RamMcCartneyalbumcover#2 – Paul & Linda McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” – (1971)

The band Wings would not form until after this album was released, so it was technically a Paul McCartney solo album, though he did share credit with his wife, Linda. Not everyone loves this song, but I think it’s marvelous. From the sound effects to the split A/B layout of the track. Apparently, this song was multiple McCartney half-written tracks stitched together. Strange process, but it worked, propelling it to #1.

 

220px-Paul_McCartney_&_Wings-Band_on_the_Run_album_cover#7 – Paul McCartney & Wings – “Band on the Run” – (1973)

The 70s were a weird time for Paul McCartney – or at least, his fans. I never remember what albums were with Wings and which ones were solo. This is the title track for one of the greatest albums ever. At least five songs on this album are absolute killers. This is one of the only songs that reminds me of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the way that it changes sounds multiple times throughout the course of the song. It’s brilliant. And it was a #1 hit, too.

220px-RingoCover#17 – Ringo Starr – “You’re Sixteen” – (1973)

As creepy as the title and chorus might seem, imagine that it’s being sung by another 16 year old, and not the now 70+ Ringo Starr. Ringo actually took this song to #1. It’s a cover of Johnny Burnette’s 1960 top ten hit. The song was actually written by the Sherman Brothers (of Mary Poppins, etc. fame). The kazoo sound during the bridge is actually Paul McCartney. And that’s Harry Nilsson on backing vocals. Looks like Ringo’s “All-Starr Band” started earlier than we thought…

letemin#21 – Wings – “Let ‘Em In” – (1976)

Okay, so we’re on to 1978. Originally, I had “Live and Let Die” at #2 on this year’s rundown, but I already featured that song as part of our James Bond countdown. So I bumped everything up a spot and Wings again became eligible for the list, turns out “Let ‘Em In” is good enough to make the cut, but not good enough to make the top two. It’s a good song, and it made it into the top three on the Hot 100 and was an Adult Contemporary #1.

Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson – “Say, Say, Say” – (1983)

Paul McCartney teamed up with a fairly young Michael Jackson for this Hot 100 #1 hit in 1983. I’ve never really known what to think of this song but as I’m listening to it I’m realizing that Jackson’s vocals are awesome (as usual) and McCartney’s performance is pretty good too. But the combination of the two really works. It doesn’t even sound tragically 80s – which it really had the opportunity to do. I guess that’s a good thing.

Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder – “Ebony & Ivory” – (1982)

“Ebony & Ivory” is an often-referenced song from 1982 that hit #1 on the Hot 100 and stayed there for seven weeks. Depending on how you view it, this song is either about black and white piano keys or about people and racial integration. It’s actually about both – but mostly the racial thing. A lot of people think this song was sappy – and my response to that is “It was the 80s.” Strangely, Wonder and McCartney performed this live together in the studio – but the music video was filmed separately because of scheduling issues. Weird.

#6 – Paul McCartney & Wings – “A Wonderful Christmas Time” – (1979)

I’ve seen “A Wonderful Christmas Time” listed as a solo song by Paul McCartney – even though it was released on Wings’ 1979 album Back to the Egg – and as a single by Wings: so I listed it as both. I’ve also seen it listed as “Wonderful Christmastime,” but I like the way I’ve listed it better. The futuristic sound of the song is a result of it being played on a weird, old (then modern) synthesizer. That sound is one of the main reasons it is so memorable – that and it never really picks up speed: the song is kind of flatly paced. It’s definitely different – but definitely good.