Monday, 7 March 2016

Paul McCartney: Surviving TV Appearances and Film Footage 1970-2015





The Beatles always had close links with films and TV - their first filmed performance at the Cavern Club in 1962 came before they'd even released their first single and it was the film 'A Hard Days' Night' that helped spread the word about the fab four beyond the confines of the record player. The fab four even 'invented' the music video as a good excuse not to have to keep making those same mimed performances over and over, starting with 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain' in 1966. Paul in particular relished the art-form and decided to use it a lot in his solo career and during the seven years he flew with Wings and there are dozens of examples on this list, one much longer than for most AAA artists and also long before MTV made music videos essential. Most of these have been gathered together in the DVD 'The McCartney Collection' - though not all by any means, with several 1980s clips missing. Though the music videos make the backbone of this list, there's plenty more from madcap interviews on children's television promoting Rupert The Bear to several Wings TV specials - some of which were even actually screened - and several mini-concerts for TV everywhere from the top of the David Letterman studio roof-top to the half-time performance at the Superbowl.

This is undoubtedly one of our longest lists, not only because of how prolific McCartney has been down the years but because such a high quota of his work has survived the ravages of time, unlike so many other AAA bands. Unlike The Beatles, practically everything Paul has done since 1970 has been kept by whatever network he was appearing on: archives were far more complete in the 'colour' era than they ever were in black-and-white and by the time of The Beatles' split everything McCartney did was newsworthy and worth keeping. Though mainly confined to UK television, Paul and Wings were also popular everywhere they went so there's a fair sprinkling of American and European TV footage here too. Please note though that despite the above comment, this list probably isn't complete - it couldn't be, not with the amount Macca and co have done around the world across so many years.  Chances are there'll be some obscure Australian late night TV clip I've never seen or a brief news clip of Paul bursting into 'Hey Jude' that's missing from this list. As always, the clips listed here mark those that I've seen with my own eyes (its hard to review something you haven't seen I find!) rather than a complete list: even so, its a lot of Macca. Please note too that we've had to be selective: we've included every lengthy interview Paul ever gave and every musical appearance we can find, but we've drawn the line at news-reel footage or news reports, or documentary programmes, or Paul speaking as part of another programme (eg the footage of Paul used in news clips around the world on Lennon's death isn't here). We've also ignored the footage that is available complete elsewhere (and covered elsewhere in our book) so you won't find the 'Broad Street' film, the 'Rockshow' concert or 'McCartney In Red Square' here as we've already gone over those particularly long and winding roads. However music videos and interviews are fair game whether or not they've ever been re-released - we'll tell you where you can see them officially as the list goes on; if not then please give our very own Alan's Album Archives Paul McCartney Youtube playlist a look? Simply go to https://www.youtube.com/user/AlansArchives and search for the 'AAA Paul McCartney Playlist' (we'l wait here while you do!) Alternatively have a look at the version of this column on our website (***) where the video playlist is part of the article so you can read and watch at the same time (if you have enough queenie eyes!)
There is of course an awful lot to get through - McCartney having barely stopped since going solo in 1970 - so without further ado here's the act you've known for all these years...

1.    Maybe I'm Amazed (Music Video 1970)
Needing to promote the 'McCartney' album with as little involvement and as little fuss as possible (the album was made in secret so that nobody from Apple would dare to change it). Paul himself directed this simple video to go alongside the debut album's best loved track which is made up of pictures shot by him and Linda, all looped together in one long slideshow, including some particularly lovely shots of dad with seven-year-old stepdaughter Heather and very newborn baby Mary. It's not unlike using windows media player to join up pictures today and though low budget goed nicely with the audio. Appears in 'The McCartney Collection' DVD and the deluxe edition of the album 'McCartney'.

2.    Heart Of The Country (Music Video 1971)
A similar trick was used for this song from 'Ram' - an unusual choice given that depending where you lived you got either 'Uncle Albert' or 'The Back Seat Of My Car' as the album single. This delightfully simple song is much easier to put a video too however and is probably a better bet as the single than the other two anyway. The video is similarly home-made but full of moving images this time, with Paul and Linda taking turns to film each other riding horses in a variety of arty ways and hanging out at the beach with Paul's English Sheepdog Martha. It must have been a jolt for Beatles fans in 1971 seeing so much footage of Paul and Linda together (they'd been relatively private till here, at least in comparison to John and Yoko) and so at home in the countryside so soon after he'd been out on the town with Jane Asher and always out in town. Appears in 'The McCartney Collection' DVD and the 'Ram' deluxe edition.

3.    Give Ireland Back To The Irish (Rehearsal 1972)
Though Wings never filmed a video for their first single, one of the few not to get one in the 1970s, that's probably just as well: it would have seemed trite to start miming a song about the Irish troubles while all smiles. However a three minute snippet of Wings in rehearsal does exist and its the earliest footage of them around. It was broadcast as part of an 'ABC Special Report' about Paul's new band and the American network are clearly far more sympathetic to the Irish struggles than Uk TV would have been (the song was famously mentioned as 'Paul McCartney's new single' on the BBC chart listings because it was thought inflamatory to even read out the title!) In an odd bit of symmetry this very first and what will be the very last Wings clips both show a clearly nervous and slightly bored band trying to cope with Macca's OTT vocal. It's still a great version of this song though and Wings already have their signature band sound despite only knowing each other weeks by this point.

4.    Hi Hi Hi (Music Video 1972)
Wings' second single is a real no-frills song about hi-jinks and, well, plainly drugs whatever explanation of the song's radio ban McCartney might give out these days. Fittingly the video for the song is simple, introducing the band in film (even Herny McCullough whose so new he didn't even play on the original record!) but with a slightly surreal haze as if the video too is 'recovering from the tip it's been on'.  Sadly the video was rarely seen at the time thanks to the ban but now is back in its rightful place as part of the 'McCartney Collection' DVD.

5.    C-Moon (Music Video 1972)
Luckily Paul also had the presence of mind to film the sweetly daft B-side, which became a hit instead of 'Hi Hi Hi' when several Disc-jockeys decided to turn the single over. Alas the lyrics don't make anymore sense in this version of the song, even with Macca's helpful hand gestures (L7 makes a 'square' gettit? No nor me really...) Even this early in Wings career the band are ringing in the changes, with Paul on his 'magical mystery tour' psychedelic piano, Denny Laine on guitar, Henry on drums and Denny Seiwell on trumpet! Thank goodness this clip is mimed... Appears in 'The McCartney Collection' DVD.

6.    My Love (Music Video 1973)
Another straightforward mimed band performance of the 'Red Rose Speedway' single. The direcyor clearly 'knows' this song is about Linda because there are lots more shots of her than normal, even though she actually does less in this video than normal (a bit of dancing and that's about all). Note that while everyone is more or less back to their 'normal' roles Denny is miming Paul's bass parts while the Liverpudlian lad himself mimes his piano overdubs. You can see this video on the DVD 'The McCartney Collection'.

7.    Helen Wheels (Music Video 1973)
One of my favourite Wings videos, this one seems to be laughing at the fact that there are now only three 'Wings' to cover five instruments. The band members keep jumping from one instrument to the other and compared to their rather po-faces on the last few songs seem to have been having a massive joke just before filming that they're still laughing out their systems. Intercut into this is is the McCartney jallopy after which, according to interviews a nervy McCartney gave to the press while fearing another radio ban, this song was 'named'. Nice try Macca, we all know this was a sneaky way to get 'hell on wheels' past the censors! While Paul is, naturally, in Wings' driving seat Denny and Linda take turns trying to see who can stand up the highest in the car while offering the first filmed appearance of the 'Wings' emblem (two waved hands looking like birds!) You can see this video on the DVD 'The McCartney Collection' and in the 'Band On The Run' deluxe edition.

8.    James Paul McCartney
(Big Barn Bed/Blackbird/Bluebird/Michelle/Heart Of The Country/Mary Had A Little Lamb/Little Woman Love/C Moon/My Love/Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey/April Showers (pub singalong)/Pack All Your Troubles (pub singalong)/You Are My Sunshine (pub singalong)/Gotta Sing Gotta Dance/Live and Let Die/versions of ‘When I’m 64’ and ‘Yesterday’ sung by the public/The Mess/Maybe I’m Amazed/Long Tall Sally/Yesterday UK TV Special 1973)
Even for Paul McCartney and his large collection of unreleased films, this special had a chequered history. The only reason it exists at all is because of a legal dispute that saw TV executive Lew Grade (the boss of ATV songwriting which published the McCartneys music) challenge the fact that Linda (signed to a different company) ‘deserved’ half the songwriting royalties of his records, having never had a note published in the past. Time will show, of course, what a gifted songwriter Linda could be in her own right, but this was long before the likes of ‘Seaside Woman’ and ‘Oriental Nightfish’ came out and after the Beatles split people seemed to believe anything of McCartney and his wife. The dispute was settled out of court on the grounds that Macca allowed himself to appear in an hour TV special for Grade's 'own' network ITV (Though oddly enough ABC in America screened it a month earlier than in Britain). The fab one agreed, reluctantly, and that’s how ‘James Paul McCartney’ came about. A weird mix of live-in-the-studio footage, home movies of the McCartney clan at the pub, a song and dance tap number and some solo acoustic performances (plus some truly dreadful karaoke from the passers-by in the street), it’s such a heady, schizophrenic mix  it makes ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ seem normal! The Wings footage in particular, though, is great, with some rare songs you don’t often get to see such as ‘Big Barn Bed’ (overlaid with spoof questionnaires over the top that are actually quite funny: Paul likes ‘good’ music, has ‘two’ eyes and ‘many thousands’ of hairs!), the earliest live footage of Paul singing ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘C Moon’ back when they were brand new songs and the always-forgotten, nearly-best-ever-Wings-rocker ‘The Mess’. You an even see the very moment Henry McCulloiugh decides to leave Wings, the look of horror etched on his face as he triesd to mime the guitar solo on 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' while surrounded by sheep with Linda swinging - literally, not on an instriment but on a swing - just past his ear. The song and dance number is a pain to sit through (why are they all wearing half-male half-female costumes?) and the people on the street interviews are awful, sure, but even they have a certain period charm now we're this far removed from 1973 and the McCartneys down-the-pub clips - long dismissed as the most boring segment -  are fascinating (and what a hammy lot the McCartney family are – see how many you can name from the lyrics to ‘Let ‘Em In’!) Not forgetting of course the big big big talking point of the time of the time: the first time any Beatles songs had been heard live from the band since the split (Wings only did ‘Long Tall Sally’ on their first tour, whilst John’s, George’s and Ringo’s first live dates weren’t till after this Easter Special!) – with the people at home hearing ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Michelle’ sung live by Macca for the first time since 1966 and ‘Blackbird’ for the first time ever! That alone makes this special worth it, while no other single work has ever come quite as close at capturing so many sides of the mercurial McCartney all at once, with a slight sense of schizophrenia across the whole thing. Let’s hope Macca bungs this show on the back of his proposed ‘Red Rose Speedway’ deluxe re-issue sometime (‘Rose’ being the nearest album chronologically to this, even if Macca strangely only does two songs from it), just like he did with the unreleased ‘One Hand Clapping’ film on ‘Band On The Run’.

