Top 20: Wings and solo Paul McCartney


With the release of Pure McCartney today, SDE picks its own top 20 Wings and solo McCartney recordings. One track per album (except Driving Rain, which hasn’t got a good track on it). Check out our selections below with many rare videos and audio for each song…

Maybe I’m Amazed

Paul’s love letter to his new bride Linda was featured on his first solo album McCartney and became  an instant classic, with the Faces and Sandie Shaw recording versions in 1971.


Heart Of The Country

1971’s RAM offers an abundance of delights but Heart of the Country is a melodic gem and embodies the rustic, homely delights Paul sings about. The 2013 updated version, which was a ‘soundtrack’ to a Linda McCartney Foods advert, is best forgotten.


Wild Life

The fact that the rather amateurish Wild Life (1972) album, followed the sophisticated and musically complex RAM is hard to believe. There’s no denying it has its moments, particularly the conciliatory Dear Friend, but the album feels lazy with simplistic arrangements often in dire need of editing. That said, our highlight is the title track, which has a very interesting, yearning tone and unlike virtually anything else Paul produced in the 1970s. As a ‘protest’ song (of sorts), it’s certainly much better than Give Ireland Back To The Irish.


Single Pigeon

Your task? Write a little ditty about a Pigeon that is charming and strangely moving. No? Luckily, Macca got their first as this slight but memorable tune from Red Rose Speedway (1973) confirms.



Sometimes the BIG hit single just does the job. Jet from 1973’s Band on the Run is undeniably such a song. Tony Visconti arranged the horns on this track (although remained uncredited until Band on the Run was reissued in 1999). Here’s a rare version of Jet as performed by Paul and makeshift band on BBC TV’s Wogan, from 1987.


Letting Go

The public for some reason hated Letting Go which was a single from Venus and Mars (1975). It wasn’t even a top 40 hit in the UK, and peaked at number 39 Stateside which is poor considering that they’d just had a number one with Listen To What The Man Said. Here’s Paul performing on the Wings Over America tour.


The Note You Never Wrote

Beautiful, haunting song from the ‘democratic’ Wings at the Speed of Sound album (1976), where everyone (even Linda) had a ‘go’ at singing a song. This is written by Paul with vocals by Denny Laine. Laine’s own Time To Hide is another highlight from the same album.


Name and Address

This London Town (1978) album track was supposedly written for Elvis (can you tell?) but plans scuppered when The King died. Paul plays lead guitar on this fun track.


Winter Rose / Love Awake

From 1979’s Back to the Egg (A-Side was ‘sunny side up, B-side ‘over easy’), Winter Rose / Love Awake is a rather underrated balled combo. Although critics would claim these medleys indicate that Paul can’t finish a song, he does do them well and in fact this follows another pairing on the album After The Ball / Million Miles, that’s similarly good.


Coming Up

The best thing Paul has done outside The Beatles. A brilliant pop song –  all the more incredible when you consider Paul composed and recorded everything by himself for 1980’s McCartney II. This live version became the ‘hit’ side in America after the record company didn’t like the processed vocals on the studio cut. Lennon said “I thought that Coming Up was greatI liked that freak version he made is his barn, better than that live Glasgow version. I thought the record company had a nerve changing it round on him.


Take It Away

The second single from 1982’s ‘return to form’ Tug Of War has aged far better than Ebony and Ivory. Great production and decent video. One of the many excellent songs in his canon that Macca has never played live.


Pipes of Peace

It was January 1984 and Paul was still having number one singles. Say Say Say had gone to the top in America, and now the title track from Pipes of Peace did the same in the UK. It would be his last as a solo artist and is another that he hasn’t played in concert.


No More Lonely Nights

A classic McCartney single pulled from the soundtrack to his ill-advised film Give My Regards To Broadstreet. Largely recorded live, this features David Gilmour on guitar and Anne Dudley on keyboards. Guess what? He’s never played this live either!



