Monday, 12 October 2009

Paul McCartney: The U.K. Singles, 1971 to 2007

It's difficult to think of another major artist whose work has been as inconsistent as the post-Beatles career of Paul McCartney, someone whose music has varied from the awe-inspiring to the downright embarrassing to the truly forgettable. But, unlike The Beatles, the many gems that are from his solo career (both with & without his Wings) tend not to be widely heard. So here is a review of every U.K. single release to date, both solo, with Wings, & with various duet partners.

Note: Most of the picture sleeves featured here from 1979 onwards are from the U.K. editions (though very occasionally I've substituted them for foreign editions or I've shown the rear of the sleeves), but prior to that many singles in this country came without picture sleeves or they were rather uninspiring, so I've mostly used artwork from other countries. I've also given my usual marks out of 5 for each song, as well as listed their peak UK chart positions...

Another Day / Oh Woman Oh Why (February 1971) UK # 2

Perhaps surprisingly Paul didn't release any singles from his 1970 solo debut album 'McCartney' (despite at least two very strong songs in 'Maybe I'm Amazed' & 'Every Night'), but waited until early 1971 to release this non-album single instead. The A-side is a catchy enough song though I prefer the tough bluesy B-side which would've fit perfectly on The Beatles' 'White Album' or 'Let It Be' & features one of Macca's greatest ever vocal performances. It is hidden gems like this that make collecting Paul's post-Beatles material more than worthwhile! Incidentally the single was kept from reaching the top of the charts by Mungo Jerry's 'Baby Jump'. 4 / 5

Back Seat Of My Car / Heart Of The Country (August 1971) UK # 39

One of the best songs from perhaps Paul's most intriguing album 'Ram', this deserved to do much better chart-wise (maybe everyone bought the album instead?). The acoustic B-side is another memorable song. 5 / 4

Give Ireland Back To The Irish / Give Ireland Back To The Irish ("Version") (February 1972) UK # 16

Paul & Linda had by now formed the first incarnation of Wings, & their debut single as a group was due to be 'Love Is Strange' b/w 'I Am Your Singer' (both from the mostly weak 'Wild Life' album), but Paul was so incensed by the "Bloody Sunday" massacre in Ireland that he quickly wrote, recorded & released this instead. Banned by the BBC, this remains Paul's one & only truly political single. The B-side was an instrumental version of the same song. 4 / 3

Mary Had A Little Lamb / Little Woman Love (May 1972) UK # 9

Perhaps as a reaction to the BBC banning his previous single, this time he released what was virtually a nursery rhyme! While not without it's charm, the New Orleans inspired B-side is better. 3 / 4

Hi Hi Hi / C Moon (December 1972) UK # 5

Another banned A-side, this time because of the sex-inspired lyrics...or were they about drugs? Whatever, it's an excellent rocker with superb slide guitar. Because of the ban many DJ's played the white reggae B-side instead, which while remaining popular with fans I've always found a bit daft myself. 5 / 3

My Love / The Mess (March 1973) UK # 9

The undoubted highlight of the 'Red Rose Speedway' album, this beautiful ballad remains one of his most enduring. The more rockin' B-side was recorded live in Holland during their 1973 European Tour, & remains the only officially released recording of the song. 5 / 4

Live And Let Die / I Lie Around (June 1973) UK # 9

Recorded for the James Bond movie of the same name, this superb song saw Paul back with George Martin for the first time since the break-up of The Beatles, & it has remained a live concert favourite ever since. The B-side features Denny Laine singing lead vocals (for the first & last time on a Wings single) & is far less memorable. 5 / 3

Helen Wheels / Country Dreamer (October 1973) UK # 12

A slightly silly but commercial rocker (about his jeep!) this appeared on the U.S.-only edition of the superb 'Band On The Run' album. The B-side is a more gentle acoustic number & one of his better non-album B-sides. 4 / 4

Jet / Let Me Roll It (February 1974) UK # 7

Although I've never quite understood what the song is actually about, 'Jet' is a great song from a very fine album. The B-side has guitar that is reminiscent of John Lennon's work with The Plastic Ono Band & is another top-notch number. 5 / 5

