Paul McCartney is the most successful songwriter of all-time. He not only achieved massive international success as a member of the “Fab Four,” he went on to have success with his post-Beatles band Wings.
Paul McCartney has also enjoyed worldwide success as a solo artist. He has written more number one songs than any other songwriter in music history. Between his hits as a member of the Beatles, as the front man of the band Wings and as a solo artist, McCartney has had numerous Top 40 hits and a massive catalogue of songs he has written. What are the best 10 songs of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career?
10) “Take It Away”: Included on the 1982 album Tug of War, “Take It Away” spent 16 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single peaked at number 15 on the U.K. charts. It crossed over and held the number six spot on the U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and the number two spot on the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary chart. Written by Paul McCartney, “Take It Away” was produced by the George Martin, with whom Paul had worked with as a Beatle. Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is featured in the video, as is Linda McCartney, George Martin and actor John Hurt.
9) “Ebony and Ivory" (duet with Stevie Wonder): Also included on the 1982 album Tug of War, the song went to number one on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and on the U.K. charts. In 2003 Billboard magazine ranked “Ebony and Ivory” at number 69 on its all-time Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Ebony and Ivory spent seven weeks in the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard chart. It was the fourth biggest hit of 1982 and the second longest song on the charts of his post-Beatles career. “Ebony and Ivory” was written by Paul McCartney and produced by George Martin.
8) “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey": Co-written with his wife Linda McCartney, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” was included on the 1971 album Ram. McCartney composed the song from unfinished melodies and lyrics he had written for the Beatles final album Abbey Road. The title pays tribute to Paul’s uncle Albert, whom he remembered fondly, as well as American Fleet Admiral William “Bull” Halsey. The “Uncle Albert” portion of the song is meant as apology from his generation to the one before. Admiral Halsey represents an authority figure that is not to be ignored. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” reached at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 4, 1971. It was his first post-Beatles number one hit.
7) “No More Lonely Nights”: Released as a single in September 1984, “No More Lonely Nights" was included on the soundtrack of the film “Give My Regards o Broad Street”. The song was written by Paul McCartney, produced by George Martin and recorded at Abbey Roads Studios. “No More Lonely Night’s peaked on the U.S. Billboard Ho1 100 chart at number six. In the U.K. the song reached the number two position.
6) “Listen to What the Man Said”: Co-written by Paul and Linda McCartney the song was included on the 1975 Wings album Venus and Mars. The single reached the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and also number one on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart. “Listen to What the Man Said” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales over one million copies. This song was the first to feature new Wings drummer Joe English, with guest musicians Dave Mason on guitar and Tom Scott on soprano saxophone.
5) “Silly Little Love Songs”: Included on the 1976 album Wings at the Speed of Sound, the song was Paul McCartney’s twenty-seventh number one hit as a songwriter. Not only was it number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, it also was a number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart and reached the number two position on the U.K. Singles chart. “Silly Love Songs” was a cheeky song composed by Paul and Linda McCartney as a response to critics, and former bandmate John Lennon, who said that Paul was recording “soppy songs.”
4) “Band on the Run”: Included on the 1974 album of the same name, “Band on the Run” has become one of Paul McCartney and Wings most famous songs. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and by the British Publishing Industry in 1974 for selling one million copies. “Band on the Run” has a theme of freedom and escape, but specifically it was about the legal issues McCartney was facing due to possession of marijuana. “Band on the Run” reached the number one position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and Canadian RPM 100 Top Singles chart. The song reached the number two spot on the UK Singles Chart.
3) “My Love”: Released on the 1973 album Red Rose Speedway, “My Love” was written a love song for his wife Linda, who received song writing credit on the single. The song was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with a full orchestra. The most successful single from the Red Rose Speedway album, “My Love” reached the number one position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. Billboard Easy Listening charts. It peaked at number nine on the U.K. Singles chart. Billboard ranked “My Love” as the number five song for the year ending 1973. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for one million copies sold. “My Love” has been covered by many artists, including Brenda Lee, Nancy Wilson, Andy Williams and Dottie West.
2) “Live and Let Die”: Written by McCartney for the James Bond movie of the same name, screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz wanted the song sung by someone else. Paul would not allow the song in the film unless it was song by Wings. Co-written with Linda McCartney, “Live and Let Die” reached the number two spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number nine on the U.K. Singles chart.
1) “Maybe I’m Amazed”: Considered the greatest love song McCartney ever wrote, “Maybe I’m Amazed” was dedicated to McCartney’s his wife Linda. Released on the 1970 album McCartney, it was the first song Paul released after the Beatles official break-up. The original studio version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” from the album has never been released as a single. In an interview Paul McCartney once said that “Maybe I’m Amazed” is the song for which he would most like to be remembered. Linda McCartney died in April 1998 after a battle with breast cancer. Paul and Linda were married 29 years at the time of her passing.