Working Classical

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Working Classical
Studio album by
Paul McCartney with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Loma Mar Quartet
Released1 November 1999
RecordedMid 1999
LabelEMI Classics
ProducerJohn Fraser
Paul McCartney chronology
Run Devil Run
Working Classical
Liverpool Sound Collage
Paul McCartney classical album chronology
Standing Stone
Working Classical
Ecce Cor Meum
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars [1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]

Working Classical is Paul McCartney's third full-length release of original classical music as a double LP and as a single CD, and was issued less than a month after Run Devil Run's release in 1999.

Background and recording[edit]

Following up on 1997's Standing Stone, the concept behind Working Classical was to place pre-existing (and in some cases, very well known) McCartney songs into an orchestral context. Specially for this project, McCartney also unveiled some new pieces, namely "Haymakers", "Midwife", "Spiral" and "Tuesday". A different performance of "A Leaf" was originally released on 21 April 1995 on a CD single, and is presented here in a new recording.

Performing the new arrangements are the London Symphony Orchestra and the Loma Mar Quartet, with special orchestrations arranged by noted musicians Richard Rodney Bennett, Jonathan Tunick and Andy Stein.[3]

Album title[edit]

The title of this project is a pun on the phrase "working class", in the sense that McCartney, despite his elevated stature, still cherishes his Liverpool roots and is proud of them. Mirroring this ideology is his pride in his rock and roll songs and willingness to transfer them into the "elevated" classical music genre.

Release and reception[edit]

Paul McCartney's Working Classical was another success in that genre, even though this time it failed to dent the regular US album charts, and was better received critically than his previous effort, Standing Stone. His subsequent forays into the classical realm are 2006's Ecce Cor Meum and 2011's Ocean's Kingdom.

Track listing[edit]

All pieces by Paul McCartney.

  1. "Junk" – 2:49
    • Originally introduced on McCartney's 1970 debut solo album McCartney
  2. "A Leaf" – 11:08
    • Originally premiered as a CD Single in an alternate performance in 1995
  3. "Haymakers" – 3:33
  4. "Midwife" – 3:33
  5. "Spiral" – 10:02
  6. "Warm and Beautiful" – 2:31
  7. "My Love" – 3:48
  8. "Maybe I'm Amazed" – 2:04
    • Originally introduced on McCartney's 1970 debut album McCartney
  9. "Calico Skies" – 1:52
    • Originally introduced on McCartney's 1997 album Flaming Pie
  10. "Golden Earth Girl" – 1:57
  11. "Somedays" – 3:05
    • Originally introduced on McCartney's 1997 album Flaming Pie
  12. "Tuesday" – 12:26
  13. "She's My Baby" – 1:47
    • Originally introduced on Wings' 1976 album Wings at the Speed of Sound
  14. "The Lovely Linda" – 0:54
    • Originally introduced on McCartney's 1970 debut album McCartney


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Working Classical at AllMusic
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  3. ^ Working Classical album notes