[Review] Paul McCartney: McCartney (1970)

The album that proves one man’s “Junk” is another man’s treasure.

Kronomyth 1.0: The art of cherrypicking.

History will show that The Beatles died with a confused whimper. The album that should have come before (Let It Be), came after, and any hopes of a peaceful afterlife were thrown into disarray by McCartney, a collection of musical sketches that offered only tantalizing glimpses of the band’s former greatness. Maybe the future wouldn’t sound like Paul screwing around in a home studio, John and Yoko screaming and George’s imaginary soundtracks, but it sure seemed that way until All Things Must Pass and John’s Plastic Ono Band arrived.

It’s probably fair to say that no Paul McCartney album has been so pored over and cherrypicked as his first. The album does contain a few songs that could have easily found their way on the next Beatles album, and I suppose half the fun of listening to McCartney is imagining what “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Teddy Boy” and “Every Night” would have sounded like with the contributions of John, Paul and George. More than half of the album, however, is throwaway junk (ironically, “Junk” isn’t one of them—it might be one of his prettiest melodies ever). As an experiment in do-it-yourself home studio recording, McCartney reveals Paul to be a passable guitarist but an inept drummer (Ringo made it look easy, didn’t he?). Linda provides vocal harmonies in a few places, and if she’s not always exactly on key, just be thankful that she didn’t push for her own album (coughko).

Although Paul would try harder on later albums (more or less), his career (with and without Wings) has largely been marked by its self-imposed exile and resulting stunted development. More than any of the other Beatles, Paul has sought the path of a true solo artist since leaving the group. It’s a lonely road sometimes, occasionally quiet and unremarkable, but you’ll see and hear things along the way that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Original LP Version

A1. The Lovely Linda (0:43)
A2. That Would Be Something (2:37)
A3. Valentine Day (1:40)
A4. Every Night (2:30)
A5. Hot As Sun/Glasses (2:06)
A6. Junk (1:55)
A7. Man We Was Lonely (2:57)
B1. Oo – You (2:50)
B2. Momma Miss America (4:05)
B3. Teddy Boy (2:22)
B4. Singalong Junk (2:34)
B5. Maybe I’m Amazed (3:49)
B6. Kreen-Akrore (4:11)

All songs written by Paul McCartney.

The Players

Paul McCartney (instruments and voices) with Linda McCartney (harmonies). Produced by Paul McCartney.

The Pictures

Photos by Linda McCartney.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette on April 17, 1970 in the UK (Apple, PCS-7102), on April 20, 1970 in the US (Apple, STAO-3363), and in 1970 in Australia (Apple, PCSO/TCPCSO-7102), Canada (Apple, SMO-3363), Colombia (Apple, ECI-45), Germany (Apple, 1C 062 04394) with gatefold cover; reached #2 on the UK charts and #1 on the US charts (RIAA-certified 2x platinum record).

  1. Re-issued on elpee in Japan (Capitol, EPS-80231) with gatefold cover.
  2. Re-issued on elpee in 1976 in the US (Capitol, SMAS-3363) with gatefold cover.
  3. Re-issued on elpee and cassette on April 2, 1984 in the UK (Fame, FA/TC-FA 41 3100 1) and in 1984 in the US (Columbia, PC 36478) with gatefold cover.
  4. Re-issued on compact disc and cassette on January 19, 1988 in the US (Capitol, 46611).
  5. Re-released on remastered compact disc in 1989 in the UK and Europe (Parlophone, CDP 7 89239).
  6. Re-issued on compact disc in 1992 in the US (DCC, GZS 1029).
  7. Re-issued on compact disc in 1993 in the UK (Parlophone, CDPMCOL 1).
  8. Re-issued on remastered compact disc in 1995 in Japan (EMI, TOCP-7851).
  9. Re-packaged with Press To Play on 2-for-1 compact disc in 1999 in Russia (CD-Maximum, CDM 0999-3).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *