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The Beatles Wiki


This page is about Paul McCartney's debut studio album. For the artist and former Beatle, see Paul McCartney.

McCartney is Paul McCartney's debut studio album released after the Beatles' breakup. The album was recorded at the climax of the Beatles' problems; Let it Be released shortly after, even though the rest of the band pressured him not to release it early. A press release for the album confirmed that the Beatles were breaking up: It was April 10, 1970.

Linda McCartney provided vocal contributions, but, other than that, the album was recorded entirely by McCartney himself, playing every instrument, in a format that would be "back-to-basics," which the Get Back project was intended to be. Apart for the acclaimed "Maybe I'm Amazed," who ranked high on the charts, the album received mostly negative reviews.


McCartney was recorded at the climax of the break-up of the Beatles' breakup; December 1969, where he was forced to work in secrecy. He built a robust recording machine with a Studer 4-track recorder and a single microphone in his private home in St. John's Wood. The basic way the album was recorded was reflected in the songs' simple nature. For example, The Lovely Linda was recorded as a test which McCartney would eventually re-record. This, however, never happened. The rest of the album were also simple home recordings.

Most of the album was recorded in secret; The rest of the Beatles' did not even know until it was mentioned to George Harrison on March 30, 1970, ten days before the album's fateful press release. McCartney did not trust Apple's Allen Klein. On February 21, 1970, McCartney recorded at EMI Studios under a fake name, Billy Martin, who in the US, was a baseball player. He made new mixes of several songs and recorded Maybe I'm Amazed and Man We Was Lonely. The album was mastered on March 23, 1970. Post-production was speedy, and the album released on April 7.


Delaying the release date[]

Maybe John was right. Maybe the Beatles were crap. The sooner I get this album out and get it over with the better.

Paul McCartney

The release of McCartney was hectic and hellish. Allen ad the rest of the Beatles tried to delay the album, for it could interfere with Let it Be's sales and Ringo Starr's debut album, Sentimental Journey.

The first attempt to delay the album was with Neil Aspinall, who asked McCartney if the album could be delayed by a week to not allow Sentimental Journey to be overtaken by McCartney's album. McCartney agreed, but he found out on March 25 the album was delayed much further, to McCartney's outrage. Furious, McCartney called George Harrison to reinstate the April 17 release date, and he sent a telegram to the other Beatles, Klein, and Aspinall. Even though McCartney felt paranoid that Apple was slipping out of his grasp, the other Beatles felt that releasing three albums at a row by three prominent artists was "commercial madness." Let It Be was also set to release March 31, 1970. Lennon then confirmed to EMI that McCartney would not release on Paul's intended date.

However, Harrison, director of Apple, told the album would be delayed further until June 4 in a letter.

Dear Paul, We thought a lot about yours and the Beatles LPs - and decided it's stupid for Apple to put out two big albums within 7 days of each other (also there's Ringo's and Hey Jude) - so we sent a letter to EMI telling them to hold your release til June 4th (there's a big Apple-Capitol convention in Hawaii then). We thought you'd come round when you realized that the Beatles album was coming out on April 24th. We're sorry it turned out like this - it's nothing personal. Love John George. Hare Krishna. A Mantra a Day Keeps MAYA! Away.

Starr decided to personally deliver the letter to McCartney's home, where Starr told him he agreed with the contents. McCartney, however, was infuriated. Ringo Starr retold the experience, which would leave the relationship between the two of them hurt.

They didn't send me round. They, as directors of the company, wrote a letter to him, and I didn't think it was fair that some office lad should take something like that round. I was talking to the office, and they were telling me what was going on, and I said, 'Send it up, I'll take it round.' I couldn't fear him then. But he got angry, because we were asking him to hold his album back and the album was very important to him. He shouted and pointed at me. He told me to get out of his house. He was crazy; he went crazy. He was out of control, prodding his finger towards my face. He told me to put my coat on and get out. I couldn't believe it was happening. I had just brought the letter. I said, 'I agree with everything that's in the letter,' because we tried to work it like a company, not as individuals. I put my album out two weeks before, which makes me seem like such a good guy, but it wasn't really, because I needed to put it out before Paul's album, else it would have slayed me.

