inducted McCartney into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and praised McCartney in particular, saying, "I loved that record because it was so simple. And there was so much to see and to hear. It was just Paul. There was no adornment at all. There was no echo. There was nothing. There was no attempt made to compete with the things he had already done. And so out he stepped from the shadow of the Beatles. And it kind of blew my mind. And I said, well maybe I could do this too. So I made a simple record that didn’t have any echo on it."
When a new remastered version was released on 13 June 2011 as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, the album re-entered the charts in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Japan.
All songs written by Paul McCartney.
- Side one
- "The Lovely Linda" – 0:45
- "That Would Be Something" – 2:41
- "Valentine Day" – 1:43
- "Every Night" – 2:35
- "Hot as Sun/Glasses" – 2:09
- "Junk" – 1:56
- "Man We Was Lonely" – 3:00
- Side two
- "Oo You" – 2:50
- "Momma Miss America" – 4:07
- "Teddy Boy" – 2:24
- "Singalong Junk" – 1:56
- "Maybe I'm Amazed" – 3:52
- "Kreen-Akrore" – 4:15
On 13 June 2011, McCartney and McCartney II were reissued at the same time, in the UK (they were released on 14 June in the US), by Hear Music/Concord Music Group as part of The Paul McCartney Archive Collection.
It was released in multiple formats:
- Standard edition 1-CD; the original 13-track album
- Special edition 2-CD; the original 13-track album on the first disc, plus seven bonus tracks on a second disc
- Deluxe Edition 2-CD/1-DVD; the original 13-track album, the bonus tracks disc, a 128-page hardcover book with never-before-published photos and all-new liner notes
- Remastered vinyl 2-LP version containing of the special edition and a download link to the material
- Disc 1 – The original album
The original 13-track album.
- Disc 2 – Bonus tracks
- All tracks are previously unreleased
- "Suicide" (Out-take) – 2:48
- "Maybe I'm Amazed" (From One Hand Clapping) – 4:53
- "Every Night" (Live at Glasgow, 1979) – 4:30
- "Hot as Sun" (Live at Glasgow, 1979) – 2:27
- "Maybe I'm Amazed" (Live at Glasgow, 17 December 1979) – 5:11
- "Don't Cry Baby" (Out-take) – 3:07
- "Women Kind" (Demo) (Mono) – 2:09
- Disc 3 – DVD
- "The Album Story"
- "The Beach"
- "Maybe I'm Amazed" (Music video)
- "Suicide" (From One Hand Clapping)
- "Every Night" (Live at the Concert for the People of Kampuchea, 1979)
- "Hot as Sun" (Live at the Concert for the People of Kampuchea, 1979)
- "Junk" (MTV Unplugged)
- "That Would Be Something" (MTV Unplugged)
- Paul McCartney – bass guitar, drums, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, piano, mellotron, organ, toy xylophone, lead vocals
- Linda McCartney – harmony and backing vocals
Chart positions (reissue)
- Linda McCartney, a New Yorker, was the one who made the actual bookings, choosing to use the name of Major League Baseball star Billy Martin, who played with the New York Yankees for much of the 1950s and later managed the team.
- After learning of Klein's attempts to delay his solo album, McCartney had instructed Linda's brother, New York lawyer John Eastman, to retrieve the master tape, after which McCartney threatened Apple's US distributor, Capitol Records, that he would release it with a different record company unless they issued the album straight away.
- Incorporating still photographs taken by Linda, a 35mm promotional film for "Maybe I'm Amazed" aired on The Ed Sullivan Show and other US entertainment shows.
- Doggett, pp 101–03.
- Spizer, p. 116.
- Rodriguez, p. 1.
- Schaffner, p. 127.
- Miles, pp 357, 358.
- Sounes, pp 263–64.
- Sounes, p. 264.
- Madinger & Easter, p. 154.
- Spizer, p. 117.
- Madinger & Easter, p. 155.
- Doggett, p. 112.
- MacDonald, p. 322.
- Miles, p. 369.
- Spizer, p. 118.
- Miles, p. 370.
- Sulpy & Schweighardt, pp 210, 245.
- Madinger & Easter, pp 155, 156.
- Miles, pp 369, 370.
- Castleman & Podrazik, pp 186–88.
- Madinger & Easter, p. 156.
- Schaffner, p. 135.
- Rodriguez, p. 2.
- Miles, p. 372.
- Carr & Tyler, p. 90.
- Paul McCartney: McCartney (album) |The Beatles Bible
- Blake, p. 89.
- Doggett, pp 120–21.
- Rodriguez, p. 3.
- Blake, p. 104.
- Clayson, p. 206.
- Sounes, p. 265.
- Doggett, p. 122.
- Spizer, pp 118, 120.
- Sounes, p. 266.
- Badman, p. 3.
- Sounes, pp 265–66.
- Doggett, p. 128.
- Doggett, pp 126, 128.
- Badman, p. 4.
- Hertsgaard, p. 279.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Paul McCartney: McCartney > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
- Christgau, Robert (28 May 1970). "Consumer Guide (10)". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Winner, Langdon. "Review: McCartney". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
- "Paul McCartney: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- Paul McCartney: McCartney / McCartney II | Album Reviews | Pitchfork
- Graff & Durcholz, p. 730.
- Castleman & Podrazik, p. 88.
- Woffinden, p. 33.
- Spizer, pp 117, 118.
- Doggett, p. 137.
- Badman, p. 8.
- Badman, p. 5.
- Sounes, pp 271−72.
- 27 April 2011: McCartney and McCartney II reissue details announced |The Beatles Bible
- "Paul McCartney - McCartney (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Paul McCartney - McCartney (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Paul McCartney - McCartney (Vinyl, LP, Album, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "dutchcharts.nl Paul McCartney - McCartney". dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- InfoDisc : Tout les Titres par Artiste
- "Paul McCartney Japanese Album Chart listings". Original Confidence. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- a-ビートルズ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" (in Japanese). 30 December 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "norwegiancharts.com Paul McCartney - McCartney". VG-lista. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- "Chart Stats Paul McCartney And Wings - Band On The Run". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- Allmusic - Charts & Awards
- "Paul McCartney - Chart trajectories on the US Billboard 200". October 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "The Official UK Charts Company: ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
- "Billboard.BIZ - TOP POP ALBUMS OF 1970|". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- ポール・マッカートニー-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of McCartney (2011 reissues) by Paul McCartney". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "spanishcharts.com - Paul McCartney - McCartney". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- Chart Log UK - New Entries Update 25.06.2011 (week 24)
- "lescharts.com Paul McCartney - McCartney". lescharts.com. SNEP. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- RIAA - Gold & Platinum "(Searching results by albums entitled "Band on the Run")". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
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23 May – 12 June 1970
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