THE BEATLES TOP 60 SOLO SONGS: #1: “MULL OF KINTYRE”-WINGS

Mull of Kintyre (Wings song cover art).jpg

The Beatles Top 60 Solo Songs: #1 “Mull Of Kintyre.” Finally the #1 Solo Song from The Beatles. “Mull Of Kintyre” was written by Paul McCartney as a tribute to the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre. Paul had bought a farm back in 1966 the High Park Farm- and had spent a lot of time there over the years. “Mull Of Kintyre” was a huge hit single in the UK- spending 9 weeks at #1 selling 2 million copies and at the time became the best selling single in UK history- beating “She Loves You.” It didn’t even crack the Hot 100 in the US where it was a b-side to “Girls School” which peaked at a disappointing #33.

At the same time in America that Debby Gibson was spending 10 weeks in a row at the Top of the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the biggest hit ever in America- Wings were doing the same in the UK with ‘Mull Of Kintyre.”

from Songfacts-

Paul McCartney wrote this with Denny Laine, his bandmate in Wings. The song is a tribute to the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland where Paul and his wife Linda had a farm. The Mull is the area at the tip of the peninsula, known for its beautiful scenery and tranquil atmosphere. After a difficult breakup with The Beatles, McCartney went there to avoid a nervous breakdown.

I’ve always loved this song- when it came down to it- I rank it a gnats eyelash ahead of “Band On The Run” at #1- maybe the thing that put it over the top was the bagpipes in the song provided by the Campbeltown Pipe Band!

22 responses to “THE BEATLES TOP 60 SOLO SONGS: #1: “MULL OF KINTYRE”-WINGS

  1. “Mull of Kintyre” received lots of radio play in Germany. As such, while it’s certainly not a bad song, it became ”Mull of Kin-tired” at some point.

    I’m a bit surprised it beat “Band on the Run” in your ranking. But kudos to you for ranking The Beatles’ top 60 solo songs in the first place, which I could never do. Plus, it sounds like “Mull of Kintyre” was almost a tie with “Band on the Run,” which I guess would have been a strong contender to be my no. 1.

    • One thing I failed to mention in my write up- it still sounds fresh- It was never played on American radio back then. I mean Never. I had the single- with “Girls School” which didn’t get much play then or since.

    • I guess there’s something like playing a song to death, even when it’s not a bad tune. I feel that’s kind of what happened in Germany. There literally was a time when you couldn’t switch on the radio without hearing it.

    • Yes! I don’t think outside of The Beatles Channel that I’ve ever heard Mull Of Kintyre on American radio. I am certain it was never played back in 1977-78.. which looking back seems odd.

  2. I honestly can’t remember ever hearing this song before, and like the others, this is a complete surprise for me. The song obviously made a strong connection for you.

    And it was Debby Boone, not Gibson, who held a stranglehold on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977.

  3. I actually wondered for about 2 seconds if this was going to be the #1. I readily dismissed the notion as wishful thinking. šŸ™‚ It’s great to see it being respected. I’ve always been that one person who loved this song, with most of my friends here in the US not even knowing it exists.

    • It is kind of a head shaker- because at the time it seemed like everything Paul released was a certain hit… I loved it the first time I heard it- when I bought the single… I don’t know was the record company to blame? I know they promoted “Girls School” as the single…

  4. Like some others commented, I knew OF it from reading music mags or whatever but probably didn’t hear it until some time into the 80s… one of those things that was gigantic in UK and unknown here, odd given Paul’s stature.

  5. As a Brit who grew up being ‘assaulted’ with this dirge, I can’t fully get on board with this pick. I do understand your reasoning for picking it, and for the first few times you hear the song, it is a good song. However the UK in 1977 only had 3 TV channels and 4 main radio channels (plus regional stations) and it was released just before Xmas and we Brits have a strange obsession with what’s Number 1 in the charts for Xmas, so this song was fecking ubiquitous! More-or-less on every channel and every time you turned on the radio. Kudos to you, good sir, for doing these posts, I admire the dedication. Now I’m off to listen to Revolution#9 to calm my nerves! šŸ¤˜

    • LOL- as over exposed as the song must have been in the UK- it was criminally under exposed in the US- I am certain that the only times I heard it was when I played the 45 I had of “Girls School”/ Mull Of Kintyre” and later on the Wings Greatest Album… it was never ever on the radio….. I never understood the ‘ Christmas #1 thing in the UK- I’ve come across the reference often.. In the US it is no big deal at all.. Enjoy Revolution #9!

    • related to the song and I should have added it on– from what I’ve read since Linda’s passing while I believe Paul still owns the house etc -he doesn’t go there often- brings back memories I guess.

  6. I was a young Scot living in London when this song was released. It would not have had the same impact on me without the pipes. Although my English friends liked it, my appreciation was on a different level.

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