Sir Paul McCartney, who with the late John Lennon, became widely identified as the songwriting arm of The Beatles, has both with and without Lennon long been admired as one of the major songwriting talents of his era. As The Beatles were perhaps the single most influential group in the modern era of contemporary music, so were McCartney and Lennon, together and separately, regarded as among the most important music contributors of their time.
Such songs as "Yesterday," "She's Leaving Home," "Eleanor Rigby," "Here, There, and Everywhere," and "The Long and Winding Road," from the pens of this prolific duo, have become a very special part of the pop mainstream. The Beatles, and Lennon and McCartney with their individual songs, helped change the voice of popular music forever. They rescued rock and roll from the doldrums and helped give the youth culture a common voice. They were duly honored by Queen and country. They have also been celebrated on film, in print, on record, and in the memories of a generation.
Even before the impact of The Beatles split had hit home, McCartney had formed Wings, a permanent touring and recording band that, with the help of his wife Linda and band member Denny Laine, stayed together nearly a decade to become one of the most popular bands of the '70s.
In 1979, McCartney's accomplishments were recognized by the Guinness Book of Records with its "Triple Superlative Award," in token of his achievements as a composer. At that moment, he had to his credit 41 songs with sales of over one million copies each, as well as sales of over 200 million singles and albums.
Paul McCartney has always been ready to flex his creative muscle in other areas. In 1973, he contributed the theme song to the James Bond film, "Live and Let Die." The same year, his first television special, "James Paul McCartney," was aired. The Wings 1976 American tour later became a full-length feature film, "Rockshow," and was released in 1981. Little known in America is McCartney's supervision of the project in England known as Buddy Holly Week," a tribute to another songwriter from America's Southwest whom McCartney always credited as being one of his key influences.
During the'80s, McCartney continued to blaze new trails in recording, his creativity developing with technology and finding new directions for his songwriting and producing skills, as well as adding a significant new aspect to his records, dueting with other prominent pop music personalities.
The much acclaimed Tug of War LP was released in 1982 and produced three hit singles in "Take It Away," "Tug of War," and "Ebony and Ivory," the latter a duet with Stevie Wonder. The next single, "The Girl Is Mine" another major hit, marked McCartney's first on-the record duet with Michael Jackson.
In 1983, the album Pipes of Peace, quickly achieved number one status on every major international record chart, and spawned number one success for the single, "Say Say Say," McCartneys second duet with Michael Jackson. In 1984, the McCartney film, "Give My Regards to Broad Street," was released with a single from the soundtrack, "No More Lonely Nights," achieving worldwide success.
In the late 1980s, McCartney appeared on stage at Wembley Stadium in London, performing the immortal Lennon/McCartney song, "Let It Be," live for the 1.5 billion people watching the telecast of Bob Geldof's "Live Aid" concerts in London and Philadelphia. Later, another new album, Press to Play, McCartney's 15th solo effort, was released, with a number of songs which can be expected to move up the sales charts throughout the world as so many of their predecessors have done. In 1997, Sir Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his "services to music."
Sir Paul continued recording and touring through the 1990s and in 2002, completed a successful worldwide tour, Back in the US.