After three albums with George Martin, Paul got Hugh Padgham in to work on Press to Play (1986). Ironically, ditching his old mucker and going for ‘modern’ sounding production to stay relevant gave Paul two singles that stalled outside the top 20 and even a non-charting single in Pretty Little Head. It all felt a little forced. This is a highlight though and like many songs on the album Footprints was co-written with Eric Stewart from 10cc.


My Brave Face

Paul was working with Elvis Costello in the late 1980s and their first (and only) A-side for Macca (Back on My Feet was a B-side in ’87) was the lead single off 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt. Although Paul was back with a strong single, it only peaked at number 18 in the UK.


Mistress and Maid

Another McCartney/McManus composition is the highlight from 1993’s patchy Off The Ground. Macca’s only selection for Pure McCartney from Off The Ground is Winedark Open Sea, which is an odd choice.


Young Boy

Despite eight (count ’em) songs being pulled from 1997’s Flaming Pie for the 4CD version of Pure McCartney, first single Young Boy isn’t one of them! Hard to understand why, it’s a great song and his last single (solely credited to Paul McCartney) to get into the ‘teens’ in the UK top 20 singles chart.


This Never Happened Before

Paul’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard from 2005 was a significant return to form after the frankly awful Driving Rain from 2001.  There are many highs, but this album closer is brilliant and was used in the 2006 film The Lake House which is what this video is about!


Only Mama Knows

Why this wasn’t a single, a-hem, ‘Only Mama Knows’, but Paul certainly liked this Wingsy album track from 2007’s Memory Almost Full and played it regularly, including this fine performance on Jools Holland’s BBC TV show Later….



One in the eye for Queenie Eye because Alligator is by a long shot the best song from 2013’s improbably excellent New. Credit must go to Mark Ronson, who made such a good job of recording and producing this (is there anything he can’t do?). Call me crazy, but this has an almost RAM-like quality to the guitars and composition.


Disagree with these selections? Let us know what you think – Leave a comment.

Pure McCartney is out today.

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Paul McCartney

Pure McCArtney 4LP vinyl




Pure McCartney / 4CD Deluxe Edition (67 tracks)

CD 1

1 Maybe I’m Amazed (Remastered 2011)
by Paul McCartney

2 Heart Of The Country (Remastered 2012)
by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney

3 Jet (Remastered 2010)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

4 Warm And Beautiful (Remastered 2014)
by Wings

5 Listen To What The Man Said (Remastered 2014)
by Wings

6 Dear Boy (Remastered 2012)
by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney

7 Silly Love Songs (Remastered 2014)
by Wings

8 The Song We Were Singing (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

9 Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey (Medley / Remastered 2012)
by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney

10 Early Days
by Paul McCartney

11 Big Barn Bed (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

12 Another Day (Remastered 2012)
by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney

13 Flaming Pie (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

14 Jenny Wren
by Paul McCartney

15 Too Many People (Remastered 2012)
by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney

16 Let Me Roll It (Remastered 2010)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

17 New
by Paul McCartney


18 Live And Let Die (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

19 English Tea
by Paul McCartney

20 Mull Of Kintyre (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

21 Save Us
by Paul McCartney

22 My Love (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

23 Bip Bop (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

24 Let ‘Em In (Remastered 2014)
by Wings

25 Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five (Remastered 2010)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