9.    One Hand Clapping
('One Hand Clapping Theme' 'Jet!' 'Soily' 'C Moon' 'Little Woman Love' 'Maybe I'm Amazed' 'My Love' 'Bluebird' 'Let's Love'-All Of You-I'll Give You A Ring' 'Band On The Run' 'Live and Let Die' '1985' 'Baby Face' Honorary Mention 1974)
Wanting to introduce Wings Mark II to the world properly, Macca decided to make a documentary of the band 'apparently' running through the recent 'Band On The Run' album at Abbey Road but really playing in front of the cameras as a sort-of rehearsal. Shot by Paul's friend David Litchfield (actually a young magazine editor Paul admired and not a director at all) it's basic and funky, fascinating for its unpretentiousness compared to most later Macca shows (coming to this one straight after 'In The World Tonight' I can tell you which technique works best). Alas Wings Mark II lasted even less time than Wings Mark I, with new drummer and karate expert and hardened session veteran Geoff Britton (who often dresses in his karate gear) clashing with new teenage whizzkid Jimmy McCulloch. You can already see from the clips here that Wings is not a happy band - a drunken Denny Laine says that his brush with fame and the need to be bigger than it means he 'gets' Wings more than anyone else could but already seems to consider the band a duty rather than a love; Geoff and and Linda are already butting heads (watch for their mini-argument over what went wrong during the take of 'Soilly'), while a rare interview with Jimmy reveals him already to be as arrogant and pompous (yet loveable) as people always say (before he's released a note as a member of Wings and at the age of just 21 he's already boasting that he's been playing for longer than almost anyone else in the band! To be fair his solos are already something special!) In fact none of the band come out if too well - the first documentary since 'Let It Be' hints again at Paul's tendencies towards bossiness between the genuine warm smiles and clever jokes, while Linda has never looked more like a spare part (she'll come into her own in a few years' time though!) You have to question too the fact that Paul spends so much of this TV special - intended to cash in on Wings' rock band success and make them the biggest act on the planet - playing old pre-war standards on the piano, alongside a few he's written in the same style (what other performer could go from 'Live andf Let Die' to 'Baby Face' without blinking?) The documentary is also confusing over what's actually happening - how Hoie Casey kept his cool when Macca teaches him how to play the sax part he invented on 'Bluebird' a whole year earlier I'll never know. However the music is almost all great, with a terrific rock crunch Wings willnever quite match again and some fascinatingly early versions of 'Soilly' (debuted on 1976's 'Wings Over America') and 'I'll Give You A Ring' (A B-side released as late as 1982). We also get to see the first ever filmed performance of 'Maybe I'm Amazed' - which would surely be a cause for celebration even if it wasn't also one of the very best - and some cracking performances of Band On The Run songs fresh from the well including a rollicking 'Jet!' and a very heavy '1985'. The band even invent a new catchphrase, as long suffering Beat;les engineer Geoof Emerick gets roped in as producer ansd the whol band ask him in turn, with accents that comes with various degrees of success, 'how was it for you Geoffrey?!' There's an awfully lot of great stuff here - alongside the usual McCartney dross - and the long-awaited release of this special for the first time ever in 2010 is the highlight of the entire 'McCartney Deluxe' series so far. How's it for you Geoff? Pretty darn good!

10. Band On The Run (Music Video 1974)
Another oddly low-budget music video, made up of some illustrations and some pictures of the 'A Hard Day's Night' Beatles and a sequence of black and white houses that looks very like the 'Eleanor Rigby' one from 'Yellow Submarine'. A few splashes of colour arrive in the form of some surrealist characters, there are some clips of randsom people walking down a street and finally the 'passport' photos from 'Band On The Run's back cover. By and large, thoughm this is one of the least successful Wings videos - a waste given how visual the song is and how strong the idea is (we could have had a re-creation of the three Wings members doing their famous album cover and escaping from prison!) You can see this video - if you must - in both 'The McCartney Years' DVD and as part of the 'Band On The Run' deluxe edition.

11. Mamunia (Music Video 1974)
Oddly there was never a music video for the single 'Jet!' but there is one for the album track 'Mammunia' - possibly because this song was intended as the album's third single before some high-up in EMI told him he'd get more sales if he released the title track instead. It's a moody cartoon made by illustrator Jim Quick. Other than the music the video has no Wings involvement but follows an oddly Lennon-like doodle as he first hides from and then embraces the storm-clouds overhead. Before you ask, no I have no idea who that is at the end when the camera follows a main in a raincoat and ends with a close-up - nor does anyone else it seems! You can see this video on the DVD 'The McCartney Collection' and the deluxe edition of 'Band On The Run'.
12. Silly Love Songs (Music Video 1976)
Another ho-hum video which merges quick cuts between the 'speedy' photosgraphs of the band from the back cover of 'Wings At The Speed Of Sound' and cuts in a bit of on-tour home footage. In this video we see the band including horn section messing about backstage, Jimmy McCulloch trying not to be filmed in his rarely seen spectacles,the band in general trying to hide from the camera and everyone  boarding plane after plane as well as singing 'Silly Love Songs' on stage. A much 'better' video for this song will be made by Macca in 1984 as one of the better sequences from his 'Broad Street' film (where the ad hoc band are a bunch of aliens who only come out to perform the song once a day!) You can see this video on the DVD 'The McCartney Collection' and the deluxe edition of 'Wings At The Speed Of Sound'.

13. Mull Of Kintyre (Music Video 1977)
The video for the biggest-selling UK single of its day used to be everywhere: every TOTP2 compilation seemed to have it (perhaps because this was shown in the #1 slot every week for two whole months and seared itself on the nastions' consciousness!), every McCartney or Wings retrospective featured it and anything even vaguely Scottish seemed to be an excuse for showing it. I haven't seen it in a while though - except on 'The McCartney Collection'. Another delightfully simple video it really was filmed at Paul's Scottish farm at the Mull of Kintyre and starts off with Paul sitting down and strumming solo before a walking Denny joins him and LInda absent-mindedly picks some flowers. Suddenly a Scottish dragoon walk down a beach to join them and the song goes up another gear. Note the absence of Joe English, who'd left the band after performing the song but before the video was shot. Still unsure of the song's success Paul was relieved to hear the leader of the bagpipers telling him he'd recorded a definite #1 hit between takes of recording the 'campfire at night' sequence. The gathered crowd of local children geed up into singing along behind the band at the end look far less sure, however.

14. Mike Yarwood Christmas Show ('Mull Of Kintyre' UK TV 1977)
McCartney really liked his dry ice doesn't he? Either it's been added to add a touch of Highlands fog to proceedings or English impressionsit Mike Yarwood was a bigger smoker than we thought given that the fog dominates the appearance. Paul, Linda and Denny are perched on stools unusually singing rather than miming their hit record before, surprise surprise, the old Scottish dragoon band march in, bagpipes at hand. Sadly this clip is not officially availble anywhere at the time of writing.

15. Countdown ('With A Little Luck' UK TV 1977)
In which Wings get the 'new wave' sound a full three years early, miming to their latest single as a three-piece and with a performanxce dominated by two banks of keyboards played (not that convincingly)  by Denny and Linda while a group of enthusiastic but rather co-ordinated extras dance behind them (well, it beats the usual surly TOTP look!) For some reason there is also a giant mock tree in the background - the set dresser was hoping for more than a little luck of his own when he threw this low-budget set together! This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

16. Southbank Show (UK TV 1977) includes London Town title track video
Melvyn Bragg's South Bank Show was brand new when this lengthy interview with Paul and Denny was broadcast in the first series - by far the interviewer's biggest guest up to that time. Macc is on his standard mid-7-s defensive form though, giving little away and nattering about whatever he wants rather than what he's asked. We do get an early hearing for Paul's first ever song 'I Lost My Little Girl' though and some interesting reflections on the McCartney household growing up, Paul playing the drums while suqaling Little Richard's 'Lucille' during an intense Wings jam  What comes over most though is the first real rush of Beatles nostalgia, with clips of The Beatles miming 'Love Me Do' and performing at Shea Stadium intercut into the interview alongside discussions of the early Lennon-McCartney songs, how Paul wrote 'Valerie Higgins' (sorry - 'Eleanor Rigby') 'Michelle' 'When I'm 64' and 'Yesterday' and the nerves recording at Abbey Road for the first time. Even more interesting is what Wings were up to at the time, with rare shots of the core trio recording the vocals for 'Mull Of Kintyre' (Paul's lead was originally much higher and shrill judging by the outtake shown) Funniest moment: 'I can't stand these reviewers who go from the classical word to rock and roll - they're such different animals' (says the man who'll be writing an oratario in a decade's time!)

17. I've Had Enough (Music Video 1978)
The flop second single from 'London Town' was the only one of the three to get a traditional 'proper'video. It's not much to write away home about though, as Wings get shot in a studio with some moody lighting including some blinds. Macca released this video just as the song was slipping down the charts anyway and the video didn't do much to stop it. The delay came because there simply wasn't a 'Wings' left to promote this album other than the 'core three' - instead this final video features the first ever appearance of 'Mark III' musicians Steve Holly and Laurence Juber, who mime along happily even though neither of them played on the original. Macca ends the song with a mock hand gesture at the camera, an inverse of his usual optomistic 'Wings' salute! This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

18. Rockestra (Unscreened Documentary 1979)
An honorary mention for a bit of unscreened footage that was meant to be part of a documentary but which was left unloved in the McCartney vaults until 2007. The Rockestra project during the 'Back To The Egg' sessions was one of those typically grandiose McCartney ideas - unite loads of big name figures in music to record a simple little ditty he'd just come up with, a theme tune for an imaginary band. Amazingly this one actually happened and remains the only place where you can see members of The Beatles, The Small Faces, The Who, The Shadows, Led Zeppelin and Procul Harum playing at the same time. The result is a bit of a noise to be honest and not quite worthy of the talent in the room (sample lyric - in fact the only lyric - 'Why haven't I had any dinner?) while the tape sadly clicks off before the second superior but lesser known song recorded that night 'So Glad To See You Here'. It's great to see a room full of so many people simply having fun together though even if the music's not up to much.

19. Concert For The People Of Kampuchea ('Got To Get You Into My Life' 'Every Night' 'Coming Up' 'Hot As Sun' 'Lucille' 'Let It Be' 'Rockestra' 1979)
What turned out, unknowingly, to be Wings' last show was a various artists charity gig at the Hammersmith Odeon held to raise money for the victims of civil war in Cambodia. The night was a key one for all sorts of reasons - it was the last time Macca played live for a full ten years, the last appearances with Denny, Laurence and Steve, is the only existing film footage of this era of Wings playing life, the first meeting between Paul and a young Elvis Costello the new hot property of the moment, the revival of several Beatles songs never performed live before this tour (including a storming 'Got To Get You Into My Life' with the last appearance of the Wings horn section really getting their teeth into the song) and only the second ever live performance of new song 'Coming Up' (the first, at Glasgow a week before, can be heard on the B-side of the original single). Oh and did we mention this concert also saw the only official life performance of Macca's 'Rockestra' supergroup as coincidentally many of the musicians who guested on the 'Back To The Egg' recordings were also playing at this show (including a mischevous Pete Townshend who'd just played a storming gig with The Who and was the only one to refuse the cheap snazzy suits ordered for the occasion, ending the last song with a trademark windmilling  leap on the last note!), as introduced by Billy Connolly (who mischevously misnames them as 1960s Mersebeaters 'The Applejacks'!) It's a good performance too, much tighter than on the record and especially on the one song everyone on the stage seemed to know, Little Richard's 'Lucille'. The Wings set is good too, even if the band look tired and Macca is sweating like a pig by the end and the director insists on a few too many arty shots thta have rather dated. Great song choice though so kudos to the editor for choosing the 'right' three songs to broadcast (the same three as the soundtrack album, funnily enough, even though Wings played closer to twenty that night)). Given a one-off never-repeated TV broadcast soon after being performed in December 1979, the show was a big event at the time, not quite 'Live Aid' perhaps but probably 'Concert For Bangladesh' style big. And yet despite all these many important reasons why Beatle fans should know and cherish this show, its all but been forgotten, partly through Macca's drug bust in Japan a mere fortnight after this show and partly because it's been so hard to get hold of down the years. Youtube has changed all that now of course (so my old battered VHS copy can rest in pieces)  - odd that none was included in the 'McCartney Years' DVD although you can see 'Coming Up' on the deluxe edition of 'McCartney II' and 'Every Night' and an originally unbroadcast 'Hot As Sun' on the deluxe edition of 'McCartney'.