Band On The Run / Zoo Gang (June 1974) UK # 3

After the success of the previous single Paul gave in & released the title track of the album, rightly regarded as one of his greatest ever compositions. The B-side is an instrumental theme tune for a kid's TV series at the time. 5 / 3

Walking In The Park With Eloise / Bridge On The River Suite (October 1974) Did NOT Chart

Not officially a Paul McCartney (or Wings) single, this was recorded by Paul & the band in Nashville with the assistance of Chet Atkins & Floyd Cramer & released under the name 'The Country Hams'. Both songs are instrumentals, with the A-side being a 20s-style swing number written by Paul's dad & the B-side a slower & bluesier song. 4 / 3

Juniors Farm / Sally G (October 1974) UK # 16

A superb mid-tempo song in the same vein as 'Get Back', this was recorded in Nashville, as was the country B-side. The A-side was promoted by a performance on 'Top Of The Pops' though Paul wouldn't perform on the show again until 1987. 5 / 4

Listen To What The Man Said / Love In Song (May 1975) UK # 6

Recorded in New Orleans & from Wings' latest album 'Venus And Mars', this is yet another very strong single. The B-side is a haunting ballad & is also from the album. 5 / 3

Letting Go / You Gave Me The Answer (September 1975) UK # 41

The A-side while a tough mid-tempo song perhaps wasn't commercial enough for a single, hence the low chart placing, while the B-side is a Fred Astaire tribute / parody, sort of a 'Honey Pie' part two. 4 / 4

Venus And Mars/Rock Show / Magneto and Titanium Man (November 1975) Did NOT Chart

The A-side features a drastically-edited version of a medley from 'Venus And Mars' (& the opening song during the concerts on their 1975-1976 World Tour), though perhaps the B-side (about two comic strip characters) would've been a better choice. Sadly this was Paul's first U.K. single to fail to chart. 4 / 4

Silly Love Songs / Cook Of The House (April 1976) UK # 2

Back with a new (nearly) chart-topping single & a new album (the very patchy 'Wings At The Speed Of Sound'), this was criticised at the time for being "disco" but despite or because of this it's a great catchy dance tune. The B-side was the only released Wings song to feature Linda McCartney on lead vocals...thankfully! 5 / 2

Let 'em In / Beware My Love (July 1976) UK # 2

Again from 'Wings At The Speed Of Sound', this very catchy piano-led song (also successfully covered by U.S. soul singer Billy Paul) is another very classy single, as is the passionately-sung B-side (though the live version is even better!). 5 / 5

Maybe I'm Amazed / Soily (February 1977) UK # 28

Finally released as a single, though this is a 1976 live recording from the epic 'Wings At The Speed Of Sound' 3 LP set rather than the 1970 studio cut, as is the superb 'Soily', used as the final encore during shows on their 1975-1976 World Tour. 5 / 5

Mull Of Kintyre / Girls School (November 1977) UK # 1

A sing-a-long acoustic waltz with bagpipes, this hardly deserved to become the best-selling U.K. single of all time within weeks of it's release, but that's exactly what happened (the single would hold this record until 'Band Aid' with 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in 1984). I suspect that it's not so fondly loved by Paul himself though judging by how few live performances he's done of the song, or perhaps it's just hard to recreate the song live without bagpipes? This single was actually a double A-side, with the rocker 'Girls School' being the preferred side in the USA. 4 / 4

With A Little Luck / Backwards Traveller/Cuff Link (April 1978) UK # 5

The current album at the time 'London Town' had few really good songs though this relaxed pop number is one of the better ones, unlike the forgettable B-sides. 4 / 3 / 3

I've Had Enough / Deliver Your Children (June 1978) UK # 42

A very mediocre rocker on the A-side though with a superior mid-tempo acoustic song (with very good harmonies) on the B-side. 3 / 4

London Town / I'm Carrying (August 1978) UK # 60

Although not the greatest song he's ever written, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the A-side. The flip is another very mediocre & forgettable song. 4 / 3

