It was on the 10th of April 1970, that Paul McCartney announced his departure from The Beatles. A week later, he released his debut studio album McCartney. Since then, Paul McCartney has released another sixteen solo albums and seven albums with Wings. That is not forgetting eight live albums, various collaborations, a remix album and six classical albums. Many of these albums saw Paul McCartney’s music head in new, and unexpected directions.

Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles’ career has been the musical equivalent of magical mystery tour. He has released albums of pop and rock, through to classical music and even a soundtrack album. However, dig deeper into Paul McCartney’s back-catalogue and there’s albums of ambient techno, electronic music and jazz. Some of these albums have been released under aliases like Thrillington, The Fireman and Twin Freaks. These albums often feature ambitious and innovative music.

That isn’t surprising. Paul McCartney was never a musician who would rest on his laurels. He’s an innovator, and a musical chameleon who has always been determined to create ambitious and pioneering music. Sometimes he does this with a variety of collaborators from very different backgrounds. This includes the legionary  George Martin and  Youth of Killing Joke and The Orb. They have played an important part in ensuring Paul McCartney’s music remains relevant. Alas, not all of Paul McCartney’s projects have won over critics and cultural commentators.

That has been the case as far back as Wing, the group Paul McCartney formed in 1970 with his wife Linda, Denny Seiwell and Denny Laine. The newly formed Wings went on to release seven studio albums between 1971s Wild Life and 1979 Back To The Egg. Wings were always more popular in America, with four of their albums topping the US Billboard 200 and the rest reaching the top ten. This resulted in Wings selling over seven million copies in America alone. However, across the Atlantic in Britain, Wings neither received the credit nor recognition their music deserved. 

Partly, that was because of the inevitable comparison with The Beatles. This must have been hugely frustrating for Paul McCartney. Especially when deep down, he must have known that Wings would never come close to replicating the commercial success and critical acclaim The Beatles enjoyed. Nor could Paul McCartney hope that Wings would ,make the same cultural contribution of The Beatles had. Very few groups would ever come close to doing so. However, in 1970, Wings was the start of a new chapter in his life. All he could’ve hoped for was that each new album was judged on its merits. 

Alas, that never quite happened, and it’s only relatively recently that some of Wings’ albums have been reappraised and are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve. That is a familiar story with some of Paul McCartney’s other projects. When they were released, they seemed to have been judged by different standards that apply to lesser mortals. Now record buyers have the perfect opportunity to make their minds up about Paul McCartney’s extensive and eclectic back-catalogue. Paul McCartney has spent time carefully compiling a new sixty-four song four disc box set, Pure McCartney. It was recently released by Concord Music Group, and will allow record buyers to reappraise  Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles’ career.

It can’t have been easy for Paul McCartney selecting the sixty-six tracks that comprise Pure McCartney. He had a veritable feast of music to choose from. Somehow, though, Paul McCartney has managed to narrow his choices down to just sixty-four. I’m sure he could’ve compiled a six or eight disc such is the amount of music he had to choose from. However, the problem with just limited Pure McCartney to just sixty-four tracks, is Paul McCartney can’t please all the people all the time.

His vast legion of fans have their favourite tracks from his post-Beatles’ career. These favourite tracks his fans hope, and in some cases, expect to be in any compilation of Paul McCartney’s music. The only problem is, that some of these tracks have featured on previous compilations, including 1978s Wings Greatest, 1987s All the Best! and 2001s Wingspan: Hits and History. That has been the case with Band On The Run, Jet, Let ‘Em In, Live and Let Die, Silly Love Songs and With A Little Luck. Leaving them off Pure McCartney, wasn’t in reality an option. Especially given the quality, popularity and importance of the snags in Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles’ career. Their addition reasonable and is to welcomed. They’ll be in good company on Pure McCartney. 

There’s quite  few more familiar faces on oPure McCartney They’re joined by a smattering of hidden gems from Pure McCartney’s extensive and illustrious back-catalogue. Mostly, though, the songs on Pure McCartney are singles and  album tracks, which are interspersed with the occasional edit and remix. They’re a snapshot of a forty-five year period between 1970 and 2015. that are a reminder that there’s more to Paul McCartney’s career than The Beatles.

Disc One.

Often, the first disc of a compilation in box set is front loaded with familiar tracks. Pure McCartney is no different. Fittingly, Maybe I’m Amazed opens disc one of Pure McCartney. It’s a classic from Paul McCartney’s debut solo album McCartney.  A year later, Paul McCartney returned with his first collaboration with his wife Linda.

