McCartney

McCartney (Deluxe Version) [Remastered] - Paul McCartney


In addition to his self-interview, Paul McCartney included a track-by-track commentary of his debut solo album with promotional copies.

1: THE LOVELY LINDA

When the Studer 4 track was installed at home, this was the first song I recorded, to test the machine. On the first track was vocal and guitar, second - another acoustic guitar - then overdubbed hand slaps on a book, and finally bass. Written in Scotland, the song is a trailer to the full song which will be recorded in the future.

2: THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING

This song was written in Scotland in 1969 and recorded at home in London - mixed later at EMI (No. 2). I only had one mike, as the mixer and VU meters hadn't arrived (still haven't).

1 vocal, guitar
2 tom-tom and cymbal
3 electric guitar
4 bass

3: VALENTINE DAY

Recorded at home. Made up as I went along - acoustic guitar first, then drums (maybe drums were first). Anyway - electric guitar and bass were added and the track is all instrumental. Mixed at EMI. This one and MOMMA MISS AMERICA were ad-libbed, with more concern for testing the machine than anything else.

4: EVERY NIGHT (Blues)

This came from the first two lines, which I've had for a few years. They were added to in 1969 in Greece (Benitses) on holiday.

This was recorded at EMI with:

1 vocal and
2 acoustic guitar.
3 drums.
4 bass.
5 lead guitar (acoustic).
6 harmony to the lead guitar.
7 double-tracked vocal in parts.
8 ? electric guitar (not used).
9 track.

5: HOT AS SUN

A song written in about 1958 or 9 or maybe earlier, when it was one of those songs that you play now and then. The middle was added in Morgan Studio, where the track was recorded recently.

1 acoustic guitar.
2 electric guitar.
3 drums.
4 rhythm guitar.
5 organ.
6 maracas.
7 bass.
8 bongos.

6: GLASSES

Wineglasses played at random and overdubbed on top of each other - the end is a section of a song called SUICIDE – not yet completed.

7: JUNK

Originally written in India, at Maharishi's camp, and completed bit by bit in London. Recorded vocal, two acoustic guitars, and bass at home, and later added to (bass drum, snare with brushes, and small xylophone and harmony) at Morgan.

8: MAN WE WAS LONELY

The chorus ("Man We Was Lonely") was written in bed at home, shortly before we finished recording the album. The middle ("I used to ride...") was done one lunchtime in a great hurry, as we were due to record the song that afternoon. Linda sings harmony on this song, which is our first duet together. The steel-guitar sound is my Telecaster played with a drum peg.

1 guitar.
2 voices (two tracks).
3 bass drum
4 bass.
5 steel guitar.

9: OO YOU

The first three tracks were recorded at home as an instrument that might someday become a song. This, like MAN WE WAS LONELY, was given lyrics one day after lunch, just before we left for Morgan Studios, where it was finished that afternoon.

Vocals, electric guitar, tambourine, cow bell, and aerosol spray were added at Morgan, and it was mixed there.

On the mix, tape echo was used to move feedback from guitar from one side to another.

10: MOMMA MISS AMERICA

An instrumental recorded completely at home. Made up as I went along - first a sequence of chords, then a melody on top.

Piano, drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar.

Originally it was two pieces, but they ran into each other by accident and became one.

11: TEDDY BOY

Another song started in India, and completed in Scotland and London, gradually. This one was recorded for the Get Back film, but later not used.

Rerecorded partly at home ... (guitar, voices and bass) ... and finished at Morgan.

Linda and I sing the backing harmonies on the chorus, and occasional oos.

12: SINGALONG JUNK

This was take 1, for the vocal version, which was take 2, and a shorter version.

Guitars, and piano and bass, were put on at home, and the rest added at Morgan Studios.

The strings are Mellotron, and they were done at the same time as the electric guitar, bass drum, and sizzle cymbal.

13: MAYBE I'M AMAZED

Written in London, at the piano, with the second verse added slightly later, as if you cared.

Recorded at EMI, No. 2 Studio. First

1 piano.
2 vocal.
3 drums.
4 bass.
5 and vocal backing.
6 and vocal backing.
7 solo guitar.
8 backing guitars.

Linda and I are the vocal backing group.

Mixed at EMI.

A movie was made, using Linda's slides and edited to this track.

14: KREEN-AKRORE

There was a film on TV about the Kreen-Akrore Indians living in the Brazilian jungle, their lives, and how the white man is trying to change their way of life to his, so the next day, after lunch, I did some drumming. The idea behind it was to get the feeling of their hunt. So later piano, guitar and organ were added to the first section.

The second had a few tracks of voices (Linda and I) and the end had overdubbed breathing, going into organ, and two lead guitars in harmony.

Done at Morgan. Engineer, Robin Black.

The end of the first section has Linda and I doing animal noises (speeded up) and an arrow sound (done live with bow and arrow - the bow broke), then animals stampeding across a guitar case.

There are two drum tracks.

We built a fire in the studio but didn't use it (but used the sound of the twigs breaking).

