SDEtv presents ‘McCartney’ at 50

Paul’s debut is 50 year’s old today

On this day in 1970 Paul McCartney released McCartney, his first solo album. The record has been reissued on CD and vinyl across various editions over the years and SDE explores some of them with this celebratory video.

1. The Lovely Linda
2. That Would Be Something
3. Valentine Day
4. Every Night
5. Hot As Sun / Glasses
6. Junk
7. Man We Was Lonely
8. Oo You
9. Momma Miss America
10. Teddy Boy
11. Singalong Junk
12. Maybe I’m Amazed
13. Kreen-Akrore




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One thing that Paul McCartney did wrong was that he did not sing though a microphone, he used a crappy cell phone camera and cell phone microphone and did it live. The Stones played to a backing track and produced the hell out of their performance. There was nothing live about that. Yes, Paul McCartney’s voice is a bit haggard for the years. But the problem with cell phone microphones is that they pick up only certain frequencies. If McCartney did what Eddie Vedder or the Stones did, or even what Elton John did, it would have been a lot better. When Annie Lennox sang live with her piano it also sounded really bad, but her voice is still top. When Annie’s daughter Lola sang through a microphone and EQ, on the same song, it sounded fantastic. Whether you give PM a break or not for his performance, its your choice. His biggest mistake was not choosing to produce it up a bit.

David M

Whatever he did, I am glad that he didn’t do what Elton did, wow, those strangulated vocals. Glad he had a go though.

Back to this album, Every Night would have been very appropriate “Tonight I just want to stay in …”


There were no cell phones back then

Geoff D

Another great video. I first heard Maybe I’m Amazed when I attended a friends wedding and he sung it and Blue Eyes for his bride – something I’ll never forget. Really enjoying these retro videos Paul – thanks


I get the whole you shouldn’t tell people to stop doing what they love, but…. I really think someone needs to have a word with him and he should stop. That performance was just embarrassing. The Stones on the other hand – when you’ve got a front man like Jagger who can still bring it – just wow!


I thought the Stones were awesome particularly Mick Jagger. Interesting that Keef was playing acoustic guitar and Ronnie played lead. Also interesting that Charlie was playing the air drums. I remember I used to do that with my mum’s knitting needles. But I was 10 at the time.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s Dylan cover was superb and really added to the song.
And it was a shame to hear someone like Paul McCartney’s voice like that but the guy is in his 70’s. And thank God he didn’t sing Hey Jude. Again.
And the less said about Elton John… Dear or dear, it was like hearing the pub singer.

David M

Ronnie always plays lead, except for the odd song. Keith has played leads in the past but he is a rhythm guitarist primarily.


Fine article as always, Paul. Thanks.

I think McCartney (the album) has many charms. From Every Night and Maybe I’m Amazed to Momma Miss America. The same music critics for certain publications who deride Macca’s solo debut would then be gushing over the likes of Beck doing something similar and calling it ‘Lo-Fi genius’. OK, it doesn’t measure up to his Beatles stuff, but what does? I don’t get it when people expect a solo album to be like a band album. It’s like expecting Pictures At Eleven to be as trailblazing as Led Zeppelin II. Or a Jagger solo effort to contain gems like No Expectations and Street Fighting Man. The same applies to the (ex) Beatles. Whatever magic they had (and they had it in loads) went with them when they disbanded. So no solo album by any of them is going to come near all four of them at their glorious peak. So, to say McCartney or even Ram isn’t as good as Abbey Road or Let It Be is a bit of a non starter. It’s a fine album and a charming album. It’s just not a Beatles album.