26 Calico Skies (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

27 Hi, Hi, Hi (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

28 Waterfalls (Remastered 2011)
by Paul McCartney

29 Band On The Run (Remastered 2010)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

30 Appreciate
by Paul McCartney

31 Sing The Changes
by The Fireman

32 Arrow Through Me (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

33 Every Night (Remastered 2011)
by Paul McCartney

34 Junior’s Farm (Remastered 2014)
by Wings

35 Mrs Vandebilt (Remastered 2010)
by Paul McCartney And Wings

CD 3

36 Say Say Say (Radio Edit / 2015 Remix)
by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

37 My Valentine
by Paul McCartney

38 Pipes Of Peace (Remastered 2015)
by Paul McCartney

39 The World Tonight (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

40 Souvenir (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

41 Dance Tonight
by Paul McCartney

42 Ebony And Ivory (Remixed 2015)
by Paul McCartney

43 Fine Line
by Paul McCartney

44 Here Today (Remixed 2015)
by Paul McCartney

45 Press (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

46 Wanderlust (Remixed 2015)
by Paul McCartney

47 Winedark Open Sea (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

48 Beautiful Night (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

49 Girlfriend (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

50 Queenie Eye
by Paul McCartney

51 We All Stand Together (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

CD 4

52 Coming Up (Remastered 2011)
by Paul McCartney

53 Too Much Rain
by Paul McCartney

54 Good Times Coming / Feel The Sun (Medley / Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

55 Goodnight Tonight (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

56 Baby’s Request (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

57 With A Little Luck (DJ Edit / Remastered 2016)
by Wings

58 Little Willow (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

59 Only Mama Knows
by Paul McCartney

60 Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Remastered 2016)
by Wings

61 The Back Seat Of My Car (Remastered 2012)
by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney

62 No More Lonely Nights (7″ Single Version / Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

63 Great Day (Remastered 2016)
by Paul McCartney

64 Venus And Mars / Rock Show (Medley / Remastered 2016)
by Wings

65 Temporary Secretary (Remastered 2011)
by Paul McCartney

66 Hope For The Future
by Paul McCartney

67 Junk (Remastered 2011)
by Paul McCartney


Pure McCartney / 2CD Edition (39 tracks)

CD 1

  • 1. Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney)
  • 2. Heart of the Country (Ram)
  • 3. Jet (Band on the Run)
  • 4. Warm and Beautiful (Wings at the Speed of Sound)
  • 5. Listen to What The Man Said (Venus and Mars)
  • 6. Dear Boy (Ram)
  • 7. Silly Love Songs (Wings at the Speed of Sound)
  • 8. The Song We Were Singing (Flaming Pie)
  • 9. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (Ram)
  • 10. Another Day (non-album single)
  • 11. Sing The Changes (The Fireman – Electric Arguments)
  • 12. Jenny Wren (Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard)
  • 13. Save Us (New)
  • 14. Mrs Vandebilt (Band on the Run)
  • 15. Mull of Kintyre (non album single)
  • 16. Let ‘Em In (Wings at the Speed of Sound)
  • 17. Let Me Roll It (Band on the Run)
  • 18. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five (Band on the Run)
  • 19. Ebony and Ivory (Tug of War)

CD2 (20 tracks)

  • 20. Band on the Run (Band on the Run)
  • 21. Arrow Through Me (Back To The Egg)
  • 22. My Love (Red Rose Speedway)
  • 23. Live and Let Die (non-album single)
  • 24. Too Much Rain (Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard)
  • 25. Goodnight Tonight (non-album single)
  • 26. Say Say Say (2015 remix) (Pipes of Peace)
  • 27. My Valentine (Kisses on the Bottom)
  • 28. The World Tonight (Flaming Pie)
  • 29. Pipes of Peace (Pipes of Peace)
  • 40. Dance Tonight (Memory Almost Full)
  • 31. Here Today (Tug of War)
  • 32. Wanderlust (Tug of War)
  • 33. Great Day (Flaming Pie)
  • 34. Coming Up (McCartney II)
  • 35. No More Lonely Nights (Give My Regards to Broad Street)
  • 36. Only Mama Knows (Memory Almost Full)
  • 37. With A Little Luck (London Town)
  • 38. Hope For The Future (non-album single)
  • 39. Junk (McCartney)



