9 Essential Paul McCartney Music Videos

Paul McCartney has had an affinity for filmmaking since shooting A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. The Beatles were the first band to play around with the idea of music videos. Filming a performance was easier than touring; getting artsy with their films was better yet. Beginning with the BeatlesMcCartney’s career chronicles some of the best, worst, and more bizarre in music video history. In honor of the release of Appreciate, here are 9 picks highlighting McCartney’s most adventurous takes in the world of music videos.

1. “Your Mother Should Know” (1967)

From Magical Mystery Tour, this is Macca’s foray into the 1920s. If the song seems odd, check out John Lennon’s face in the opening sequence. You can almost hear him thinking: “Paul, are you kidding me with this crap?” But, they all toked up and bit the bullet for Paul’s attempt to keep the band unified in the wake of Brian Epstein’s accidental overdose, memorializing for all time the image of four raggy hippie dudes dancing badly in white tails.

2. “Maybe I’m Amazed” (1970)

One of McCartney’s most enduring love ballads, this video is a breath of fresh air. Providing an intimate look into McCartney’s family life, the simple, delicate video showcases Linda McCartney’s photographic talent and captures the essence of McCartney as he embarked upon his solo career.

3. “Silly Love Songs” (1976)

“So you don’t think I try hard enough, huh John? Well, pardon me while I write a number one hit at the height of the disco movement, thankyouverymuch.” Dubbed one of his “most melodically intricate compositions” Silly Love Songs proves to be the most bearable of all 70s disco dance hits. And how can you resist Paul and Linda in their mullet phase?

4. “Say Say Say” (1983)

McCartney’s infamous relationship with Michael Jackson is one for the annals of pop culture history. This video remains as the constant reminder of the sad, strange business dealings of two men who are kings of their craft. The song is an easy jam and the video is one of the few in the McCartney collection that has a solid (if slightly odd) plotline, turning McCartney and Jackson into a team of Wild West travelling crooks.

5. “No More Lonely Nights” (1984)

Give My Regards to Broad Street was a bomb of a movie, but worthy of kitsch fandom. McCartney’s dreamy musical had a number of catchy hits, including this one. The video is a mashup of clips from the film, including a period piece costume scene featuring Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach having tea with Paul and Linda. It is all at once totally Beatlemania and totally ’80s. Released nearly a full year before Back to the Future, the centerpiece of Broad Street is a wild dance sequence set in a 1950s ballroom. Keep an eye out for Linda McCartney dressed as the male bandleader and catch yourself looking for Michael J. Fox (er, Calvin Klein) playing guitar in the background.

4. “Hope of Deliverance” (1993)

Shot at the height of McCartney’s environmental activism phase, this video features Paul, Linda and the band jamming in a version of Tolkien’s wilderness, despite its almost Caribbean beat. Heavily lacquered with hippie-esque depictions of world peace, this video features Paul doing what Paul does best: playing to a live crowd.

3. “Dance Tonight” (2007)

Natalie Portman plays a faerie imp in this music video featuring cult character actor Mackenzie Crook as the delivery man who pushes his way into Macca’s kitchen for a cup of tea. Bringing with him a magical mandolin, McCartney proceeds to strum it and the spirits come alive, trashing McCartney’s house before dragging him into their world to be the bass player in their band. Having entered into a deeply reflective mode two years earlier with Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Memory Almost Full contains a series of more lighthearted, reflective hits.

2. “Ever Present Past” (2007)

The song, from McCartney’s Memory Almost Full album, is utterly charming. The video is almost the complete antithesis of Robert Palmer’s infamous Simply Irresistable; this time, the black-suit cladded girls are McCartney’s un-sexed up alter-ego, jamming along with him in the museum of his past. Watching this back to back with Dance Tonight gives the impression that McCartney has definitely embraced his feminine side.

1. “Queenie Eye” (2013)

The first video to come out of his latest release NEW, this is classic McCartney film fun. Shot in the infamous Abbey Road Studios, viewers have as much fun pointing out the celebrities as they do dancing along to the party in McCartney’s head. Reminiscent of Dance Tonight, Queenie Eye is Macca connecting with his fans, young and old, famous and not, as they listen along on their iPods, reading books and talking with friends while he plays in the background. There he is, McCartney enthroned in Abbey Road, working his magic and making friends of us all.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member