A desperate and furious McCartney continued to fight for the April 17 release date. Finally, Paul founded his own company under Apple, named McCartney Products Ltd on April 7, 1970. 

I was going through a bad time, what I suspect was almost a nervous breakdown. I remember lying awake at nights shaking, which has not happened to me since. One night I'd been asleep and awoke and I couldn't lift my head off the pillow. My head was down in the pillow, I thought, Jesus, if I don't do this I'll suffocate. I remember hardly having the energy to pull myself up, but with a great struggle I pulled my head up and lay on my back and thought, That was a bit near! I just couldn't do anything. I had so much in me that I couldn't express and it was just very nervy times, very very difficult. So I eventually went and said, 'I want to leave. You can all get on with Klein and everything, just let me out.' And they said, 'No, we're not going to let you go.' Because Klein had said, 'Look, he produced Those Were the Days and stuff.' Like James Taylor, same idea, 'Why let him go?' I remember having one classic conversation with George Harrison, I said, 'Look, George, I want to get off the label,' and George ended the conversation, and as I say it now I almost feel like I'm lying with the devil's tongue, but I swear George said to me, 'You'll stay on the f**king label. Hare Krishna.' That's how it was, that's how the times were.

Paul McCartney

Eventually, the album released April 17, 1970, as McCartney intended.


The cover is an image taken by Linda McCartney, which is a bowl of half-empty cherry liquid surrounded by other, smaller cherries on a white bar. The reverse features another of Linda's photographs; McCartney with his newborn daughter, Mary (born August 28, 1969) in his jacket.

Chart performance[]

McCartney fared well in Britain, where it managed to peak at number 2[1], only beaten by Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water.  The 2011 reissue reached number 88.[2]

The album did better in the States, spending three weeks at number one and being certified platinum.[3]

Press release[]

Derek Taylor, Apple's press officer asked McCartney if he were to answer interviews from newspapers. McCartney declined, saying, "I can't deal with the press. I hate all those Beatles questions." Instead, he chose to give a press release, with questions submitted by Taylor. The releases came out on April 9, 1970.

The press release can be found below.

Q: Why did you decide to make a solo album?

A: Because I got a Studer four-track recording machine at home - practised on it (playing all instruments) - liked the results, and decided to make it into an album.

Q: Were you influenced by John's adventures with the Plastic Ono Band and Ringo's solo LP? A: Sort of, but not really.

Q: Are all songs by Paul McCartney alone? A: Yes sir.

Q: Will they be so credited: McCartney? A': It's a bit daft for them to be Lennon/McCartney credited, so "McCartney" it is.

Q: Did you enjoy working as a solo? A: Very much. I only had me to ask for a decision, and I agreed with me. Remember Linda's on it too, so it's really a double act.

Q: What is Linda's contribution? A: Strictly speaking she harmonizes, but of course it's more than that because she's a shoulder to lean on, a second opinion, and a photographer of renown. More than all this, she believes in me - constantly.

Q: Where was the album recorded? A: At home, at EMI (no. 2 studio) and at Morgan Studios (Willesden!)

Q:What is your home equipment (in some detail)? A: Studer four-track machine. I only had, however, one mike, and as Mr Pender, Mr Sweatenham and others only managed to take six months or so (slight delay) I worked without VU meters or a mixer, which meant that everything had to be listened to first (for distortion etc...) then recorded. So the answer - Studer, one mike, and nerve.

Q: Why did you choose to work in the studios you chose? A: They were available. EMI is technically very good and Morgan is cozy.

Q: The album was not known about until it was nearly completed. Was this deliberate? A: Yes, because normally an album is old before it even comes out. (aside) Witness GET BACK.

Q: Why? 'A: I've always wanted to buy a Beatles album like people do and be as surprised as they must be. So this was the next best thing. Linda and I are the only two who will be sick of it by the release date. We love it really.

Q: Are you able to describe the texture or the feel of the album in a few words? A: Home, family, love.

Q: How long did it take to complete? A: From just before (I think) Xmas, until now. THE LOVELY LINDA was the first thing I recorded at home, and was originally to test the equipment. That was around Xmas.

