The Paul McCartney song that sold more than the Beatles

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Paul McCartney’s work with the Beatles has left a permanent mark on music. His unique writing within the Fab Four made him a star and confirmed his legendary status. On the other hand, his work with Wings is often looked down upon.

The truth is, the group has had amazing commercial success. While they haven’t had the same transformative effect on popular culture, Wings deserves his attention. The zenith of Wings’ popularity came in 1977 when they had an unlikely Christmas hit with “Mull Of Kintyre”, and to date the song has sold more copies than any of “The Fab Four “has never produced.

The song itself is a simple love song. However, this is not about one specific person, but rather an area of ​​land that offered McCartney sanctuary when he needed it most. After the Beatles split, Macca found himself battling a tidal wave of depression. His rural home in the Scottish Highlands provided him a respite from the relentless noise of London and brought him to his senses.

To date, ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ is one of the best-selling singles in British history and is the very first track to surpass two million sales nationwide. However, McCartney never envisioned the song to be a hit, let alone the most successful release of his career.

On a scenic afternoon, McCartney and his bandmate Denny Lane found themselves breathing in the beauty of the mull while nursing a bottle of the region’s finest whiskey and letting their surroundings inspire creation. To give the track the true Kintyre scent, he even recruited Campbeltown Pipe Band, who added an authentic touch to the record.

Initially, McCartney didn’t even plan to release it as a single, but one of the pipers successfully twisted his arm. “When we finished it, all the bagpipers said, ‘Yeah, that must be a single, that. It was up to them, really, to do it. I thought it was a little too specialized to come out as a single, you should release something that has something more mass appeal, ”McCartney later recalled.

“They kept saying, ‘Oh, the Scottish exiles all over the world. It will be a big single for them. Yet I always thought, ‘Yeah, well, but maybe there aren’t enough exiled Scots’, but they kept telling me, after a few drinks, ”he said. added.

Since the track topped the sales of anything released by the Beatles, its backing band weren’t even professional musicians. Macca later revealed: “They are all farmers, sons of farmers and ex-copper from Glasgow. They are a great group.

While the pipers have the privilege of saying they’ve sold more records than the Beatles, sadly they don’t have the financial rewards to show. Fortunately, the pride far outweighed the loss of income.

Pipe Master Tony Wilson said, “All the boys are proud to have played on the record. McCartney is a genius. Paul’s song did wonders for Kintyre but we will not earn royalties on the song. We were paid as session musicians for the job. We did the job and got paid for it and that’s it.

Wings managed to understand why McCartney fell so deeply in love with Kintyre. Even though he didn’t opportunistically write it to infiltrate the lucrative Christmas market, the essence of the song appropriately conveyed the emotions of people at this special time of year and continues to grow. ‘be a mainstay of the holiday season.


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