Paul McCartney

Biography

Born: June 18, 1942; Liverpool, England  
Sir (James) Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England. At the age of 11, Paul auditioned to sing in the Liverpool Cathedral Choir, but was rejected. As a teenager, with no formal musical training, Paul taught himself guitar. He wrote his first pop song at age 14. By age 22, in 1964, Paul was an internationally famous rock star with the biggest band in history, the Beatles.

After the Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney formed the band
Read more Wings with his wife, Linda, which continued until 1981. He then began a solo career. Critics dubbed most of his post-Beatle pop songs as light and melodic, but lacking true substance. Still, many were great commercial successes, even though these songs were never considered on a par with those of the Lennon-McCartney era.

Paul's roots were in Liverpool, and it was in 1981 that he visited his old school, the Liverpool Institute, and saw that it needed restoration. McCartney began a fundraising campaign to restore the building. The purpose of this was to found a music school, the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, which was established in 1995.

This was not Paul's only continuing link to Liverpool. In 1990, the city sought a way to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Composer Carl Davis worked for a year with McCartney on a commissioned piece called The Liverpool Oratorio. With McCartney's genius for melody and words, and Davis' classical training and knowledge, they put together a 100-minute piece for orchestra, choir, and several soloists. The oratorio is loosely about Paul's life growing up in Liverpool, his schooling, marriage, and family life, and, as is often the case with an oratorio, about God. The choruses are lovely, their harmonies reminiscent of some of the great classical choral works written for the church. The lyrics describe everyday life. The oratorio was premiered at the Liverpool Cathedral and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, the same choir from which McCartney had been shunned at age 11. Many critics praised the work, and it has been performed in countries throughout the world. The album topped the classical charts in the U.S. and Britain.

Although pop projects were undertaken throughout the early 1990s, McCartney continued his classical composition in 1995 with a work for solo piano, A Leaf. It premiered at St. James' Palace, with the Prince of Wales in attendance.

In 1997, McCartney released the symphonic poem, Standing Stone. Full of lush harmonies and dissonances, this 75-minute orchestral and choral work is a huge achievement for McCartney. The piece is in four movements, and is based on Celtic myths relating to the beginnings of mankind. Paul worked with composer Richard Bennett, who did much of the arranging while McCartney wrote all of the themes. Magnificent in orchestration, ethereal in nature, Standing Stone reached No. 1 on the classical charts in both the U.K. and the U.S.

McCartney released Working Classical in 1999. With its orchestral and string quartet versions of previous McCartney songs, the album seems more on the semi-classical side. Paul includes arrangements of songs written for Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998.

A Garland for Linda (2000) consists of classical choral pieces by various composers, including Paul, who wrote Nova. The work asks, "Are you there?" and answers, "I am here in every song you sing." Proceeds are donated to a charity for cancer research.

Countless musical groups and singers have also recorded McCartney's pop songs in classical form.

