Paul McCartney Album by Album Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by beatlesfan9091, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seems like there was one of these about 12 years ago, so given that Paul has released quite a bit of material since then, and because of all the new members (including me) that have joined this forum since then, I figure it's time for an album-by-album thread for Paul McCartney. I'm anticipating a week for his main albums (studio and live), as well as Rushes and Electric Arguments (because the former seems to have quite a lot of fans and the latter is basically one of his main albums) and maybe a day or two (and quite possibly less) for more eclectic stuff like The Family Way, Thrillington, his classical work, Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest, Liverpool Sound Collage, etc.

    Non-album singles will just be included with the album they're commonly associated with (e.g., Hi Hi Hi/C Moon with Red Rose Speedway). To avoid redundancy, singles where both tracks are also on the album will be ignored, unless there is a special single mix for one or both of the tracks.
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  2. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    And with that, let's get started:

    The Family Way (soundtrack)

    The Family Way is a soundtrack recording composed by Paul McCartney, released in January 1967. The album is the soundtrack to the 1966 film of the same name, directed by Roy Boulting and starring Hayley Mills. Produced and arranged by George Martin, the album was credited to "The George Martin Orchestra" and issued under the full title The Family Way (Original Soundtrack Album).[2][3]A 45rpm single, again credited to the George Martin Orchestra, was issued on 23 December 1966, comprising "Love in the Open Air" backed with "Theme from 'The Family Way'", as United Artists UP1165.[4]

    The Family Way won an Ivor Novello Award in 1967. It was remastered and released on CD in 1996 with new musical compositions not on the original 1967 soundtrack album.

    Composition and Recording
    McCartney and Martin began collaborating on the project in November 1966, shortly before the Beatles started work on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[5] McCartney's contribution to the project was minimal, according to authors Howard Sounes and Steve Turner.[6][7] McCartney composed a brief piano piece, which Martin then interpreted into several variations and arrangements, sufficient to produce 24 minutes of music.[7] At McCartney's suggestion, one of the versions featured a brass band arrangement, anticipating his production of the Black Dyke Mills Band's instrumental "Thingumybob" in 1968.[8] Turner writes that, given the film's setting in Northern England, the use of a brass band in the Family Way soundtrack might have been part of McCartney's inspiration for the fictitious Sgt. Pepper band, which McCartney termed "a bit of a brass band, in a way".[9]

    A second composition was required for a pivotal love scene in the film.[7] Quoting Martin's recollection, Sounes says that he had to "pester Paul for the briefest scrap of a tune" for this piece.[6] Martin recalled that only after he had threatened to write the theme himself did McCartney comply, and that it was created on the spot at McCartney's home in St John's Wood, as Martin stood over McCartney at his piano.[10] Titled "Love in the Open Air", the piece was "a sweet little fragment of a waltz tune", according to Martin.[8]

    McCartney, who had initially been enthusiastic about the project, likened his subsequent lack of productivity to a type of writer's block.[11] As a result of the delay, recording for the score did not begin until 15 December.[11] The sessions took place over three days at CTS Studios in London.[12] Members of the George Martin Orchestra included violinists Neville Marriner and Raymond Keenlyside, viola player John Underwood and cellist Joy Hall.[12] Aside from the brass band, other musicians contributed on church organ and tuba.[8]

    Although The Family Way was released in January 1967, most commentators consider George Harrison's Wonderwall Music (1968), also a film soundtrack, to be the first solo album by a member of the Beatles. Unlike with McCartney's film score, Harrison directed and produced the recordings for Wonderwall Music, in addition to playing on some of the album.[13]
  3. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Paul's solo career doesn't really properly start until the McCartney album, but I figured I'd start with The Family Way just in case anyone wants to discuss it. I'm actually listening to it for the first time due to this thread, and the main impression I'm getting is how un-McCartney it is. There's nothing in it to indicate that it wasn't written by some anonymous composer. For whatever reason, Paul's natural gift for melody doesn't seem to translate well into classical work.