20. Goodnight Tonight (Music Video 1979)
One of the better Wings videos features the final line-up of the band dressed as if they're giving a 1920s radiuo broadcast - even though this song is about as contemporary-edged as Wings ever get! The band all look great with slicked back hair and LInda particularly looks stunning, while there are plenty of laughs to be had from the 'gentlemanly' way Denny and Laurence wave each other's criss-crossing guitar solos on! The finished video includes 'intercut' scenes with a proper-looking Wings but the 'full' dressed up version is better - you can choose between both on the 'McCartney Years' DVD by clicking the 'alternate video' button! The video was also shown in the 'Back To The Egg' special, although it was actuallty filmed first.

21. Back To The Egg TV Special
('Getting Closer' 'Baby's Request' 'Old Siasm Sir' 'Winter Rose-Love Awake' 'Spin It On' 'Again and Again and Again' 'Arrow Through Me' 'Goodnight Tonight' UK TV 1979)
We'ce already discussed this odd yet strangeky compelling TV special in our review for 'Back To The Egg' so we'll be brief here (well, by our standards). A slightly more 'normal' version of the 'James Paul McCartney' special this handy little bit of TV promotion was filmed back to back with the album and is mainly set in the grounds of Lympne Castle in Kent where the record was recorded. The record starts off with the sci-fi cover (revealing Wings' cosy living room to be part of a spaceship) without any explanation and ends with the band shutting the picture of Earth up as they pull a rug back over the floorboards and walk away. All the clips in-between were filmed inside the castle or its grounds - including a nearby poppy field. Without a word spoken between the songs, this special is actually ahead of its times by a few years and makes one of the weaker McCartney albums seem a lot more interesting than it really is. This is also almost our only occasion to see the final line-up of Wings at play and they're having a ball - most of the time anyway - with Denny Laine and Laurence Juber trying to sportingly 'outdo' the other at every turn!  However seeing these tracks mimed rather than performed is a wasted opportunity and one wishes Wings had done this with one of their better LPs such as 'London Town'. Even with the extra promotion the album bombed, which might be why Paul waits a further 18 years before trying another one - and then it'll be more traditional and documentary based. 

22. Wonderful Christmas Time (Music Video 1979)
Poor Wings Mark III. There they were with their headsa vaguely held up when Paul turns up with the new single he's recorded single-handed at home without their input before. And it's awful - festive shlock unworthy of their name or their talents. What are they made to do? Grin aimlessly for the camera while miming to something they didn't play and having lots of mock-fun throwing mock snowballs at each other in a mock-band that didn't really exist anymore, in an all too obviously freezing pub. Amazingly the manages achieves the near-impossible feat of being even more cheesy and unlikeable than the audio.  Just to add insult to injury, it's the last single and the last video ever released under Wings' name. Paul apparently entertained the locals between takes by playing lots of Beatle standards on the piano. They should have filmed that and put it out instead. Bah! Humbug! You can find it on 'The McCartney Years' DVD and the deluxe edition of 'McCartney II'. So be warned - there's now no excuse for this horeendous monstrosity to take you unawares!
23. Wings Tour Rehearsal ('Eleanor Rigby' 'Unknown' 'With A Little Luck' 'Coming Up' 'Got To Get You Into My Life' 1979)
In a neat mirror of the 'Give Ireland Back To The Irish' rehearsal at the start of their journey the final footage of Wings preparing for the Japanese leg of their tour shows them bored and sullen. Paul tries his best to gee the band through the songs he wants to add to the setlist (curses! We could have had 'Eleanor Rigby' before the 1989 revival!) but the band are unresponsive and look as if they'd rather be anywhere else right now (it looks to all intents and purposes as if there's just been a big row before the cameras started rolling). Paul and Denny especially never make eye contact, suggesting tensions between the two were running high even before the Japanese drug bust. It's still worth watching though, especially a second song which the band never returned to again, a funky song that has a much better groove than any of the 'Back To The Egg' rockers even if the lyrics haven't been properly worked out yet.  'Got To Get You Into My Life' sounds rather good too, with a slow and funky bluesy sound set to a reggae beat quite unlike the version Wings had been playing across 1979 or the one Mccartney would go back to in 1989. So far only the 'Coming Up' clip has seen the official light of day on the 'McCartney II' deluxe edition.
24. Coming Up (Music Video 1980)
Or perhaps Wings were actually holding McCartney back because, suddenly, without them he's got his mojo back - in terms of music videos at least. 'Coming Up' is one of the very best AAA videos of the lot, not only because of the ultimate 'catchy but deep' song going on over the top but through the inventive and still mind-bogglingly ahead of its day video. Paul, who doesn't have a band anymore, solves the problem by making up a band of all his friends - only he's playing the part of all of them. Look out for affectionate parodies of his heroes and colleagues including Hank Marvin, John Bonham and Ron Mael from Sparks as well as squeezing back into his old Beatles collarless suit to become himself circa 1964 (where a now 38-year-old Macca is astonishingly convincing as his 22-year-old self!) Along the way Macca dresses up as some generic musicians, including a spoof of the days half-male, half-female hybrid backing singers (with him and Linda dressed up to look like each other) and a four part horn section including one member who always gets things 'wrong' (which must have been hell to coordinate!) 'Coming Up' is Macca at his finest, using his natural born optimism to great use on a catchy song given a hilarious self-deprecating video. A Must see for all McCartney fans. This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set and the 'McCartney II' deluxe edition.

25. Waterfalls (Music Video 1980)
Though slightly more po-faced, the just as elaborate video for the second classic single from 'McCartney II' is also one of Paul's better ideas. The video starts with a few false notes not heard on the record as Macca tries to compose a new song in his home 'studio' (sadly a mock-up rather than the real thing). A very expensive shot sees the camera go through the tiny window of his 'house' abd twirl round his piano before Paul walks off into his imagine, dodging the inevitable waterfall and swinging around on a carousel. Perhaps regretting his decision to include a verse about 'don't go chasing polar bears' Paul appears on a mock-up Arctic set that's also highly convincing, while a real polar bear named Olaf is seen at the back of shot, not a million miles away from Paul (now there's a headline for the tabloids: Polar eats Paul!') Paul then walks back to 'himself' and shuts the blins, song finished (very postmodern!) Another lovely video - the only part about this video that isn't is his shocking taste in wallpaper! This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set and the 'McCartney II' deluxe edition.

26. Meet Paul McCartney (UK TV May 1980)
A rather boring interview in which Paul Gambaccini meets his hero and runs out of things to say, while Paul is not in the kindest or most helpful of moods. Paul seems to bristle a few times across the interview, especially when being asked about whether 'McCartney II' is a 'proper' album or not and when Paul is being compared to John. Against all odds this less than flattering interview on both sides' account was re-released in the 'McCartney II' deluxe edition set.

27. Day By Day (UK TV July 1980)
'Hopefully Wings will be making another album before too long...' Actually this is Paul's second interview as a solo star, where he chats to - erm - footballer Kevin Keegan about a recent claim by the Guinness Book Of World Records that he is officially the most successful writer of all time ('If I was writing back then I probably would be writing like Beethoven...he was a good 'un!') Paul is most interested talking about modern music ('Bright Eyes' is his recommend as the best song of recent years, interestingly) and jokes that the youngest generation around don't even know of The Beatles (but it doesn't bother him, honest!) Worryingly in the talk about age Paul jokes that everyone gets old and 'nobody gets out of that one!' before Keegan claims that Buddy Holly and Elvis will always get to stay young ('but hopefully nothing like that will happen to any of The Beatles' - this is five months before Lennon gets shot). In fact Paul mentions that his next gig is to record with Ringo on an album all The Beatles are contributing to - though of course the much-delayed 'Stop and Smell The Roses' will be much delayed and end up a Beatle short. Macca's comment when asked if Wings will ever be as big 'The Beatles is about as big as I ever want to get!'

28. Ebony and Ivory (Music Video 1982)
Though Paul and Stevie didn't actually meet to make the record, they were reunited for the video where they both perch uncomfortably on the same piano stool for an all-too literal take on the album's 'black and white keys' lyrics before going for a wander down a gaint keyboard, as you do. The video script, written by Paul, featured an unfortunate mistake where Paul was meant to smile at the blind Stevie who smiles back - a quick rewrite later and Stevie grins in completely the wrong direction to be met back by a now genuinely grinning Paul! The best thing about this video is the pair of singer's contrasting jackets, which include both black and white but in very different places! This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

29. Take It Away (Music Video 1982)
Though a surprise flop as a single, 'Take It Away' is back to the classic McCartney videos, as he ropes some of the big names who played on the song to appear in the video  (including producer George Martin, here on piano, 10cc's Eric Stewart on guitar and Ringo on drums - though sadly not Denny Laine whose voice can be heard loudest in the harmonies). The twist is that 'this' band are young anf hungry wannabes who haveb't made it yet - they get interrupted by their landlord and have their electricity cut off! They make it in the end, however, playing the last verse enthusiastically to a crowd of cheering extras (advertised through McCartney's 'Club Sandwich' fanclub and who got an impromptu mini-concert afterwards as a 'thankyou' that's widely thought to be one of the best he ever gave). This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

30. Tug Of War (Music Video 1982)
Another surprise flop - surely its more deserving of success than 'Ebony and Ivory' ever was? - the video for the title track of Macca's 1982 album features him miming in a studio with Linda joining him while George Martin tries to control things from inside the studio. Alas what looks like it will be another of Paul's low budget charmers is 'interrupted' for somce stock footage of chaos and random tug-of-war teams that doesn't really add much to the song. This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

31. Nationwide (UK TV 1982)
After more or less kick-starting 'The South Bank Show' Paul all but ends an institution by being one of the last guests ion the fourteen-year running current affairs programme 'Nationwide'. Paul's first post-Lennon TV interview is an oddball, swerving between jokes with presenter Sue Lawley and genuine moments of emotion ('I'm lucky if I get old...'), especially talking about his lost friend. When asked if he thought about packing it all in Paul freezes for a moment and says that he thought long and hard about it but felt he had to carry on - and that if he'd been in Lennon's shoes he'd have wanted his old friend to carry on without hi too. Paul also talks about the end of Wings but doesn't mention George Martin's criticisms, instead saying 'I fancied a change...' There's some nice older footage that isn't seen anywhere else too: a home movie of what looks like a Jamaican holiday in the late 1970s with a seven/eight-year-old Mary dancing round her daddy while he tries to play the congas! Typically 'Nationwide', this clip is used to demonstrate the question 'it must be awful when people invade your privacy!'

32. Say Say Say (Music Video 1983)
Michael Jackson learnt so much from McCartney: melody, professionalism, musicality, hard graft and even - in between takes - business lessons (told to invest his new-found money in song publishing, Michael took Macca at his word and bought the Beatles catalogue!) However Paul learnt a lot from Jackson in pure terms of videos. The second most viewed video in 1983 borrows heavily from Wacko Jacko's own 'Thriller', including telling a full-blown story aside from the song that looks like a mini-film in its own right and has a beginning that runs for quite a few minutes before the song starts. Mac and Jack are conmen - which makes a kind of sense given how hard this song tries to be 'current' - and along with Linda are doing the ol' 'snake oil' act, selling worthless produce to a lot of gullible locals (they'd be involved in pyramid schemes the pair of them if the characters were around today). Actually the dating is up for debate - we get a few questionable 'Black and White Minstrel' references as Mac and Jack put on a Vaudeville act which suggests early 20th century, although the lotions and potions market was a more common sight in the American Wild West times. By the end of the video the partnership has made a lot of loot and Jacko's even got a girlfriend (not very realistic - she's almost as old as he is!) while the trio sail away on the back of a lorry safe to scam another day. For all this video's big budget - with more money spent on it than anything else in this list, accounting for inflation - it doesn't have the charm of the best on this list made with a movie camera and 50p for lunch. This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

33. Pipes Of Peace (Music Video 1983)
Another candidate for greatest music video ever made by anybody, the ever under-rated 'Pipes Of Peace' got its UK #1 showing at least partly on the back of this much-discussed video. Paul plays both German and English officers in World War One and the video is set on the day of the Christmas Day armistice in 1914. The two Pauls embrace in the middle of no man's land, showing each other pictures of their missuses (strangely neither looks anything like Linda) while in the background extras kick footballs around until the truce comes to a sudden and unexpected end. Still, both 'our' McCartney and 'Herr' McCartney sleep better knowing that the enemy is only human, like them, and that their opposites too think this war is a stupid idea. A very moving and clever video, which could easily have gone quite schmaltzy, is just about kept in check and makes good use of another king-sized budget and attention to detail (the trench that was built really did go on for miles  and both uniforms are right down to the last button hole, with a 'costume researcher' hired especially for the shoot). This clip is another included on the 'McCartney Years' DVD set.

