To try and quantify the immeasurable talent of Paul McCartney is a near-impossible task. Both with The Beatles, Wings and beyond in his solo career, Sir Paul has always displayed a sense of songwriting nouse that defies definition. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a go at trying.
Below, we’ve done just that as we’ve compiled an impressive 944-track playlist chronicling the life and times of Paul McCartney. Within this playlist, we get a double-dose of what made McCartney such a potent songwriter — his love of music. While other artists are driven by fame, notoriety, fortune and other such ignoble causes, it’s clear to us that McCartney is driven only by his own desire to make music. Let’s face it, he had achieved all of the above about five years into his near six-decade-long spell under the spotlight.
Starting his life in the limelight as one quarter of The Beatles and one half of the songwriting partnership that produced some of its most arresting songs, Paul McCartney’s place in the pantheon of rock is more than assured. The fact that he went on to contribute a huge wealth of music after those incredibly successful years is all the proof you need of McCartney’s love for the industry.
It can be heard throughout this playlist too. Starting at the very beginning and picking out all of The Beatles songs which have McCartney as the lead songwriter we get a taste of where it all began. As the playlist progresses we really delve into Macca’s life. Whether it is the isolation he enjoyed in his trilogy of McCartney albums — the first arriving in 1970, McCartney II in 1980 and McCartney III just last year — or the kickback against The Beatles on Ram, or indeed the seminal Wings effort Band on the Run this playlist provides the clearest picture of McCartney.
Not only are there albums, crafted with searing pop intelligence, but there are also movie soundtracks like Give My Regards to Broad Street, covers albums like Choba B CCCP and live records like Good Evening New York City, all of which paint a fuller picture of McCartney as the artists he is — never held back by categorisation and never deterred by art form.
When one’s name becomes as universal as Paul McCartney it can be easy to fall into the trap of revisiting the big songs, the tracks that made them famous and the albums that make you smile. But we implore, especially on this occasion, to re-think that approach and put this playlist on shuffle. By doing so, you’ll get a more accurate picture, picking up the intricacies and idiosyncracies, of the esteemed Paul McCartney.
There’s simply no doubt that he is an icon of music and across this playlist, and his life, whether it is how own composition, a cover or an orchestral piece, he proves it with every track.