This was Ram, an album that’s sometimes overlooked. It’s only recently it’s been reappraised, That isn’t surprising given the quality of songs of the quality of Heart Of The Country, Dear Boy, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey and Too Many People. After the release of Ram, Paul and Linda McCartney released Another Day as a single. Why it didn’t feature on Ram seems strange, given its beauty and quality. However, after the release of Ram., Paul and Linda McCartney decided to concentrate on their new group, Wings.

The first Wings’ album represented, is 1973s Red Rose Speedway, which featured Big Barn Bed. Gradually, Wings were finding their feet, and came of age later in 1973, on their classic album Band On The Run.  Two songs from Band On The Run feature on Pure McCartney, the classic Jet and one of the album’s most underrated song’s  Let Me Roll It. After a two year gap, Wings returned with a new album.

This  was their 1975s album Venus and Mars. It’s an underrated album, that features Listen To What The Man Said. It’s a welcome addition to Pure McCartney. So is Warm and Beautiful n beautiful, ballad from Wings fifth album Wings At The Speed of Sound. It was released in 1976, and featured another one of Wings’ best songs Silly Love Songs. Disc one has featured some of the best music from Wings’ seven album career. However, what of Paul McCartney’s career post-Wings?

Following the demise of Wings, Paul McCartney struggled to release  cohesive solo album. Mostly, they were  mixed bags, but usually featured reminders of his earlier career. This includes The Songs We Were Singing and Flaming Pie, the title-track of Paul McCartney’s 1997 album. Eight years later, in 2005, Paul McCartney released the album. It featured the folk rock single Jenny Wren. The most recent addition is New, the title-track from Paul McCartney’s 2013 album. Still, he was capable of crafting catchy songs of the highest quality. That is the case throughout disc one of Pure McCartney. However, what about disc two?

Disc Two.

Fans of Wings are well catered for on disc two of Pure McCartney. The earliest track from Wings’ seven studio albums is Bip Bop from the 1971 album Wild Life.  It’s quite different from what followed from Wings.

They released Hi, Hi, Hi as a single in 1972. It never featured on an album until the 1976 triple live album Wings Over America. Another song that never found its way onto a Wings’ album was Live and Let Die. Paul McCartney had been asked to write the theme to the James Bond film. This was  regarded as an honour for a songwriter back then. He penned  Live And Let Die, which was performed by Wings and released as a single in 1973. Just like Hi, Hi, Hi, Live And Let Die never made it onto an album until it featured on Wings Over America in 1976. By then, Wings had been busy.

Wings released two albums during 1973. The first, Red Rose Speedway, featured the beautiful ballad, My Love .It’s another Wings’ classic and shows that even without his old songwriting partner John Lennon, Paul McCartney was capable of crafting songs of the highest quality. Later in 1973, Wings released their classic album Band On The Run. Two oft-overlooked songs are Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five and Mrs. Vandebilt. They’re both underrated tracks, and welcome additions to Pure McCartney, a reminder of their classic album Band On The Run. It set the bar high for Wings.

Good as 1975s Venus Mars was, it didn’t quite match the quality of Band On The Run. Neither did 1976s Wings At The Speed Of Sound.  However, it featured Let ‘Em In, which became one of Wings most popular songs. A year later Wings released Mull Of Kintyre  as a single in 1977. Although it’s one of Wings’ most successful singles, it never featured on an album. It’s Marmite music, and  a single that divided and continues to divided the opinion of fans. Sadly, after Mull Of Kintyre, Wings released just two more albums, 1978s London Town and 1979s Back To The Egg. This was a disappointing swan-song, saved only by a couple of songs, including Arrow Through Me. Despite the demise of Wings, Paul McCartney’s career continued.

Paul McCartney’s first post-Wings album was McCartney II, which featured the ballad Waterfalls. Although not quite up to the standard of 1970s McCartney, which featured Every Day, McCartney II was certified gold on both sides of the Atlantic.

Calico Skies is another of the highlights of 1997s Flaming Pie. Although the album wasn’t Paul McCartney’s finest hour, there were still occasional reminders of what the great man was capable of.

English Tea is another song from the 2005 album, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard. It has a much more underrated sound that allows Paul McCartney’s voice to take centre-stage. Paul McCartney’s most recent album is New, which was released in 2013. Two songs from New feature, Save Us and Appreciate. Of the two tracks, the rocky Save Us is the better of the two tracks. Appreciate has a more experimental sound. This will divide opinion. So will the inclusion of a song from The Fireman project.

The Fireman project features Paul McCartney, and Youth of Killing Joke and The Orb. They’ve released three albums between 1993 and 2008. Their third album is Electric Arguments.  Sing The Changes was released as a single, and showcases their genre-melting sound where ambient, electronica, rock and psychedelia combine. It’s a track that will divide the opinion of Paul McCartney loyalists. However, it shows that even though he was sixty-six in 2008, he was still determined to innovate. For that, he deserves the utmost credit. That brings us to  the end of disc two of Pure McCartney, which has been  a case of so far, so good.