    Based off the Wikipedia article above, I get the impression that the work for this project was really only 30% Paul, with the other 70% being done by George Martin.
  4. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It'll be a few weeks until we get there, but do you guys think we should discuss Wings Over Europe in between Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, or after Egypt Station?
  5. MySweetFork

    MySweetFork Forum Resident

    I think it should be completely chronological in terms of it's recording date, so I would say in between WL and RRS.
  6. paulmccartneyistheman

    paulmccartneyistheman Forum Resident

    Not really my thing, but the Family Way soundtrack released within the Beatles years is impressive.
  7. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Feel free to continue discussing The Family Way, but I'm just going to go ahead and post McCartney since I imagine few of us have listened to The Family Way more than once (or at all).
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  8. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    McCartney (album)

    Side one

    1. "The Lovely Linda" – 0:43
    2. "That Would Be Something" – 2:38
    3. "Valentine Day" – 1:39
    4. "Every Night" – 2:31
    5. "Hot as Sun/Glasses" – 2:05
    6. "Junk" – 1:54
    7. "Man We Was Lonely" – 2:56
    Side two

    1. "Oo You" – 2:48
    2. "Momma Miss America" – 4:04
    3. "Teddy Boy" – 2:22
    4. "Singalong Junk" – 2:34
    5. "Maybe I'm Amazed" – 3:53
    6. "Kreen-Akrore" – 4:15

    Bonus Tracks on the 2011 Paul McCartney Archive Collection Remaster
    1. "Suicide" (Out-take) – 2:48
    2. "Maybe I'm Amazed" (From One Hand Clapping, 1974) – 4:53
    3. "Every Night" (Live at Glasgow, 1979) – 4:30
      • Performed by Paul McCartney and Wings
    4. "Hot as Sun" (Live at Glasgow, 1979) – 2:27
      • Performed by Paul McCartney and Wings
    5. "Maybe I'm Amazed" (Live at Glasgow, 17 December 1979) – 5:11
      • Performed by Paul McCartney and Wings
    6. "Don't Cry Baby" (Out-take) – 3:07
    7. "Women Kind" (Demo) (Mono) – 2:09

    McCartney is the debut solo album by English rock musician Paul McCartney. It was issued on Apple Records in April 1970 after McCartney had resisted attempts by his Beatles bandmates to have the release delayed to allow for Apple's previously scheduled titles, notably the band's Let It Be album. McCartney recorded his 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 promotional copies of McCartney, led to the announcement of the group's break-up on 10 April 1970.

    McCartney recorded the album in secrecy, mostly using basic home-recording equipment set up at his house in St John's Wood. Mixing and some later recording took place at professional studios in London, which McCartney booked under an alias to maintain anonymity. Apart from occasional contributions by his wife, Linda, he performed the entire album by himself, playing every instrument via overdubbing on four-track tape. In its preference for loosely arranged performance over polished production, McCartney eschewed the sophistication of the Beatles' work with George Martin in favour of a back-to-basics style that partly suggested McCartney's original concept for the Beatles' Let It Be project (then titled Get Back) in 1969.

    On release, the album received an unfavourable response from the majority of music critics, partly as a result of McCartney's role in officially ending the Beatles' career. Many reviewers criticised the inclusion of half-finished songs and McCartney's reliance on instrumental pieces, although the love song "Maybe I'm Amazed" was consistently singled out for praise. Commercially, McCartneybenefited from the publicity surrounding the break-up; it held the number 1 position for three weeks on the US chart compiled by Billboard magazine and peaked at number 2 in Britain. In June 2011, the album was reissued as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection.
  9. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Forum Resident

    I'm a big McCartney fan and have not heard The Family Way yet. Seems to have been quite a low key release in the UK ( I wasn't alive when it was released but have never seen a copy in the record stores) and difficult to get hold of. I notice the USA had a recent RSD release of it but it wasn't available in the UK.
  10. MySweetFork

    MySweetFork Forum Resident

    I may be the only one, but right now my favorite track on McCartney is the Hot as Sun part of Hot As Sun/Glasses.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Chronological mate
  12. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Some thoughts:

    • "The Lovely Linda" is really a perfect start to this album, and it helps to communicate a key message of Paul's at the time: that he's happier with Linda and the kids than he is with John, George, and Ringo.
    • I wrote this in another thread, explaining how I felt that the album cover of the McCartney album was Paul's way of saying "the dream is over."
    • Was Paul the first recording artist to use aerosol spray on a track (Oo You)? I'd say there's a very good chance he was the first and last.
  13. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    Never heard Family Way in full. It only has that 15 second melody by Paul and the whole score was fleshed out by George Martin.
    beatlesfan9091 likes this.
  14. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    This is my planned list of albums to discuss. There are also a /few/ non-album singles that don't seem to be associated with any particular album, mainly "Vanilla Sky," "(I Want To) Come Home," and "Hope for the Future."

