Paul McCartney

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Still the Cute One.

Paul McCartney (1942-). Beatle. Bass player. Knight. Vegetarian. Left-handed.

See also Wings, the band McCartney formed in the 1970s.

  • McCartney (1970)
  • Ram (1971)
  • McCartney II (1980)
  • Tug of War (1982)
  • Pipes of Peace (1983)
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
  • Press to Play (1986)
  • Snova v SSSR (1988)
  • Flowers in the Dirt (1989)
  • Off the Ground (1993)
  • Flaming Pie (1997)
  • Run Devil Run (1999)
  • Driving Rain (2001)
  • Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005)
  • Memory Almost Full (2007)
  • Kisses on the Bottom (2012)
  • New (2013)

With Wings:

  • Wild Life (1971)
  • Red Rose Speedway (1973)
  • Band on the Run (1973)
  • Venus and Mars (1975)
  • Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976)
  • London Town (1978)
  • Back to The Egg (1979)

As "The Fireman":

  • Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1993)
  • Rushes (1998)
  • Electric Arguments (2008)

Classical Albums:

  • Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio (1991)
  • Standing Stone (1997)
  • Working Classical (1999)
  • Ecce Cor Meum (2006)
  • Ocean's Kingdom (2011)


  • The Family Way (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), composed after the Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and the first time Paul's music wasn't credited to Lennon/McCartney, but he split the profits with John, anyway (1967)
  • Thrillington, a big band-flavored orchestral version of Ram credited to the pseudonymous Percy "Thrills" Thrillington (1977)
  • Liverpool Sound Collage, an ambient electronica album also credited to Youth, Super Furry Animals, and, because it samples Studio Chatter and stray instrumentation from a few of their recording sessions, The Beatles (2000)
  • Twin Freaks, a collaborative album with The Freelance Hellraiser that heavily remixes songs from Paul's catalogue (2005)
  • Destiny (Original Soundtrack), with Michael Salvatori, C Paul Johnson and Martin O'Donnell (2014)
Paul McCartney provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Abbey Road Crossing: The cover of the concert album Paul Is Live features an older Paul digitally inserted into the original, iconic Abbey Road cover photo.
  • Album Title Drop: "She sprinkles flowers in the dirt, that's when a thrill becomes a hurt", from the song "That Day Is Done".
  • Alternate Reality Episode: Three albums released under the name "The Fireman", a "group" consisting of Paul and the record producer Youth. The first two albums were sound collages. Electric Arguments, still rough and unpolished but a more conventional collection of songs, got strong reviews.
    • There was also his and Linda's 1971 (but released in 1978 due to other obligations) Thrillington project (an orchestral album consisting of covers of Paul's entire Ram album), credited to the pseudonym Percy "Thrills" Thrillington
  • Analogy Backfire: The analogy of piano keys representing racial harmony in "Ebony and Ivory" falls apart when you try playing a C and a C-sharp at the same time. Musical notes that sit side-by-side on the keyboard do not get along, regardless of colour.
  • Auto Erotica: "Back Seat of My Car".
  • Beard of Sorrow: The only time during his life that McCartney was known to sport a beard was the period in 1969-70 that coincided, maybe not coincidentally, with the breakup of the Beatles.
  • Bishonen: Of all The Beatles he was called the cute one.
  • Call Back: "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five", the last song on the Band on the Run album, ends with a reprise of the chorus from "Band on the Run".
    • The song right before it, "Picasso's Last Words", contains brief snippets of "Jet" and "Mrs. Vanderbilt".
  • The Charmer
  • Christmas Songs: "Wonderful Christmastime".
  • Chronological Album Title: McCartney II. It's technically his second album only if you don't include Wings releases or Ram, which was officially credited to Paul and Linda together.
  • Cold War: Snova v SSSR was originally released only in the Soviet Union, to give Paul's fans there, who usually had to scrounge for bootlegs, a record of their own.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Cover Album: Snova v SSSR. Run Devil Run and Kisses on the Bottom as well, though they contain three and two originals, respectively.
  • Cult Soundtrack: The Family Way
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Part of the extremely ugly end to his second marriage, with model Heather Mills. Mills got a large sum that was still less than a fifth of what she wanted, along with the judge's assessment that she was "less than candid".
  • Embarrassing First Name: James P. McCartney.
  • Evolving Music/Rearrange the Song: Most of the Give My Regards to Broad Street soundtrack, except for the hit single "No More Lonely Nights", was Paul rearranging old songs from both his Beatles and solo careers.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Subverted with the Wings song "Hi Hi Hi". See Intercourse with You below.
    • "Eat At Home" is about the pleasure of oral sex with your wife.
  • Grandpa, What Massive Hotness You Have, and how!
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street: Paul's venture into movie-making in 1984, which he wrote and starred in As Himself. Not a success.
  • Gratuitous French: An entire song, "Ou Est Le Soleil", off of some editions of Flowers in the Dirt.
  • Gratuitous Latin: "Ah, mater, want Jet to always love me"
  • Greatest Hits Album: He's had several. Wings Greatest covers mainly Wings, but has some early solo tracks. All the Best is under Paul's name, but is about half Wings. The two-disc Wingspan is the most comprehensive collection, covering both Wings and Paul's solo output through 1984.
  • Grief Song: "Here Today", written after the death of John Lennon.
  • Happily Married: Paul and Linda McCartney for 29 years, until Linda's death from cancer in 1998.
  • I Am the Band: "Paul McCartney and Wings". To the extent that the greatest hits album All the Best is attributed solely to McCartney despite being about half-Wings.
    • On McCartney, McCartney II, and Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard, Paul performs almost all the instruments himself.
  • Iconic Item: His trademark violin-shaped Höfner 500/1 bass.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Kisses on the Bottom. It's a line from "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," and in that context clearly refers to signing love letters with X's, but still... Paul...
  • Intercourse with You: "Hi Hi Hi". Banned by the BBC for being about drugs.
  • In the Style Of: "Let Me Roll It" off of Band on the Run is commonly believed to be Paul recording a John Lennon-style song.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: After the BBC refused to play his Protest Song "Give Ireland Back to the Irish", an irritated Paul set "Mary Had a Little Lamb" to music and actually released it as a single.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Lead Bassist
  • Let's Duet: In the early 80s, McCartney had big hits singing duets with Stevie Wonder ("Ebony and Ivory") and Michael Jackson ("The Girl Is Mine", "Say Say Say").
    • He also contributed vocals for the song "Best Love" on Steve Martin's 2011 album Rare Bird Alert.
  • Limited Wardrobe: These days, he usually performs in a long sleeved red shirt.
  • Missing Mom: Mary McCartney died from cancer when Paul was 14. This tragedy has undoubtedly inspired quite a few of his songs, including "Let It Be".
  • Never Learned to Read: Sheet music.
  • One for Sorrow, Two For Joy: "Two Magpies"
  • Older Than They Look: He's nearly 70, but he looks like he's in his late-40's to mid-50's.
  • Parental Substitute: Julian Lennon has admitted that he was much closer to Paul than his own father, especially during his early childhood and adolescence. When John deserted Julian and his mother, Paul stepped in as a role model and even wrote the song "Hey, Jude to console a young Julian over his parents' divorce.

“Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit—more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad.” - Julian Lennon

  • Prison: McCartney's infamous bust in 1980, when, as he and Wings were arriving in Japan on a tour, he was caught at customs with 218 grams of marijuana in his luggage. He spent ten days in jail and could have faced a seven-year sentence, but the Japanese government elected to deport him. Reports of John's reaction to the bust range from "delighted with his ex-partner's misfortune to the point where he literally danced with joy" to "furious that his friend let himself get caught and increasingly anxious as Paul was detained"; at any rate, he called to provide moral support.
  • Protest Song: "Give Ireland Back to the Irish"
    • "How Many People?" off of Flowers in the Dirt
  • Punny Name: 1973 single "Helen Wheels".
  • Real Life Relative: Among the persons "knocking at the door" in "Let 'Em In" are "Sister Suzy" (a nickname for Linda), "Brother John" (Linda's brother), "Brother Michael" (Paul's brother) and "Auntie Gin" (Paul's aunt).
  • Refuge in Audacity: Despite having full knowledge that it would be banned by the BBC (which it was), "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" was released as a single by Wings. Their first single..
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: His reaction to the "Paul Is Dead" rumors.

"I wasn't really dead." (Paul to Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live)

  • Rooftop Concert: Naturally, played with the other three Beatles in the band's final performance on the roof of Apple Corps, but Paul has also done it solo, having played on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater on The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist
  • Self-Titled Album: McCartney (his solo debut, in which he belatedly announced the breakup of the Beatles) and the later McCartney II.
  • Silly Love Songs: Trope Namer, and a Take That to his critics.
  • Singing Simlish: "Wo wo wo wo, wo wo wo wo, my love does it good." Not Paul's best moment as a lyricist.
  • Song Style Shift: "Band on the Run"
    • And "Live And Let Die"
  • The Southpaw
  • The Stoner: Paul smoked a lot of marijuana, especially in the 70s and 80s.
  • Take That: "Too Many People" off of Ram is a rather veiled Take That towards John Lennon. The photo on the inside sleeve of Ram--a, screwing another beetle--is less veiled. Lennon, always more willing to get nasty than McCartney, took his revenge with "How Do You Sleep?".
    • Word of God is that only the line "too many people preaching practices" was about John and Yoko. John thought the whole album was about them.
  • Textless Album Cover: McCartney and Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.
  • Unplugged Version: Paul's Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album is among the first unplugged albums ever released and was the very first MTV Unplugged performance/album.
  • We Used to Be Friends: A personal and professional relationship with Michael Jackson abruptly ended when Jackson bought the publishing rights to the Lennon/McCartney catalog.
    • While the common misconception is this, McCartney's reason for being angry at Jackson seemed to change from MJ "buying the rug he was standing on," to some of the choices he made in exploitation of the songs (e.g. putting certain Beatles songs in certain commercials) to simply not giving McCartney--one of the wealthiest men in showbiz--a raise in the royalties.
    • Paul and Linda's relationship with Denny Laine of Wings didn't end well, either.
    • And, of course, Paul's relationships with the other Beatles melted down rather spectacularly in the late 1960s. They all later managed to patch up their differences to some degree following that, but there was reportedly never the same closeness.
  • Veganopia
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: During Beatlemania he took to wearing disguises so that he could wander the streets without being mobbed (and occasionally play pranks on the other Beatles and Brian Epstein). In one amusing incident, he was recognized by a bartender who wasn't fooled when Paul asked for "a drop o' the hard stuff" in an Irish accent. See also Paul and Linda incognito at a George Harrison concert.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Paul was fond of these; "Junior's Farm" and "Jet" are two prime examples.