The B List: Underrated Macca

1. In 1982, McCartney turned to old collaborators George Martin and Ringo Starr to record Tug of War. My favorite tune off that album is the uptempo rocker Take It Away:


2. After putting out Press, a disaster of an album, McCartney went back to the drawing board when it came time to record a new album in 1989. Paul decided to collaborate with the legendary Elvis Costello on a batch of new tunes. My Brave Face is the best of the batch, and it’s aged well:


3. Macca took a swipe at large corporations with the release of Big Boys Bickering in 1993. The tune didn’t make Off The Ground and was originally released as the B-side of Hope of Deliverance. The BBC banned the tune because of the lyric “fucking it up for everyone,” one of the boldest sentences the usually lily-white McCartney ever wrote:


4. Paul’s first solo album is among my favorites, as each track is a classic. One of the best tunes on the album is Every Night:


5. Paul McCartney has written some snappy basslines, but the line in Goodnight Tonight is up there with the best of them. Check out the video for the late Linda McCartney’s incredible femme-mullet:


6. McCartney eulogized his friend John Lennon in 1982 with the tune Here Today off of Tug of War. Macca sings about both the good and bad moments of their friendship, and the extreme sadness he felt when Lennon was murdered:


7. Old Siam Sir starts with a Kinks-esque guitar riff before McCartney inserts some oriental sounds into the mix:


8. That Would Be Something is my favorite tune from McCartney’s first solo album. Paul played all of the instruments on the track, just as he did with ever other tune on McCartney:


9. One of the slowest and sappiest of all McCartney’s love songs is Beautiful Night from 1997’s Flaming Pie. Cheesy lyrics aside, Beautiful Night is a masterfully composed song featuring a string section and Ringo Starr on drums. The tune starts off slow before building into a full out rocker with the help of a horn section:


10. Rough Ride starts off with an intro that sounds like it’s lifted from Pink Floyd. The tune is another gem from 1989’s Flowers In The Dirt. Throughout the song there are many different grooves, and if Paul McCartney ever wanted to jam a song out Rough Ride is ripe for fits of improvisation.


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0 Responses

  1. You ponted out some good tracks that are not known by the masses. “I’ve Had Enough” and “Getting Closer” are two more tracks from the later Wings period that didnt get a fair shake.

  2. nice list. he’s had so many great ones through the years. here is a few i would add to that list. letting go from venus and mars has as good a horn section as any song from the 70’s. beware my love from speed of sound showd macca could still rock. wanderlust from tug of war is arguably the finest song he has ever done (second to maybe i’m amazed). we got married and that day is done from flowers in the dirt.

  3. I like your concept here, but not really a big fan of most of the songs you listed. I’m a huge Macca fan, myself, but a lot of these songs I can do without (Goodnight Tonight, My Brave Face, Rough Ride, etc).

  4. the whole back to the egg album is full of material that was underated when released .its as classic a piece of work as band on the run ever was full to the brim with funky riffs.

  5. Paul McCartney is the greatest songwriter. every album has hidden gems some of his B sides could have been A sides in their own right. and you should hear some of his unreleased stuff it would blow your mind.
    also in the last 12 years he has released 14 albums some mainstream some classical and some dance music. name one other artist as prolific as that

  6. Nice list! Also, in my opinion…

    Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
    Monkberry Moon Delight
    Robber’s Ball
    Temporary Secretary
    The Backseat of My Car
    Helen Wheels
    The Mess

  7. I agree with many of the comments above (however, I’m unreserved in my love for “Beautiful Night,” which I interpret as a comment on Linda’s illness and ultimate passing — “Let me be there with you in the dead of the night.”)

    Paul has perversely thrown away some of his very best songs over the years, often as b-sides. I could list a bunch of them, but I’ll stick to these:

    Daytime Nighttime Suffering
    Kicked Around No More
    Oh Woman, Oh Why
    The Mess

  8. Not only does McCartney squirrel away many of his greatest songs in the dark corners of his albums or as B-sides, but I have played many of them to people who think they dislike McCartney, and they have helped in his defense. Many top ten:

    1. Riding to Vanity Fair (Chaos & Creation)
    2. Great Day (Flaming Pie)
    3. Cosmically Conscious (C’Mon People B-Side)
    4. Flying to My Home (My Brave Face B-Side)
    5. The Pound is Sinking (my favorite PM song, from Tug of War)
    6. On the Way (McCartney II – the instrumentals on this album are great, too)
    7. Check My Machine (Waterfalls B-Side)
    8. Let ’em In (At the Speed of Sound – a big hit, but undervalued nonetheless – it makes me want to be an optimist)
    9. Mamunia (Band on the Run)
    10. Singalong Junk (McCartney)

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