    Let me know if there any obscure Paul releases I've left out. I think I've got everything covered but I'd just like to be sure:

    The Family Way



    Wild Life

    Wings Over Europe

    Red Rose Speedway

    Band On The Run

    Venus and Mars

    Wings at the Speed of Sound

    Wings Over America


    London Town

    Wings Greatest

    Back to the Egg

    McCartney II

    Tug of War

    Pipes of Peace

    Give My Regards to Broad Street

    Press to Play

    All The Best!

    Choba B CCCP

    Flowers in the Dirt

    Tripping the Live Fantastic

    Unplugged: The Official Bootleg

    Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratio

    Off the Ground

    Paul is Live

    Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest

    Flaming Pie

    Standing Stone


    Run Devil Run

    Working Classical

    Liverpool Sound Collage


    Driving Rain

    Back in the U.S/Back in the World

    Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

    Ecce Cor Meum

    Memory Almost Full (include Live at Los Angeles/Amoeba’s Secret with this)

    Electric Arguments

    Good Evening New York City

    Live in Los Angeles

    Ocean’s Kingdom

    Kisses On The Bottom


    Pure McCartney

    Egypt Station
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  15. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Family way - meh
    McCartney - one fabulous song a few fairly light weight but enjoyable ones - and some pretty obvious filler. As if he was still used to having to write only half an album at a time.
  16. Prudence1964

    Prudence1964 Forum Resident

    Upstate NY
    I've never listened to Family Way.

    I love McCartney. Has one of my all time favorite songs in Maybe I'm Amazed but also one of my least favorites in Teddy Boy.

    My other favorites on this album are Every Night, Junk, and That would be Something.

    I know not a lot of people like Keren Akrore, but I find the panting to be sexy as hell.

    I find Paul to be sexy as hell during this period. Must be the beard.
  17. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I don't mind stuff like Kreen-Akrore (or Revolution 9) in the wider context of the album its on, but I don't think I'd ever want to listen to a full album of stuff like that (I'm not looking forward to listening to Liverpool Sound Collage when we get to that).
  18. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here's the press release that was included with the album:

    Q: "Why did you decide to make a solo album?"

    PAUL: "Because I got a Studer four-track recording machine at home - practiced on it (playing all instruments) - liked the results, and decided to make it into an album."

    Q: "Were you influenced by John's adventures with the Plastic Ono Band, and Ringo's solo LP?"

    PAUL: "Sort of, but not really."

    Q: "Are all songs by Paul McCartney alone?"

    PAUL: "Yes sir."

    Q: "Will they be so credited: McCartney?"

    PAUL: "It's a bit daft for them to be Lennon/McCartney credited, so 'McCartney' it is."

    Q: "Did you enjoy working as a solo?"

    PAUL: "Very much. I only had me to ask for a decision, and I agreed with me. Remember Linda's on it too, so it's really a double act."

    Q: "What is Linda's contribution?"

    PAUL: "Strictly speaking she harmonizes, but of course it's more than that because she's a shoulder to lean on, a second opinion, and a photographer of renown. More than all this, she believes in me - constantly."

    Q: "Where was the album recorded?"

    PAUL: "At home, at EMI (no. 2 studio) and at Morgan Studios (WILLESDEN!)"

    Q: "What is your home equipment (in some detail)?"

    PAUL: "Studer four-track machine. I only had, however, one mike, and as Mr. Pender, Mr. Sweatenham and others only managed to take 6 months or so (slight delay) I worked without VU meters or a mixer, which meant that everything had to be listened to first (for distortion etc...) then recorded. So the answer - Studer, one mike, and nerve."

    Q: "Why did you choose to work in the studios you chose?"

    PAUL: "They were available. EMI is technically very good and Morgan is cozy."

    Q: "The album was not known about until it was nearly completed. Was this deliberate?"

    PAUL: "Yes, because normally an album is old before it even comes out. (A side) Witness 'Get Back.'"

    Q: "Why?"

    PAUL: "I've always wanted to buy a Beatles album like people do and be as surprised as they must be. So this was the next best thing. Linda and I are the only two who will be sick of it by the release date. We love it really."

    Q: "Are you able to describe the texture or the feel of the album in a few words?"

    PAUL: "Home, family, love."

    Q: "How long did it take to complete?"

    PAUL: "From just before (I think) Xmas, until now. 'The Lovely Linda' was the first thing I recorded at home, and was originally to test the equipment. That was around Xmas."

