Paul McCartney has been making music for over 60 years now, and he shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, McCartney III is scheduled to come out two weeks from today. Haven’t decided whether or not to buy it, but since I already have McCartney and McCartney II, chances are good that I will. He’s really done a lot in his career, and trying to keep the number of songs to just five meant skipping over significant achievements. So, I chose five songs that I liked, from different points in his career.
- The Beatles, "Blackbird": There are many songs I could have chosen to represent Paul’s work with The Beatles: "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," "Penny Lane," "Got To Get You Into My Life," etc. I chose "Blackbird" because it’s become a sort of standard among fingerstyle guitar players, even though, by his own admission, he doesn’t play fingerstyle guitar. This was on Side 2 of The Beatles, better known as the "white album."
- Paul McCartney, "Every Night": Paul’s 1970 solo album McCartney was effectively his "handing in his notice" to John, George, and Ringo. He played all the instruments on the songs and did the bulk of the singing, with Linda helping with harmony vocals. The result was an uneven project, with several great songs, including "Every Night" and "Maybe I’m Amazed."
- Paul McCartney and Wings, "Silly Love Songs": Paul and Linda McCartney formed Wings with guitarist Denny Laine in 1971. As a band, they went through three lead guitarists and four drummers, recorded seven albums and did five world tours before disbanding in 1981. "Silly Love Songs" was directed at John Lennon, who complained that Paul was doing nothing but creating silly love songs. It appeared on their 1976 album Wings At The Speed Of Sound. The song reached #1 in the US and Canada and #2 in the UK and finished the year atop the Hot 100 for the year.
- Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, "Ebony And Ivory": Paul and Stevie recorded this as part of Paul’s 1982 album Tug Of War. The critics panned it for its "sentimental and simplistic message," but it reached #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK, was a Top Five hit in most of the rest of the world, finished the year at #4 on the year-end Hot 100, and is #76 on Billboard‘s all-time Hot 100.
- Rihanna with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, "FourFiveseconds": I saw this and didn’t know what to think, but after hearing it decided it had to be on this list. Paul and Kanye wrote it with Mike Dean, Dave Longstreth, and Noah Goldstein. Kanye premiered it at the iHeart Media Music Summit on 2015. It became a #4 hit for Rihanna and exposed Paul to a whole new audience.
Paul McCartney, your Five For Friday, December 4, 2020.