My brother works in post production as a special effects digital artist in London and over the years has had the good fortune (sometimes) to work with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
He’s learnt to deal with the egos and drama that go with these stars who appear to live in a different stratosphere to we mere mortals. He takes it all in his stride however and doesn’t get too caught up in the hype – a very patient, unpretentious man is my brother who treats people equally and doesn’t get fazed by stardom.
Most of the time the people in the industry he deals with are, well, nobs. So it’s always a pleasant surprise for him to come across a superstar who seems to be very firmly grounded in the real world and treats people with respect. Sir Paul McCartney is one of those people. They don’t get much bigger than Sir Paul in the industry. He is music royalty. And yet for all that he is a very centred, earthy, unassuming man.
Not surprising really. We’ve heard all the stories of his being a down to earth man – raising his children in as normal an environment as possible, his loyalty and devotion to his first wife, Linda, his involvement in worthwhile charities particularly animal rights and his vegetarianism.
All of this got me to thinking about Sir Paul McCartney and the Beatles and the influence they’ve had on me (and I’m sure many others). So I thought I’d compile a list of why I think McCartney is the greatest musician ever .. the top of the list being he is the nicest guy in the industry…
- He is recognised as the most successful composer and performer of all time, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles of his work with the Beatles and as a solo artist (Wikipedia)
- The Beatles have 23 of the top 500 songs of all time according to Rolling Stone.
- The Beatles were ground-breaking, experimental music pioneers. They were the first group ever to use feedback and one of their first hits, “A Hard Day’s Night” features an opening chord so revolutionary that people are still trying to figure it out. They played with sitars, used backward vocals and a Moog synthesiser. (source : www.hooksandharmony.com)
- The Beatles have inspired many other great artists – Dave Grohl, the Beach Boys, Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, to name just a few..
- I know it’s not easy to choose your most favourite song ever but “She’s Leaving Home” would have to be right up there for me (it seriously makes me cry EVERY time I hear it). Not only is it a most beautiful piece of bittersweet music it was also one of the few songs the Beatles didn’t play instruments on and was almost entirely accompanied by a harp (and who doesn’t love a harp?)
- ‘Wings’. Some great songs from this band that McCartney formed after the break up of the Beatles including “Live and Let Die”, “Jet”, “My Love” and “Mull of Kintyre” which would become one of the best-selling singles in UK chart history. And of course the beautiful “Maybe I’m Amazed” his tribute to his wife, Linda. (There is an amazing cover of this song by Dave Grohl and Norah Jones – really worth a listen.) My brother has also worked with Norah Jones and she is not a nob – she is a really delightful, sweet person.
- I can pick a song to suit any mood – “Helter Skelter” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy) are considered to be the first heavy metal songs. And the beautiful ballad “Yesterday” is apparently the most covered song in history.
- Abbey Road is viewed by many as the greatest album of all time and is the best selling Beatles album ever.
- Paul McCartney apparently dreamed the tune to “Yesterday”. How awesome is that!
- Longevity. And McCartney’s career continues with his latest release “Queenie Eye”. It is very reminiscent of the Beatles later work and is the film clip my brother worked on.
So I’ll finish with the clip that started this post:
Do you have a favourite Paul McCartney song? Maybe it’s “Ebony and Ivory” – the duet with the other greatest musician ever, Stevie Wonder. But that’s a whole other post there.. my love for Stevie Wonder!