There’s been very few controversial inclusions on Pure McCartney. That is apart from Mull Of Kintyre, Appreciate and Sing The Changes on disc two. Mostly, has featured an interesting and eclectic selection of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles’ career.

Disc Three.

Fans of Wings will be saddened that the group is underrepresented on disc three. Especially in light of some disappointing inclusions. The only contribution from Wings is Girlfriend, from the 1978 album London Town. The rest of the album is given over to tracks from Paul McCartney’s solo album, and a couple of collaborations.

The collaborations included the dreadful Ebony and Ivory which Paul McCartney recorded with Stevie Wonder. Despite the combined talents of two musical giants, and a remix,  it’s still,  one of the worst songs Paul McCartney recorded. Another remix is the collaboration between Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, Say, Say, Say. Although it’s a slight improvement on Ebony and Ivory, I could’ve lived without its addition on Pure McCartney. The same can be said of what must take the title of Pure McCartney’s worst songs, We All Stand Together. Just like the other two tracks, these aberrations have no place on Pure McCartney. Thankfully, things get better.

Tug Of War was Paul McCartney’s second album since Wings split-up. Two ballads from Tug Of War feature on Pure McCartney; Wanderlust and the beautiful, string drenched, ballad Here Today. It’s remixed for Pure McCartney, and is a welcome addition. Some people will say the same about Pipes Of Peace, the title track from Paul McCartney’s 1983 album. It struck a nerve with the record buying public, and  gave Paul McCartney a Christmas number one. Three years later, Press was released as a single from the 1986 album Press To Play. While it stalled at twenty-five in the UK single charts, Press is something of a hidden gem from Paul McCartney’s back-catalogue. The same can be said about some of the songs from the nineties.

Flaming Pie was released in 1997, and was Paul McCartney’s first album in four years. Among the highlights from an album that was certified gold, were The World Tonight, Souvenir and Beautiful Night. Paul McCartney’s comeback had been successful. Now he was back to stay, and spent much of the next sixteen years making music.

In 2005, Paul McCartney released the album Chaos And Creation In The Backyard. One of the most best and most memorable tracks was, Fine Line, which was released as a single. Two years later, Dance Tonight was a released as a single in 2007. Sadly, it’s distinctly average, and far from Paul McCartney’s finest hour. Despite this, it featured on the 2009 live album, Good Evening New York City. Three years later, and Paul McCartney was back, and revisiting the past.

My Valentine was a track from the 2012 covers album Kisses On The Bottom. It found Paul McCartney covering standards in a variety of styles. Kisses On The Bottom reached the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic, as did the followup, New. It was produced by various young, up-and-coming producers. This included Paul Epworth, who produced Queenie Eye the second single released from New. This was a song from Paul McCartney’s most recent album, and brings disc three of Pure McCartney up to date.

Of the three discs so far, disc three of Pure McCartney in my opinion is, the is weakest. That however, is relative, The inclusion of three tracks take the edge of disc three. Other people will enjoy the saccharine delights of Ebony and Ivory and Say, Say, Say. We All Stand Together even Paul McCartney diehards will despair of. Hopefully, the great man will make up for his minor misdemeanours on disc four of Pure McCartney.

Disc Four.

There’s just fifteen tracks on disc four of Pure McCartney. The earliest track is the wistful sounding ballad Junk, from Paul McCartney’s debut solo album McCartney. It was released in 1970, just a week after announcing his departure from The Beatles. However, within a year,  Paul McCartney had formed his second group, Wings.

Venus And Mars/Rock Show is Wings’ first contribution. It’s from their fourth album, Venus and Mars which was released in 1975. It became a live favourite on their US tour, and featured on the 1976 triple live album Wings Over America. Two years after that memorable live album, Wings released London Town.

There’s two tracks from London Town on Pure McCartney; Don’t Let It Bring You Down and a DJ edit of With A Little Luck. These tracks are a reminder of Wings sixth and penultimate album, which was the last cohesive they released. A year later, Wings released Goodnight Tonight in 1979. However, it didn’t feature on Wings’ 1979 swan-song, Back To The Egg. Sadly, it was a disappointing album, but the jazz-tinged ballad is a beautiful reminder of an underrated group.

The Back Seat Of My Car is another of the highlights from Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album Ram. It was the only album credited to the couple. After Ram, they formed Wings, which was together until 1979. The remainder of disc four of  Pure McCartney is given over to Paul McCartney’s post-1979 solo albums.

