Sir James Paul McCartney - Icon Award
Paul McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time.He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He first gained world wide fame as the bass guitarist and singer of the Beatles who are the best-selling band in history, with twenty #1 hit singles and estimated sales of over 800 million physical and digital albums, worldwide. His song, Yesterday, has been covered by more than 2200 artists thus making it one of the most covered songs in music history!
Paul (Macca) McCartney would continue his worldwide success with Wings. The core members of the band were, Macca with his wife Linda and former Moody Blues guitarist, Denny Laine. Wings had 12 top 10 singles (including one number-one) in the UK and 14 top 10 singles (including six number-one's) in the US. The band’s sole UK number one single, Mull of Kintyre became one of the best-selling UK singles in history.
In April of 1981, Wings dusbansed and Macca returned to being a solo artist. He went on to release 16 solo pop/rock and five classical albums, to date. He went on to have the number-one hit Ebony and Ivory, with Stevie Wonder along with two other top ten hit singles, Say Say Say and The Girl is Mine with the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Even though his latter-day releases weren’t huge sellers, he continued to put out quality records.
Love him or hate him, Macca is an undeniable tour de force, with an incomparable gift for writing songs that remain in one's psyche, long after the song or album has finished playing.
With all of this said, The Aroundtable is proud to award, Sir Paul McCartney, with the Icon Award for his continuous gift of sharing beautiful music with the world.
In no particular order, the following is what we believe are Essential Listening albums.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) - The Beatles were tired of being, well… The Beatles! This is the album where the band threw away the rule book on how a band could or should record an album. After Sgt. Pepper, there were no rules to follow -- rock and pop bands could try anything, for better or for worse.
The Beatles (The White Album) (1968) - The double album of all double albums; stuffed with every social and personal statement the boys could think of.
Revolver (1966) - The record, where the band started to break the rules and get into more sophisticated in sound and song writing skills.
Rubber Soul (1965) - the boys form Liverpool break out of the rut of writing simply love songs and begin to show a new-found depth and maturity .
Abbey Road (1969) - The last Beatles album to be recorded (although, Let It Be was the last to be released). A fitting final outing with a record that is one part - straight-up, no-fuss rock 'n' roll songs and the other an athematic approach.
Let It Be (1970) - Some say that this is the album where “the magic” runs out but I disagree. Let It Be has some forgotten gems like, I’ve Got A Feeling, Two Of Us and the rocking, I Me Mine.
Band on the Run (1973) - The album is widely acknowledged as McCartney’s finest, outside the Beatles. Any of the songs on this album could have been released as a single.
London Town (1978) - Macca, slightly softens the band's sound, but it's still a solid effort.
Red Rose Speedway (1973) - Although the album sounds a little disjointed, we begin to see the potential of Macca's new group.
Venus and Mars (1975) - A slightly more poppy album yet not based on the repetition or elaboration of themes that Band on the Run, a somewhat straightforward and deliberate attempt to continue the momentum built from Band on the Run.
McCartney (1970) - his first, post Beatles release. A very stripped down and raw recording with Macca playing almost all the instruments on the record.
Ram, Paul and Linda McCartney (1971) - Another stripped down and modest sounding record from Macca.
Tug of War (1982) - Macca releases his most commercially accessible record since, Band on the Run.
Flowers in the Dirt (1989) - In collaborating with Elvis Costello, it pushed Macca to release his most consistent record in years.
Flaming Pie (1997) - Producer and Beatles fan, Jeff Lynne, helped Macca to rediscover his mojo and inner Beatle with this record. Flaming Pie is easily one of Paul’s best album of his career.
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005) - For the first time in more than 20 years, McCartney handed over the production reins completely; this time to Radiohead collaborator, Nigel Godrich. The intimately set songs are very reminiscent in tone to his debut record.
Memory Almost Full (2007) - In my opinion a very underrated record . The songs are catchy but contemplative. Definitely deserves one to give it another listen.
New (2013) - Another underrated record that seems to show Macca is excited and anxious in delivering an album that resembles his classic work (late-era Beatles and early Wings, respectively) but that still sounds fresh and… New.