H.M. The Queen knighted Paul McCartney in 1996. Read less
Browse 51-75 of 109 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Best Friends / Cleo Laine & John Williams
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60961 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Cleo Laine,  Brian Gascoigne,  David Gates  ... 
    Performer:  Cleo Laine,  John Williams
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  • 52.
    Mccartney: Standing Stone / Foster, London Symphony
    Label: Megaforce   Catalog: 61116 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 53.
    The Arthur Fiedler Legacy - Superstars & Songbooks - Pops By Arrangement
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001006102 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Melanie Safka,  Neil Diamond,  Joseph Raposo,  Paul Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 54.
    Christmas Collection - Britten, Et Al / Rodolfus Choir
    Label: Herald Records   Catalog: 280 Release Date: 09/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  Andrew Gant,  Paul McCartney,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Nicholas Collon
    Conductor:  Ralph Allwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rodolfus Choir
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  • 55.
    Movie Love Songs / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60965 Release Date: 08/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Leonard Bernstein,  Dave Grusin,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 56.
    The London Trumpet Orchestra
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 4113 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Arturo Sandoval,  Isolina Carillo,  Paul McCartney  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice Murphy,  John Wallace,  Paul Archibald,  Rodney Franks  ... 
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
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  • 57.
    Live From Loretto Chapel - An American Hallelujah, Romance
    Label: Clarion   Catalog: 930 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Paul McCartney,  Nils Lindberg,  Alberto Favero  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Young Smucker,  Mitzi Westra,  Kathryn Mueller,  Daniel Buchanan  ... 
    Conductor:  Linda Mack,  Matthew Tresler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Fe Desert Chorale
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  • 58.
    Celebration / Canadian Brass
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 9339 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Lukas Foss,  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon  ... 
    Conductor:  Krzesimir Debski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Extra Time / Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425222 Release Date: 03/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Schott,  Charlie Parker,  Paul Leenhouts,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Leenhouts,  Daniel Brüggen,  Bertho Driever,  Karel Van Steenhoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Loeki Stardust Quartet Amsterdam
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  • 60.
    Romance De Amor - Albéniz, Mangoré, Etc / Xue Fei Yang
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70714 Release Date: 02/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Ferdinand P. Aguilar,  Yuquijiro Yocoh,  Yu-Xian Deng  ... 
    Performer:  Xuefei Yang
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  • 61.
    Beatles Baroque III / Les Boréades
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22351 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Harrison,  John Lennon,  Paul McCartney
    Conductor:  Eric Milnes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Boréades Montreal
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  • 62.
    Berceuses & Jeux Interdits / Angèle Dubeau, La Pieta
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28717 Release Date: 10/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Paul McCartney,  François Dompierre,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Angèle Dubeau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
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  • 63.
    Music Camera Action!
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29825 Release Date: 10/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Elton John,  Paul McCartney,  Benoît Charest  ... 
    Conductor:  Gilbert Patenaude
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
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  • 64.
    Hgtv Home, Ideas, Life, Music - Quiet Places
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000748312 Release Date: 10/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Paul McCartney,  Gabriel Fauré,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Göran Söllscher,  Steve Erquiaga,  Dominic Miller  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  I Musici
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  • 65.
    Paul Mccartney: Ecce Cor Meum
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70424 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney
    Performer:  Mark Law,  Kate Royal,  David Theodore,  Colm Carey
    Conductor:  Gavin Greenaway
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Cambridge King's College Choir Boys,  Magdalen College Choir Boys Oxford  ... 
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  • 66.
    In Love / Peter Dijkstra, The Gents
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 23306 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  Traditional,  Toni Wine
    Conductor:  Peter Dijkstra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Gents
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  • 67.
    Beatles Gregorian Songbook - Special Edition / Schola Musica
    Label: Xxi   Catalog: 421 Release Date: 07/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  George Harrison
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Musica
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  • 68.
    The Most Relaxing Guitar Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 46809 Release Date: 10/04/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Sir William Walton,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Parkening,  Sharon Isbin,  Manuel Barrueco,  Pierre Laniau  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Jeremy Lubbock,  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Between Two Worlds / Eduardo Fernández
    Label: Labor Records   Catalog: 7059 Release Date: 08/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Barrios Mangoré,  Gentil Montaña,  Paul McCartney,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Eduardo Fernandez
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  • 70.
    Beatles For Harp / Jim Palmer
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2728 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  George Harrison,  John Lennon
    Performer:  Jim Palmer
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  • 71.
    Six - Berlin, Young, McCartney, Joel, Talbot / King's Singers
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 56 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Paul McCartney,  Joby Talbot,  Billy Joel  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Phoenix,  David Hurley,  Christopher Gabbitas,  Robin Tyson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
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  • 72.
    The Strolling Strings 50th Anniversary Vol 2 / United States Air Force Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT61172 Release Date: 01/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Lara,  Louis Ferrari,  André Popp,  Walter Donaldson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band Strolling Strings
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  • 73.
    Jonathan Adams - Guitarist
    Label: Sonic Grapefruit   Catalog: 5637333536 Release Date: 04/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew York,  John Lennon,  Paul McCartney,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Adams
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  • 74.
    From Bach To Beatles / John Bauer Brass
    Label: Intim Musik   Catalog: 86 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Alfonso Ferrabosco,  John Dowland,  Thomas Simpson  ... 
    Performer:  Per Wilhelmsson,  Magnus Jonsson,  Fredrik Ljungberg,  Klas-Henrik Djarf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Bauer Brass
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  • 75.
    The Christmas Album / The Vienna Boys' Choir
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57673 Release Date: 12/02/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  John Lennon,  John Frederic Coots,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  John Parricelli,  Chris Laurence,  Paul Kerr,  Andy Pask  ... 
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Alexander
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Orchestra
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