Great Rock Albums of 1980: Paul McCartney II


1980 saw the parting of Paul McCartney from his band Wings. According to long time member Denny Lane, the final straw was McCartney’s arrest for possession of marijuana in Japan in the January. However, I like to speculate that there might have been dissent in the ranks due to the direction the band was going. See, if you have been following me for a while, you might have noticed that I had left out Wings album “Back to the Egg” on my journey through 1979. This was because I was rather unimpressed with it as I felt it was too disco. Fortunately after the departure from Wings, Paul McCartney, never one to be idle for too long, went back to his farm in Scotland to do private recordings. The result was the album “Paul McCartney II.”

The first thing I liked about this album when I first heard it all those years ago was that it wasn’t disco. Track one, “Coming Up,” which was also the big single from the album, has a catchy rock type sound to it that you can’t get out of your head long after the song is over. The rest of the album experiments with different types of music and if it had been a musician of lesser talent, would not have worked. While there are no hard rocking tunes on “II,” I really love the blues riff in the third track, “On the Way” and when I heard the preceding track, I first questioned whether it was Paul McCartney. Still, it’s good to see the man has a sense of humour. The rest of the album is a mix of light progressive rock, slower songs and more humourous playing. The tracks that stand out for me in the remainder of the album are “Frozen Jap” and “Bogey Music,” though I can’t help wondering if the former mentioned song was a dig at his 11 day incarceration in Japan.

Track Listing:

1. Coming Up

2. Temporary Secretary

3. On the Way

4. Waterfalls

5. Nobody Knows

6. Summer’s Day Song

7. Frozen Jap

8. Bogey Music

9. Darkroom

10. One of These Days

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

Wikipedia doesn’t list any personnel which leads me to conclude that all instruments and vocals were done by the man himself.

Although I didn’t realise it back then, disco was dying. Artists like McCartney who had dabbled in such sound in the late 70s, were seeing the error of their ways and going back to what made them in the first place. Albums like this one shows that it was the best decision Paul McCartney made.

Next post: Gillan- Glory Road

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6 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Paul McCartney II”

  1. I love this album cover.


  2. One of those albums that you go back to thirty years later and go “Damn this was good” and here I was at the time listening to The Jam’s “Sound Effects” in 1980 thinking that it was timeless.


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