Goodnight Tonight / Daytime Nightime Suffering (March 1979) UK # 5

At last a top-notch A-side again, this is a return to the disco-funk sound of 'Silly Love Songs' though it's a great song in it's own right. Linda often referred to the B-side as one of her favourite Paul McCartney songs & although I wouldn't go quite that far it still deserves to be more widely known. This was also released as Paul's first 12" single, with the A-side being an extended remix. 5 / 4

Old Siam Sir / Spin It On (June 1979) UK # 35

Paul has often criticised (or at least dismissed) the final Wings album 'Back To The Egg' from which these songs are taken, though to my ears it was his strongest album since 'Band On The Run'. Several songs seem to have a post-punk feel to them, especially these two (check out the storming B-side!). An underserved relative flop. 5 / 5

Getting Closer / Baby's Request (August 1979) UK # 60

Two more songs from 'Back To The Egg', the A-side isn't the strongest of songs on the album (though it's OK), far better is the 20s-styled B-side. This was the final single to feature Wings on an A-side. 4 / 5

Wonderful Christmastime / Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reggae (November 1979) UK # 6

One of Paul's more annoying songs, & one which we have to put up with every year! The B-side is a reggae instrumental of the popular Christmas song. Incidentally although Wings appear in the promotional video, the song is actually credited to Paul McCartney & doesn't feature any other Wings members. 3 / 3

Coming Up / Coming Up (Live)/Lunchbox/Odd Sox (April 1980) (UK # 2)

Although Wings hadn't officially disbanded yet, in 1980 Paul released 'McCartney II', his first true solo album in ten years, & this catchy funk-pop number was the obvious choice for a single. The live version on the B-side actually features Wings & was recorded live in Glasgow on their final tour in December 1979, while 'Lunchbox / Odd Sox' (actually one song) is an interesting instrumental outtake from the 'Venus And Mars' sessions & features the Wings line-up of that era. 5 / 4 / 4

Waterfalls / Check My Machine (June 1980) UK # 9

Another song later dismissed by Paul, this beautiful ballad remains one of his very finest. Which is more than can be said for the off-the-wall B-side! 5 / 2

Temporary Secretary / Secret Friend (September 1980) Did NOT Chart

Only released as a limited edition 12" single (hence the reason it didn't chart) this is actually a very commercial-sounding song with "modern" (at the time!) electronic effects. The non-album B-side has similar effects but the end result is sub-Gary Numan & far less successful. 4 / 2

Ebony And Ivory / Rainclouds (12" also includes Ebony And Ivory [Solo Version]) (March 1982) UK # 1

Although only 18 months seperated 'McCartney II' & 'Tug Of War', two major things happened during that time, namely the official disbanding of Wings & the death of John Lennon. No doubt prompted by both of these, Paul took far more care with the recording of his next album 'Tug Of War', bringing back George Martin to produce. He was actually so prolific at the time that he cut over half of the follow-up album 'Pipes Of Peace' at the same sessions. For better or worse though many of these had a typical 80's polish to them, lacking spontaniety & "soul" for the sake of "perfection", & 'Ebony And Ivory' (both with & without Stevie Wonder) is typical of this. The non-album 'Rainclouds' was co-written by Denny Laine so is probably an older song, & it's not bad either. 4 / 4

Take It Away / I'll Give You A Ring (12" also includes Dress Me Up As A Robber) (June 1982) UK # 15

The A-side while an OK semi-rocker lacks the drive of old, & far better is 'I'll Give You A Ring', a song which dates back to the early 70s but hadn't been released (or recorded?) until now. 'Dress Me Up As A Robber' is the sort of bland & souless song Michael Jackson was recording at the time. 4 / 5 / 3

Tug Of War / Get It (September 1982) UK # 53

Although still with that typical 80s lush production, 'Tug Of War' is a strong enough song & performance to overcome this, & is one of the highlights of the album of the same name, while the B-side is a fun duet with rockabilly legend Carl Perkins. 5 / 4

The Girl Is Mine / Can't Get Out Of The Rain (B-side does not feature Paul McCartney) (October 1982) UK # 8

A very mediocre duet with Michael Jackson that is taken from Michael's highly successful 'Thriller' album. 3

Say Say Say / Ode To A Koala Bear (12" also includes Say Say Say [Intrumental]) (October 1983) UK # 2

