Look Back at 10 Iconic Paul McCartney Songs
Happy Birthday, Paul McCartney!
Paul McCartney is the gold standard when it comes to musical artist, and with him reaching the age of 77 today, he has a decades long career to show for it. Being the bass player and vocalist for a little band called The Beatles, a successful solo career, and collaborations ranging from Kanye West, Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson, the former Beatle has much to show for his many years of dedication to the craft. From mop-tops to mullets, here are 10 iconic Paul McCartney songs!
10 Classic Paul McCartney Songs
The Beatles - Hey Jude
1. Hey Jude - Released at the tail end of The Beatles’ legendary run, Hey Jude was a track penned by McCartney dedicated to John Lennon’s son Julian, as his parents were going through a divorce. The masterpiece can be summed up by a Beatle himself, as John Lennon once said “Hey Jude is a damn good set of lyrics and I made no contribution to that.” Also, bonus fun fact, McCartney can be heard accidentally dropping an F-Bomb in the back of the track at the 2:58 mark. Just another reason to love the iconic Beatle!
I've Just Seen a Face - The Beatles
2. I’ve Just Seen a Face - With the working title “Auntie Jin’s Theme,” as it was one of McCartney’s aunt’s favorite tracks, the tune is one of the few Beatles songs not to feature bass on it. Another fun fact about this track, and showing off Paul McCartney’s insane dedication to music, I’ve Just Seen a Face, I’m Down, and Yesterday were all recorded on the same day!
Helter Skelter- Paul McCartney
3. Helter Skelter - Coming off the recently rereleased “White Album,” Helter Skelter is seen as one of the Beatles raunchier and, for the time, more experimental songs. In an interview with GQ magazine, McCartney recalls the origin of the track stemming from a self imposed competition with The Who. The former Beatle claimed “The Who had done a really heavy track… I went in the studio and said ‘we’ve got to do a song that’s dirtier, and louder than The Who.’” And boy did they succeed, as Helter Skelter is still seen as one of the precursors to modern Heavy Metal.
Blackbird (Remastered 2009) - The Beatles
4. Blackbird - Another from the White Album, Blackbird is an acoustic McCartney song thats fame rivals that of even Yesterday. In the same vein as Hey Jude, the song Blackbird was written as a sympathetic dedication to the Civil Rights movement taking place in Alabama at the time. “Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope.” Though the track was written for a specific moment in history, it clearly still stands the test of time today.
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
5. Eleanor Rigby - The track Eleanor Rigby shows where McCartney and Lennon’s song writing began to grow. Detailing the imaginary life of Eleanor Rigby, McCartney claims to have partially made up the name and partially taking inspiration from a shop in Bristol. McCartney later discovered that a real Eleanor Rigby did exist, however he claims that the name did not come from this fact at all. The gravestone for the real Eleanor Rigby in Liverpool has become a Beatles landmark, only adding to the spookiness of the song!
Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney & Wings - 1976
6. Silly Love Songs - Who says Paul McCartney isn’t self aware? Post Beatles, McCartney was criticized for mainly writing upbeat love songs. In this late 70’s track, McCartney takes the time to poke fun at himself, stating in the verse, “some people want to fill the world with silly love songs,” then later in the chorus, continuing to do just that.
The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There
7. I Saw Her Standing There - Taking it all the way back to the early days, I Saw Her Standing There was the first track off of the Beatles’ debut album “Please Please Me”. The song also saw the beginning of Lennon and McCartney’s legendary song writing partnership, with Paul showing how early the track was written by remembering that John and him had actually skipped school to write the track.
Let It Be - The Beatles
8. Let It Be - Towards the end of The Beatles run, both the album and track named “Let It Be” signified the end of the group. Written during the White Albums creation, Let It Be seemed to be McCartney’s acceptance of the end for the Beatles. During this time, McCartney was noted as being pretty much the only member willing to try and keep the band together, although this only really showed in private. Again a song partially inspired by a dream, the track was penned by McCartney with the help of a dream where his mother appeared to him letting him know that everything would be ok.
Band on the Run - The Beatles
9. Band on the Run - Though hindsight is 20/20, there was a time when Paul McCartney’s post Beatles’ musical career was shaky and unclear. In hopes of showing audiences that he could hold his own as a solo artist, 3 years after the Beatles’ breakup, McCartney released “Band on the Run,” with an iconic track of the same name. McCartney himself says the track describes “escaping, freedom, criminals… you name it, it’s there."
Yesterday - The Beatles
10. Yesterday - Being the most covered song of all time, it’s safe to say the melancholy yet beautiful tune Yesterday is one of McCartney’s most noteworthy songs. And through the many ways singer has penned his tunes, Yesterday was actually completely by chance, as he claims the melody came to him in a dream. After he woke up, he rushed to his piano so that he wouldn’t forget the melody, and luckily for us he made it and delivered one of the greatest songs of all time!
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