    Q: "Assuming all the songs are new to the public, how new are they to you? Are they recent"

    PAUL: "One was from 1959 (Hot As Sun). Two are from India - 'Junk' and 'Teddy Boy,' and the rest are pretty recent. 'Valentine Day,' 'Momma Miss America' and 'Oo You' were ad-libbed on the spot."

    Q: "Which instruments have you played on the album?"

    PAUL: "Bass, drums, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, piano and organ-mellotron, toy xylophone, bow and arrow."

    Q: "Have you played all these instruments on earlier recordings?"

    PAUL: "Yes, drums being the one that I normally wouldn't do."

    Q: "Why did you do all the instruments yourself?"

    PAUL: "I think I'm pretty good."

    Q: "Will Linda be heard on all future records?"

    PAUL: "Could be. We love singing together and have plenty of opportunity for practice."

    Q: "Will Paul and Linda become a John and Yoko?"

    PAUL: "No, they will become Paul and Linda."

    Q: "What has recording alone taught you?"

    PAUL: "That to make your own decisions about what you do is easy, and playing with yourself is very difficult, but satisfying."

    Q: "Who has done the artwork?"

    PAUL: "Linda has taken all the photos, and she and I designed the package."

    Q: "Is it true that neither Allen Klein nor ABKCO have been nor will be in any way involved with the production, manufacturing, distribution or promotion of this new album?"

    PAUL: "Not if I can help it."

    Q: "Did you miss the other Beatles and George Martin? Was there a moment when you thought, 'I wish Ringo were here for this break?'"

    PAUL: "No."

    Q: "Assuming this is a very big hit album, will you do another?"

    PAUL: "Even if it isn't, I will continue to do what I want, when I want to."

    Q: "Are you planning a new album or single with the Beatles?"

    PAUL: "No."

    Q: "Is this album a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career?"

    PAUL: "Time will tell. Being a solo album means it's 'the start of a solo career...' and not being done with the Beatles means it's just a rest. So it's both."

    Q: "Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?"

    PAUL: "Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know."

    Q: "Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?"

    PAUL: "No."

    Q: "What do you feel about John's peace effort? The Plastic Ono Band? Giving back the MBE? Yoko's influence? Yoko?"

    PAUL: "I love John, and respect what he does - it doesn't really give me any pleasure."

    Q: "Were any of the songs on the album originally written with the Beatles in mind?"

    PAUL: "The older ones were. 'Junk' was intended for 'Abbey Road,' but something happened. 'Teddy Boy' was for 'Get Back,' but something happened."

    Q: "Were you pleased with 'Abbey Road'? Was it musically restricting?"

    PAUL: "It was a good album. (number one for a long time.)"

    Q: "What is your relationship with Klein?"

    PAUL: "It isn't. I am not in contact with him, and he does not represent me in ANY way."

    Q: "What is your relationship with Apple?"

    PAUL: "It is the office of a company which I part own with the other three Beatles. I don't go there because I don't like offices or business, especially when I am on holiday."

    Q: "Have you any plans to set up an independent production company?"

    PAUL: "McCartney Productions."

    Q: "What sort of music has influenced you on this album?"

    PAUL: "Light and loose."

    Q: "Are you writing more prolifically now? Or less so?"

    PAUL: "About the same. I have a queue waiting to be recorded."

    Q: "What are your plans now? A holiday? A musical? A movie? Retirement?"

    PAUL: "My only plan is to grow up!"
  19. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie


    I'm going to be frank with this, I think that if I was around in 1970, this album would not have hooked me on the first listen. If I listened to this and thought that Paul gave up the Beatles for this half-assed album, I think I would've been on Team Anti-Paul along with John, George, Ringo and the music critics of the time. Not that I don't like it or anything, it's just that I can understand why people would be frustrated that this is the album Paul puts out after announcing he's leaving the Beatles. Surely, this is a home/studio album and I think it aged a lot since it's release as more people came to understand how it fit in the grand scheme of things.

    Now where does this album stand for me? Well, I have to say with complete honest that this one of my least favorite Macca albums. And it's not because it's bad or anything IMO, it's just that I like the other albums Paul released afterwards. For example, Ram, Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway and Band On The Run. All of them have done more and have more meaningful songs to me than the McCartney album because of the experimental/instrumental/demos of songs and songs that will never have made it past the Beatles' standards don't really hold a candle to songs that followed.