12 responses on “McCartney

  1. mr. Sun king coming together

    This album is written off quite easily, because Abbey Road to this isn`t great, but this album might reveal the most about Paul`s state of mind at this time. I love it!!

  2. robert

    Great article Joe – a couple of thoughts – when the album first came out most of us thought the reversed placement of the actual disk was based on McCartney being left-handed so he made a left-handed album.

    The cherry cover we always heard represented a broken cherry – meaning Paul’s first solo album.

    Just something to think about.

    1. Dave Schulps

      I’ve always interpreted it as a play on the idea of “life is just a bowl of cherries,” with the implication being that at that time the cherries were out of the bowl, therefore, no bowl of cherries for him.

  3. Jake

    I’m guessing is was done more out of anger or maybe a feeling that he was trapped in the Beatle implosion and he had to do something. So he did it all on his own. I’m looking forward to “Mccartney” I love it. It’s very listenable. “Ram” even better.

  4. Tweeze

    The thing that is forgotten in the history of all of this, mostly by people who didn’y live through it, was that Paul was considered by all who believed they knew him to be some kind of musical genius and, unfortunately for him, he threatened to unleash upon the world music that would put the world ‘on its ear’ once he was free from the Beatles. So, having that, and because he threw such a fuss to get this collection to market, we were all quite hyped. Perhaps we should not have allowed ourselves to be subject to expectations. George said it best in the article. Perhaps Paul believed his own hype? You can’t possibly live as he and the others did for all of those years and not get caught up.

  5. Keith Bates

    This album gave 1970s musicians a blueprint for multitracking and home recording, one of the most famous musicians on the planet producing a successful album at home, with roughcuts being displayed alongside polished gems. The album allows you to hear bad edits and tape machine glitches, outtakes, half-baked ideas and unfinished tracks all spliced in together. It comes across as heartfelt and intimate. And an object lesson in sound-sketching and experimentation; close-miked mouth-music, overdubbed yet still sounding spontaneous, and a collage approach to songwriting and compiling album tracks. This was do-it-yourself punkiness in sharp contrast to Phil Spector’s overproduction that ruined the Let It Be recordings.

    1. James Ferrell

      +1

      And I always thought it was interesting that both Paul’s and John’s first post-Beatles albums were so raw and intimate. It’s like they were both still in sync. Warm and intimate in Paul’s case, angstful and intimate in John’s. Both great records.

  6. Surfeast

    This is one of my all time favorite albums, probably due to the raw and primitive tracks which counter the polished sounds of the last Beatles albums and future Wings efforts. It shows that the recording techniques while revolutionary at that time were only a part of the real mix with such talented guys like McCartney creating memorable grooves.

  7. J. Allen Crute

    Like many, either involved in the music industry or just enjoying the sounds, I looked forward to the individual albums to hear their own voices. Both John and Paul surprised me by producing albums that suggested they were tired of impressing us with slick, polished, commercialized works. They, too, were human. Lying on a couch, listening to McCartney for the first time with headphones, I felt as if I had been invited into his home – a home of genuine love. Forgive me for sounding dramatic, but that day changed my life.

    Like the film, “Across the Universe,” my own life of peace, love and flowers in our hair had fallen into a dark hole of job hopping, broken relationships, friend’s overdoses, and anger over all of the world problems that were everyone else’s fault. “McCartney” was a wake-up call for me.
    I walked out of my friend’s house, sans leather colors and weapons. I moved into my own apartment, got a better job, better friends, and reunited with a forgotten spiritual life of genuine love, joy and fellowship. Even two FBI agents came for a friendly visit, curious about the changes.

    No, I didn’t start a McCartney Cult Fan Club. Ironically, however, I met Linda’s sister ten years later when we both worked for the same broadcasting company. While I neglected to take advantage of that to finagle a meeting across the pond, I was able to share my thoughts with her; we both shared similar changes and each other’s company.

    Just saying – some albums go beyond chords, riffs and mixes. Music was our medium for personal, spiritual and social changes, and McCartney continued that in a surprising way of suggesting that everything doesn’t have to be “great.” Imperfect simplicity, while basking in love and family intimacy, makes “good” even better.

  8. Art

    I don’t have a contemporaneous impression of the album (I was only nine at the time but was a big Beatles fan and can recall listening to their music from about age four) but hearing the material in full for the first time some 40 years after release I understand both the criticism and praise of it. I can imagine it may have been underwhelming and disappointing to many who plunked down $5 to buy it at the time. Even today I wonder why Paul didn’t bother to work some of what are barely past motives into fuller/complete songs. On the other hand no matter how consciously he went about it, this is the only document he left reflecting how he felt and what he produced on his estrangement from the group after its practical breakup and pending the formal acknowledgement or announcement of that fact. I think it has some fascinating sounds on it and it has a lot of merit from this perspective. “Charmless” is a word I seen mention in connection with the album but it sounds quite the opposite to me. It sounds very charming – as if you’d been invited to tea at Paul and Linda’s and he demoed a bunch of tunes for you during the visit.

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