Happy Birthday to Paul McCartney! One of the greatest songwriters currently living today, the ex-Beatle celebrates his, are you ready, 70th birthday today!
McCartney, who grew up in the unassuming town of Liverpool, England on June 18, 1942, went on to become of the most seminal figures of music in the 20th century, churning out a regular assembly line of memorable songs, spanning countless genres, beloved by fans globally, and covered by scores of musicians playing styles ranging from Arpeggio to Zydeco. It would take a book the size of a city’s telephone guide to explain the whole machinations of McCartney’s body of work and talents, and many scribes have attempted to put the man in biographical and critique form. One of the wealthiest musicians and biggest-selling ones of all time, the McCartney train shows no signs of slowing down or letting up even into the 21st century, as he still tours, performing Beatles songs and ones from his large body of solo work, still releasing albums, guesting on documentaries, charting new genres of music, this jack of all trades remains one of the greatest figures in musical history with his still youthful, whimsical, and witty zeal.
Starting in The Beatles before he was 20 years old, McCartney and his songwriting partner, the equally if not arguably even more creative and enigmatic John Lennon, became a virtual hit factory, penning memorable songs which flowed like running water up to the top of the Billboard charts. You know the songs, we all know them, they’ve stood the test of time as each generation still embraces the music of The Beatles as passionately and with an equal fervor as the last one did.
With The Beatles breaking up in 1970 and leaving behind a catalog of some of the most well known and influentially revered albums in the history of not just rock and roll, but any music, McCartney found a new life in a solo project/band, the lightweight but still popular Wings. That project spawned a few hits as well (“Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Band on the Run,” “Jet,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” “Silly Love Songs,” “Let Em In,” “With A Little Luck,” and more) and lasted till about the end of the 1970s. His collaborations with Stevie Wonder (“Ebony and Ivory”) and later Michael Jackson (“The Girl is Mine” and “Say Say Say”) proved successful in keeping McCartney still unflappable and near the summit of the music scene as the 1980s became a decidedly different decade than the 1970s in which the formula for success in the feelgood and then-me decade of the 1970s was beginning to become archaic as the new decade rolled in.
He cooled a bit in terms of sales as the 1980s became the 1990s, but there was always some manner of success for McCartney; of course he could coast on just the public’s always-strong memory of the old stomping ground he was part of via The Fab Four, and it was enough for him to still always be a welcome force in the public eye and consciousness, regardless if album sales dwindled with each new release he put out.
So Happy 70th Birthday to Sir Paul McCartney, unabashed pop star, “cute” Beatle, out-and-out rocker, prolific songwriter, and a true legend, a word that gets bounced around all too easy around the musical campfire, but in McCartney’s case, he had that word branded on him ever since he and his Liverpudlian mates took on the four corners of the globe, and most deservedly one would say as well.