1. Maybe I’m Amazed
2. Heart Of The Country
3. Jet
4. Warm And Beautiful
5. Listen To What The Man Said
6. Dear Boy

1. Silly Love Songs
2. The Song We Were Singing
3. Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey
4. Another Day
5. New

1. Mull of Kintyre
2. Sing The Changes
3. Jenny Wren
4. Mrs Vandebilt
5. Save Us

1. Let ‘Em In
2. Let Me Roll It
3. Ebony and Ivory
4. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five

1. Band on the Run
2. Arrow Through Me
3. My Love
4. Live and Let Die
5. Too Much Rain

1. Say Say Say [2015 Remix]
2. My Valentine
3. Goodnight Tonight
4. The World Tonight
5. Pipes of Peace

1. Dance Tonight
2. Here Today
3. Wanderlust
4. Great Day
5. Coming Up
6. No More Lonvely Nights

1. Too Many People
2. Only Mama Knows
3. With a Little Luck
4. Hope For The Future
5.  Junk

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A neat list. The disdain for Driving Rain surprises me; for me it’s a much better collection of songs than say, Back To The Egg, Press To Play or even Off The Ground. I love Your Way and also dig Riding Into Jaipur and Heather. (Though I did edit out that foolish whispering of her name in the song and renamed my MP3 “Queen Of My Heart”)

Best songs kinda missed on the list in my book:

Ram – Back Seat Of My Car
Tug Of War – title song. duh.
Flowers in the Dirt – This One
Off The Ground – Hope Of Deliverance
Flaming Pie – Beautiful Night
Driving Rain – Your Way
Chaos – Jenny Wren (most days)
Electric Arguments – Dance ‘Til We’re High

But you really nailed it with Memory Almost Full. Only Mama Knows is a classic. Great article!


I love ‘Heather’ off Driving Rain. One of his finest. Strange song. The prelude is longer than the rest of the song. But absolutely beautiful.


What? No songs from ‘Thrillington’? It’s part of his released canon. Maybe ‘Smile Away’ or ‘Too Many People.’ Got the 4CD compilation and it’s great!!


Great choice for “the note you never wrote”. But why does “little lamb Dragon fly” never get a look in. Epic.


“Little Lamb Dragonfly” was one of Larry Norman’s favourite Macca songs… apparently while Larry was at AIR Studios recording his “Only Visiting This Planet” and “So Long Ago The Garden” albums for MGM one of his sessions overlapped with Macca cutting “Live and Let Die” with George Martin


I’ve always thought “I’m Carrying” was a very pretty song from London Town, and do wonder if Mull of Kintyre’s double A-side will ever feature on a Macca compilation – have always had a soft spot for “Girls’ School” – I realise they are from the same set of sessions.

It would have been nice if there wasn’t so much repetition of song choices between “All The Best”, “Wingspan” and “Pure McCartney” when Pure hasn’t been labelled as a greatest hits compilation… I’ve never heard singles like “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, are they lots worse than “C’ Moon” and “Hi, Hi, Hi”?

I got the 4CD version of Pure … despite having most of the latest remasters (usually as 2CD or more) and quite like it but do think some albums are over represented (Flaming Pie has a few non-essential inclusions) while Venus and Mars, Tug of War, Pipes of Peace, Flowers In The Dirt, Run Devil Run all seem under-represented.

Keith Howie

Continuing the theme of why aren’t my favourites in someone else’s top 20, wot – nothing off “Electric Arguments”? No “My Valentine” off “Kisses On The Bottom”?

Ed F

Tug Of War is esp poignant coming as it does two years after Lennon’s death, and produced by Martin. The ‘pushing/pulling’ part is particularly affecting.

Little Lamb Dragonfly from Red Rose Speedway really nails an White Album-esque acoustic melody and soars.

Every Night is an autobiographical account of his exile in Scotland post-Beatles but is a really touching love song. Does what he does best – simple strong melody and lyric. I love the first album for its DIY ethic. Under-rated next to Ram.