34. MTV (US TV 1983)
You can tell that we've moved on to a 'new' generation - Paul's first big interview with music channel MTV starts with a jokey black and white clip of Paul laughing at the idea of performing past the age of thirty and then starts with the words 'Paul is aged forty now...' He'll be getting that sort of thing a lot from now on. The interview is meant to promote 'Pipes Of Peace' but also features Paul putting the finishing touches on a 'sneak preview' of 'Broad Street' - the surly American presenter seems underwhelmed with both and Paul admits that everyone he showed the script to said 'don't do that!'(you can also see the sudden doubt in Paul's eyes as he reads out the plot from Broad Street' and is asked what the character is he's playing ('erm...Paul?') This is many ways Paul's most intellectual answer, spending nearly a full half hour talking about the 1980 McCartney albums about following the same 'internal struggle between hate and love' and that 'Tug' poses the questions to Peace's 'answer'. Macca talks about the fun he had writing with Michael Jackson and making the 'Say Say Say' video into 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'
35. The Tube (UK TV 1983)
Three years after 'Quadrophenia' and ficve before 'Men Behaving Badly', acrtess Leslie Ash is an uncomfortable host of music series The Tube. It's the most risque programme Macca's been on for a while and features Leslie with a punked up haircut rying to lead Paul to the studios through a busy street. She gets more looks of recognition than he does before they finally get into a waiting cab and do the interview there. 'Average Person' is both the soundtrack and the 'theme' as the programme does its best to make the Beatle seem 'normal' and 'with it'. Paul discusses the fact that 'Tug Of War/Pipes Of Peace' was meant to be a double album, missing working with other people during his 'McCartney' and 'Mccartney II' albums ('where's all me mates'?!), the fact that Michael Jackson is painfully shy (really?!?), the fact that Stevie Wonder is notoriously unpunctual and comments on some buildings they're driving past 'I tried to live there once - but the residents didn't want me because I was a pop star. Think I was better off without them!' Paul also gets asked the weirdest question in an interview ever ('Where would you like the car to go next?!') and politely requests a visit to London zoo! Leslie clearly has good taste though, nominating 'Through Our Love' as her favourite song off the 'Pipes Of Peace' record!

36. Late Late Breakfast Show (UK TV 1983)
Noel Edmonds is a bit clueless in this clip - he says that he's surprised Paul has appeared because 'he doesn't do TV shows'. What the heck are half the list about then?! This is a rare interview with Paul and Linda equally and while there are no unusual questions or revealing answers it's good to see the interplay between the two of them and Paul cracks a lot of jokes (he ends revealing the plot about 'Broad Street' with the line 'and then I get into bed with John Travolta!')  The couple wave to eldest daughter Heather who at twenty years old is their baby-sitter for the night. Paul revealed later that he was embarrassed by this interview and did it because he was desperate to promote the film ('I clam up when I get stupid questions!') but actually its good to see his sillier side come through.

37. No More Lonely Nights (Music Video 1984)
Perhaps 'Broad Street' might have worked better as a lower budget film like its off-spring music video, because there's more class and emotion in this four-minute video than there is for the whole of the 80 minute feature film. Though clips from the movie are used, this is more than just an overlong trailer: we start with the McCartney he might become if Harry really does run off with the master-tapes for his next album (the whole plot of the film): living up stairs in a tiny flat with only a cat for company and all his old show business pals refusing to pick up the phone. Paul gives up waiting for someone to call back and clambers upstairs on top of his rundown shack's epic rooftop - and as with The Beatles in 1970 the new perspective of the roof suddenly gives him the optimism he needs to get through. A charming much-forgotten video, although anyone who doesn't know the film (which must be 90% of the 'McCartney Years' DVD owners) must be deeply confused as to who all these people are and why Paul and Ringo are dressed in Victorian garb for much of it (a dream sequence set to 'Eleanor Rigby' if you don't know!)

38. Russell Harty (UK TV 1984)
An hour - give or take adverts - this special is the longest McCartney interview yet. Alas it's not one of the best: Russell Harty isn't a natural interviewer and Paul is getting bored of being asked these tiring sorts of questions. However there's a bit more of his childhood years than we usually get, proudly getting out the family photographs and saying 'don't I look like me dad!' There's a great story about George Harrison getting caned on the wrist by accident rather than his hand and his dad going round to punch the teacher hard in the face! ('He was a school hero then!') Paul's response when he got caned: 'Well, you were probably doing something to deserve it, son!' There's a few photos I haven't seen before actually ('Oh you would show that one - look at my puppy fat!') Paul talks a lot about the Hamburg years too and that the only Beatles who knew any German was him and George but that what they knew wasn't particularly useful ('Jacob was the cheekiest of all ravens I have ever seen' was the only phrase they could remember from school!) Paul also talks about busking for the 'Broad Street' film and says that he did it partly to promote busking ('because they tried to ban it a year or so ago and I don't think that's on!')  In an embarrassing return to 'James Paul McCartney' members of the public are invited to sing some McCartney songs - the results are even more cringe-inducing than last time! Interestingly its a sneak preview of 'We All Stand Together' that gets the biggest cheer of the night with Harty commenting that Paul and Linda look like the frogs coming out of the water at the end ('it's not true!' laughs Paul in reply).

39. Spies Like Us (Music Video 1985)
Although Macca was still a pretty big name back in 1985 the makers of the 'Spies Like Us' movie (the Saturday Night Live bunch effectively) rather buried their association with Paul, refusing to air his commissioned and specially written title track anywhere in the film. Paul doesn't seem to have taken it to heart, though, filming his own video which promoted both the single and the film (and again must have confused the goodness out of the 95% of fans owning the 'McCartney Years' set who either hadn't seen the film or had seen it but didn't get the link). Macca dressed up in the same bad-spy garb as Chevy Chase  on his walk to Abbey Road to record the song, although anyone passing would surely have recognised him in an instant. Paul, his hair slightly greying, sets out to record everything for the song while Chase directs and various clips from the movie are shown. Like the film, it tries hard but doesn't quite work. Oh when things get tough the Macca videos get rough. Nice to see Abbey Road again though. Sneaky!

40. Live Aid ('Let It Be' 1985)
'There will be an answer - bring it on, let it happen!' Bob Geldof knew that if his multi-artist charity extravaganza had any hope of being taken seriously, he had to have a Beatle onboard. Ringo was in Monaco and George was in semi-retirement which left Paul, who got phonecall after phonecall until he said yes. Paul's argument - that he didn't have a band anymore and hadn't appeared in concert for six years - was waived aside with the promise that he could play solo on the piano and would be great. Alas Macca's grand finale went wrong. Though the 'Live Aid' performance was a technical tour de force even more tana a musical one, linking up many dozens of countries round the world without putting a foot wrong, a loose wire meant that Paul was effectively singing to himself for a full three minutes. The microphone suddenly worked on the third verse, the crowd erupting with a roar of other-wordly cheers before a sea of famous faces wander on stage. Thank goodness that the event happened to an artist of Macca's calmness and professionalism - had this happened to any lesser, younger artist it could have been a disaster but here more than anywhere else Macca is a pro that keeps it all together. Before the planned repeat Macca was allowed by the broadcasters to re-record his vocal, which is what appears on the DVD - both the official 25th anniversary Live Aid set and 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

41. TV AM: Good Morning Britain (UK TV 1985)
Five years on from Lennon's death Paul discusses his relationship with his old friend. Paul is still hurt by the way he's perceived and refers to John as a 'naughty boy, like the rest of us' and complains that his comments on Lennon always seem to be taken out of context. He makes a good point that Lennon would have hated being turned into a saint the way he was - especially in the 1980s - and poor Anne Diamond barely gets a word in edgeways Macca has so much to get off his chest. He ends by saying that he was the best collaborator he'd ever had, that 'I still can't believe he's dead' and that Lennon was the first friend he was really close to who'd died. 

42. Press (Music Video 1986)
Though much mocked then and since I rather like both video and song for 'Press'. In the video Macca wanders around the London underground, walking down escalators and giving up seats for elderly ladies who mouth 'is that him?!' over his shoulder. As early as the 'Pop Go The Beatles' radio series in 1963 Paul was moaning how his fame prevented him from walking around on public transport like he used to and this video is Paul taking things into his own hands, enjoying the fact that most people don't recognise him - and being even more thrilled when they do (lots of pre-signed autographs were given away that day!) Though perhaps a rather over-literal interpretation of 'Press' (which should be about an emotional massage, not a literal button to enter a train!) Macca's having more fun than we've seen him have in ages! How come this never happens when I'm on the train at Liverpool?! This is the only 'Press To Play' video to be included in the 'McCartney Years' DVD sadly - the others are better still.

43. Pretty Little Head (Music Video 1986)
Opening with a snatch of The Beatles' 'She's Leaving Home', the video makes it clear that the 'pretty little head' in Macca's bonkers attempt at a dance song is an innocent left adrift n a corrupt world. Macca's determined 'gonna take care of you!' which sounded so creepy on the record make more sense in the video as he appears like a giant statyue trying to offer words of hope and comfort to a girl who is finding none. Hungry and homeless and ripe for corruption from the 'Hillmen' (whop in the video are street gangs), the girl in the song is beaten only when McCartney superhero blows them over. Though the storyline is daft, the song is tough enough to withstand the arty camera shots and the result is one of the most visually striking and inventive McCartney music videos. Typically, as with most things 'Press To Play', it's rather been airbrushed from history and sadly this song doesn't feature in the 'McCartney Years' DVD either. Note that the mix of the song is the rarer 12" single version which sounds a fair bit scarier than the record.

44. Stranglehold (Music Video 1986)
'I wanna see the band!' Sadly missing from the 'McCartney Years' DVD was this as ever under-rated song from the 'Press To Play' album of 1986. Like 'Say Say Say' it's a full-on story which follows a young lad's attempts to get into a club to see the McCartney Band all the adults are raving about. He's even brought his saxophone to play with. Luckily Linda's there to look out for the lad and smuggle him past the security guard and in to see Paul. Luckily his sax part is just what the song needs and he arrives right on cue! He even plays a slightly longer solo than the version on the record , just to rub in how much better than the adults he is. Obvious perhaps but a lot of fun with Paul and a band of extras looking very much the part of Texan cowboys!
45. Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (UK TV 1986)
Paul's only appearance on children's telly was to promote 'Rupert and the Frog Song'. Macca, clearly at home around children, puts up with some rather odd questions from the phone-in five-year-olds and offers easily the best of that series' guest star prizes - a massive sack of Mccartney and Rupert goodies and a box of selection chocolates! Once again Paul is teamed with Noel Edmonds, which isn't the best of pairings, but its an interesting interview that also sees Paul joining the panel of stars commenting on some new music videos. Ever mr nice guy, Paul tries to find something good about them all, though even he's struggling to find something positive about some of the inane pop rubbish around in the mid-80s!