Q: Assuming all the songs are new to the public, how new are they to you? Are they recent? A: One was from 1959 (HOT AS SUN). Two are from India - JUNK and TEDDY BOY, and the rest are pretty recent. VALENTINE DAY, MOMMA MISS AMERICA and OO YOU were ad-libbed on the spot.

Q: Which instruments have you played on the album? A: Bass, drums, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, piano and organ-mellotron, toy xylophone, bow and arrow.

Q: Have you played all these instruments on earlier recordings? A: Yes, drums being the one that I normally wouldn't do.

Q: Why did you do all the instruments yourself? A: I think I'm pretty good.

Q: Will Linda be heard on all future records? A: Could be. We love singing together and have plenty of opportunity for practice.

Q: Will Paul and Linda become a John and Yoko? A: No, they will become Paul and Linda.

Q: What has recording alone taught you? A: That to make your own decisions about what you do is easy, and playing with yourself is very difficult, but satisfying.

Q: Who has done the artwork? A: Linda has taken all the photos, and she and I designed the package.

Q: Is it true that neither Allen Klein nor ABKCO have been nor will be in any way involved with the production, manufacturing, distribution or promotion of this new album? A: Not if I can help it.

Q: Did you miss the other Beatles and George Martin? Was there a moment when you thought, 'I wish Ringo were here for this break?' A: No.

Q: Assuming this is a very big hit album, will you do another? A: Even if it isn't, I will continue to do what I want, when I want to.

Q: Are you planning a new album or single with the Beatles? A: No.

Q: Is this album a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career? A: Time will tell. Being a solo album means it's "the start of a solo career..." and not being done with the Beatles means it's just a rest. So it's both.

Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones? A: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't really know.

Q: Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again? A: No.

Q: What do you feel about John's peace effort? The Plastic Ono Band? Giving back the MBE? Yoko's influence? Yoko? A: I love John, and respect what he does - it doesn't really give me any pleasure.

Q: Were any of the songs on the album originally written with the Beatles in mind? A: The older ones were. JUNK was intended for ABBEY ROAD, but something happened. TEDDY BOY was for GET BACK, but something happened.

Q: Were you pleased with ABBEY ROAD? Was it musically restricting? A: It was a good album. (No. 1 for a long time.)

Q: What is your relationship with Klein? A: It isn't. I am not in contact with him, and he does not represent me in ANY way.

Q: What is your relationship with Apple? A: It is the office of a company which I part own with the other three Beatles. I don't go there because I don't like offices or business, especially when I am on holiday.

Q: Have you any plans to set up an independent production company? A: McCartney Productions.

Q: What sort of music has influenced you on this album? A: Light and loose.

Q: Are you writing more prolifically now? Or less so? A: About the same. I have a queue waiting to be recorded.

Q: What are your plans now? A holiday? A musical? A movie? Retirement?

A: My only plan is to grow up!

Track listing[]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "The Lovely Linda"   0:43
2. "That Would Be Something"   2:38
3. "Valentine Day"   1:39
4. "Every Night"   2:31
5. "Hot as Sun/Glasses"   2:05
6. "Junk"   1:54
7. "Man We Was Lonely"   2:56
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Oo You"   2:48
2. "Momma Miss America"   4:04
3. "Singalong Junk"   2:34
4. "Maybe I'm Amazed"   3:53
5. "Kreen - Akrore"    

2011 remaster[]

Disc 2, out-takes
No. Title Length
1. "Suicide (Out-take)"   2:48
2. "Maybe I'm Amazed (From One Hand Clapping, 1974)"   4:53
3. "Every Night (Live at Glasgow, 1979)"   4:30
4. "Hot as Sun (Live at Glasgow, 1979)"   2:27
5. "Maybe I'm Amazed (Live at Glasgow, 17 December 1979)"   5:11
6. "Don't Cry Baby (Out-take)"   3:07
7. "Women Kind (Demo) (Mono)"   2:09


  • Paul McCartney – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums, piano, organ, percussion, Mellotron, toy xylophone, effects, backing vocals, bow and arrow[4]
  • Linda McCartney – harmony and backing vocals