Paul McCartney’s first post-Wings album, was McCartney II, which was released in 1980. The single hook-laden Coming Up and Temporary Secretary.  Four years later, Paul McCartney released his most disappointing album of the eighties, Give My Regards To Broad Street. It was released in 1984, to some of the worst reviews a Paul McCartney album had ever received. Despite the dreadful reviews, it still sold enough to reach number one in Britain. The highlight of album was No More Lonely Nights. The followup to Give My Regards To Broad Street, was Press To Play which was released in 1986. Critics were far from impressed by the album, which featured Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun. Alas, it’s a disappointing addition to Pure McCartney, and one most people could live without. However, things do get better.

Flaming Pie which was released in 1997, is album Paul McCartney has dipped into several times for Pure McCartney. He does so again, choosing the ballad Little Willow and Great Day. After a brief excursion into the nineties, Paul McCartney dips into his noughts discography.

Fifty-three years after releasing Love Me Do with The Beatles in 1962, Paul McCartney released Chaos And Creation In The Backyard in 2005. It featured the piano lead ballad Too Much Rain. It’s another hidden gem, where Paul McCartney rolls back the years. Two years later, Paul McCartney released Memory Almost Full. He chooses Only Mama Knows, a classy slice of classic rock. The sixty-three year old hadn’t lost his Midas Touch, as the decades slipped by.

By 2014, Paul McCartney’s recording career had spanned six decades. There was no sign of him putting his feet up, when he released Hope ForThe Future as a single in 2014.  One of the legends of music was still going strong, and Pure McCartney is a celebration of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career.

Pure McCartney features sixty-six songs from Paul McCartney’s solo career. They’re an eclectic selection of songs that were released between 1970 and 2014. This includes songs from Paul McCartney’s solo career. They’re an interesting selection, which are the perfect introduction to Paul McCartney’s seventeen album solo career. The only disappointing tracks from Paul McCartney’s solo career are Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun, and the dreadful We All Stand Together. It’s the lowest point of Paul McCartney’s solo career. 

There are two other tracks that most people could live without. The first is the Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder collaboration Ebony and Ivory. Then there’s Say, Say, Say, where Michael Jackson joins Paul McCartney. Neither track are worthy of inclusion.  Electric Arguments a track from Paul McCartney’s The Fireman project will divide opinion. Personally, I could’ve think of several songs that I would rather had been included. However, it’s all a matter of opinion, and the man that matters is the compiler, and the man that’s responsible for all the music on Pure McCartney, Paul McCartney. 

He was the driving force behind Wings, who are well represented on Pure McCartney. These tracks are a reminder of just how good a band Wings were on their day. Sadly, in Britain, Wings neither received the credit nor recognition their music deserved. Partly, that was because of the inevitable comparison with The Beatles. This must have been hugely frustrating for Paul McCartney. Especially when you realise just how good some of Wings’ contributions are. 

Especially songs like  Band On The Run, Jet, Let ‘Em In, Live and Let Die, Silly Love Songs and With A Little Luck. They’re not just regarded as Wings’ classics, but pop classics. Given their undoable quality, it’s no wonder that Wings’ seven albums sold over seven million albums in America alone. Four of these albums topped the US Billboard 200. This meant that Paul McCartney became one a small and select band of musicians who had been part of two groups who topped the US Billboard 200 with two different bands. It seemed that being in a band brought out the best of Paul McCartney.

That was case with The Beatles, and then with Wings. Paul McCartney seemed to thrive within a group environment. Indeed some of his most memorable songs have been written and recorded  as part of a group. In the case of Wings, Paul McCartney wrote the majority of the song, but was joined by talented musicians Denny Seiwell, Denny Laine annd Henry McCullough. Linda McCarney also played her part in the Wings’ success story, and in the success of Ram.

Ram was the only album credited to Paul and Linda  McCartney. This 1971 album is oft-overlooked, and well worth rediscovering. After hearing the tracks on Pure McCartney, many record buyers will be seeking out a copy of Ram. That is sure to be the case with many of  albums that Paul McCartney has chosen tracks from. He could’ve chosen from thirty-one studio albums, but somehow, managed to narrow this down, so that he could choose ‘just’ the sixty-six tracks that became Pure McCartney. 

That can’t have been easy, and must have resulted in some difficult decisions from Paul McCartney. However, nobody knows the music Paul McCartney released in his post-Beatles’ career than Paul McCartney. He’s deeply invested in what has been forty-four years work. So there was nobody better qualified to create a lovingly compiled compilation of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles carer. Eventually, Paul McCartney came up with what he believes represents the crème de la crème of his post-Beatles carer, Pure McCartney.






























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