Some songs send shivers down your spine and some songs can simply captivate your imagination and heart to the point of no return. One such song that does both effortlessly is The Beatles classic, penned and performed by Paul McCartney, ‘Yesterday’. The track has become a ubiquitous anthem and can be heard across thousands of covers and in pretty much every language on earth. It’s refreshing then, to hear a song with such esteem be stripped back to its bare bones.
Below, we’re listening to the isolated vocals of Paul McCartney on the Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ and getting to grips with just how perfectly poignant the track is. It’s a notion that becomes even more evident with the removal of the other tracks in the song and isolating only McCartney’s gentle and gorgeous vocals.
Endlessly covered and possibly overplayed it can be easy to overlook the songwriting genius that goes into a song like ‘Yesterday’. In the same way, we all take sliced bread for granted, forgetting the beautiful moments when it was the best thing, one can sometimes forget how beautiful this track truly is.
McCartney even picked it as one of his favourites: “Well, it’s difficult to choose the favourite. It (‘Here, There and Everywhere’) is one of my favourites. You look at your songs and kinda look to see which of the ones you think are maybe the best constructed and stuff,” says McCartney. “I think ‘Yesterday’—if it wasn’t so successful—might be my favourite.
“But, you know, you get that thing when something is just so successful… people often don’t want to do ‘the big one’ that everyone wants them to do. They kind of shy away from it,” continued McCartney. “‘Here, There and Everywhere’ with ‘Yesterday’ as a close second.” But, given this performance, there is more than a good argument for saying that this song is perhaps McCartney’s finest work.
Captivating at every turn, whereas the originally released song relies on gilded instrumentation to add a certain sense of romantic etherealism, what McCartney’s vocals alone give the audience is something far more vulnerable, far more emotional and far more real.
It’s a simply gorgeous way to reintroduce yourself to the wonderful world of The Beatles song ‘Yesterday’.