Paul McCartney’s Solo Music Career 1970-2010: Life, Love, and a Sense of Child-like Wonder: An In-Depth Examination of the Best (and worst) Songs from the World’s Most Successful Singer/Songwriter
The Peppertree Press (2010)
Reviewed by April Sullivan for Reader Views (1/11)
John Cherry’s book is a complete account of every song written and recorded by Paul McCartney after The Beatles. This is Cherry’s second book on Paul McCartney and he is an avid fan, having seen the singer perform live twenty-four times. Beyond being just a fan, the author has thoroughly researched his subject matter. His book includes details that are virtually unknowable unless you were in the room during a recording session. It is these details that make the book more than just a fan book.
I came at this book as a person who enjoys music, not as a super fan. I probably couldn’t pick out a Paul McCartney song on the radio, unless it was one of his biggest hits. But I wanted to read it because I enjoy getting in-depth knowledge on a subject through books. I think this book was written for the person who already knows a lot about the Beatles, Wings, Paul McCartney, and other studio musicians named in the text. Although I didn’t know many of the artists mentioned, I found it interesting and learned something. I now know the musical term “middle eight.”
My favorite part of the book was gaining an understanding of how Paul McCartney arrived at writing his songs, the inspirations for his songs, his love for his wife Linda, and so many other personal issues that are hard to realize just listening to his music. This in-depth discussion gave it all a new meaning.
I have a new-found respect for how hard it must have been coming out of a super group such as The Beatles and making a name as a solo artist. Paul McCartney’s solo career will always be compared to and referenced to his Beatles’ career. Most surprising to me in this book was to learn that so many of his successful songs in terms of chart numbers were considered some of his worst songs critically. Being the best makes it really hard to top yourself!
I applaud John Cherry for the hard work and dedication he put into “Paul McCartney’s Solo Music Career 1970-2010.” This is his second book on Paul McCartney and he obviously knows his subject. He writes from his heart and I hope he someday gets a direct “thank you” from Paul McCartney himself. Without writers and fans like John Cherry, what would Paul McCartney really be, but another musician?