Although more sprightly & catchy than the previous single, this first single from the 'Pipes Of Peace' album is another very bland duet with Michael Jackson that certainly didn't deserve it's high chart placing. The extended & instrumental versions on the 12" are more of the same, & the best thing about the non-album 'Ode To A Koala Bear' is it's title. 3 / 3

Pipes Of Peace / So Bad (December 1983) UK # 1

Although perhaps more memorable for the promotional video (like many 80s records!), this is pretty good in a slick 80's kinda way, as is the falsetto sung B-side. A third single from the album 'The Man' b/w 'Blackpool' was planned & given a catalogue number but was never released. 4 / 4

No More Lonely Nights (Ballad) / No More Lonely Nights (Playout Version) (12" includes Extended version, Ballad version and Silly Love Songs) (September 1984) UK # 2

From the album & movie 'Give My Regards To Broad Street', this very classy ballad (with a great Dave Gilmour guitar solo) is one of his better singles of the '80's. The 'playout version' is a very different uptempo dance arrangement, & 'Silly Love Songs' is a re-recording with '80's production. Many different remixes of 'No More Lonely Nights' are also available on various releases. The movie re-cuts of 'Ballroom Dancing' b/w 'Wanderlust' were planned as a follow-up single but the release was scrapped when the movie didn't do as well as expected. 5 / 4 / 4

We All Stand Together / We All Stand Together (Humming Version) (November 1984) UK # 3

While fine in the context of the animated short movie that these are taken from, releasing them as a single did Macca's diminishing street-cred no good at all (the U.S.A. was lucky enough to be spared this single). 3 / 3

Spies Like Us / My Carnival (12" includes four different mixes) (November 1985) UK # 13

Written & recorded specially for the (flop) movie of the same name, Paul at last uses his raw rock 'n' roll voice again for the first time since 1979 though unfortunately the song isn't up to much. More interesting is the B-side 'My Carnival', actually a Wings 'Venus And Mars' outtake (I first bought this song on a muffled bootleg circa 1981 so this release was very much welcomed by me at the time!). 3 / 4

Press / It's Not True (12" includes Press [Dub] and Hanglide, 10" includes Press [Bevans/Forward mix]) (July 1986) UK # 25

For the 'Press To Play' album Paul collaborated with Ten C.C.'s Eric Stewart who co-wrote several of the songs, but to my ears the results were mostly less than inspiring & with a horrible brittle '80's production. 'Press' was the first single & one of the better songs from the album but that's not saying much, though the B-sides were worse. 3 / 2 / 2

Pretty Little Head / Write Away (12" includes Angry) (October 1986) Did NOT Chart

Paul's worse ever A-side? Could well be, & it was a deserved flop, as were the B-sides. 2 / 2 / 2

Only Love Remains / Tough On A Tightrope (12" includes Talk More Talk) (December 1986) UK # 34

Not a bad song, though again it was a relative flop despite Paul performing it at the time on both 'The Tube' & 'The Royal Variety Show'. Again the B-sides aren't up to much. 4 / 3 / 2

Once Upon A Long Ago / Back On My Feet (12" (version a) includes Midnight Special and Don't Get Around Much Anymore, 12" (version b) includes Lawdy Miss Clawdy and Kansas City) (November 1987) UK # 10

Another very mediocre combination, though at least it just about restored Paul to the top 10. Much better are the rock 'n' roll covers on the 12" singles, from the album 'Choba B CCCP' which was initially only released in the U.S.S.R.. 3 /3 /4 /4 /4 /4

My Brave Face / Flying To My Home (12" includes I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday and Ain't That A Shame) May 1989 UK # 18

After the relatively poor selling (& critically slammed) 'Press To Play' Paul evidently needed to make a few changes, so he wrote some songs with Elvis Costello, formed a "proper" band & went on tour for the first time in 10 years. The resulting album 'Flowers In The Dirt' is one of his better ones, a combination of modern recording techniques & traditional pop songs that mostly works well. The A-side of the first single from the album 'My Brave Face' has Beatle-esque harmonies & jangly 12-string guitar though at the same time sounds modern, & certainly deserved to do better in the charts. 'Flying To My Home' is one of the weaker songs from the album, though the two rock 'n' roll covers (both Fats Domino songs & again both from the 'Choba B CCCP' album) are excellent, in particular his inspired version of 'Ain't That A Shame'. 5 / 3 / 4 / 5