46. Wogan (UK TV 1987)
Terry asks Paul if its got any easier now he's on his fifteenth post-Beatles album and he says it gets harder. The same for the interviews it seems as for the first time really on screen Paul recycles highlights from past interviews. It's still a good interview though with Macca almost flirting with Wogan throughout the chat and pleasing the audience no end when he talks about wanting to go back on tour soon (only two years to wait everybody!) Paul talks a lot about family and laughs when asked if he passed on the birds and bees the way his dad did ('his idea was to say you see those alsations over there? It's like that!') The interview ends with an unusual clip never seen again - Paul recording his lead vocal for what sounds like an outtake of 'Press' with an extra bank of keyboards.

47. Once Upon A Long Ago (Music Video 1987)
A rare standalone single, this song makes good use of a moody mountain top and an equally moody black and white production, lifted by sudden glorious twists of technicolour. While the cartoon inserts (a sequel - of sorts - by the same animators who'd done 'Rupert and the Frog Song three years before) is awful and cliched (a happy family on a wintry day) the performance itself is shot very artfully and convincingly. The clip of the extra 'sweeping' up the leftover colourful notes and Macca's latest band look good in black silhouette (including the first appearances in video by Wix in a wide-brimmed hat and Chris Whitten). They look not unlike younger bands of the day in 1987 before pop got silly again in 1988. There's also a geust appearance for a very young Nigel Kennedy who plays a very colourful violin solo - literally given the effects added in post-production! The video is another included in 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

48. Cover Story (US TV 1987)
'This is why I'm not a gardner - I like this plinking around too much!' This interview is slow to get goingt - delayed by 'highlights', video clips and some of the longest opening titles I've ever seen - but is great once it gets going, with a few different subject matters to normal. Paul talks about the move in the 1960s away from nonsense songs to compositions that meant something, the joy of realising for the first time that The Beatles had a chance at success and being something special and  that 'I've got four kids...so that means there's always a lot of action'.Most interesting of all are his memories of 1970, of wanting to work but fearing it too and trying to walk a fine line between 'pushing through it', the 'it' being the depression he felt once The Beatles split. Linda is interviewed too and talks at length about the day they met and that the McCartney have 'the best kids' and that they're 'my best friends'. More oddly, Graeme Edge and Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues are interviewed about people's re-actions to Linda (given that they hadn't talked to Denny Laine after he left in 1966 how do they know?!) and Brian Wilson talks about how Wings were 'always good and kept going and going' (what is this, an Alan's Album Archives convention?!?)

49. 'Wetten Das? (German TV 1987)
'They love you - yeah yeah yeah!' An awkward interview in which a German presenter tries to understand and translate Liverpudlian to his audience. Understandably the interview talks a lot about Paul's German links and his days in Hamburg. The stilted interview is broken up by translations and pauses and random bits of applause and Paul is stuck in an interview groove ('I'm not a living legend!') However a live in-studio performance of 'Once Upon A Long Ago' is rather good, with a lovely vocal from Paul that actually sounds better than the record!

50. Unknown (French TV 1987)
Equally awkward is this French performance which features another lovely performance of 'Once Upon A Long Ago' - at the start of the interview for a change - where Paul once again sings better than the record. However the interview runs as this: 'Do you speak French?' 'Non' 'Well I don't speak much English so this is going to go well. What are you doing?' 'What right now?' 'No, on this show...' The only sensible question 'who was Michelle?' Paul's answer 'dans la tette' (in my head), a phrase he'll re-use for B-side 'Ou est le soliel?' in a couple of years' time.

51. Top Of The Pops #1 ('Once Upon A Long Ago' UK TV 1987)
Amazingly Paul didn't return to Top Of The Pops in all the years since The Beatles' last appearance there in 1965 performing 'Ticket To Ride'. Amazingly too this is only the second time a solo Beatle has ever appeared, Paul following up Jpohn's performance of 'Instant Karma' some sixteen years later. Otherwise its business as usual as Paul sings this song live again, against some very purply coloured lighting. Alas we'll have to wait another five years or so before it appears on BBC4's TOTP re-runs!

52. My Brave Face (Music Video 1989)
A lot of time and money was spent on McCartney's comeback with 'Flowers In The Dirt' in 1989, including on the - gulp - four videos promoting that album and yet the whole quartet of singles rather flopped in the charts by Paul's high past standards. 'My Brave Face' deserved to do better, although the lacklustre video probably didn't help. The clip follows a Japanese Beatles fan whose determined to have everything - which is a good excuse for lots of clips of old Beatles film but means we get precious little of Paul as he is now (in what must be something of a wish fulfilment, he gets arrested when he puts Macca's Hofner bass up for auction!) The video could have been so much more, given that this is a very visual song already with its tale of barely-hidden breakdown after a romantic split. You can see the video on 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

53. This One (Music Video 1989)
Second video 'This One' is just plain weird. Though nicely embracing the slightly psychedelic tone of the song and an excuse to wear some nice Eastern looking suits, the clips of McCartney with eyes painted over his own is creepier than any horror film and the early use of a stop-motion camera was equally unsettling at the time. A shame because, again, the song is deceptively deep and already creatively visual and deserved much better. You can see the video on 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

54. Figure Of Eight (Music Video 1989)
More basic, but so much better, 'Flowers In The Dirt' single number three just shows the McCartney band performing a mock-concert in front of another specially invited crowd. It might just be my clapped-out old telly but the song sounds slightly different in this video too, with a less cluttered mix that puts more emphasis on the vocal. You can see the video on 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

55. Top Of The Pops #2 ('This One' UK TV 1989)
Only at #30 in the charts, 'This One' clearly needed a bit of a boost so Macca returned to the TOTP studio for a mimed performance that he sings along to (I think). In typical TOTP style the performance takes place in front of what looks like unfinished scaffolding while half the audience drown out the band with their whoops and cheers and the other half look bored and sullen. However in many ways there never could be a better moment than this one, with Macca and band having a great time at the peak of their powers. Macca even mimes opening up his jacket to 'let you look inside' - it looks as if he's wearing a tour t-shirt!

56. Put It There (Music Video 1990)
A late decision to be released as a single from 'Flowers In The Dirt', this charming little ditty about Paul's dad Jim and one of his favourite sayings may well be the best of the four. Though simple and a bit obvious it's also the best video of the four, with nice moody shots of Paul singing under blue lighting is intercut with mocked up monochrome shots of 'him' and his 'dad'growing up. Neither look much like the originals, but the video has just enough authenticity about it to work. At just over two minutes it's easily the shortest clip in this list, however. You can see the video on 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

57. Birthday (Music Video 1990)
They say its your birthday and you're gonna have a good time! I'm not sure who 'you' is, though, seeing as we get a clip of McCartney and band reviving this Beatles classic at Knebworth that year interspersed with lots of shots of extras enjoying birthdays. The single was released on the date of what would have been Lennon's 50th birthday, although I'm not quite sure what he'd have though of the 'tribute' - some actual clips of Lennon in this lot would have been nice! You can see the video on 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

58. All My Trials (Music Video 1990)
McCartney was  horrified by what had been happening in Britain when he came back from his world tyour of 1990 and realised that his home-crowd featuring higher unemployment, homelessness and suffering than most of the supposed back water countries he'd been playing too. Sung as a one-off on his homecoming, McCartney liked his emotional performance of a much-covered Liverpudlian favourite and commissioned a hard-hitting video explaining the suffering going on in the UK's late Thatcher years. Sadly for Macca, he got on the bandwagon a bit too late and by the time the single came out and the video was screened the less controversial figure of John Major was on the political throne. Still, it was a nice gesture - we could do with another one from Paul about now instead of all that gumph about sympathy with David Cameron. You can see the video on 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

59. 48 Hours With Paul McCartney (US TV 1990)
'It was really tough, folks, and here's where the violins come in!' Which could be the longest 48 hours of your life, dragging even whern edited down to eighty minutes. The worst question Paul's ever been asked 'are you happy?' The weirdest answer: 'Once at Apple we entertained Jesus, it was a very nice time actually!' Along the way we see a tired looking Paul in the back of a cab, playing soundchecks and meeting Linda's American cousins The Fishers.  Paul also talks about missing John for the benefit of the viewers of the land where he died and that now enough time has gone by since the Beatles split for him to look back fondly, disputing the claims he made in public that he didn't miss the Beatles and talking in more detail about still suffering from the sadness of the spit when trying to form Wings. More interesting than Paul's comments are the interviews with the behind-the-scenes figures on Macca's world tour - the organisers and doers who talk about why they're there and what Paul means to them above being just another job.

60. Later....With Bob Costas (US TV 1991)
Another epic hour-long interview again for the American marketthat's more interesting than most. Paul discusses reviving his Beatles material on tour, the joy of hearing 60,000 people sing 'na na na' on the end of 'Hey Jude' for the first time and disagrees with the interviewer over whose the oldest Beatle (Ringo - he's, y'know, very old!') There's a particularly interesting comment when Paul is asked whether he'd ever trade Lennon's air of danger - Paul says that to have that he'd have had a similarly tough childhood and he'd never want to change that. Though Macca is generally erudite and gives lengthy asnswers, when asked to say what the Beatles stood for in their time together Macca's response is succinct 'All You Need Is Love'. Macca also talks about his horror of Michael Jackson owning his songs and selling out their songs commercially to adverts after years of preventing people using them and a conscious decision between John and Paul that they owed their fans 'integrity'. Paul jokes that he still sees himself performing at 90 'though the songs might all be rather slow by then!' Paul's face looks oddly fat and puffed although he's on good form on the interview.

61. MTV Unplugged
('Be Bop A Lula' 'I Lost My Little Girl' 'Here There and Everywhere' 'Blue Moon Of Kentucky' 'We Can Work It Out' 'San Francisco Bay Blues' 'Ive Just Seen A Face' 'Every Night' 'She's A Woman' 'Hi-Heeled Sneakers' 'And I Love Her' 'That Would Be Something' 'Blackbird' 'Ain't No Sunshine' 'Good Rockin' Tonight' 'Singin' The Blues' 'Junk' US TV Special 1992)
'This is from an early albu of mine named 'McCartney' 'Why did you call it that?' 'I don't know really...the title just came to me!' Macca and band were the first to actually release the soundtrack of their MTV Unplugged appearance - perhaps sensibly realising that the performance would be lifted forbthe Beatles black market anyway it was released as 'an official bootleg'. The show is an interesting one, the first of the MTV shows to be 'entirely' unplugged (with no electrical anything - no bass, no amplifiers, no monitors) and with McCartney in playful mood, joking between many of the songs ('the cleaning lady came up to me and said 'I like the one you did called 'Blackboard'!) and throwing in some real surprises into the set. There are many Beatles and Wings favourites that had never been heard live before, alongside several rock and roll cover songs and the first song Paul had ever written back in 1956 when he was fourteen 'I Lost My Little Girl' (a Lennon favourite much busked at the Beatles sessions!) Alas the performance isn't quite up to the strength of the setlist - the band are a little over-heavy for such a purist folk-style performance and Macca's decision that 'unplugged' means the same as 'impromptu busking' robs many of these performances of the strength they deserve (even if his joke about this being a return to the 'skiffle craze' where it all started is spot on!) There are however many highlights you just can't see being performed anywhere else, including a fabulous 'She's A Woman' (of all the periods to revive your hard-hitting rock classic!), a delicous 'Every Night', a moving 'We Can Work It Out' (not heard since 1966, with the middle eight about life being short and no time for fussing or fighting all the more poignant with Lennon gone), a harmony-drenched re-arrangement of 'And I Love Her' that works very well and an unexpected highlight of Hamish covering the Bill Withers classic 'Ain't No Sunshine; and proving that he's more than just a backing singer (actually this is Hamish's greatest hour all round, with some stunning playing and singing). Strangely, although the show came out as as limited edition CD (which actually seemed to hang around the shops longer than the unlimited 'Off The Ground' album), the visuals never did come out on video and were never seen again after first broadcast - with the exception of 'I Lost My Little Girl' 'Every Night' 'And I Love Her' and 'That Would Be Something' on 'The McCartney Years' DVD and 'Junk' on the 'McCartney' deluxe edition.