Also, the reason that McCartney is thin on top notch Macca classics is glaringly obvious. Even as the Apple began to rot and the Beatles crumbled, Paul still threw his best songs at the band. He could have been selfish and kept Get Back, The Long and Winding Road, You Never Give Me Your Money and Let It Be for his solo debut. And imagine what a masterpiece his solo album would have been had he done so? He could have got huge credit and come out of the Beatles in a blaze of glory. But he desperately wanted the band to continue and he still gave them his best, even at the end. John and George did have some great stuff for Plastic Ono Band and All Things Must Pass. But Paul must have been creatively and mentally exhausted after the Apple unpleasantness and putting his all into the last two Beatles albums. And considering the effort Macca put into Abbey Road and Let It Be (you know, when John couldn’t be arsed) and how the ‘other three’ turned on him over their beloved Klein, I think that it was an achievement even getting an album like McCartney made at the time.

I also wonder if the wonderful ‘Junk’ was inspired by Steptoe & Son? We all know about Wilfrid Brambell as ‘Grandpa McCartney’ and Paul admitted in a radio interview that he was a fan of the series. The show’s iconic theme (Ron Grainer’s ‘Old Ned’) suits the comedy perfectly, But ‘Junk’ goes with the pathos that could often be found at Oil Drum Lane.

Marc Kieser

Dear Paul McCartney,

50 years ago you surprised the world with your first solo album.
Many great albums were to follow, solo and with Wings. Thank you so very very much for everything.
But please, please, please……….take a look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself: time to stop! 50 years on you perform ‘Lady Madonna’ from your living room:


You are such a great performer and the way you changed the song is awesome, but……..the voice has gone. The voice has deteriated for years, but now it is becoming really embarrassing. Call it a day, please…..it is really time to stop performing. Thank you!

David M

Nonsense. As recently as 18 months ago I saw him do a near 3 hr concert that was outstanding. He doesn’t come across very well in one off performances like this as he needs 20 or 30 minutes to get his voice properly warmed up. His voice is not what it was but saying he can’t do it anymore is wrong. I have seen some amazing performances of Maybe I’m Amazed from this album in the twilight of his career.


You’re soooo cheeky. Where do you get off telling people to stop doing what they love? He’s not hurting anyone or anything, so back off. He loves making music. He’s great at it. Let It Be.


Dear Marc Kieser,

20+ years ago you surprised the company with your first work.
You worked hard for the next 20 years for the company. Thank you so very very much for everything.
But please, please, please……….take a look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself: time to stop! your work has deteriorated and you’re not as on the ball as you were.

You are such a great worker but…… your creativity has gone. Your work has deteriorated for years, but now it is becoming really embarrassing. Call it a day, please…..it is really time to stop working and hand in your notice. Thank you!

John McCann'.

That’s brilliant mate,love it,! always nice to c some laughter on this forum,

Larry Davis

Fun comparison topic on Sir Paul’s solo debut…I only heard it years after it was released, it’s good, not classic, felt like a glorified experimental home demo with some classic songs…doesn’t suck…neither does Driving Rain or Freedom…I’ve heard better yes, but also a helluva lot worse…took the album out of my local library, expected to hate it and surprisingly did not, actually enjoyed it!! Listened with an open mind too…hope all is well Paul & fellow SDE readers, stay safe, ordered the Bill Withers reissue box from Amazon US & finally got the TFF Big Chair box after 6 years of trying…great job Paul in curating it, now bring on the Seeds box…one question Paul…Curt is the bass player & sometimes lead singer…why does he NOT play bass on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”?? Not in the video, makes it look like he is the full time lead singer not a musician, nor during live performances…sounds like bass guitar on the record…is the basslibe on a synth?? Always curious & the box & doc film gives no answer…maybe some insight, Paul, thanks…

John McCann'

Freedom sucks!


Mister Paul, you doing so good at your web-site. I check very much in weekday (when might be working even then) and loving to reading you articel on newest releasing. Such great reviewing, very nice. Objectivity in viewing. Congratulate. I want to ask if any news on Macarteney archive release for next Macarteney. Will be Flaming Pie (1996) or Pressed to Play (1980s). My favrite album is Egypt Station (2019) and here hoping for new Beatle release for this year. Have you news on George Harison debut album (triple album even then) LOL


No news on London Town or Back to the Egg as was said to close the Wings episode.
btw this is a very good news site thanks for your great work.


