of all the former Beatles, Paul McCartney by far had the most
successful solo career, maintaining a constant presence in
the British and American charts during the '70s and '80s.
In America alone, he had nine number one singles and seven
number one albums during the first 12 years of his solo career.
Although he sold records, McCartney never attained much critical
respect, especially when compared to his former partner John
Lennon. Then again, he pursued a different path than Lennon,
deciding early on that he wanted to be in a rock band. Within
a year after the Beatles' breakup, McCartney had formed Wings
with his wife Linda, and the group remained active for the
next ten years, racking up a string of hit albums, singles,
and tours in the meantime. By the late '70s, many critics
were taking potshots at McCartney's effortlessly melodic songcraft,
but that didn't stop the public from buying his records. His
sales didn't slow considerably until the late '80s, and he
retalliated with his first full-scale tour since the '70s,
which was a considerable success. During the '90s, McCartney
recorded less frequently, concentrating on projects like his
first classical recording, a techno album and the Beatles'
Anthology. Like Lennon and George Harrison, Paul McCartney
began exploring creative avenues outisde the Beatles during
the late '60s, but where his bandmates released their own
experimental records, McCartney confined himself to writing
and production for other artists, with the exception of his
1966 soundtrack to The Family Way. Following his marriage
to Linda Eastman on March 12, 1969, McCartney began working
at his home studio on his first solo album. He released the
record, McCartney, in April 1970, two weeks before the Beatles'
Let It Be was scheduled to hit the stores. Prior to the album's
release, he announced that the Beatles were breaking-up, which
was against the wishes of the other members. As a result,
the tensions between him and the other three members, particularly
Harrison and Lennon, increased and he earned the ill-will
of many critics. Nevertheless, McCartney became a hit, spending
three weeks at the top of the American charts. Early in 1971,
he returned with "Another Day," which became his
first hit single as a solo artist. It was followed several
months later by Ram, another home-made collection, this time
featuring the contributions of his wife Linda.
a message to Paul McCartney