This One / The First Stone (12" includes I Wanna Cry and I'm In Love Again) (July 1989) UK # 18

Another Beatle-esque song that deserved to do better, I personally think this has the edge over 'My Brave Face'. While 'The First Stone' is nothing special, 'I Wanna Cry' is a superb slow blues song that deserves to be more widely known & 'I'm In Love Again' is another fine Fats Domino revival from the 'Choba B CCCP' album. 5 / 3 / 5 / 4

Figure Of Eight / Ou Est Le Soleil? (November 1989) UK # 42

Although perhaps not as instantly commercial & catchy as the previous two singles, 'Figure Of Eight' is still a memorable song & it made a great show opener during the 1989-1990 World Tour. But not everything Paul touched turned to gold during this period, as the B-side is undoubtedly the worse song he's ever "wrote" (I'd barely even call it a song)...& beware of several remixes of the song released as bonus tracks! 4 / 1

Put It There / Mama's Little Girl (12" includes Same Time Next Year) (February 1990) UK # 32

The fourth & final single from 'Flowers In The Dirt', this simple but effective acoustic song deserved to do much better. Nearly as good is the similarly-styled 'Mama's Little Girl', a Wings outtake probably dating from as far back as the 1972 'Red Rose Speedway' sessions, though 'Same Time Next Year' is less memorable. 5 / 4 / 3

Birthday / Good Day Sunshine (12" includes P.S. Love Me Do and Let 'Em In) (October 1990) UK # 29

These were all recorded at various location on Paul's 1989-1990 World Tour: 'Birthday' rocks as hard as The Beatles version though is marred slightly by hoarse vocals; 'Good Day Sunshine' sounds as good as ever; 'P.S. Love Me Do' is an updated medley of 'Love Me Do' & 'P.S. I Love You' which doesn't really work for me; & 'Let 'Em In' while very good doesn't quite match the Wings versions. 4 / 5 / 3 / 4

All My Trials / C Moon (12" includes Mull of Kintyre and Put It There, CD single includes Lennon Medley) (December 1990) UK # 35

Again all recorded live during the recent World Tour, 'All My Trials' is a new (to Paul) song & a passionate version of an old folk-blues standard; 'C Moon' sounds as good or as bad as it ever did depending on your point of view; 'Mull Of Kintyre' is one of the few live performances of the song (& the only one during this tour); 'Put It There' adds a snippet of 'Hello Goodbye' to the studio arrangement; & 'Lennon Medley' is a glorious & heartfelt medley of 'Strawberry Fields Forever', 'Help!' & 'Give Peace A Chance' that was recorded live in Liverpool. 4 / 3 / 5 / 5

Hope Of Deliverance / Long Leather Coat (CD includes Big Boys Bickering and Kicked Around No More, 12" includes remixes of Deliverance only) (December 1992) UK # 18

1993's 'Off The Ground' album pretty much repeated the same formula as 'Flowers In The Dirt', with almost the same band (only the drummer had changed), some similar Beatle-esque songs & another World Tour. The simple but catchy 'Hope Of Deliverance' was the first single from the album, though none of the B-sides / extra tracks appeared on it. The rockin' 'Long Leather Coat' & the more laid-back 'Big Boys Bickering' are both quite memorable, though 'Kicked Around No More' is less so & the 'Deliverance' dance remixes only include brief excerpts of 'Hope Of Deliverance' & don't appeal to me at all. 4 / 4 / 4 / 3 / 2

C'mon People / I Can't Imagine (1st CD single includes Deliverance mixes, 2nd CD single includes Keep Coming Back To Love and Down To The River) (February 1993) UK # 41

The majestic 'C'mon People' (the 2nd single from 'Off The Ground') deserved to become one of Macca's big anthems but did surprisingly badly in the charts despite a 'Top Of The Pops' appearance & a superb promotional video directed by Kevin Godley. All of the other songs listed here didn't originally appear on the album, & most of them are forgettable (& thoses dreaded 'Deliverance' remixes surface again), but the exception is the mid tempo countryish 'Down To The River' which has a John Fogerty feel about it. 5 / 3 / 2 / 3 / 4

