Talk:Paul McCartney

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Featured articlePaul McCartney is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Wings songwriting credits[edit]

I've just started a discussion at Talk:My Love (Paul McCartney and Wings song)#Songwriting credit. Would welcome input from all interested editors. Thanks, JG66 (talk) 07:14, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

John Lennon in Playboy magazine[edit]

Paul is one of the most innovative bass players ... half the stuff that's going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period ... He's an egomaniac about everything else, but his bass playing he'd always been a bit coy about.

— Lennon, Playboy magazine, January 1981

John Lennon died in December 1980. How can he have given an interview one month after his death? Or was this just published posthumously? JIP | Talk 12:04, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

London Town outsold Venus and Mars, Wings at the Speed of Sound and Wings over America?[edit]

In the section on Wings, the article says that London Town was "Wings' best-selling LP since Band on the Run." That means it outsold Venus and Mars, Wings at the Speed of Sound and Wings over America, which is highly unlikely based on the sales chart performance of each album and is contrary to how the commercial success of the album is described in the London Town article and other sources. Here is a summary of the four albums on the Billboard chart in the US:

Venus and Mars: 1 week at No. 1, 5 weeks at No. 2, 9 weeks in the top 10, 77 weeks on the chart.

Speed of Sound: 7 weeks at No. 1, 21 weeks in the top 10, 51 weeks on the chart.

Wings over America: 1 week at No. 1, 11 weeks in the top 10, 86 weeks on the chart.

London Town: 6 weeks at No. 2, 11 weeks in the top 10, 28 weeks on the chart.

Initial sales of London Town were good but it quickly dropped down the chart and was out of the top 100 after 19 weeks and off the chart after only 28 weeks, McCartney's shortest chart stay since Wild Life. By comparison, in week 28 on the chart Venus and Mars was still at No. 32 and Speed of Sound was at No. 73. In Billboard's year-end charts, Speed of Sound was the No. 3 album of 1976 while London Town was ranked No. 56 of 1978.

The relative chart performance of these albums was similar in the UK.

While its possible sales of London Town were similar to Venus and Mars and Wings over America, it doesn't seem possible that it sold more than Speed of Sound. RIAA awards tell us nothing since all of these albums shipped platinum and if any of them have sold more than 2 million, Capitol apparently was not interested in researching it years later. Ohnothimagain (talk) 17:02, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Undervaluing Wings?[edit]

I think the article's lead undersells the success of Wings.

"In 1970, he made his solo debut with the album McCartney, which anticipated the lo-fi movement.[1] Along with Ram (1971) and McCartney II (1980), the records have enjoyed a cult following among later generations of musicians. From 1971 to 1981, he led the group Wings, and in 1993, he formed the music duo the Fireman with Youth of Killing Joke."

It seems very odd to me that the cult following of some of his solo albums is mentioned and those albums referred to by name, but no album or single by Wings is mentioned anywhere in the lead. Wings were huge, scored many US and UK number one albums and singles including what was, to that point, the biggest selling single of all time in the UK. If I didn't know anything about McCartney after the Beatles, reading that might make me assume Wings weren't very successful or notable in his career. What do we think? Humbledaisy (talk) 18:28, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

I totally agree about the strange mention of a cult following for those albums; and to read that his debut "anticipated lo-fi", I'm left with a feeling of "So what?" Aside from the statements being pretty trite, relative to this artist's stature, they're completely unrepresentative of what the majority of sources say about McCartney and Ram – which is that they sold very well but received a highly unfavourable critical reception, partly (but not solely) because McCartney was held to blame for the Beatles' break-up. That's the major message behind McCartney and Ram, and it's also a highly notable episode in rock history in its own right.
You're right that the blink-and-you-missed-it coverage given to Wings is inadequate, particularly the omission of Band on the Run. Will write more here soon, because the point about a highly unfavourable critical reception/McCartney blamed for the break-up is not even touched on in the article itself.
On this talk page starting in about 2015, I highlighted this and several other glaring omissions with the intention of fixing them. The contrast between what reads like a McCartney-approved article here and the treatment of less-than-flattering or controversial issues at BLPs like Eric Clapton or (before his death in 2016) David Bowie is startling. It completely whitewashes over the fact that McCartney used the announcement of the Beatles' break-up to promote his first solo album; that he was ridiculed for making music with his non-musician wife; that his off-the-cuff "It's a drag" comment following Lennon's death was held against him for years; that from the late '80s he was determined to reposition himself vs Lennon as the avant-garde Beatle, notably with his authorised biography Many Years from Now; and the controversy surrounding his adoption of "McCartney–Lennon" credits for Beatles songs. Of course this is a BLP, but these are all episodes that have received no end of coverage in reliable sources and no end of comment from McCartney himself. JG66 (talk) 10:36, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
I definitely think Wings is undermined but to me, saying McCartney anticipated the lo-fi movement doesn't seem correct to me. By 1970, the Beach Boys had already released three essential lo-fi albums: Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, and Friends; Smiley Smile being seen as one of the definitive albums of the genre. If anything, Smiley Smile is the one that anticipated the movement, McCartney just enhanced it. If anything, that should be reworded on top of expanding upon Wings a bit. – zmbro (talk) 01:56, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Absolutely! Another early example is Emitt Rhodes's second album (or first album proper), recorded in his own home studio 1969-1970. I honestly don't think the McCartney lo-fi thing is relevant to the lead at all, I think it really needs to go. I propose that section is changed to something like this - it's not perfect and very difficult to sum up a career so successful over such a long time, so any improvements welcome.

McCartney debuted as a solo artist in 1970 with the album McCartney. This was followed by Ram in 1971. The same year, McCartney formed the rock band Wings, who's albums such as Band on the Run and Venus and Mars and international hit singles including "My Love", "Live and Let Die", "Listen to What the Man Said", "Silly Love Songs", "Let 'Em In" and "Mull of Kintyre" made them one of the most successful bands of the 1970s. McCartney resumed his solo career in 1980. Since 1989, McCartney has toured consistently as a solo artist and in 1993, he formed the music duo the Fireman with Youth of Killing Joke. Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education. Humbledaisy (talk) 18:10, 11 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Day, Brent (October 26, 2005). "Paul McCartney Walks the Fine Line Between Chaos and Creation". Paste. Retrieved September 13, 2018.