Excellent video, could you do more of these, please. Especially the McCartney video inspired me to look through my own collection . Any news on ATMP? Best wishes


Hi Paul that’s a great video, I loves watching it and hope you do some more vids on other Beatles/solo releases. Its fun, it made me dig back into my collection to see how many copies I have and of course I had to play it again.
I love the cover, for many years I would look at it and wonder “why put a bowl of cherries on a white line in the middle of the road?” was it some reference to “Why Don’t We Do it In The Road?”. Of course years later when I bought the magnificent Archive Deluxe book I understood. The uncropped photos’ and others with Linda sitting beside them are fantastic. I love this Deluxe edition, its beautifully presented and fits the home spun album very well.
I get its not his greatest effort and there are many points here from others on that score. Perhaps a little self indulgent at times and production wise very home spun when compared to Abbey Road from just 6 months earlier and also alongside the efforts of John and George later in that same year (Plastic Ono Band, All Things Must Pass etc). But we should also remember the self indulgent efforts of John and George; the likes of Unfinished Music No.1 & 2, Electronic Sound, the Wedding Album etc.
I think all of them in their own way were experimenting with different ventures and that’s what makes the Beatles so fantastic and well loved. They were human, they had reached a point of success to be able to comfortably do what pleased them and take us all on a journey !
My McCartney collection at home is similar to David Fishers:
A near mint original UK LP release (cost me a fortune shipping from UK but I love it !LOL)
A near mint original Australian LP on Apple
A VG+ of the original NZ release on Apple (but not the Orange Apple – David you are very lucky to have that one ! I do have The Beatles (White Album) from NZ on Orange Apple which I love – must be a 70’s pressing after ATMP etc and its a side loader)
An original 1970 Japanese pressing on red (wine) vinyl on Apple with the beautiful Apple Obi
A mid 1970’s Japanese pressing on Capitol with the Pink/Paul photo Obi (this was replicated on the Mini-LP CD release of 1999)
The 1987 UK CD release.
The paper sleeve Japanese Mini-LP CD release from 1999
The double LP 2011 “Archive” pressing Paul mentions above.
The deluxe hard back book with 3CD’s from 2011
The 2CD+DVD Deluxe Book Edition from 2011
The recent 2017; both the black and the red vinyl pressing.
The more recent 2017 Japanese Mini-LP CD release.
and will buy the RSD when it arrives !

There you go. I’m really enjoying SuperDeluxe site while working from home and its encouraging me to look back over my fantastic collection and listen to it, savour it whatever !
I’m so glad I invested in a hobby that has spanned 30+ years and it still excites me to this day. Thanks Paul for a great site and please do some more video’s to look back on Beatles and Solo releases. Cheers Andy


Does the 2017 Japanese CD have the same mastering as the 2011 Archive Collection ?


Thanks for your reply & answer.

P.S. : If the lockdown continues you could do a video where you rank Paul McCartney’s albums from worst to best.

Wayne Klein

I’m not sure if the DCC uses a copy of the original master tapes or the original master but it still sounds the best IMHO.

Wayne Klein

I have the promo version from when I was still running my review website (it’s got the CDs, DVD but in the packaging for the two disc versi0n as well as a small booklet). Based on the extra material I never felt the need to get the larger set. There was some limiting applied to the mastering (soft nor hard) as I recall but otherwise is,a nice remaster.

David Fisher

I will of course buy the RSD release when it arrives but am sorry to report that for me next to PIPES OF PEACE this is Macca’s weakest effort. In fact I find some of it shockingly bad – amateur in places. He was capable of stunning results when he set his mind to it as a solo performer – COME AND GET IT, WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD?, YESTERDAY, BLACKBIRD and with Lennon the wonderful BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO. MAYBE I’M AMAZED certainly hits the spot here and stands as arguably his finest and most passionately performed solo song but there is also so much filler material of him aimlessly noodling about that I lose interest every time I play it. JUNK and EVERY NIGHT are undoubtably fine compositions although not best presented perhaps – they are so much better on the “Unplugged” album. In his defence the man was in the middle of a terribly stressful whirlwind with the breakup of The Beatles. He was basically by his own admission having a nervous breakdown and heavily abusing drugs and alcohol around that time. There’s a good reason John Lennon dismissed the album as “rubbish” in a Rolling Stone interview in January of 1971. Compared to “John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band” and “All Things Must Pass” it’s just stunningly poor.

I see mention in these comments of some of Paul’s low songwriting moments in the form of FREEDOM and the execrable BIKER LIKE AN ICON but for me poorer than these is TEDDY BOY which actually makes me cringe even more. It is marginally better on “McCartney” than the Beatles feeble “Get Back” version but only marginally so.

I once had the good fortune to record with one of the musicians who worked extensively with McCartney during the 80’s (I won’t name him because Macca makes all his “staff” sign non-disclosure agreements so no equivocal comments from inside the tent can threaten his self-promoted image as “Mr Bloody Perfect” and although this conversation was many years ago I don’t want to get the musician in question into any trouble.) He performed on one of my own songs that was used as a TV theme and I was terribly excited and honoured to have him on it. As a Beatle nut I had to ask a few questions about what it was like working with Macca and I got an interesting picture. Most of it was a very positive picture. The only relevant thing to disclose is about Macca’s working methods. I enquired about how it was possible the same man who produced some absolutely shocking dross to be the genius who also wrote YESTERDAY, HEY JUDE, LIVE AND LET DIE, GET BACK, MULL OF KINTYRE (yes I love that tune), THINGS WE SAID TODAY, ELEANOR RIGBY, WITH A LITTLE LUCK, FOR NO ONE, LONELY OLD PEOPLE, PENNY LANE, PAPERBACK WRITER, etc. (of course I only mentioned some of these). He told me that when they were rehearsing new material for recording if the band indicated that they weren’t too keen on a particular new song Macca would make them play it over and over again day after day whereas if they said they liked a tune he would give it a lot less attention. I won’t speculate about the psychology of that. It seems odd though. Basically, like all creatives, Mccartney isn’t always the best judge of his own material – perhaps he’s only human after all?!?

The playful “McCartney II” is one of my favourite Paul albums so his totally solo efforts can work very well. Although some of the ideas on that album are not fully realised they are so much more memorable as songs and way further down the road to being presentable.

I do have a big collection of different releases of the “McCartney” of course. Off the top of my head these include:

A near mint original UK LP release.
A Fame re-release LP with standard Apple label (No “McCartney” logo on the apple).
A New Zealand LP copy with Orange Apple labels (left over from “All Things Must Pass” pressings).
A mid-seventies Japanese LP pressing.
The double LP 2011 “Archive” pressing Paul mentions above.
The recent 2017 red vinyl pressing.
An early UK CD release.
A paper sleeve Japanese Mini-LP CD release from way back.
The more recent 2017 (?) Japanese Mini-LP CD release.
And naturally the 2CD+DVD Deluxe Book Edition.

I wonder how many more I will buy? That’s love, I guess, and in spite of what I’ve had to say here I do love the dude.

John McCann'.

Hi David did you ever work with drummer,,,,,,,Chris whitten!

David Fisher

You may say that John – I couldn’t possibly comment! ;

John McCann'.

Magnum McCann,500 dollars a day plus expenses If anybody needs a bit of detective work done, thanks for getting back david,you dident have too,youv made a great contribution to music mate,thanks again John

John McCann'

I thought we all agreed a couple of years ago, that freedom was the worst thing that he ever did!,and biker like a icon wasn’t really that bad,?

John McCann'.

Does a driven rain cd exist without freedom,how would you know?is it not a hidden track, or are some early copies driving rain free?im glad you are unswerving in your dislike for freedom you dont think its a grower then?


There aren’t any copies of Driving Rain without “Freedom”, unless you’re counting promo copies which – hypothetically – could’ve come without it, but I’ve never seen one.
As for standard release, “Freedom” is on every copy of the album.


