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Paul McCartney
You know the story. The Beatles are regarded as the most successful musical group of all time, with more than fifty Top 40 hit singles in their eight year run together. Itís even estimated that the band has sold over a billion and a half records worldwide. And letís not forget, more importantly, their influence on modern music is incomprehensible. So what could I possibly write about former Beatle Paul McCartney that hasnít been already typed out, yelled, sung about?

Combining his work with and without The Beatles, heís written twenty-nine number one hits and co-written over 50 top ten hits ~ more than any other songwriter. Thirty-five years after the Beatles broke up, heís back in the news again, returning with his twentieth studio recording titled Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. To this day, no release generates as much hype as a new Paul McCartney album. The Record Music Magazine brings you a look back at what has made Paul McCartney and his music unique and groundbreaking for our timeÖ.

Paul McCartney Then:

The Beatles were a product of Liverpool, England, which had a population of 300-odd rock and roll bands, also known as beat groups. Inspired by Elvis Presley, the beat groups hawked their musical wares in countless small cellar clubs, old stores and movie houses. Out of all these groups came The Beatles.

In 1957, sixteen-year-old John Lennon formed a band called The Quarry Men. By the following year, Paul McCartney and his friend George Harrison, then just 14, joined Lennonís group. In 1960, calling themselves The Silver Beatles, and with drummer Pete Best in tow, they sailed to Germany to play the red-light-district bars of Hamburg, drink unheard of quantities of beer and gulp down handfuls of illicit pills to keep them stage ready seven nights a week. There, in a raucous and rowdy strip joint, the Indra Club, The Beatles became the first entertainers to play louder than the audience.

They were discovered by English promoter and talent agent, Brian Epstein, who has since become deservedly known as the fifth Beatle. In 1961, when original bass player Stu Sutcliffe decided to leave the band, McCartney took over the bass. A year later the bandís original drummer Pete Best was asked to leave just before they started recording and was replaced by another Liverpool drummer, Ringo Starr. Under Epsteinís shrewd guidance, The Beatles soon found themselves signing a contract with EMI Records, headlining concerts throughout Britain and appearing on television. Their first recording, Love Me Do, was issued by EMIís Parlophone label in October 1962. It sold a respectable 100,000 copies, and it was the last time a Beatle single sold less than half million copies. The first million-seller, She Loves You, came out in the spring of 1963. Beatlemania was born.

Beatles Music:

One would say that breaking the rules was the one big thing what The Beatlesí songs were really all about. They violated all the existing rules of music, trying to express their emotions through musical means. With their early musical trademarks ~ the tricky chord progressions, pungent vocal harmonies, clever word play ~ Lennon and McCartney stumped scholars as they tried to figure out the actual meaning behind songs like Please Please Me and All My Loving.

In 1963, the year The Beatles began selling millions of copies, the charts were filled with great records by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Roy Orbison and Cliff Richard among others. What set The Beatles apart was their dazzling interpersonal chemistry (which was showcased to irresistible effect in their 1964 feature film A Hard Dayís Night), their novel sound and their awesome ability to make ravishing hit records.

1965ís Rubber Soul was the record whose elegant lyrics and luminous melodies lifted them forever out of the world of simple teen idols and into the realm of immortality. Thereafter, the Fab Four spun out ever more elaborate masterpieces: 1996ís psychedelic special Revolver; 1967ís breathtaking Sgt. Pepperís Lonely Hearts Club Band; 1968ís strangely alienated, every-man-for-himself White Album (still simply called The Beatles); and 1969ís gorgeous Abbey Road.

You can read the rest of our feature on Paul McCartney in the November 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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