    Now I will go through all of the songs and what I think about them.
    The Lovely Linda: Short, sweet, but that's about it. I understand it was supposed to be a demo with a full version fledged composition coming soon, but it still hasn't happened it. 9th favorite.
    That Would Be Something:
    More experimenting. Nothing much more than that to me. 11th favorite.
    Valentine Day:
    See "That Would Be Something" 12th favorite
    Every Night:
    The first complete song on the album, this one is a fun track and I enjoy seeing Paul do this one live. 2nd favorite.
    Hot As Sun/Glasses:
    My favorite from the instrumentals. This song is such a fun tune. One of the best melodies McCartney wrote before the Beatles! (Since it dates to the 50's). 4th favorite.
    Another song from the Beatle days, this one is a lot like the Esher Demo, and it truly fits with the album's underproduced/arranged feeling. Well done for me. 3rd favorite.
    Man We Was Lonely:
    I used to dislike this song a bit, but it's been growing on me. First duet with Linda. I always felt the line "Singing songs that I thought were mine alone" was a dig towards the sale of Northern Songs to ATV since now Paul owns none of the songs he written with the Beatles. 8th favorite.
    Oo You:
    More experimenting. I like it better with vocals than without. 10th favorite
    Momma Miss America:
    One of the best basslines on that album. Super fun instrumentals. Great guitarwork and piano playing too. 5th favorite.
    Teddy Boy: Still can't tell which version I like better of Teddy Boy, whether it's the Anthology 3 version or this one. I like Paul's single tracked vocal and John's rodeo calling, but the McCartney album version has a great bassline during the verses. Anyway, a good choice to record for the album. 7th favorite.
    Singalong Junk:
    Why keep this one when there's a much better version of Junk on the album? Least favorite.
    Maybe I'm Amazed:
    The big centerpiece for this album. This and "Every Night" might've been the only two Paul songs fit to the Beatles standard. Truly a beautiful song and I definitely consider it being the best song Paul ever wrote. There's so much emotion in the songwriting and it even reflected into the recording of the song. Paul knew not to simply leave this melody without words or leave it halfway finished. I hope Paul never stops doing this song live. Favorite song on the album.
    I quite like this experimental piece. Really reflects that picture of Paul with the face paint on. I like the guitarork and drumwork. 6th favorite.

    I hope to continue this type of framework review for the rest of the series. Let's bring on my first Paul album by album thread participation.
  20. angelees

    angelees Forum Resident

    Family Way - haven’t heard much of it yet

    McCartney - the thing that strikes me about this album is how it is just the easiest listen ever. This album is so breezy, relaxing, and flows so smoothly, it’s beautiful. It’s purposeful lightweight brilliance. Cool like water, pure and refreshing. He’s oozing that trademark mind numbing McCartney melodicism effortlessly.

    I love every track on the album, even the ones that are a bit daft like Oo You. And that particular lo fi vibe he achieves throughout is irreplicable and absolutely incredible.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    I don't dislike Mccartney, the album, i just think it is like an unfinished demo.
    Every night is magnificent.
    Maybe I'm amazed is magnificent. There are some good bits and pieces, but for the most part somewhat unsatisfying.
    I only got the album in recent times. Folks on here have raved about it and perhaps that taints my view. I certainly need to listen again.
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  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    I didn't even know Family Way existed until this thread.
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  23. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    For those of us who weren't around when this was released, it can be hard to see this album in its proper context. We know that Paul would go on to make much more "finished" (for lack of a better term) albums, but at the time, as far as anyone knew Paul McCartney's solo career would basically consist of a couple of great songs, a couple of okay songs, and a few tracks that would've been the first on the cutting room floor had he auditioned them for The Beatles. Compared to the absolutely incredible debuts by John and George, the anti-Paul feeling of the critics makes a bit more sense. Not saying that it was 100 percent justified, as it did in part seem to be less about the music and more about anger at Paul for breaking up the band. As far as actual listening pleasure goes, I like McCartney better than All Things Must Pass, but I like Plastic Ono Band better than both of them.
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  24. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

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  25. beatlesfan9091

    beatlesfan9091 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Track Ranking

    1. Maybe I'm Amazed
    2. Man We Was Lonely
    3. Every Night
    4. Junk
    5. Momma Miss America
    6. Hot As Sun/Glasses
    7. Oo You
    8. Teddy Boy
    9. That Would Be Something
    10. Valentine Day
    11. Kreen-Akrore
    12. The Lovely Linda
    13. Singalong Junk
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