Young Boy / Looking For You (CD single includes Broomstick) (April 1997) UK # 19

There was a four year gap between the release of 'Off The Ground' & 'Flaming Pie' (from which this is the first single). In some ways it was back to the 1980-1987 era in that Paul didn't have a regular band & didn't go on tour to promote the album, but generally the material is far better than during those years, thanks to some of his most Beatle-esque music to date, & a general relaxed "organic" feel. Perhaps not the strongest of songs, 'Young Boy' is still pleasant enough. Equally as impressive are the non-album extra tracks, both being blues-based. Also included on the CD singles were excerpts from Paul's U.S.-only 'Oobu Joobu' radio series. 4 / 4 / 4

The World Tonight / Used To Be Bad (CD single includes Really Love You) (July 1997) UK # 23

Even better than the previous single, this double-tracked "Paul duet" deserved to do much better in the charts. Again the additional songs are blues-based, with 'Used To Be Bad' being a tough 12-bar duet with Steve Miller. The CD single also includes more 'Oobu Joobu'. 5 / 4 / 4

Beautiful Night / Love Come Tumbling Down (CD single includes Same Love) (December 1997) UK # 25

The third & final single from 'Flaming Pie', 'Beautiful Night' was first recorded in 1986 but that version remains unreleased, & instead this is a brand new recording featuring Ringo Starr on drums (& backing vocals) & assistance from George Martin. The song is slightly reminiscent of 'Only Love Remains' from 1986 (perhaps that's why it wasn't released at the time?) though is a stronger song. The extra tracks are a little weaker this time though & have a slick production similar to his early '80s work. Yet again more of 'Oobu Joobu' was also released on the CD single. 5 / 3 / 3

Fluid (The Fireman) (September 1998) Did NOT Chart

As well as his regular albums, Paul has so far released three albums (in 1993, 1998 & 2008) of mostly ambient instrumental music as 'The Fireman', though this is the only single release so far apart from another later single featuring a remix of the same song. Personally I find this type of music rather boring though I guess it is pleasant enough. Far more appealing to me is the artwork! The name of the woman featured is Julie Lewis, & the photo was taken by photographer & former model Bunny Yeager some time in the 70s or possibly the late 60s. Go to my Naked In Thanet blog to see an uncensored version of this photo plus an outtake from the same session! The photo deserves 5, but as it's the music I'm judging... 3

No Other Baby / Fabulous (CD single also includes Brown-Eyed Handsome Man) (November 1999) UK # 42

Following the sad death of his wife Linda McCartney, Paul returned to the studio to cut his 2nd album of rock 'n' roll covers. Backed by such musicians as Mick Green, Dave Gilmour, Pete Wingfield, Geraint Watkins & Ian Paice, the results were even better than 1987's 'Choba B CCCP', with Paul's vocals & playing full of passion & drive. 'No Other Baby' is the most obscure song on the album (Paul learnt it via The Vipers Skiffle Group), more well known are Charlie Gracie's 'Fabulous' & Chuck Berry's 'Brown-Eyed Handsome Man' (here given a cajun feel with accordian). 5 / 5 / 4

From A Lover To A Friend / Riding Into Jaipur (October 2001) UK # 45

Freedom / From A Lover To A Friend
(November 2001) Did NOT Chart

The only releases from his poor selling (at least in this country) 'Driving Rain' album, these were issued in quick succession. 'From A Lover To A Friend' b/w 'Riding Into Jaipur' was issued on 29th October 2001, & then just a week later on 5th November 2001 'Freedom' b/w 'From A Lover To A Friend' was rush released with all profits going to the families of the New York fireman & police lost in the 9 /11 terrorist attacks. 'From A Lover To A Friend' is a rather nondescript piano-based ballad that could easily have been recorded in the early 80s (though Paul's vocals show their age here), & 'Riding Into Jaipur' has an interesting Eastern feel though it's not much of a song. As for 'Freedom'... I really have mixed feelings over this one, as there's no doubt that this is a very sincere reaction to 9 /11, but at the same time it's a long way from The Beatles' usual "Love & Peace" message (the song was cruelly dubbed "Give War A Chance" by some fans!). Paul pretty much disowns the 'Driving Rain' album these days as many of the songs were inspired by his time with Heather Mills, later Mrs McCartney... 3 / 3 / 3

