The Paul McCartney Project

McCartney II

By Paul McCartneyOfficial album• Part of the collection “Paul McCartney • Studio albums

Timeline See what happened in May 1980
UK release date:
May 16, 1980
US release date:
May 22, 1980
Sessions This album has been recorded during the following sessions

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Track list

Disc 1


1.

Coming Up

Written by Paul McCartney

3:55 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Electric guitars, Electric piano, Engineer, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Synthesizers, Tambourine, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


2.

Temporary Secretary

Written by Paul McCartney

3:13 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Engineer, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer, Sequencer, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


3.

On the Way

Written by Paul McCartney

3:40 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Electric guitars, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


4.

Waterfalls

Written by Paul McCartney

4:46 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Electric piano, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


5.

Nobody Knows

Written by Paul McCartney

2:54 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


6.

Front Parlour

Written by Paul McCartney

3:34 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Electric guitars, Engineer, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizers
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


7.

Summer's Day Song

Written by Paul McCartney

3:26 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Engineer, Keyboards, Mellotron, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant, Recording engineer

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Overdubs:
October 1979
Studio:
Replica Studio, Soho Square, London

Session Mixing:
October 1979
Studio:
Replica Studio, Soho Square, London

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


8.

Frozen Jap

Written by Paul McCartney

3:41 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Engineer, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizers
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant, Recording engineer

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


9.

Bogey Music

Written by Paul McCartney

3:28 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Electric guitars, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizers, Tambourine, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


10.

Darkroom

Written by Paul McCartney

2:20 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


11.

One of These Days

Written by Paul McCartney

3:45 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Vocals
Eddie Klein:
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
September 1979
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon

About

From Wikipedia:

McCartney II is the second completely solo album by Paul McCartney, and the first since the formation of Wings in 1971. It was released in 1980, a year before the band’s dissolution and while their future lay in limbo. The album is a significant departure for McCartney, as much of it relies heavily on synthesizers and studio experimentation. It was reissued on 13 June 2011 as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection.

Background

After the release of what turned out to be Wings’ final album, Back to the Egg, McCartney went north to his farm in Scotland to begin some private recordings in July 1979. The first song he recorded was “Check My Machine” as a way to test the equipment, hence its title. The track also samples dialogue from the 1957 Tweety and Sylvester cartoon Tweet Zoo. By sessions’ end, he had recorded over 20 songs. With no immediate use for the recordings, he put them aside for the time being and returned to work with Wings to prepare for a UK tour that November and December. Simultaneously with the performances (which included the new “Coming Up“), McCartney released his first solo single since 1971, the Christmas-themed “Wonderful Christmastime“, backed with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae“, which charted at No. 6 in the UK, but only No. 83 in the U.S. The A-side was recorded during the McCartney II sessions, while its flip side had been cut in 1975. However, upcoming events were about to change McCartney’s plans with Wings.

After years of visa refusals due to his past arrests for marijuana possession, Japan had finally allowed McCartney, and thus Wings, to perform. It would be McCartney’s first time playing there since 1966 with the Beatles, and anticipation was running high with Wings’ tour completely sold out. However, upon his arrival in Tokyo on 16 January 1980, a search of McCartney’s luggage revealed a bag containing 219 grams of marijuana, prompting his immediate arrest and eventually cancelling the tour. After a nine-day jail stay, McCartney was released and returned home to his Scottish farm. Deciding to put Wings on hold while he contemplated his future, he now decided to issue his solo recordings from the previous summer.

Music and lyrics

The record has been described as “airless proto-electronica.

Coming Up

Coming Up” – an uplifting dance number – appeared that April with a video (Paul playing all the bandmates, dubbed ‘The Plastic Macs‘, except for the backing singers (played by Linda)) and with two B-sides by Wings: “Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)“, recorded during Wings’ December 1979 show there, and the piano laden instrumental “Lunch Box/Odd Sox” (a Venus and Mars outtake). An immediate UK No. 2 hit, “Coming Up” was flipped over for the live Wings version in the US where it became another No. 1 for McCartney, greatly raising hopes for his first solo album proper in years. The live Wings version of “Coming Up” was also issued as a white-labeled, one-sided 7″ vinyl bonus record in many copies of McCartney II within the US and Canada.

Temporary Secretary

Temporary Secretary” features frantic synthesizer lines and lyrics about requiring a secretary of any skill level for a short period of time. McCartney dubbed the song an “experiment,” saying that he found the concept of a temporary secretary humorous. “Temporary Secretary” was released as a 12″ single in Britain, backed with the experimental non-album track “Secret Friend.” The single was only released in a quantity of 25,000 copies, failing to make an impact on the charts. The single artwork was created by Jeff Cummins of Hipgnosis.

The song was performed live for the first time at the London O2 Arena on 23 May 2015.

Critical reception

McCartney II was released in mid-May to mixed reviews; many critics found the album, with its experimental, synth-based compositions and its handful of instrumentals, slight. That did not stop it from reaching number 1 in the UK and number 3 in the US. The next single, the introspective “Waterfalls“, charted at number 9 in the UK, but failed to make an impact in the US.

The initial issue of this album on compact disc featured “Check My Machine” and “Secret Friend” as bonus tracks. The two songs were originally released as the B-sides of “Waterfalls” and “Temporary Secretary“, respectively. In 1993, McCartney II was remastered and reissued on CD as part of “The Paul McCartney Collection” series with Wings’ 1979 hit “Goodnight Tonight” added as a third bonus track.

When the new remastered version was released on 13 June 2011 as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, the album re-entered the UK charts at number 108.

Accolades

In 2003, Mojo placed the album at number 26 on their list of the “Top 50 Eccentric Albums“. […]

Paul McCartney in The Beatles – The Dream is Over: Off The Record 2, by Keith Badman:

After we had done the last Wings album, Back To The Egg, I was fed up with the idea of making albums, you know, just churning them out. So I hired a 16-track machine and got an engineer friend, Eddie, to fix me up a thing where I just took one microphone into the back of the machine direct and I put it into the front parlour of my old farmhouse… We didn’t use a big console. It’s very difficult if you’re trying to work on your own with a big console, so we bypassed it. People said McCartney II was McCartney fiddling the knobs and twiddling, but it wasn’t in my mind. It was me experimenting. It was me getting into synths and me seeing what I could do. I wanted to have some private fun and I thought I’d produce a cassette we could play in the car. I was in total control. I had no echo chambers, no drum machines. I’d play the snare drum in the tiled kitchen to get an echo or fiddle with the machine and guess what interval was needed on my voice to do the effect. I made everything up, except for one song. I’d go along on my bike and a song might spring out of what I had seen on TV the night before. It was like being a sculptor, chopping and changing as I went along… It wasn’t an amazingly successful album, I don’t think. It was definitely an experiment. It was me at home, multi-tracking, like McCartney had been. But I’m glad I did that… I started it down in Sussex, then during the summer I went up to Scotland so I just carried on doing it up there.

Last updated on November 11, 2016


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