The Beatles

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10 favorite guitar solos by McCartney

Thinking of McCartney, you don’t directly link him to guitar solos. Yet he did play a number of memorable ones. Both with The Beatles and solo. Ten of my favorite McCartney solos, in chronological order:

McCartney’s solo on George Harrison’s Taxman is nothing less than just ferocious. Listen to the isolated track and you know what I mean. George was very pleased with it.

Good Morning, Good Morning
The album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band starts with one of McCartney’s most recognizable opening riffs. But, regarding Paul’s guitar playing, the best part on the album is yet to come: On John Lennon’s song Good Morning Good Morning, the Beatle with the boyish charm shows his other side with this fierce solo.

Helter Skelter
McCartney has a penchant for heavy metal guitarists (who didn’t really exist yet in 1968) and he likes to experiment. Combine these two and you get Helter Skelter, McCartney's successful attempt to “create a sound as loud and dirty as possible”. 

Maybe I’m Amazed
This song keeps popping up  in my ‘McCartney favorites’-lists: favorite vocals, favorite piano ballad, favorite live performance, etc. It’s also one of McCartney’s most personal songs and all the emotions surrounding the song and the circumstances in which it was written (The Beatles break up) have been put in the two moving and melodic solo’s in the middle and at the end. 

Oo You
McCartney’s lead on this guitar driven song from Paul’s first 1970 solo album is just raw, with a stinging style during the solo’s.

Band On The Run
The song opens with a melancholic opening solo, partly blended with the keyboard. During the verses you hear subtle, ultra-short licks. The second part of the song is introduced with a tight guitar riff, following the melody line of the lyric "If we ever go out of here". The solo at the end of the chorus consists partly of a short tune that beautifully symbolizes the rushed escape of a band on the run.

On The Way
The whole track is carried by classic blues solos, compelling, sometimes frivolous. Like during the first chorus, where the lyrics are interspersed with short fierce tunes. Subtle, but razor sharp. From the album McCartney II (1980).

Dress Me Up As A Robber
The acoustic guitar is by far McCartney’s favorite instrument, so at least one acoustic solo belongs to this summary. Dress Me Up As A Robber is a funky track from the 1982 album Tug of War and contains a flamenco-like solo. 

Really Love You
A unique collaboration between McCartney and Ringo Starr: the only song written by them evolved during a jam session while recording McCartney’s 1997 success album Flaming Pie. Paul’s lead guitar and solo’s sound as you can expect after a jam: relaxed and playfull.

House of Wax
House of Wax from the album Memory Almost Full (2007) contains one of McCartney's most rugged solos, which would not be out of place on a hard rock album. He starts at 2.15 'with compelling, screeching, long excerpts, goes all the way at 3.30 and finishes the song with some really cool guitar licks.

Related Posts:

McCartney, the lead guitarist

10 favorite McCartney songs on acoustic guitar
The Voice

André Homan

André Homan is a Dutch writer and journalist.

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