Tropic Island Hum / We All Stand Together (September 2004) UK # 21

20 years after the release of 'We All Stand Together' Paul released 'Tropic Island Hum', also the title of his latest animated feature. The song & the feature are actually good fun in the traditional Walt Disney mode. 4 / 3

Fine Line / Growing Up Falling Down (CD single features Comfort Of Love) (August 2005) UK # 20

The first single from 'Chaos And Creation In The Backyard', this mid-tempo song has an early Wings feel about it, though the droning acoustic B-side is nothing special. The CD single featured a different 2nd track 'Comfort Of Love', which again reminds me of Wings. 4 / 3 / 4

Jenny Wren / Summer of '59 (CD single features I Want You To Fly) (November 2005) UK # 22

The 2nd single from the album, the beautiful acoustic 'Jenny Wren' is almost a 'Blackbird' part two though in my opinion it's an even better song, proof that Macca can still come up with the goods when he wants to. 'Summer Of '59' sounds like a rough demo (an uptempo rocker with electric guitar but no drums) though has it's charms, as does the interesting extra track on the CD single 'I Want You To Fly'. 5 /4 /4

Dance Tonight / Nod Your Head (Sly Dunbar Remix) (June 2007) UK # 26

Just 21 months after the back-to-form 'Chaos And Creation In The Backyard' Paul released another strong album, 'Memory Almost Full', & this is the first single from that album. 'Dance Tonight' is a catchy song with mandolin (or is it a ukelele?), & was actually featured on both sides of the limited edition 7" single, with 'Nod Your Head' only being the 2nd track on the CD single. The version on the album is an inspired rocker (though marred by daft lyrics), but the version featured here is an awful remix, hence the low rating... 4 / 2

Ever Present Past / House Of Wax [live] (CD Single features Only Mama Knows [live] and Dance Tonight [live]) (November 2007) UK # 85

A mediocre rocker with laid-back vocals, far better are the live versions of other songs from 'Memory Almost Full' that are featured on the B-side & on the CD single. 3 / 4 / 4 / 4

See my other blog for Paul McCartney DVDs!


  1. I don't feel educated enough to have an opinion here to be honest. There was little heard from McCartney (on radio at least) after My Brave Face.

    Just surprised that Uncle Albert/Colonel Halsey isn't here...

  2. It was pretty much the same over here after 1989 / 1990, this is probably why some very good singles weren't bigger hits. 'Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey' wasn't released as a single in the UK unfortunately.

  3. *oopsie!* Admiral! ;-D

    It was huge back home, I remember. More so than Another Day. I always wondered if it influenced the Hollies when they wrote Reflections of a Mind. Those "multi-chapter" songs were very fashionable back around 1970/71...

  4. Regarding my earlier comment, I looked into this & it's not strictly true: in 1977 Macca cut an instrumental version of the 'Ram' album under the name "Thrillington", & the U.K. single from this was 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey'.

  5. Nice post, and having all the single covers in one place is handy. But I must tell you, you are going to spend at least a little time in one of the outer circles of hell for describing the moving and poignant "I'm Carrying" as "mediocre and forgettable."

  6. Thanks JGC...& you're right; I just listened to 'I'm Carrying' again & it's beautiful. 'London Town' is probably my least-played Macca album from the Wings era, I really must investigate it again.

  7. Great post! I remember when the "Pipes Of Peace" single came out, radio stations in my area didn't play it much. Instead, they played the flipside "So Bad" and it became a minor hit in my area here in Mid-America.

  8. Wonderful work Peter.....
    I loved seeing all the picture sleeves for the singles. There's some great music here !
    Have you checked out "London Town" since your post back in April ? ?
    I've got a 3 CD set called "Water Wings" which rounds up all the outtakes and alternate versions from the "London Town" sessions.....
    I've always enjoyed this album.