Steve Benson

Ballroom Dancing from Give My Regards to Broad St is a toe-tapper and I’d have to include No Other Baby from Run Devil Run which is an album that often gets overlooked – why?


“Your Way” from Driving Rain is a great song from that album!! So to say that there isn’t anything good on there isn’t exactly true!


I think you need to let the Driving Rain thing go :)

christopher hopkins

“Put It There” is one of his finest but it’s nowhere to be seen on this set. Criminal.


Put It There is the best song he wrote since Yesterday never mid the best song on FITD!

Mark Zutkoff

I’m a bit surprised nobody has suggested “Riding to Vanity Fair” from Chaos and Creation In The Backyard. I find this song to be a masterpiece of production, performance, melody, and lyric. Also, the underrated “Vanilla Sky” title song is a favorite of mine.

Tom Gardner

While not album tracks, “Little Woman Love” and “Daytime Nightime Suffering” would always make my list of McCartney favourites.

Hopefully we will get more general archive releases like this from McCartney though perhaps he could throw in a greater number of rarity releases as the album by album Archive series has hardly scratched the surface of what is in the vaults.

Jesper Hall

I thought “Once Upon A Long Ago” was his last UK #1 single.

Also what’s up with the guide below each song. They are all marked as if on all the compilations?

Richard Z

Nice list, mine would still be different ofcourse.
I can’t really understand why “Driving Rain” wouldn’t be represented tho.
“Driving Rain” surely has some worthy songs to be included officially or anyone’s fan list. If you can tolerate and include songs from albums like “Wilde Life” and “Off the Ground” which are much weaker releases then “Driving Rain” shouldn’t be a problem also.
“Lonely Road” anyway would be my pick.

Still strange that the official pure release doesn’t have anything from “Flowers in the dirt”. I don’t think having one or two songs from that album would hurt the sales for the archive edition. If not “My Brave Face” then “Put it There”

Anyway nice personal list.

Richard Z

The guides btw shows that every song is on the Pure release. which ofcourse isn’t the case.
Unless I am missing something.

Richard Z

Clear enough. Not sure why but I just saw ALL boxes as checked.


It’s a shame your copy of Driving Rain doesnt’ have “Heather” or “Your way” on it, Paul. Have you considered returning it to the shops to get a proper one ? ;)

Great list, though :)


Sorry Paul, but Driving Rain is a decent album. She’s Given Up Talking has his best bassline in ages, and Heather is a pretty Macca line. I would also put Cafe on the Left Bank in the top 20.


I’m surprised at some of your choices, especially Footprints from Press To Play (a real “wow, are you sure?” moment, haha). But that’s what makes your list individual, and all of us different. I’d have chosen Stranglehold or Good Times Coming/Feel The Sun. Or even Press itself, which is dopey but charmingly so. Fine Time is my favourite Macca solo single since the 80s, so I’d have chosen that too.

Now I need to dig out Driving Rain to see if it’s really without any merit whatsoever!

Ben Williams

I think there are a few little gems on Driving Rain… From a Lover to a Friend and Lonely Road would be in my Macca top 100, theyre worth a listen. I can see why that album bombed though – awful artwork, too long, it has Freedom on it..


RIP Jimmy McCollouch


that John Lennon interview contains possibly the most moving comment Lennon vs McCartney ever:
Question: “Was there ever one of Paul’s songs […] that you were surprised he could write something that good?”
Lennon (with a more than a hint of affection): “No… he never surprised me… because it was like… can you be surprised by your brother, from age 15 on?…”


I think the studio ‘Coming Up’ was grossly overlooked here in the states. I seldom ever played the live version at all. One of my fondest music memories from when I was a young teen was seeing the video Paul did for Coming Up, he played most of the parts, on Saturday Night Live back then


I always had a soft spot for ‘I’ve Had Enough’ from ‘London Town’ 1978.that stalled at no 42 in the UK charts and should have been massive;a great rocker from Paul.