62. Hope Of Deliverance (Music Video 1993)
How ironic - the video shoot for Paul's most openly 'peace and love' song in years was mired by problems, bad blood and delays. Once again a sea of extras were invited to join in the video through the McCartney fanclub - but the press was full for weeks afterwards of complaints about how they felt they'd been 'used', shut away in a little room without food and made to go through endless re-takes while their hero blanked them. What the extras didn't know was that a technical hitch had delayed the video badly and a tired Paul was spent after the endless re-takes. However the video left a lot of bad blood that's all too obvious when you watch the video back where everyone looks sullen. However that doesn't explain another weird set which is clearly trying to have an outdoorsy feel but just looks - again - as if someone has randomly planted a tree in the middle of the studio. After all that aggro the single didn't do very well either, crashing and burning at the lower end of the charts. The video features in 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

63. C'mon People (Music Video 1993)
10cc's Kevin Godley was spending more and more time as a film director than as a musician as the 1990s began. 'C'mon People' was his first Beatle commission (he'd go on to shoot the 'Real Love' reunion clip) and is typical of his work with Godley/Creme. While Paul sings the song to us in 'real time', a sped up motion camera sees his simple uptight piano being pared down and then built up again as a 'grand'. This sequence works rather well, although I'm less sure about the middle eight's origami Hoffner basses, which have to be seen to be believed. The video features in 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

64. Off The Ground (Music Video 1993)
In case you were wondering - and you probably weren't - the rare bit of guitar iprov at the start of this video is officially titled 'Soggy Noodle' and appeared as an extra on the Japanese issue of 'Off The Ground'. I'm sure they were thrilled with ten seconds of guitar tuning. Anyway we mention that because there's not much to say about the video proper - we see the latest McCartney band filming in the studio before Paul suddenly takes off and flies out the studio, soaring over lots of the countries the band have just played to on tour.  The funniest bit of the video comes with the rest of the band waiting for his return - a nervous looking Wix helps Lionda with her knitting while lots of crossword puzzles get filled in! Suddenly the band all get the high-flying bug too, as first Wix's hat and then all heir instruments take off and Robbie McIntosh gives the all-time worst double-take in film history. The end shot is of the front cover about to be taken, with the band members' legs dangling over a ledge at the top of screen before a flying Paul takes one last swoop around. The video features in 'The McCartney Years' DVD.

65. Biker Like An Icon (Music Video 1993)
I don't get it - instead of driving a bike (as we would like) the girl in the video drives a car (that won't get her far!) As for the icon she gazes at everyday this Jimmy Dean lookalike is too wet to have any interest from anyone at all. One of those weird character-driven McCartney videos in which the band barely appear and you wonder why they bothered. It's one of the lowlights of the 'McCartney Years' DVD.

66. Top Of The Pops #3 ('Hope Of Deliverance' UK TV 1993)
Again at an unlucky and underwhelming #30 in the charts (Whitney Houston was at #1 with 'I'll Always Love You' if you were wondering), Paul returns to TOTP to plug his latest single and turns in one of his all time worst performances. His cod operatic vocal is clearly there to disguise the fact his voice is giving away. Luckily the rest of the band are free to mime. Macca has fun doing the 'rockstar lean' on Robbie while he mimes his own solo though. Uniquely Wix is seen miming to an acoustic guitar while Linda plays keys!

67. Top Of The Pops #4 ('C'Mon People' UK TV 1993)
Macca was back again weeks later for a much stronger life performance of his 'Off The Ground' closer. Macca appears without band and plays on a gigantic grand piano while the TOTP dancers appear on stage behind him. There's a new echo effect on Macca's vocal and subtly different mix of the song that adds more guitar and keyboard and less drums. Alas the Macca TOTP future isn't charrrrrging in - this is the last appearance he'll make on the show.

68. Young Boy (Music Video 1997)
Oddly missing from the 'McCartney Years' DVD set, the video for 'Young Boy' is actually by far the best thiong linked to this woeful song. There are lots of shots underwater and then a similar 'rippled' effect on Paul as he plays next to a TV screen while a lot of flowers grow. Goodness knows what it all means but it is rather visually arresting and goodness knows the song isn't audibly arresting at all being one of the weaker Macca singles.

69. The World Tonight (Music Video 1997)
This video for this much stronger is another curious absentee from the 'McCartney Years'. Though Macca is now beginning to look his age for the first time, he's on great form on this low budget video that sees him dancing with an umbrella and using it to 'link' shots in the edit from one location to another. Low budget and funky, it's the first time he's used this style since 'Heart Of The Country' and it suits him better than those big budget nonsense productions. The best moment comes right at the end when Linda walks into shot and busks along for no apparent reason, the last time alas we'll see husband and wife together.

70. Little Willow (Music Video 1997)
How I hate this song - the video would have to be pretty special to make it worth the three minutes of torture I'll have to put my ears through to watch it. And its...kind of OK. A slightly over-teary depiction of a person's life told in stages, it seems like one of those modern 'your furniture will outlast you' adverts that are so depressing but is at least slightly more original than the godwaful song. Oddly we don't see a single willow until the last shot - I'm not sure whether to be pleasedthey finally gave in ort not. McCartney doesn't want to break our heart honest - it only seems that way when you see some of the rotten videos.

71. Beautiful Night (Music Video 1997)
Oh no I can't stand this one either - that 'Flaming Pie' album really was bad wasn't it?! Desperate to liven up perhaps the least interesting song he's ever written, Paul goes in an odd direction for the video, which was banned from most television stations in protest at the naked swimmers skinnydipping at the end (which was surely inevitably going to happen; while a song can be heard despite a radio ban if you buy the record, surely the whole point of a video is that people can see it?! Call me cynical but it seems like an excuse to get the papers interested in a song not good enough to stand on its own two feet). Julian Temple was the director and should have known better, especially after starting his career doing far better music videos for The Kinks - this is one of the most boring music videos around and only Linda seems to be in character - sadly this is her last appearance in one of her husband's films. Though Ringo appears in a cameo, the band Paul mimes with is a band called Spud, who had nothing to do with the album or McCartney - they just happened to be the local band in town when the video was being made. I think somebody's been taking too much Mac and Jack potion! Regrettably, this video also appears on 'The McCartney Years' DVD where it might be one of the longest three minutes of your life.

72. In The World Tonight (UK TV Special 1997)
A straight-to-video documentary about the 'new album' in which Paul tries to tell us how humble and down to earth he is while chopping down trees for the biggest bonfire you've ever seen from the grounds of his own stately home. I really have a problem with the 'Flaming Pie' album - there's no substance, few tunes and very little to get hopld of at all. Sadly the same is true with this interview which reveals almost nothing. Things finally made sense a year later when you realised how poorly Linda was and that Macca was keeping more tight-lipped about family and career than usual because of circumstances outside his control. He still should have been allowed into the house to film, though. The 'Young Boy' and 'World Tonight' videos are featured in full too.

73. Oprah (US TV 1997)
'I lurrrved me some Paul!' Macca's first brush with 'oprah' didn't come after writing his oratorio (it's about the only classical style he hasn't done yet!)but talking to what was then America's most watched interviewer. Can't say I ever quite understood why - all that fake whopping from the audience and an interviewer whose more keen on talking about herself than to her guests makes some of these shows excruciating. Sample question: 'Did you see The Beatles as a big accomplishment?' Luckily Paul's coped with worst and still throws in a few nuggets to make this worth watching, especially his take on not wanting to use a writing formula and songs being a 'kind of magic' and living in a two-bedroom house with four children because they 'liked the house' and didn't want to move.

74. Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Music Video 1999)
Paul looks rather lost in his first music video without LInda, an odd choice as the lead single from his covers album 'Run Devil Run'. Buddy Holly's original is Ok but Macca's remake loses all the swagger and the video is nothing special either, just an excuse for some extras to do a spot of line-dancing (which was big back then thanks to Eurovision). However the video just falls Flattery on it's facery. See it on 'The McCartney Years' DVD, if you really have to.

75.  No Other Baby (Music Video 1999)
Thankfully 'Run Devil Run' video number two was exquisite and a good match for easily the album highlight. Paul is adrift in a boat during another moody black and white shoot and looks amazingly isolated and lonely given that practically every other video since 'Heart Of The Country' has seen him as part of a crowd of people. It's fitting for a song that's clearly about Linda (not that Paul wrote it, butthat's why he chose it - just hear the pain in his voice as he goes all Lennon and primal in the last verse) and yet shows him not moping or sulking but learning how to carry on, going through his morning routine alone for the first time and facing up to the sudden stormy seas that engulf him. Like the icebergs Paul symbolically rows past, there's so much more going on underneath to those who know what both song and video are really all about. It's a whole lot more convincing than 'Little Willow'! Watch it on the 'McCartney Years' DVD right now!

76. Jools Holland Hootenany ('Brown Eyed Handsome Man' UK TV 1999)
Somehow, somewhere, the music programme that took off most to fill the void left by TOTP after its mid-90s axing was Jools Holland's show. Arrogant, ill-informed and a most un-natural presenter, Holland has somehow gone to have quite a career - not least because of his Beatles connections. This show marks the first time Pasul had worked with Jools since Anthology and he's brought his 'Run Devil Run' band along including David Gilmour, although for now he gets precious little to do except the one song, sidelined while Holland talks about something allegedly more interesting, like congas from the sudan or his own memories or something equally boring.
77. Michael Parkinson Show #1 ('Yakety Yak' UK TV 1999)
Parky and Macca go back a long way - to 1963 to be exact when The Beatles appeared on Parkinson-hosted show 'People and Places'. They cross paths again in
1973, when Parkinson was at the peak of his 'first career' and Wings were too. Wanting to assemble popular faces people might recognise for his 'Band On The Run' cover, Paul rang up the presenter to ask him to appear in return for an autograph for Michael's nephew and an agreement to appear on his chat show 'some time'. Actually Parky had to wait twenty-six years - not least because his programme was off the air for a good fifteen of them - but made up for it by dedicating the whole of one programme to McCartney. Though not the best of interviewers - he was famous asthe 'soft option' for guests who didn't like being asked difficult questions - Parkinson does at least know when to shut up and let his guests talk and Macca does a lot of talking even for him. Paul doesn't cover much new ground but he covers old ground in style and overall this is one of his better interviews. Unusually for the programme he also gets to perform, although Mick Green plays instead of David Gilmour who had a prior engagement (slapping Roger Waters with a wet fish in the ongoing Pink Floyd wars, probably).

