30 essential tracks from Paul McCartney’s solo career

(Clockwise from bottom left) Paul McCartney performing in Rio on April 20, 1990 (Antonio Scorza/AFP via Getty Images), McCartney on stage with his wife Linda McCartney as Wings performs the last of three shows at London's Empire Pool in 1976 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images), McCartney on stage (Photo: MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: MJ Kim), McCartney in studio (Photo: Mary McCartney)

(Clockwise from bottom left) Paul McCartney performing in Rio on April 20, 1990 (Antonio Scorza/AFP via Getty Images), McCartney on stage with his wife Linda McCartney as Wings performs the last of three shows at London’s Empire Pool in 1976 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images), McCartney on stage (Photo: MPL Communications Ltd/ Photographer: MJ Kim), McCartney in studio (Photo: Mary McCartney)
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On Saturday, more than 50 years after his supposed death, Paul McCartney, still alive, will celebrate his 80th birthday. Few have cast a shadow over popular music as important as Sir Paul’s, and the Beatles have been ever more present in the public consciousness since the music of Peter Jackson. The Beatles: Come Back aired last year. One of the key takeaways from this documentary series was how songwriting seemed to come naturally to McCartney, with melodies and lyrics pouring out of him every time he sat down at the piano. Some people may have stopped paying attention to it after the Beatles broke up, but McCartney’s prodigious creativity never wavered.

The dominant narrative for many years was that John Lennon was the serious artist on the Beatles’ main songwriting team, and when Lennon wasn’t there to act as a foil, McCartney’s music became disposable fluff. . This narrative is, to put it bluntly, bullshit. McCartney’s solo work has undergone a well-deserved critical reassessment since the 90s, with once reviled albums like RAM and McCartney II now hailed as hidden gems and masterpieces ahead of their time. Today, on the eve of Macca’s 80th birthday, it’s time to recognize his genius with a list of 30 essential tracks from his solo career that showcase his breadth, melodic genius, sly humor and unerring humanity. under his songs.

For the purposes of this list, McCartney’s solo career includes things like RAM, which is credited to Paul and Linda McCartney, and outings with his post-Beatles band Wings. Not included, however, is McCartney’s classic work or the fireman, his experimental project with Youth. Obviously, these types of lists are subjective and intensely personal, and many of you will have trouble with this one. You might hate some of the songs that were picked, and you might like some that were left out. Its good. Feel free to voice your displeasure in the comments as you click through to check out Macca’s best bangers and ballads.