Born: June 18, 1942 Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor/leader
Original member of the Fab Four, The Beatles. Composed many songs for the Lad's before departing to a solo career. Began a new group, Wings which was very successful. Continued to make the Playboy's Best Bass Player of the year.
McCartney composed title tracks for several Motion Pictures, including HELP!, A Hard Days Night, James Bond and Vanilla Sky, which the later two were nominated for an Academy Award. He received an Oscar in 1970 for Best Music, Original Song Score, Let It Be. He has toured around the world several times, drawing a large audience, performed with many artists over the years, and been covered by just everybody. Paul has received numerous Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Putting aside his voluminous songwriting artistry, his skills arranging and producing, McCartney's musicianship is what sets him apart. Accomplished on many instruments, weather on a Martin acoustical guitar or at the key board of a baby grand, his craftsmanship excels. His vocal range and styling move a ballad with feeling and the blues with grit. His bass line played almost as the lead was a driving foundation, the glue that held together the Beatles sound.
During the early years of the Beatles' recording career, he developed rapidly as a musician, singer and songwriter. McCartney also became arguably the most creative and influential rock bassist of his time, elevating the electric bass from back-row obscurity to starring prominence. Paul still owns and uses the original Hofner bass that he purchased in Hamburg in the early Sixties and which features on all their early recordings.
By 1965 McCartney was pressuring the engineers at EMI to get a better bass sound on The Beatles' recordings, frustrated by the relatively weak sound on their earlier records and keen to emulate the powerful, booming bass sounds that he was hearing on recent Motown and Atlantic soul recordings from America. Another step forward was his purchase of a radical new American-made solid body bass, the Rickenbacker 4001, buying the very first model 4001 bass ever imported into England.
Several other important technical advances aided him in his development as a recording artist. He began to regularly use a new technique known as direct injection or DI, which allowed him to plug his bass straight into the recording console, resulting in vastly improved presence and fidelity. He also took a keen interest in the engineering, mixing and mastering of the Beatles' records, ensuring that his bass tracks were not subjected to the heavy audio limitation and compression that was commonly applied in those days.
His bass playing and writing during the Beatles' most creative phase in 1965-67 was heavily influenced by the work of American producer-composer Brian Wilson, leader of The Beach Boys, whose classic album Pet Sounds set new standards for recording and featured bass parts that were unprecedented in pop music for their imaginative melodic style. As a result of hearing Wilson's work, McCartney began to pay increasing attention to both the sound and arrangement of his bass lines, often taking advantage of Abbey Road's new multi-track tape decks to re-record more complex parts after the basic tracks had been laid down.
Oh yes, did I mention he is left handed?
Source: Randall Robinson
Paul was one of the most innovative bass players ever. And half the stuff that is going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period.
(John Lennon, Playboy Inteview with David Scheff, September, 1980, courtesy of Dennis Alstrand)
Because the Hofner's so light you play it a bit like a guitar - all that sort of high trilling stuff I used to do, I think, was because of the Hofner. When I play a heavier bass like a Fender, it sits me down a bit and I play just bass.
(Paul McCartney interview from Bass PLayer Magazine, July/August 1985, courtesy of Dennis Alstrand)
Solo Album Career
Tug of War
Pipes of Peace
Give My Regards to Broad Street
Press to Play
All The Best
Flowers in the Dirt
Tripping the Live Fantastic
Unplugged - The Offical Bootleg
Off The Ground
Paul Is Live!
Run Devil Run
Back in the US-Live
Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard
Memory Almost Full
Red Rose Speedway
Live and Let Die, James Bond Soundtrack
Band On The Run
Venus and Mars
Wings at the Speed of Sound
Wings Over America
Back To The Egg
Please Please Me
With the Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
The Savage Young Beatles
The Beatles Second Album
Yesterday and Today
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles (The White Album)
Let It Be
The Beatles At the Hollywood Bowl
Let It Be - Naked
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