78. Red Alert ('No Other Baby' 'Party' UK TV 1999)
Back in the 1970s Lulu was a big TV star with her own Tv show, til blooming Jimi Hendrix got it axed by refusing to stop playing after the small matter of the credits having already rolled! Eventually she had a second shot at fame but it was cut short just as brutally, an ill-fated live show based around stupid games back in the days when people were so interested in the national lottery programmes tended to last an hour rather than five minutes. Lulu, who must have had sleepless nights about broadcasting live again, does her best but she was no match for both the technical hitches that left her wordless for parts of the programme and the sarcastic opinions of those being made to play childish party games after being led to believe the show would be so much more. Thank goodness, then, for her special guests which saw her reunite with Paul for the first time since she sang a raucous 'Day Tripper' on the 'Songs of Lennon and McCartney' TV Special in 1966 and his 'Run Devil Run' backing band, complete with David Gilmour this time. There are clearly some technical gremlins on offer here too as the band start slowly and struggle from there, but thankfully Paul is playing the album's clear winner and a song that actually suits the slower tempo, sounding more mournful and regretful rather than feisty. 'Party' too rather suits the manic mayhem going on in he rest of the show as Macca admits he 'never kissed a goon but can shake a chicken in the middle of the room' one last time. Still, it's such a car-crash moment of television for both of them - the series was axed after this pilot disaster - that you can bet your bottom dollar this clip won't be coming out on any deluxe Macca CD/DVD sets any time soon!
79. Party At The Palace ('Hey Jude' 'All You Need Is Love' 'Her Majesty' UK Concert 2002)
There is only one occasion in my life when I've ever felt any pity for The Queen and that's sitting through this awful concert held to mark her jubilee in 2002. However I still think I came off worst, sitting through three hours of some of my least favourite artists ever (Queen, Elton John, Rod Stewart, S Club 7, Atomic Kitten and Cliff Richard) in order to get brief snatches of a scared-looking Brian Wilson, a grumpy Ray Davies  and a going-through-the-motions Macca. After all, if you must celebrate jubilees - and I'm not quite sure why we  celebrate anything quite as undemocratic as unelected Royals - celebrate like with like; stikc a few posh ladies with hats on a barge or have a polo torunament or something. Do not, repeat not, ever attempt to add rock and roll to an event praising the establishment; it just won't work, even (or especially) with so many pop acts attached. It's just all so terribly terribly safe, nauseating tribute after nauseating tribute followed by ten minute hit medlies that sound like karaoke bands. Thankfully Macca is the best of a bad lot, returning to his  Beatle days by being the cheekiest of the acts on both from Dame Edna Everage's spoof introduction  and a cheeky improvised version of 'Her Majesty', the ditty from 'Abbey Road' (which reportedly didn't go down too well, although Macca still has his knighthood at least). However the big reveal of the first ever live Beatley performance of Lennon's 'All You Need Is Love' should have been saved for a more important occasion. Honestly, never mind what 'American Pie' says, this was the day that rock and roll died - the only thing missing from absolute hell for me was The Spice Girls...

80. Glastonbury ('Drive My Car' 'Penny Lane' 'Get Back' 'Jet' 'Flaming Pie' 'Let Me Roll It' 'Blackbird' 'Band On The Run' 'Back In The USSR' 'Live and Let Die' 'Yesterday' 'Follow Me' 'Let It Be' 'I Saw Her Standing There' 'Helter Skelter' 'Sgt Pepper's Reprise' 'Hey Jude' 'Yesterday' UK Concert 2004)
'I asked a girl what she wanted to be...she didn't have a clue!' A better-than-average Macca concert, the massive crowd inspiring the band on to greater heights while Macca - sensibly - realisesd that he's amongst friends and throws in some Beatley surprises (incuding several Beatle songs not sung before this tour either including a nicely raw 'Drive My Car', a ragged 'Penny Lane', a slinky Sgt Pepper's Reprise and a surprisngly tight 'Helter Skelter'). Paul had always wanted to play - Michael Eavis rang him up every year - but was persuaded to appear only when he felt his band were 'ready' for it - and after hearing from a family friend who'd been in 2003 and reported back that there was a mass singalong of Beatle songs after hours (which rather calmed his fears that no one would know his songs!) Macca, respendent in a red t-shirt saying 'no more landmines', is on good form all night both vocally and during in-between song quips. Even the 'Chaos and Creation' tracks don't sound quite so bad as on the record. All in all, one of the better AAA Glastonbury sets. About half of the show was broadcast on TV - and an almost entirely different half appears on the 'McCartney Years' DVD (meeting hp near the run of Beatle standards at the end), with sadly no official release including the full show.
81. Creating Chaos At Abbey Road (UK TV Special 1997)
What could be worse than listening to the worst McCartney album? Watching it being made. Nice as it is to see Paul back at Abbey Road every idea he has for this project seems to be a bad one, apart from one revealing five minute segment in which Paul re-creates 'Band On The Run' using wine glasses for a BBC trail 'looking at music a bit differently'. That aside, this is rubbish and the new songs - sound even worse here on acoustic guitar than they did on record.Thank goodness for 'I've Got A Feeling' and 'Blackbird' adding a touch of class, though even these don't sound as god as elsewhere. The closing 'Blue Suede Shoes' - set to the same ploddy melody as 'Flaming Pie' and most of the worst songs Paul has written recently - makes for one of the oddest McCartney moments.

82. Fine Line (Music Video 2005)
There's a fine line between recklessness and pretentiousness - and boy does this video for another horrendous McCartney dud cross that fine line. McCartney ism't seen for most of this video which instead takes the not-that-bright song all too literally and draws him as a silhouetted line. And that's it, for three uncomfortable minutes as what might have worked out on paper turns out to be a very bad idea indeed. And yet the video still shows more inventiveness than the flipping song! Taske ouyr advice and don't watch it and waste your time, although if you want to see if its as bad as we saw head to the 'McCartney Years' DVD now.

83. Live Eight ('Sgt Peppers' 'Get Back' 'Drive My Car' 'Helter Skelter' 'The Long and Winding Road' 'Hey Jude' Concert 2005)
It seems funny listing this one as the 'middle' of the 'three Live Aids' when, ten years on, most people only remember this second and few if ever the third, which featured almost nobody modern collectoers would be able to name. This is the 30th anniversary concert, held to make an impression on the G8 leaders meeting to discuss poverty and the environment and the global ramifications. Given that the British candidate was Tony Blair at the time you can guarantee that nobody in power paid any notice - but thyat didn't stop the right people doing the right thing by trying. Bob Geldof was again grand compere and while he tries to play down similarities with 1985 and now he still chose to end the show with a Beatle, getting Paul to sing without any sudden loss of power to the microphones this time. Macca also started the entire event, performing 'Sgt Peppers' (the 'proper' opening song this time) with U2 and the Bootleg Beatles, evidence of just what a cultural icon he continued to be after so many years. Less forgivably, Macca still hangs out with wannabes, including a very awe-struck George Michael doing 'Drive My Car' (which is meant to be 'funny', I think, given how often George seemed to be done for reckless driving at the time, but is actually sad - give the man some help don't laugh at him!) Otherwise this is business as usual, with the typical Beatle hits played a band slightly under par (though nerves are entirely understandable gien the size of the global audience) - sadly Macca chickens out of repeating 'Let It Be' after what happened last time!

84. Michael Parkinson Show #2 (UK TV 2005)
For Parky's 'farewell' tour/series he asked back several of his favourite guests down the years including his old friend Paul. Though shorter and less revealing than the 1999 clip and suffering from Macca losing his voice, it's still an interesting one - especially the talk about 'Tropic Island Hum' and attendent book 'High Above The Clouds, one of the great lost McCartney projects. Paul also talks a lot more about his and Heather's environmental campaigns and then moves on - somehow - to corporal punishment at Liverpool schools.

85. iTunes Festival aka The Electric Proms ('Magical Mystery Tour' 'Flaming Pie' 'Got To Get You Into My Life' 'Dance Tonight' 'Only Mama Knows' 'Blackbird' 'Calico Skies' 'Eleanor Rigby' 'Band On The Run' 'Back In The USSR' 'Live and Let Die' 'Baby Face' 'Hey Jude' 'Let It Be' 'Lady Madonna' 'I saw Her Standing There' UK Concert 2007)
The BBC were very proud of their rebuilt engine shed ten or so years ago, with London's The Roundhouse their go-to place for concert after concert (although the acoustics suited rock and roll best). Macca was part of the year's first line-up, alongside Ray Davies, perhaps remembering the days when the venue was used as the 'happening' launch for many events he once attended in Swinging London (incluyding the International Times launch party). Sadly the concert isn't one of his best of recent years - this is one of the first shows where his vocal starts off shredded and goes downhill from there, leaving hi rapsing by the end of an ambitious setlist. His band, usually as consistent asd they come, are having a little bit of an off night too. Even the songs aren't that good, not by his high standards anyway, despote being so Beatles-orientated: the whole of that magical back catalogue to choose from and he does 'Dance Tonight' 'Flaming Pie' and 'Calico Skies', three of his worst five songs all at the same gig? Alas even the good stuff sounds bad, with 'Eleanor Rigby' on her last legs and 'Band On The Run' finding age catching up with them. As for the song patter, the attempts to chat to the specially invited audience (Didn't I see you on the X Factor? How are you doin' man? Rock and roll!') is embarrasing both for people young enough to know what on earth is going on and most of us who don't. Oh and Macca's 'joke' of trying to make the audience guess what he's about to play and then launching into something entirely unexpected (this week it's 'Baby Face') is also about twenty years past its best. Still, this is McCartney, so even on an off day there are bits of magic and a typically splendid night is somehow still guaranteed for all with the audience hanging on every word'.

86. Larry King Live (US TV 2007)
This week's product to promote: 'Blackbird Singing' , Macca's book of poetry. Paul's joke 'I submitted a poem to the school magazine that got rejected, so I became a successful millionaire songwriter to get my own back!' The level of a Larry King question: 'What's it like being a sir?' The verdict: 'Interesting...like getting a school-prize you didn't even go in for'. Larry's interviewing style is to remind everyone of his hard upbringing in Brooklyn, but he hwas his work cut out this time as Paul trumps him with tales of Liverpool from the dim and distant past. Macca talks about the schizophrenia of being famous, of having a part of himself 'separate' from the version that goes out on stage and the problems when people approach the 'wrong' one when he's not in a starry mood. Heather Mills turns up in the final advert break where they both talk about falling in love - itmay just be in retrospect but I'm sure that's a look of hatred not a lovey-dovey one she aims at him. She even says 'I'm here to talk about our work against landmines, not to talk about my love life.' Ouch!

87. The View (US TV 2009)
There's a lot of kissing on Amerixan interview programmes isn't there? The closest we come to this in Britain is when puppet emus attack Michael Parkinson! Anyway, this is one of Paul's more informal interviews perched uncomfortably on a sofa alongside Whoopi Goldberg and four others as he talks about making the third Fireman album 'Electric Arguments' on the American equivalent of 'Loose Women'. There's also what appears to be a music video for 'Sing The Changes' shown briefly - basically Paul singing from a billboard while white paint is thwon at him; no me neither - but I haven't been able to findf any longer clips of this video (was it ever finished?) Paul talks about the chance to approach the album differently, singing with a deeper voice. Paul also talks about carrying a Christmas cracker harmonica with him everywhere in his pocket and stopping a crying baby at an airport by playing it ('She was just looking at me!') Paul also talkes about the cirque de soleil's confusing Beatles ballet 'Love' and about choosing controversially to play Israel despite death threats and political shenanigans - taking the sensible decision to tell both sides that he was there for 'peace', not to take sides. Better still Paul talks about neeting Bertrand Russell while living at Jane Asher's house in the mid-1960s and talking about the Vietnam War - turning John onto it along the way. Paul's take on hiring security after Lennon's death 'it lasted about a week and then I thought I can't live my life like this!' Unexpectedly interesting.

88. Superbowl ('Get Back' 'LIve and Let Die' 'Hey Jude' US TV 2009?)
Obviously nothing any human can do anywhere around the world can ever be viewed with the same importance and reverence as The Beatles - that's an indisputable fact, to go alongside the Earth being round and the Pope being Catholic and bears working shifts in the woods (at least I think that's how the saying goes). However apparently some people quite like sport too - not quite sure why they enjoy people running around fruitlessly when they could be listening to music in a comfortable arm chair but there you go - and in America they have a thing called American Football that's quite big. It's a bit like rugby, only with more protection and even less rules plus lots of random shouts of instructions like '49, Hike!' that comes from a code older and harder to penetrate than the Bible. Sometimes the mega-audiences who watch the sport in America like having half-time intervals that feature big events. And very occasinally these events are worth watching - such as the time Macca and band took to the stage for a brief interval concert. It's a rushed affair that like many of the bigger-sized audiences shows on this list show signsa of strain and nerves, but a decent flick through the old songbook gets them out of trouble. Paul also scored three touch-downs and a try in the second half, presumably for the New York Jets (Wooh-wooh!) The complete concert was included as an extra in 'The McCartney Years' DVD, despite being longer than almost every other segment.

