5 Hidden Gems in Paul McCartney’s Solo Discography

Paul McCartney requires little introduction—he’s arguably the most iconic rock artist alive. Born in 1942, the English musician became famous with The Beatles as their bassist. But after The Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney continued to enjoy success as a solo artist. His three-album solo run from 1970 to 1973, in particular—comprised of McCartney, Ram, and Band on the Run—can safely be classified as one of the most inimitable creative streaks of all time.

As is the case with any of The Beatles, most of McCartney’s work is stellar. Diving deeper than the hits is an endlessly rewarding undertaking. Here are five of the many hidden gems McCartney released under his own name.

1. “Temporary Secretary”

“Temporary Secretary” came to life during a period of heady jamming that birthed the 1980 record McCartney II. Its arrangement has as much in common with new wave and early techno as it does classic rock. It’s built on bassy synthesizer arpeggiations and a simple drum groove. The song’s lyrics are about a man yearning to hire a secretary, for reasons that go beyond professional assistance. It’s a true McCartney oddity that highlights his enduring knack for experimentation.

2. “Junior’s Farm”

“Junior’s Farm” was laid to tape in Nashville, and the impact of the American South seems to have rubbed off on McCartney and his Wings bandmates. Written in tandem with his wife, Linda, it pairs surreal lyricism with an instrumental that recalls Bruce Springsteen at his most rollicking.

3. “Bluebird”

On the 1973 track “Bluebird,” McCartney sings about romance and escapism over a nocturnal, jazzy instrumental. Its chorus—which relies on strange percussion and a psychedelic guitar riff—pushes the song into unpredictable terrain. “Bluebird” offers a snapshot of McCartney’s melancholy songwriting at its most bewitching.

4. “Monkberry Moon Delight”

The Beatles were never exactly discreet about the influence that substances had on their music. The Ram cut “Monkberry Moon Delight” dwells in the same vein as druggy songs like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “I Am the Walrus.” Over chugging piano, McCartney belts trippy phrases like, Well, I know my banana is older than the rest / And my hair is a tangled beretta. The opening line about McCartney sticking a piano up his nose is particularly bizarre.

5. “Waterfalls”

Understated and slow, this 1980 ballad pinpoints McCartney’s range as a songwriter. Don’t go jumping waterfalls / Please, keep to the lake / People who jump waterfalls / Sometimes can make mistakes, he sings in a droopy vocal style. Eventually, the song gives way to a chorus about needing love. It captures McCartney’s innate ability to pair vague imagery and relatable human sentiment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mick Jagger John & Yoko’s Elvis Presley & Priscilla Presley