Watch out, world! Now begins the 50th anniversary edition of the Paul McCartney collection !! There is no end….


For what it is – one man – virtually homemade – it’s a good album. Some great songs and some lightweight but enjoyable others. Interesting to note how the quality of the deluxe editions of the archive releases varies so much. BOTR , McC, McC II, WATSOS and V&M are almost basic compared to WOA, Ram, TOW, POP, FITD, RRS and WL which are sumptuous. Womankind must be the worst thing he’s ever put out.

Captain Sensible

It’s a play on words. It’s a song title. It doesn’t have to make ‘sense’.


Well, he’s included pretty much all that there was… It’s like Led Zeppelin’s debut, recorded in a day. What’s left over? That’s why the deluxe version came with a concert instead of outtakes


Paul, thanks so much for your videos, they’re really intriguing!! Japan is pretty far down the lockdown route, too, so it’s nice to have something meaty to watch while we’re stuck at home.

That’s a pretty hefty collection of the same album you have there, which leads me to wonder if that is the pinnacle……

What album do you have the most copies of???

If you compiled a list, it could even be a standalone article?!?!


Paul, I agree with Rickjapan. ‘Multiple copies of the same album’ would be an interesting and fun topic. I’m looking at your collection of the McCartney album in all it’s different formats, and realized I have all these copies, except for the color vinyl LP edition. I think many of your SDE bloggers would enjoy sharing information about which of their favourite albums they have bought the most copies of :-)

Val Kaludov

The deluxe book edition is unreasonably overpriced – 350 Euro for two CDs and a DVD.

Val Kaludov



Fun video, Paul. I laughed out loud at “My only defence is that they’ve been collected over quite a long period…”
Listening to the album now. So lovely. Even the filler is charming. Hope you and the family are all keeping well.


Nice video Paul. Where do you get the plastic sleeves to keep the jewel case inserts and disc in?

Will M

Could the storage sleeves you have be SPACESAVING CD STORAGE SYSTEM-1OO PCS from FLEECEPACK NL?
They seem to match the description.

A great site and interesting articles as always. Best wishes and good health.


Paul –


I did some digging around after you showed them in your ‘This bank holiday weekend I’ll be sorting out my CDs’ post – I hope it was this company as I have ordered a load !

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

Another great video ! Thank you.

I am curious to know which format you chose to play when you listened on the occasion of the 50th birthday of the album?

I would hazard a guess it was the original release LP .


One of his 10 best solo LPs, in my opinion. A few great tunes (Maybe I’m Amazed, Junk [one of his loveliest melodies], Every Night and Another day) mixed with tuneful fluff. I like the homespun quality of it all. Certainly better than anything he’s released since Flaming Pie, I think, and better than a lot of stuff before that. I was looking forward to the RSD edition. Hopefully it (and RSD) will still happen.


Think MPL should give you some sort of certificate as recognition for your loyalty to re-issues of Macca’s debut solo LP, Paul!

George Steven Cleere

Thanks Paul – a little trip back in time (to both the SDE and Original release) while we are on lockdown. I’m going to go play it in a few minutes… I remember buying it at a Rexall Drug store here in the States – and so hoping that it might have John, George or Ringo guesting… well that went bye-the-bye didn’t it. Shortly, I caught up with a friend who really followed the Beatles and learned the ugly truth… One thing I think you can say is that at least they didn’t ‘keep back’ their best tunes off Abbey Road, did they???


I often think of Abbey Road’s original working title ‘Everest’ and if the beatles had thrown in their first ‘solo’ offerings in addition to the Abbey Road listing.
Maybe I’m amazed
Every night
Jealous guy
My sweet lord
What is life
Everest would have been the greatest Popular music album of all time without doubt and been the ultimate Beatles swan song .

David McIntosh

This may be my favourite McCartney album. It’s certainly my most played. The DIY performance and production gives it an intimate and timeless quality. And it contains my three favourite solo McCartney songs, Maybe I’m Amazed, Every Night and Junk. The jams and half songs are fine too as they give the album a loose and funky feel. A night in with Macca, yes please.

