Whether the world wanted one or not, there’s another compilation of Paul McCartney’s music since he left that other band in 1970. Curated by the man himself, Pure McCartney is a four-CD “mixtape” [for lack of a better phrase] for his fans. These are his favorite songs, but a lot of them definitely aren’t mine. The songs don’t appear in chronological order, nor are they grouped by any overarching theme, as had been done on John Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth boxset. They’re simply placed in the order that that Paul McCartney wanted to hear them. This isn’t a greatest hits thing – there are plenty of deep tracks to be found along with other stray singles that even I had never heard of. There are the usual suspects from the Wings era, and there is some very good stuff from 1997 to the present. There are some curious omissions. You won’t find anything from Run Devil Run or Flowers in the Dirt. For my taste, there are too many ballads and not enough rockers. The 1980s is a curious hole for Paul’s music. The problem isn’t that he didn’t include anything from that decade [he did], but that the 80s music he did include was crap [except for some from Tug of War].
Paul McCartney is by far the most prolific ex-Beatle. He has the most hits. In forty-plus years of ex-Beatledom, there’s lots of music to enjoy. Since he’s the songwriter who lived, he’s had more chances to succeed, and more chances to make his fans [including me] cringe. Luckily for us, the good far outweighs the bad. There are reasons known only to Paul McCartney why he chose the songs he chose. That having been done, I compiled my own Pure McCartney.
Here is the track list from Pure McCartney, placed in chronological order and by album. To make my own version of Pure McCartney, my deletions are crossed out, my additions are in italics. Since there are 67 songs, there are plenty of both additions and deletions. My list is 81 songs, but they all fit on 4 CDs.
Every Night – as good as anything he did with the Beatles.
Maybe I’m Amazed
Non Album Single (1971) - Another Day
Too Many People – “Too many people preaching practices” and “That was your first mistake, you took your lucky break and broke it in two…” This was aimed right at John Lennon, who returned fire with a tactical nuke, How Do You Sleep. The nasty guitar solo at the end was played by Paul himself.
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Wild Life (Wings, 1971)
Non Album Single (1972) Hi, Hi, Hi – banned by the BBC for being a “drug song”
Red Rose Speedway (Paul McCartney & Wings, 1973)
Big Barn Bed
Live and Let Die Soundtrack (1973)
Live and Let Die
Band on the Run (Paul McCartney & Wings, 1973)
Band on the Run
Let Me Roll It – Paul’s peace offering to John after How Do You Sleep. With all the echo it even sounds like a John Lennon song.
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Non Album Single (1974) - Junior’s Farm – Introducing Wings’ new guitarist, Jimmy McCullouch [RIP]. Bizarre lyrics, but that’s ok – John wrote I Am the Walrus.
Venus and Mars (Wings, 1975)
Venus and Mars/Rock Show
Letting Go – This is the heaviest one from Venus & Mars. Great bass, and the horns are cool.
Wings at the Speed of Sound (Wings, 1976)
Let ‘Em In – I kept this one simply for nostalgia. I liked it when I was 14.
Silly Love Songs – Despite Paul singing “I love you” about 400 times [ok, I exaggerate], this song’s saving grace is the bass.
Non Album Single (1977) -
Mull of Kintyre
London Town (Wings, 1978)
Non Album Single (1979) -
Daytime Nighttime Suffering – The B-side is much better than the A-side
Back to the Egg (Wings, 1979)
Rockestra Theme – a few guests: David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Hank Marvin, Ronnie Lane, John Paul Jones, Kenny Jones, & John Bonham. An instrumental [mostly] that rocks like a bastard.
So Glad To See You Here – Paul sings the hell out of this one. Same line-up as the Rockestra Theme. Same vibe, too.
McCartney II (1980)
Tug of War (1982)
Here Today – a conversation Paul wished he had with John Lennon. A tear-jerker in 1982, still a tearjerker in 2016.
Tug of War – an acoustic beginning, a rocking middle and a huge orchestral finish.
Take It Away – Ringo on drums, George Martin on electric piano. You never know who may be listening to you…
Pipes of Peace (1983)
Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
Non-Album Single (Paul McCartney & the Frog Chorus, 1984)
Press to Play (1986)
Flowers in the Dirt (1989) - None
We Got Married
Figure Of Eight
My Brave Face*
That Day Is Done*
Don’t Be Careless Love*
You Want Her Too*
Put It There
Off the Ground (1993)
Hope Of Deliverance
Mistress And Maid*
The Lovers That Never Were*
Looking For Changes
Get Out of My Way
Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (The Fireman, 1993) - None
Flaming Pie (1997)
The Song We Were Singing
The World Tonight
Rushes (The Fireman, 1998) - None
Run Devil Run (1999) – None
Run Devil Run
What It Is
Driving Rain (2001) - None
From A Lover To A Friend
She's Given Up Talking
Riding Into Jaipur
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005)
Too Much Rain
Friends To Go – inspired by and dedicated to George Harrison
Riding To Vanity Fair
How Kind of You
Memory Almost Full (2007)
Only Mama Knows
Ever Present Past
That Was Me
House Of Wax
The End Of The End
Why So Blue
Electric Arguments (The Fireman, 2008)
Sing The Changes
Dance 'Til We're High
Kisses on the Bottom (2012)
Destiny Original Soundtrack) (2014)
Hope For The Future
I Can Bet
Get Me Out of Here
Everybody Out There
Paul Is Live (1993)
A Fine Day – This album is the only place you’ll find this. It was a soundcheck, but it caught my attention in a good way
Sound City Soundtrack (2012)
Cut Me Some Slack – Paul McCartney and Nirvana. Who knew?