8. McCartney II - Paul McCartney
By the end of the ‘70s, Wings had pretty much said all they needed to say. Even though Paul McCartney was still riding high as one of the premier live acts of the day, you could sense that he was getting tired of the proper way of making records. It was a new decade now, and Paul thought it was time to get weird when creating McCartney II.
Though this wasn’t meant to be an album in the traditional sense, Paul’s musical friends convinced him to release it as his second proper solo release. Much like his solo debut in the wake of the Beatles’ breakup, this is a much more raw experience than what Wings were up to, as Paul makes different noises out of primitive tape machines and the first synthesizers. While the single Coming Up was supposed to be a part of Wings’ next project, hearing the final version feels closer to Talking Heads than Paul McCartney, as he gets in touch with the new wave side of his sound.
There are even some moments on this record where McCartney takes a few pages out of David Bowie’s experimental period, filling out over half of the back end of this record with instrumental loops that give you a break from some of the more off the wall moments. Despite all of the kickback from hardcore fans, McCartney II was much more forward thinking than Macca may have realized, finding fans in younger musicians and even his writing partner John Lennon, who got back into making music with Double Fantasy to one up his former partner. And if something like this convinced a Beatle to get off his ass, it’s more than earned its spot in rock history.