McCartney & McCartney II are the 2 albums wherein former Beatle Paul McCartney sang, played a ton of instruments (separately) & produced them all by himself. Most of the tracks were homemade; produced in his farm in Campbeltown, Scotland. They were recorded during the time when the future of his former bands were in limbo, which eventually led to a break-up. Coincidence? I think not.
After John Lennon privately announced that he’d be leaving The Beatles, McCartney returned to his farm depressed. His wife, Linda, encourage him to think about the future outside his band and he did. He worked on new & unfinished songs and, later on, recorded most of them on the farm & his St. John’s Wood home. Later on, he mixed & overdubbed them on Abbey Road studios. He used the back-to-basics style that should’ve been used for his band’s final album, Let It Be. By this time, he decided not to work on another album with the band anymore, due to creative differences.
The problem came when it was time to release the album, wherein it should be released on April 17. His other bandmates unsuccessfully persuaded him to delay his album’s release to June 4, in favor of Let It Be. However, McCartney insisted that it should be released on the planned date.
What I can say about the songs in this album is that they’re kinda brilliant, despite that the quality of the recordings were not that good. A lot of songs bring an acoustic sound. “Maybe I’m Amazed” sounds like it was done by the Beatles. My most favorite track on that album is “That Would Be Something”. It has very simple chords & is very catchy. McCartney hasn’t found his own music style until Ram. Despite the success, he shouldn’t have used this as the reason to break up the Beatles.
Wings’ album, Back To The Egg, failed to make a commercial impact with only 1 of its singles entering the US Top 20, despite entering the Top 10 in the UK & US. As a result, McCartney returned to his farm to work on new songs, this time experimenting with various synthesizers. Among the 20 tracks he recorded, around half of them became part of the album.
After finishing his next album, McCartney set them aside & returned to touring with Wings in the UK. He was arrested in Japan for bringing marijuana with him. Hence, his World Tour was cancelled. Upon his release from jail, while thinking about his future with Wings, he decided to release this album.
With this album, I considered him as another Kraftwerk in the making. Most of his songs heavily involve with synthesizers. “Temporary Secretary” sounds like music from outer space, it kinda reminds me of Industry’s earlier works. 2 of my most favorite tracks on that album are “Check My Machine” & “Coming Up”. About the former, I thought he was one of the pioneers of music sampling. The latter is a very catchy song, it brought John Lennon back to work.
These 2 self-albums show a man’s natural genius in every track. And, as a Beatle fan, McCartney indeed is one of the most talented artists.