In addition to penning the soundtrack for a generation, it’s sometimes overlooked that Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most gifted multi-instrumentalists of all time. The man plays more things than you can believe, sometimes all on the same song. He’s a venerable one man band! And he’s never shy about spreading the love, quietly guesting on a number of songs large and small over the years. He just loves to play! So in honor of today being the musical genius’ 72nd birthday, we’ve decided to take a look back at 10 songs that feature a secret dose of Beatle. Read on for some obscure songs you probably never realize Macca had a hand in recording!
“Caroline In My Mind” by James Taylor (1968)
When a young J.T. signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records, many of the Fabs took an active interest in recording his first album. Both Paul and an uncredited George Harrison performed backing vocals on the original version of this ode to Carolina, with Macca also adding the bass guitar track. Another title on the album was “Something In The Way She Moves,” which George later borrowed for the opening lyrics to his stately single, “Something.”
“Night Owl” by Carly Simon (1972)
Several years after working on Taylor’s debut album, McCartney later worked with his then-wife Carly Simon. Paul, wife Linda, Doris Troy and Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie all provided backing vocals for her version of this song, originally written and recorded by husband James.
“You’re Sixteen” by Ringo Starr (1973)
Paul is just one of several famous guests who helped his old bandmate record this Johnny Burnette number. That’s Harry Nilsson on backing vocals, session giant Nicky Hopkins on piano, as well as McCartney on the razzmatazz kazoo solo.