Paul McCartney announces The Beatles’ split

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).

Also on this day...

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13 responses on “Paul McCartney announces The Beatles’ split

  1. Beatless

    The sense of frustration and impending liberation is palpable in the self-interview. McCartney’s brash tone no doubt ticked off the other Beatles, but they (except perhaps Ringo) seemed just as ready to leave the band, so it was not a matter of when but HOW the band was going to break up.

    The Beatles’ business problems also were a major contributor to the break-up, as McCartney’s comments about Allen Klein make clear.

    McCartney was obviously relieved to be his own boss for this record, but not having to answer to anyone else would prove to be a detriment to him in the long run as he lapsed into self-indulgence far too often in his post-Beatles career.

    1. josh

      the group was in limbo. john ended it, but didn’t end it at the same time. paul was inevitably going to be asked that question, and how could you not be fed up at that point with feeling like this great thing was over, but no one had the nerve to just say it already to the rest of the world. the idea that paul did it for promotional reasons is to make him out to be more machiavelli like then he was in reality.

        1. Joseph Brush

          The announcement of the breakup and of a solo McCartney album were in the same press release of April 10, 1970.
          If this wasn’t using the public announcement of the breakup to promote a solo record, what was it?

        2. mr. Sun king coming together

          How is it ridiculous? Millions of people do it. It gets people wondering if the solo work is as good. And Paul did do it to promote McCartney. He knew the press would be on it, so he added more fuel to the fire that would have been set.

    2. Scott

      John had left the group with lots of fanfare: all those bed-ins, bag-ins, Toronto concert (why didn’t he invite Paul, George and Ringo to that one?), records, happenings and exhibitions. More than obvious he had actually left the group.

  2. NeilW

    Read it again!

    Q: Assuming this is a very big hit album, will you do another?
    A: Even if it isn’t, I will continue to do what I want, when I want to.

    Q: Are you planning a new album or single with the Beatles?
    A: No.

    Q: Is this album a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career?
    A: Time will tell. Being a solo album means it’s “the start of a solo career…” and not being done with the Beatles means it’s just a rest. So it’s both.

    Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?
    A: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.

    This is NOT announcing a split!

    1. Steve

      Correct, he never said he was leaving the group although his comments were interpreted as such. My take on it was he was pissed off with the whole Beatles situation and was engaging in a bit of brinksmanship a bit like a spurned lover trying to win back his partner by pretending they don’t care and making a big show of how happy they are. When the comments were taken as being an announcement of the break up nobody in the band could be bothered to challenge it. Don’t just take my word for out, check out the interview Derek Taylor gave shortly after this ‘announcement’ .

      1. robert

        I think worth remembering here is that at the time Paul was just shy of 28 years old. That’s young, still a kid really. I suggest that his emotional immaturity (as with any 28 year-old) got the best of him and he used this Q&A as a passive aggressive way to get back at the other three and promote his new album.

        John’s immediate reaction was that Paul used the break-up and promo piece to sell an album – that he was a great PR man and John wished he’d done that. I think John (also a young man at the time) was spot on.

        John later said that every time Paul was about to put out an album he would hint at a Beatles reunion – there’s a lot of credence to that statement.

        I was abut 13 when this came out and it was really confusing because of the obvious anger in it. This was sort of the first public chink in the armor of the Beatles’ friendship – which in the day was a key part of their unique popularity – that they were friends as well as great music etc.

        So I think this press release was the deliberate act of a young man who was hurt, angry and yet very astute on how to manipulate the media.

        1. Steve

          There’s a lot of truth in what you say and I think your right. I would also mention that footage taken around 1975 ? of McCartney and Harrison signing the legal documents effectively ending the Beatles . McCartney looks quite disbelieving as if to say , how did it come to this ?

  3. Pete Best

    All four knew that ‘McCartney’ would be in competition with ‘Let It Be’ on the charts by force of release dates, so, commercially, PM had a split interest regarding promotion that his former band mates did not.

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