89. X Factor Finals ('Drive My Car' 'Live and Let Die' UK TV 2009)
And so it comes to this. In a world without any Brian Epsteins and where youngsters just want to be 'famous' as opposed to 'famous and talented' reality TV shows are now all the rage. People seem to have forgotten that the only time The Beatles entered a (sadly untelevised) show they lost out to an old lady with a dog. However Paul's daughter Beatrice was a big fan of the show and it was her badgering alongside an invite that happened to coincide with a gap in his schesules that allowed Paul to appear. Even with an audibly fading voice he still knocks the rest of the over-singing under-prepared youngsters a quarter of his age. That's a seven from the AAA jury!

90. David Letterman Show ('Coming Up' 'Band On The Run' 'Let Me Roll It' 'Helter Skelter' 'Back In The USSR' US TV 2009) - rooftop

A memorable show in which Macca and band celebrate the 40th anniversary of the rooftop gig by playing an unbilled show on top of the Letterman studio roof. Paul is in a very sunny mood and the band are on good form, while Letterman - not usually a presenter who reveals much emotion - clearly can't believe that this is happening on his show. Even the set lists is the best in a while mixing lesser known Beatle classics with solo and Wings gems.

91. Saturday Night Live ('Take My Breath Away' 'Jet!' 'Band On The Run' 'A Day In The Life-Give Peace A Chance' 'Get Back' US TV 2010)
Before you ask, yes I think Paul did perform on this American skit show back in the 1970s but Youtube don't have it and I can't remember much about it I'm afraidf so I've skipped it; lets' face it there's probably too much to read here not too little. There is readily available footage of a return performance, however, and one which in the grand SNL tradition gets Macca involved in the sketches too. A bespectacled Paul is looking for a job that's 'more stable' than his current job as a musician and deadpans that 'ever since I was a little boy in Liverpool I've dreamed of working in...Human Resources'. Paul then plays up to a scouser stereotype by nicking the office's pencils as he makes his way to the door! The songs are a tad saffer ground and pretty standard really by Paul's standards although his touching memorial for Lennon with a medley of two of his partner's songs performed for an American audience 30 years after his death is as moving as you'd expect.

92. Queenie Eye (Music Video 2012)
Meanwhile, back in Abbey Road, Paul leaves the safety of the control room at studio no 2 for an oddly conservative video to go along with his bonkers song. I was hoping I might actually understand the rules to the daft sounding game that inspired it! For some odd reason the cast of the film 'Into The Woods' appear in the video singing along, even though the film has no other connection to McCartney that I can find! The video then ends with thirty seconds of Paul replacving a guitar and whistling as he walks up to the control room again - most odd!

93. Early Days (Music Video 2012)
'Early Days' is in the great tradition of story-videos that don't go where you expect them to from the song. This one is a civil war rant where a passing African-American shrugs as his white colleagues celebrate Independence Day. While Paul sings the song from within a log cabin the young lad falls in love with the guitar and raises himself and his family out of poverty until finally he plays with Paul himself. A sort of you say Huckleberry I say goodbye.

94. Saturday Night Live #2 ('My Valentine' 'Cut Me Some Slack' 'Wonderful Christmas Time' 'Holiday Time Holiday Cheer' US TV 2012)
Macca's here again and so is Christmastime! Santa McCartney hasn't exactly brough a sack of gits for his fans though - just an oddball record of crooner songs which he sings even worse than on the record. Macca doesn't join in any skits this time around but he does sing two festive songs exclusive to this programme - thank goodness they stayed that way, in both cases.  

95. The Frost Interview (Al Jazeera TV 2012)
David Frost had a long history with The Beatles - there's a charming interview with Paul in 1965 where he admits to being horrified at the thought of still making pop music when he's thirty, while Lennon liked Frost enough to appear on his show three times. By 2012 Frost is nearing the end of his long career and reduced to appearing on the actuallt rather excellent Al Jazeera news channel (which is less biased than either the BBC or sky and far less anglicised). The 'twist' in the interviews is that the subjects are asked to look at and comment on old film of themselves and even a hardened Beatle used to seeing himself on screened is moved into offering quite a few titbits we've never had before. Frost was always amongst the superior interviewers of his day, brave enough to tread new ground without causing his guests to scramble back to a defensive position and though age has made both men slower this adds a nicely thoughtful and reflective quality to an interview that goes over and above the usual McCartney soundbites.Paul's especially strong in this clip talking about his family members, his pride at the 'hideen strengths' of the working classes and on being a father for the second time. Excellent.

96. Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (US TV 2013)
An American plug for 'new' album titled, erm, 'New', with an American interviewer whose even more starstruck than the others in this list. Paul is at his best discussing how touring has changed ('You can hear yourself now!'), the non-rivalry between The Beatles and Rolling Stones and the best gag of the night 'You were up 80 fot high with a piano - right?' 'No you must have been on drugs - it was a guitar!'

97. The Ronnie Wood Show (US TV 2013?)
'The sun was always shining in the sixties!' 'Yeah - felt like it!' Speaking with my astrological head on, I've noticed down the years that despote being lovely and friendly and brilliant one-on-one, get two Geminis together and conversation quickly becomes a competition. It proved to be the case for Paul and Brian Epstein and again here where the Rolling Stones guitarist tries to 'interview' Paul by starting with his own memories which paul then tops, leading to Ronnie topping, leading to Paul...you get the idea. This Sky programme was an odd idea: Ronnie is a naturally friendly guy but he's too busy chatting and messing round with his guests to do his homework and actually ask them anything and often isn't listening to the answers his guests give, so that you end up learning less from his shows than any other interview. Seeing Ronnie talk as if this is a 'radio' show despite it being made for TV is also a weird quirk that you never quite get used to. There are however some fab impromptu performances of the rock and roll classics played on the show (which we don't hear as we go instead to the pair playing along) and a few interesting snippets such as Paul talking about 'Maybe I'm Amazed' (which Ronnie covered with The Faces), their shared love of Eddie Cochran and their mutual friendship with the late great Beatle mate Billy Preston, who'd died not long before this programme was recorded.

98. Hope For The Future (Music Video 2014)
'Beatles: RockBand' introduced the fab four to a whole new gamer generation in 2010. While sadly there never was a sequel ('play the bagpipes to Mull Of Kintyre!') Paul's interest was piqued enough for him to agree to an invite to base his next song around a game, 'Destiny'. The game isn't actually very McCartney-ish, being a shoot-em-up sci-fi game with medieval overtones whereby Earth is the last great refuge after mankind stretchned out into the universe. Paul appears to rally the troops pinned back to Earth with a still-exclusive song that's a pretty standard Mccartney ballad really, mixing an epic production with a simple song that has a catchy chorus about love and peace with a large dollop of the usual McCartney optimism. 'Venus and Mars' might have been a better choice, while 99% of gamers who didn't know who Paul McCartney was skipped the cut-scene to go back to shooting up spaceships anyway.

99. Graham Norton Show (UK TV 2014)
In which Paul is upstaged by Katy Perry (who flirts with Paul something rotten before accidentally insulting him - 'you only have 24 top ten hits? I've had ten asnd I've not been going more than long!') and comedian James Corden ('I'm not even a singer and I've had one!) However just as Macca fans were beginning to throw things at the telly, Katy says her favourite McCartney song is obscure gem 'Ram On' so all is forgiven. Paul copes with the hysteria well considering and holds his own on what is a much friendlier Graham Norton sofa of stars than normal. Astonishingly, though, tyhe only music video shown all night is by flipping Katy Perry. This is what's wrong with the modern world in a nutshell but hey, at least it wasn't one of The Spice Girls.

100.              Johnathan Ross Show (UK TV 2014)
Paul seems to spend more time talking than making music nowadays, with another UK chat show appearance on another show that's best described as 'slumming it'. Ross introduces Paul as 'the father of dress designer Stella' and there's an interesting chat between him and comedian Miranda Hart, star of 'Call The Midwife', about his mum's own career as a midwife. Usually you watch Johnathan Ross' show for cheap laughs but this is actually one of the most moving interviews on the list as Paul is asked about where he was when he heard about Lennon's death. The funniest quote is when asked about Beatles RockbBand where Paul admits 'getting mashed' by one of his own grandchildren but had the greatest comeback of all-time: 'yeah but I can play a real bass - and I wrote it!'

101.              Howard Stern Show (US TV 2014)
'I think your father was right, Paul - you should have stayed away from John, he was a bad influence!' Disc-shockey Howard Stern makes even a hardened interviewee like Paul look nervous as he talks about 'Helter Skelter' inventing heavy metal. There are some unusual questions, such as why Denny laine chose to cover 'Richard Cory' ('He's the suicidal one!' Paul quips) and denies the rumour that Paul always aimed the line 'get back to where you once belonged' at Yoko every time he sang it (he's actually a lot kinder about Yoko than elsewhere). Paul is under fire throughout but copes very well. At long last somebody asks Paul about CSN auditioning for George Harrison after being turned down by Columbia ('something about that group' quips Paul before remembering passing the house they were sharing i Chelsea and that 'I was impressed!') Oh and the usual off-subject matter of moving in with Jane Asher in their family house (Paul 'sneaking' into Jane's room 'and her mother didn't know about that!') and getting the worst room when Brian Epstein bought a London flat for The Beatles to share! Macca is also asked what the worst song he'd written and nominates the unreleased Beatles song 'Etcetera' while nominating 'Get Back' as the song he wasn't expecting to be as popular as it was. Paul also says that he stopped smoking in the late 1970s after getting the flu and it was 'very easy' - a question I've always wondered about. Paul finished off by doing a bad Ringo impression as he laughs 'peace and love - no more autographs!' Unexpectedly revealing.

102.              Saturday Night Live 40th Birthday Special ('I've Just Seen A Face' 'Maybe I'm Amazed' 'Only One' US TV 2015)
Finally Pauls McCartney and Simon team up for a special of the long-running American comedy show. There's a brief skit on the best people in the world always being called Paul and a single verse version ofan acoustic  'I've Just Seen A Face'. 'We should have done 'The Sound Of Silence' a straight-faced Simon quips at the end. Thereafter Paul performs his old classic 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and the Kanye West duet 'Only One'. Guess which one the world will still be singing by the time of Saturday Night Live's 80th birthday?


And that really is that - at long last! Join us next week for more McCartney, with a lookback at all of his many live albums and compilations alongside classical releases, Fireman spin-offs and a large helping of Denny Laine

In the meantime, here are our other McCartney and Wings related articles you might be interested in reading:


'Wings At The Speed Of Sound' (1976) http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/paul-mccartney-and-wings-at-speed-of.html

'London Town' (1978) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/review-71-paul-mccartney-and-wings.html

'McCartney II' (Original Double Album) (1980) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-106-paul.html

'Tug Of War' (1982) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-122-paul.html

'Pipes Of Peace' (1983) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/paul-mccartney-pipes-of-peace-1983.html

'Press To Play' (1986) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/88-paul-mccartney-press-to-play-1986.html

'Flowers In The Dirt' (1989) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-40-paul.html

'Off The Ground' (1993) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/paul-mccartney-off-ground-1993.html

'Driving Rain' (2001) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/paul-mccartney-driving-rain-2001.html


'New' (2013) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2013/11/paul-mccartney-new-2013-album-review.html

The Best Unreleased McCartney/Wings Recordings http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-best-unreleased-mccartney.html

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