I would replace Jet with Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five, Name and address with London Town, PipeS of Peace with Say Say Say, Only Mama Knows with House of Wax. From Driving rain I could’ve picked, From a Lover to a Friend, Shes Given up Talking, Magic (ELOish how things come full circle:)), Spinning on an Axis or Riding into Jaipur

Murray Graham

The most glaring omission to me is Morse Moose and the Grey Goose. I actually thought Paul would choose it as his fave off London Town as he mentioned the mash-up on Twin Freaks a few weeks back. Definitely the best track on London Town in my humble opinion. I might even go as far as to say the best Wings track overall.

Lynn McKenzie

What’s your source for the Lennon quote about Coming Up? I have been trying for years to figure out which version he said he loved in the Playboy interviews, and never saw your quote.

Paul Kent

I second Rinse The Raindrops! Also, Power Cut, No Words, Magneto and Titanium Man, Getting Closer, Arrow Through Me, Through Our Love, We Got Married, The Lovers That Never Were, Fine Line, Dance Til We’re High…. I’ll stop now :)


After all the ranting on this site about My Brave Face not being on the set, somehow it’s OK for this list to leave off any song from Driving Rain. Yes, it’s a crap album but “From a Lover to a Friend” is a great song. And it’s more than a bit hypocritical to criticize Paul for his omissions yet pay yourself on the back for your own.

For what it’s worth, I think Pure McCartney is terrific and I’m glad to have a full career retrospective of Paul’s work and Paul’s choices in one set — even tho there are a few songs (like Only Mama Knows and Ebony & Ivory) that I don’t like. It’s a great collection and it sounds great.


Driving rain maybe on the dull side but than, comes the masterpiece “Rinse the raindrops”. Has anyone actually listened to this Gem? Just imagine it tucked somewhere on the Beatles White album and the critics of that time would go “Ahh, this should be a single shouldn’t lt?”


The video for Coming Up is hilarious with all the “cameos”. LOL

Adam shaw

I like your Macca mix tape Paul , we all have out favs from each album . Every Night from McCartney would be mine with the live version of Maybe I’m Amazed my favourite from Over America , Big Barn Bed is a must for me from Red Rose . Could go on and on ………


Dear Friend from Wildlife should be on there, and Spies Like Us. Love both of those.


Did Paul really think Elvis would sing “Name And Address”? I always thought it was a parody, like The Move’s “Don’t Mess Me Up”. Great track though — on an unfairly overlooked album that’s full of them.


ps the 2 cd version of ‘Pure’ is £10 in Tesco! As is the new compilation by Gilbert O’sullivan and Rick Astley’s new album ’50’. (you could get signed pre-order cd’s from his website before today – mine is in the post!)


Listen to what the Man Said is a far far better song than Letting Go from Venus & Mars. In fact it’s one of McCartneys best ever songs. Put It There from FITD should also be on Pure and in your list too Paul, but it wouldn’t do for us all to have the same taste now would it. His collaboration with Michael Jackson called ‘The Man’ from Pipes of Peace that was not released as a single always gets over-looked and it is an awesome tune! But if you are only picking 1 song from each album The title track from POP is a must!


The UK price for the 4LP set is a disgrace! It’s less in Canadian and US dollars than pounds.


It is easy to quibble about lists like this because there is always a track here and there that might be preferred. But overall, I think you did an excellent job Paul. All of your choices make complete sense. And while Macca got there first with a song about one pigeon, Genesis upped the ante 3 years later in a song about all “Pigeons” (lol).


Best ever pigeon song….Dave Sudbury’s “King Of Rome” Superb versions by June Tabor and The Unthanks

Auntie Sabrina

No Waterfalls or Frog Chorus then..?

Stan Butler

Why does everyone call “We All Stand Together” by the wrong title?


A fair choice. But you could have added About You from Driving Rain