Paul McCartney and his musical output with The Beatles and as a solo artist has been well-documented. What might not be so well known are the guest appearances McCartney has done over the years.
So, for his 77th birthday today (June 18), here are nine contributions Sir Paul has made on other people’s recordings:
“My Dark Hour” – Steve Miller Band
Miller and Macca are the only two musicians on this track from Miller’s 1969 album Brave New World. Paul plays drums, bass and sings the background vocals on “My Dark Hour.” Notice how Miller nicked his own guitar lick from this song and made it the basis for “Fly Like An Eagle” some seven years later!
“Night Owl” – Carly Simon
Paul and Linda McCartney sing background vocals, along with James Taylor.
“Sour Milk Sea” – Jackie Lomax
This is almost a Beatles song! Paul plays a sick bass line, George and Eric Clapton are on guitar, Ringo plays the drums and Nicky Hopkins is on keyboards on one of Apple Records’ first releases.
“Get Well Soon” – Godley & Creme
They were half of 10cc and became friends with Paul when he and his brother, Mike, recorded Mike’s solo album McGear at their recording studio in 1974. Paul sings background vocals (the “208..fabulous 208” part) on G&C’s “Get Well Soon,” a track from their Freeze Frame album in 1979.
“Mellow Yellow” – Donovan
Many thought that was Paul singing the “quite rightly” part on this track but, in actuality, he’s part of the hooting and hollering middle part of the classic Donovan tune.
“Heal The Pain” – George Michael
This really pretty George Michael song was originally released on his second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice. Michael stated that he had Paul in mind when writing the song and, 14 years after it was first released, he re-recorded a version with Paul accompanying him on vocals. It’s available on George’s best-of collection, Twenty Five.
“New Moon Over Jamaica” – Johnny Cash
Paul wrote this specifically for Cash, with whom he sings on the track. It’s on Cash’s 1988 album, Water From The Wells Of Home. They sounded so good together!
“So Bad” – Lindsay Pagano
Pagano was recording her debut solo album in L.A., and Paul happened to be working on his Driving Rain record in the next studio. They met, he asked to hear some of her music and, when she mentioned she was looking for a slower acoustic song to finish off her album, Paul gave her one of his songs from 1983’s Pipes Of Peace album. He even sang on it with her!
“I’m The Urban Spaceman” – Bonzo Dog Band
The Bonzos were just a bit too silly for mainstream success. They’d appeared in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour movie and, when leader Viv Stanshall told his pal Paul McCartney that the Bonzo’s really wanted a hit single, Paul offered to produce a track for them, which turned out to be 1968’s “I’m The Urban Spaceman.” It was the band’s biggest hit, peaking at #5 in the UK.
Happy Birthday, Paul! Here’s to many more of your incredible musical contributions!
Andre Gardner can be heard on Beasley Media Group’s WMGK in Philadelphia weekdays 2 pm-7 pm. You can follow him on Twitter @andregardner.