Happy birthday, Sir Paul McCartney!
A long time ago, Paul McCartney asked if anyone would still care when he’s 64. Well, today he’s turned 75 and I almost care a little too much. In his life, Paul McCartney has made a huge impact on the way people think, and the kind of songs people still write.
Paul made his mark with The Beatles, but people don’t often realise the extent of the influence of his particular brand of songwriting. Paul was the most accessible one out of all of The Beatles. The songs he wrote reflected his personality and balanced John’s cynicism with his own optimism. Moreover, he brought to the group a sense of musicianship and seriousness which were critical in shaping the sound of The Beatles. Not only his songs, but the songs of everyone else in the group also benefited from Paul’s obsession with doing things right. Take George Harrison’s ‘Taxman’ for example. What would that song have been without Paul’s bass-lines and his blistering guitar solo?
In the later years of The Beatles, it was Paul McCartney who kept the music coming. Some of their most adventurous works, like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Abbey Road medley were a direct consequence of the imagination and musicality of Paul McCartney. Not only that, Paul was also a phenomenal bass player, especially considering that he played in a pop group. He wrote melodies on the bass and made them groove. His bass lines on songs such as ‘Come Together’ and ‘Something’ showcase the impact he can have on a song which he hasn’t even written.
Paul McCartney created the most melodic and memorable of all The Beatles songs. While Lennon’s songs were easily identified by their lyrical content, McCartney focused more on melody, creating songs that people still sing-along to. Besides holding The Beatles together in their final years, McCartney went onto doing spectacular work even after their disbandment.
The Beatles are to modern music what Mozart and Beethoven are to classical music and Paul McCartney is a big reason why such statements are made. Songs like ‘Yesterday’, ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let it be’ are still being sung 50 years since they were written, something that’s unlikely to change.
Paul McCartney’s contribution to music has been permanently etched into all of our ears and into all of pop music too. Even if you’ve never heard a McCartney song (which is absurd), you’ve heard his influence.