James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England, in 1942. Coming from a musical family (his father played trumpet and piano in a band in the 1920’s) Paul learned to play guitar at an early age. When he was 15, Paul met and joined John Lennon’s group, The Quarrymen who, in 1960, would become The Beatles. Paul would stay with them, as their bass guitarist and vocalist, until the band’s dissolution in 1970.
He recorded his first solo album in 1970. In 1971, Paul McCartney formed the group, Wings, with his wife Linda Eastman, whom he wed in 1969, ex-Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell and Henry McCulloch. The group went through several personnel changes, over the years, and finally disbanded in 1981.
On the charts, as Paul McCartney, Paul and Linda McCartney, Wings, Paul McCartney and Wings and in various duets, he made it to the weekly Billboard Top 40 charts 35 times and going to number one a total on nine times. He is credited with writing over fifty Top 10 singles.
Here are Paul McCartney’s twenty biggest hits, according to the weekly Billboard Top 40 charts:
1. Ebony And Ivory (1982)
Teaming up with Stevie Wonder on this one, the single stayed at number one for seven weeks.
2. Say, Say, Say (1983)
Another duet, this time with Michael Jackson and the first of two singles for them to make it to the Top 10.
3. Silly Love Songs (1976)
From the “Wings at the Speed of Sound” album.
4. My Love (1973)
From the “Red Rose Speedway” album and the first number one single with Wings.
5. Coming Up – Live At Glasgow (1980)
Recorded in 1979 during their tour of the U.K.
6. With A Little Luck (1978)
Written in Scotland and recorded on the boat Fair Carol, this single was released on St. Patrick’s Day, 1978 and came from the “London Town” album.
7. Band On The Run (1974)
A cover version of this song was done in 2007 by the Foo Fighters.
8. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (1971)
McCartney’s first number one single after the Beatles break up.
9. Listen To What The Man Said (1975)
Recorded in New Orleans, this number one single came from the “Venus And Mars” album.
10. The Girl Is Mine (1983)
Another duet with Michael Jackson, this one coming from Jackson’s “Thriller” album and not from a McCartney album.
11. Live And Let Die (1973)
From the James Bond film of the same title.
12. Let ‘Em In (1976)
The second single from the “Wings At The Speed Of Sound” album, the names “Sister Suzy, Brother John, Martin Luther, Phil and Don, Brother Michael, Auntie Gin, Uncle Ernie and Uncle Ian”, are all friends or relatives of McCartney’s.
13. Junior’s Farm (1974)
The flip side of this single, “Sally G” also went Top 20 on the weekly charts. The title of this single is in reference to a farm, in Nashville, where Wings recorded the song.
14. Goodnight Tonight (1979)
This single didn’t appear on any album, until a 1993 reissue of “McCartney II”.
15. Another Day (1971)
McCartney’s first solo single. This single didn’t appear on any album when it was released.
16. No More Lonely Nights (1984)
From his “Give My Regards To Broadstreet” film.
17. Spies Like Us (1986)
From the Chevy Chase/Dan Akroyd film of the same title, this was McCartney’s last Top 10 single.
18. Jet (1974)
Also from the “Band On The Run” album.
19. Maybe I’m Amazed (1977)
A studio version was recorded on “McCartney”, his first solo album and is dedicated to his wife, Linda, for helping him through the break-up of The Beatles. This live version was recorded during Wings tour of America in 1976.
20. Take It Away (1982)
From the “Tug Of War” album, the music video of this single features former Beatle, Ringo Starr on drums.
1984 saw Paul McCartney in his own film “Give My Regards To Broadstreet.” Paul won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1990 and, in 1999, he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist. The Beatles were inducted in 1988. In 1997, Paul was knighted for his services to music.
Paul’s wife, Linda, died, in 1998, of breast cancer. In 2002, he married former model, Heather Mills and they went through a highly publicized divorce in 2008.
The Guinness Book of World Records has listed Paul McCartney as the most successful musician and composer in pop music history. He still records and performs today to sell out crowds.