Episode 11: Paul's Best Songs of the 21st Century (so far...)

Synopsis:

In this episode we discuss what we believe are Paul McCartney's best songs since the year 2000. We delve into all of his studio albums of the last 17 years (Driving Rain, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Memory Almost Full, and New) and we analyze the ten best songs. 


Sources:

Du Noyer, Paul. Conversations with McCartney. New York: Overlook Press, 2015.

Gilbert, Pat, "Don't Look Back in Anger," Mojo, issue 240, November 2013.

Harry, Bill. The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books, 2002.

Hiatt, Brian, "Paul McCartney: Yesterday and Today," Rolling Stone, issue 1151, March 1 2012.

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Milan: L.I.L.Y., 2013.

Shenk, Joshua Wolf, "The Power of Two," The Atlantic, July/August 2014.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.


Nigel Godrich (Chaos and Creation's producer) played tape loops while McCartney performs "How Kind of You":


Paul discusses his inspiration behind "Early Days":


Johann Sebastian Bach's "Bouree in E Minor" was the inspiration behind McCartney's "Blackbird" and "Jenny Wren":


The song "Smile" (composed by Charlie Chaplin with lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons), was inspiration behind McCartney's "Too Much Rain":


George Harrison's "Cheer Down":

Episode 10: Buddy Holly's Influence

Synopsis: 

In 1957, at the age of 15, Paul McCartney heard Buddy Holly's music for the first time. Despite Holly's untimely death in 1959, his lifelong influence on Paul McCartney is apparent throughout the entirety of McCartney's career. In this episode, we discuss Buddy Holly's impact on the Beatles, we analyze Holly's influence on McCartney's songwriting and musicianship, and we also explore Paul McCartney's various tributes to Holly. 


Sources:

The Beatles. Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. 

Goldrosen, John and John Beecher. Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography. London: Penguin Books, 1987. 

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2013.

Harry, Bill. The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books, 2003.

Laing, Dave. Buddy Holly. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles All These Years: Volume One: Tune In, Extended Special Edition. London: Little, Brown, 2013. 

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes 1962-1970. New York: Harmony Books, 1988.

MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records in the Sixties. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 

Norman, Philip. Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013. 

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Milan: L.I.L.Y., 2013. 

The Real Buddy Holly Story (1987)

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.

Southall, Brian and Rupert Perry. Northern Songs: The True Story of the Beatles Song Publishing Empire. London: Omnibus Press, 2007.

Sulpy, Doug and Ray Schweighardt. Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of The Beatles Let It Be Disaster. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 


Our photographs taken at the Surf Ballroom and Buddy Holly's crash site in Clear Lake, Iowa. Click on the image to advance to the next: 


Buddy Holly & The Crickets performing "Peggy Sue" on The Ed Sullivan Show (1957):


Paul McCartney discusses with the Rolling Stone's Ronnie Wood the 'tricks' the Beatles learned from Buddy Holly:


Between the years 1976-1999 Paul McCartney hosted "Buddy Holly Week" annually to coincide with the anniversary of Holly's birth. Here are some highlights from 1979's "Buddy Holly Week" featuring Maria Elena Holly, Phil Everly, Roy Orbison, various members of the Crickets, and Wings:


An excerpt from Paul McCartney's documentary The Real Buddy Holly Story (1986):

Episode 9: Paul McCartney's contributions to John Lennon's Beatles songs

Synopsis:

We take a look at nine Beatles songs that were primarily authored by John Lennon, which also contain contributions from Paul McCartney that improved or enhanced Lennon's original song. Contributions from Paul may include an instrumental part, or a line of lyric, or an arrangement. Songs discussed include "Help," "Tomorrow Never Knows," and "Dear Prudence" among many others. Do you agree or disagree with our selections? Are there songs that we should have covered, but missed? Let us know!


Sources:

The Beatles. The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.

The Beatles. The Beatles: the Complete Scores. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1993. 

Dowlding, William. Beatlesongs. New York: Fireside, 1989.

Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. New York: Gotham Books, 2005.

Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Grout, Donald Jay and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1988.

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal, 2013.

Hill, Scott, "Paul McCartney brings 'Tomorrow Never Knows' Back to the Future", Wired, June 9, 2011.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes 1962-1970. New York: Harmony Books, 1988.

MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Records and the Sixties. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994.

Miles, Barry. John Lennon: In His Own Words. London: Omnibus Books, 1994.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 

Turner, Steve. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.


John Lennon's demo for "Help" features the original tempo and has yet to feature Paul's counter-melody:


A possible source of inspiration for Lennon's "In My Life" was Charles Lamb's poem "The Old Familiar Faces" (c.1798):


Paul's bass line for "Rain":


Karlheinz Stockhausen was an influence on McCartney's incorporation of tape loops in "Tomorrow Never Knows" and the orchestral crescendo in "A Day in the Life":


The video for "A Day in the Life" captures the recording of the song's orchestration:


McCartney's isolated bass line from "Hey Bulldog":

Episode 8: Paul's Love Songs for Linda McCartney, 1968 - 1971

Synopsis:

In this episode we discuss Linda Eastman's background, and we trace the early years of her relationship with Paul McCartney through the songs that he wrote for her between 1968 and 1971.


Sources: 

Doggett, Peter. You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the Beatles. London: The Bodley Head, 2009.

Dowlding, William J. Beatlesongs. New York: Fireside, 1989.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013.

Fields, Danny. Linda McCartney: A Portrait. Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 2000.

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2013.

McCartney, Linda. Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1992.

McCartney, Paul. Wingspan: Paul McCartney's Band on the Run. New York: Bulfinch Press, 2002.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997.

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Milan: L.I.L.Y Publishing, 2013.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.


The original version of "Linda" (1946), performed by Buddy Clark:


"Linda" performed by Jan and Dean, was a hit in 1962:


Linda and Paul discuss the origins of their relationship in Wingspan (2000):


Footage of Linda and Paul's wedding, 12 March 1969:


"Every Night" from MTV's Unplugged (1991):


Paul's isolated vocal from "Maybe I'm Amazed" (1970):

Episode 7: Band on the Run

Synopsis:

Paul McCartney referred to the recording of the 1973 landmark album Band on the Run as "one of the most frightening periods of my life." In this episode we discuss the tumultuous events leading up to the recording of the album, the struggles Wings encountered in Nigeria, and a song-by-song analysis of the album's tracks.


Sources:

Bychawski, Adam, "Paul McCartney plays to 350,000 fans in Kiev," NME,  June 14, 2008.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. 

Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. New York: Gotham Books, 2006.

Fields, Danny. Linda McCartney: A Portrait. Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 2000.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles All These Years: Volume One: Tune In, Extended Special Edition. London: Little, Brown, 2013.

McCartney, Paul. Wingspan: Paul McCartney's Band on the Run. London: Bullfinch Press, 2002.

McGee, Garry. Band on the Run: A History of Paul McCartney and Wings. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2003.

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions 1969-2013. Milan: L.I.L.Y. Publishing, 2013.

Sandford, Christopher. McCartney. New York: Carroll & Graff Publishers, 2006.

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.


A great interview with Paul on the making of the album Band on the Run. Note his explanation for "Jet":


McCartney's 2008 performance of "Mrs. Vanderbilt" in front of 350,000 fans in Kiev, Ukraine:


An energetic performance of "Nineteen Hundred Eighty Five" from the television special One Hand Clapping (1974):