The album has had an intresting history, being loathed and loved in equal measure, even by McCartney himself. But time has been kind to it and it is the equal of the other 1970 solo Beatles albums. Its ambitions may have been small, but therein lies its greatest strength, its humilty. And of course, who doesnt love an underdog.


I loved this album from the get-go. I remember buying the record the week of release (no CD’s then) and it was on sale for $3.98! The list price,I believe,was $4.98. Ah,the memories of youth…damn good prices then too!


Always had a lot of love for this album. The Deluxe is superb and I have the SHM mini-LP, which, although sonically isn’t the noticable difference you hear with the 2009 Beatles remasters on the SHM format, it is very aesthetically pleasing indeed.

John McCann'

Was this album recorded in kintyre?


Recorded at his Cavendish Ave. home in London with some overdub work at Morgan Studios and Abbey Road, also both in London.

Tom m hans

Iron Maidens’ 1st album is 40 today. I’m sure it’s not as important as Macca’s debut but both are still going strong. Up the Irons. Peace.

Iain B

Presume the RSD half speed master is postponed rather than cancelled? Should have bought the deluxe edition when it came out for the 3 live in Glasgow 1979 tracks (Hot as Sun, Every Night and Maybe I’m Amazed). I was at that gig and it remains one of my favourite ever gigs.


At risk of contentious viewpoint, i have listened to McCartney several times and I think its a painfully weak album from someone endowed with such talent and as the first post Beatles Macca album. He has done miles better albums across his career but this is meh for me.


I agree that MIA would have made a great single, but I always thought that Every Night would have made a good one too…
…but then I bought Back Seat Of My Car when it was released as I really liked it (and still do).

Ben Williams

The album’s strength is in it’s experimental nature and historical release, not to mention Maybe I’m Amazed, Junk and Every Night being some of Paul’s finest solo moments. Personally, I adore this album as well as it’s spiritual successor McCartney II


I’ve got a number of those as well.

Do you know what the distinctive features of the 2020 RSD version will be? After red? After various other labels, etc. I really wish that Paul McCartney would go with the original label on records like McCartney where it was just a plain Apple label. I guess for every other Paul McCartney release other than Ram and McCartney, the vinyl pressings had custom labels that minimized the apple to a 1/4 inch dot.

Listening to an early pressing of McCartney today. Thanks for the presentation.


Would you believe I only got into this album after seeing a rerun of the Two Ronnies. I had it on the background and a piece of music came on that caught my ear. It was being danced to by a team of 70s dancers…
I Shazamed it (back in the days when you had to dial a number to use Shazam) and it came back as being ‘Flying Junk – if that is the instrumental version of that track.
I was already a minor Macca fan due to the Beatles and McCartney II (which I love to this day) but had never ventured back to Ram or McCartney. After hearing Junk (or Flying Junk?) I investigated…

A nice simple album with some great tunes and some nice experiments. I still prefer McCartney II but they are very different beasts.
The Superdeluxe editions of both are very good indeed.

Jarmo Keranen

One of the all time best albums is The Move’s Shazam, which was released in February 1970. Shame that nobody seems to remember it when it reached it’s 50th anniversary. Roy Wood was in his prime and couldn’t do no wrong in late 60’s and early 70’s!


Was the gold cd USA only? Can’t remember that one. I did like the non contact pop out inlay. They even spell CD in the centre, nice touch, why they didn’t catch on I don’t know…

Paul Soper

Thanks for the video Paul. I have the 2011 deluxe reissue, and prior to that had the 1993 reissue.

Would you say the 2017 Japanese CD is any better audio wise compared to the 2011 CD?


Great little video, Paul. Since the age of 7 i have been a complete Beatles nut but only a couple of years ago finally got into solo Macca. I started collecting the vinyl versions of the Archive series, and this one was a revelation. now when i see the cd-boxsets there’s always a tinge of “ooh, those would also be very nice to have”. Oh well…