In all of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles output, there are only a few songs that are as honest and soul stirring as last year’s Early Days. With the help of producer Ethan Johns, McCartney, at long last, permits his voice to show its age, and with it flow his years of experience and worldliness.
Reminiscent of The Beatles’ Two of Us, McCartney once more recalls his youth with John Lennon in Early Days, but the song also possesses shades of sullenness, as its matured singer takes to task both his critics and his fans and the myth they’ve projected of his and his friends’ lives. Though simple and unadorned, it is the first time that McCartney has openly revealed, and even flaunted, his older age. Because of this, Early Days is quite a precious song and stands among the best in McCartney’s catalogue.
The video treatment to Early Days falls in line with the track’s earnestness, following two aspiring blues musicians from their boyhood to their elder age. McCartney is only a narrator in the video, as he sings and as he plays his guitar and as his words chronicle two rustic lives that, to him, may be as interesting as his own. And finally, they are shown together at the end of the video, creased but still retaining their love of song, sitting beside one another and performing, as if they all have shared the same journey, as if a musician’s journey is the one song they all can play note-for-note by heart.
Watch the video below, courtesy of Rolling Stone.
In May, McCartney was stricken with an unnamed and unnerving virus that left him unwell and temporarily devitalized, but his forty-song set at Albany, New York last night proves that he is as lively as ever and fully capable of putting on the greatest of shows.
A video for Appreciate, another track from his most recent album, New, was released a week before his illness. You can watch that as well below.