Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the former Beatle's debut solo album. Heralded as one of the most beloved solo debuts of all time, McCartney, the smash #1 album, originally released April of 1970, yielded the timeless tracks "Every Night" and "Junk" along with the immortal classic "Maybe I'm Amazed." The bonus CD includes previously unreleased demos and live tracks.
Paul McCartney retreated from the spotlight of the Beatles by recording his first solo album at his home studio, performing nearly all of the instruments himself. Appropriately, McCartney has an endearingly ragged, homemade quality that makes even its filler -- and there is quite a bit of filler -- rather ingratiating. Only a handful of songs rank as full-fledged McCartney classics, but those songs -- the light folk-pop of "That Would Be Something," the sweet, gentle "Every Night," the ramshackle Beatles leftover "Teddy Boy," and the staggering "Maybe I'm Amazed" (not coincidentally the only rocker on the album) -- are full of all the easy melodic charm that is McCartney's trademark. The rest of the album is charmingly slight, especially if it is read as a way to bring Paul back to earth after the heights of the Beatles. At the time, the throwaway nature of much of the material was a shock, but it has become charming in retrospect, even pointing the way toward the homegrown charms of lo-fi several decades into the future. [Hear Music's 2011 reissue of McCartney is available in two separate expanded editions: a Special Edition with two CDs and a Deluxe Edition that adds a DVD and a hardcover book. The bonus disc contains the ragged, unfinished outtake Suicide, an instrumental version of Oo You called Don t Cry Baby, a rough piano demo of the unheard tongue-in-cheek music hall song Women Kind, a version of Maybe I m Amazed from the 1974 TV special One Hand Clapping (a video of which is on the Deluxe Band on the Run), then three songs from McCartney performed live at Glasgow in 1979: Every Night, Hot as Sun, and Maybe I m Amazed. The DVD contains a documentary on the making of the album, the music video for Maybe I m Amazed, Concert for the People of Kampuchea versions of Every Night and Hot as Sun from 1979, and is capped off with readings of Junk and That Would Be Something from 1991 s MTV Unplugged. It s a ramshackle hodgepodge but it has considerable charm and is a fitting way to expand McCartney.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi