Celebrate Paul McCartney's upcoming birthday with these 23 solo cuts

Monday, June 10, 2024

They say it's his birthday and, in this case, the collective "they" gets one right: Paul McCartney will turn 82 on June 18.

The living legend keeps making music at the place where his eternal Beatle boyishness and august, aging revelations meet. To celebrate Sir Paul, I dug deep into his solo catalog, surfacing with 23 favorite tracks. No Beatles and, here, no Wings. Just cuts from albums that bear McCartney's name alone.

Any favorites list is up for debate, and no doubt readers could draw their own map through Macca's work. Mine reveals a very distinct history: as a middle-schooler, I chased my dad's love of Beatles records into McCartney's latest solo offering, 1993's "Off the Ground."

Not exactly beloved by critics, that album still sounds like long car rides and late-night listening sessions, and will show up often as my list narrows toward the top.

That's an expression of my relationship to McCartney. But maybe this tally will introduce a new-to-you gem, reacquaint you with a personal classic or just offer up an excuse to celebrate the man and his music. Here are 23 tracks, in very particular order:



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