21st Century Paul McCartney Singles: His Best Work?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by omikron, Dec 26, 2022.

  1. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Lexington, KY
    I've pondered this for some time but I can't personally find any reason beyond personal opinion to refute the thinking ...

    “Fine Line” (from Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, 2005)
    “Ever Present Past” (from Memory Almost Full, 2007)
    “I Don’t Know” (from Egypt Station, 2018)
    “Find My Way” (from McCartney III, 2020)

    This quartet of 21st century Paul McCartney singles is an incredibly powerful set of songs and they rival his '70s work.

    As a collective batch, there is no collection of '80s or '90s singles that can beat these four. Obviously “I Don’t Know” is the odd duck here but it is an incredibly emotive song that arguably has no peer in Paul’s discography. The other three are pinnacle examples of the pop form. They are darn near perfect and manage to encapsulate the best of Paul in just a few minutes each.

    In my mind there are few 70’s Paul songs that can touch these. “Maybe I’m Amazed”, ‘Uncle Albert’, singles from Band On The Run and perhaps “Goodnight Tonight” might be the only songs that beat out this 21C batch.

    Paul's last 20 years have been an amazing creative resurgence that very few artists in the history of the world get to enjoy. Arguing this on an album scale is tentative but argue this on a singles scale and it becomes much more cut and dry if you take the cream of the crop.

    What are your thoughts?

    Singles only. Don't bring albums into this.
  2. Old Fred

    Old Fred Forum Resident

  3. terrapinstation

    terrapinstation They call him lysosome ‘cause he runs so fast…

    United States
    “I Don’t Know” is fine, certainly not some of his best work. Same for “Ever Present Past”, a good song but I’d hesitate to give it that amount of praise. Can’t get into “Find My Way” or most of McCartney III, sadly.

    That being said, I love Chaos and Creation and would agree that “Fine Line” is one of his best songs.
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  4. bRETT

    bRETT Senior Member

    Boston MA
    My two favorite latter day singles are Queenie Eye and In a Hurry. Both absolutely masterful in terms of power-pop tunesmithing, and wonderfully uplifting to boot.
  5. noname74

    noname74 Allegedly Canadian

    Who’s going to say “Fuh You”?
  6. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    For me, 2013's New is my favourite 21st century Macca album. So I will nominate Queenie Eye

  7. davenav

    davenav High Plains Grifter

    Louisville, KY USA
    The great modern-era singles number more than 4, imo.

    But, yeah, I Don’t Know is such an interesting tune. He’s more willing to show vulnerability these days, and that’s a good thing.
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  8. MPLRecords

    MPLRecords Owner of ten copies of Tug of War

    Rochester, NY
    For a guy who typically picks the most commercial songs for lead singles rather than the best ones (i.e., "Fine Line" versus (maybe) "Anyway"(?), or "Ever Present Past" versus "House of Wax"), I've gotta admire the guts to go with "I Don't Know" as a lead single choice. An unusually vulnerable, decidedly non-commercial and bold move — or, basically what he was trying to do with "From a Lover to a Friend", but with better execution.

    As for that quartet though, I don't think I'd necessarily pick those as his four best 21st century singles, and I'm not sure if what I would nominate as the four best would be better or worse than the other decades. Lots to ponder there.

    EDIT: Off of the top of my head (so probably wrong), I'd throw these four up as the best of the 21st century singles:
    "Tropic Island Hum" (if we want to be pedantic about recording, replace it with "Dance Tonight")
    "(I Want To) Come Home"
    "Queenie Eye"
    "Home Tonight" c/w "In a Hurry"

    But I'm still not sure if these would beat the best four of the 70s, 80s, or 90s.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2022

    TDSOTM Forum Resident

    You could actually say it's the other way around. I mean, New and Queenie Eye are IMO not the best songs from that album. And MCIII has at least a few songs as good as, or almost as good as, Find My Way (Women and Wives would be a good example).
  10. Rapol93

    Rapol93 Well-Known Member

    My fave one is I want to come home, such a beautiful tune
  11. Chief

    Chief Over 11,000 Served

    The thing with Paul’s 70’s singles is that he had the perfect combination of craft, artistry, and commercial instinct. And even the lesser singles were still placing in the top 40. None of that is to suggest that his more recent work isn’t really good, but those seventies singles are really on another level for almost any artist.

    My Love
    Live And Let Die
    Band On The Run
    Junior’s Farm
    Listen To What The Man Said
    Silly Love Songs
    Let ‘Em In
    With A Little Luck
    Goodnight Tonight
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  12. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Jenny Wren is very good, sounds Radiohead-ish which is not surprising considering who produced it
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  13. WestAussie85

    WestAussie85 Forum Resident

    Appreciate might be my favourite. Was that a single? House of Wax is an epic up there with what he was doing around RAM. Paul continues to write and release many fine songs. Women and wives is a very powerful song maybe one of his strongest in some time.
  14. fallbreaks

    fallbreaks Forum Resident

    Fireman’s Sing the Changes should count here too, since it made it into the Pure McCartney and Singles compilations. I always liked that one.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2022
  15. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    You are.
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  16. Emil Zatopek

    Emil Zatopek Forum Resident

    Almost there
    If he had recorded and released these songs in the 70s, with his band and young voice... instead of releasing "Jet", "Silly Love Songs", "Mull of Kintyre" and "My Love"...

    He would have sold way less singles in the 70s.
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  17. lavalamp3

    lavalamp3 Forum Resident

    Yes, I really like all four of those:

    There’s a great McCartney singles album to be compiled from his work in the 2000’s, isn’t there?

    Ever Present Past
    Queenie Eye,
    I Don’t Know
    Dance Tonight
    Fine Line
    In A Hurry
    Jenny Wren
    Find My Way
    I Wanna Come Home
    Come On To Me
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  18. davenav

    davenav High Plains Grifter

    Louisville, KY USA
    That’s not the premise of this thread, though. His 2000- and on output was only only compared to his ‘80’s & ‘90’s work in the OP.

    Comparing his, or anybody’s, work to his ‘70’s work is not what the discussion is about. At least that’s my take on it.
  19. TDSOTM

    TDSOTM Forum Resident

    Huh? It sounds like Blackbird and a bit like Bluebird and Heart of the Country. Paul's vocals sound a little bit like Thom Yorke's, I'll give you that.
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  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    No, those aren't his best work.
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  21. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Lexington, KY
    Gosh darn it, "Loving Flame" from Driving Rain needs to be on this list. That song is killer.
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  22. Rocco

    Rocco Can You Take Me Back

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  23. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana jazz vinyl addict

    SE USA
    I can’t get past the horrible sound quality of all but the first one. To each their own. Paul needs to get beck to decent sound.
  24. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    I can't say just yet - I've made a playlist of the singles box and then grouped them by the dozen to create some 12-song compilations like 70-72, 80-83, etc. but they include b-sides. I think the songs you list are great ones - I felt "Ever Present Past" had so many hooks in every section that it felt like 70s prime McCartney. Not sure about "Find My Way" - it's also my fave from MacIII but it wasn't a lead single so it wasn't as obviously better than the other album tracks according to Paul. "Fine Line" and "I Don't Know" could compete.
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  25. Jack White

    Jack White Senior Member

    Was the definition of '21st Century' changed when I wasn't paying attention?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
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