Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday – the man whose music defined a generation and who is still composing and performing 50 years after he began is 70-years old today.
Together with John Lennon, Paul McCartney wrote many of the classic tunes of popular music. Hits such as Yesterday, Can’t Buy Me Love, Norwegian Wood, Hey Jude, The Long and Winding Road and Lady Madonna are just some of the classics he penned with Lennon during their time writing for The Beatles, universally regarded as the greatest band in the history of pop music.
Even after the band broke up in 1970 he was still writing even more classic tracks such as Maybe I’m Amazed, a love song for wife Linda, from his first solo album the self–titled McCartney. From 1971 he was working back in a band again with Wings producing a number of great albums the most well-known being 1973’s Band on the Run, with its classic cover reminding many of the Beatles own Sgt Pepper with its photo of many national and international celebrities.
He has also written classical and electronic works since The Beatles split up and amongst the very many chart records he holds he is the only artist to have had UK NUmber 1 records as a solo act (Pipes of Peace), a duo (Ebony & Ivory with Stevie Wonder), a trio (Mull of Kintyre), a quartet (The Beatles obviously, pick any of 17 different songs), a quartet (The Beatles with Billy Preston singing Get Back), and as part of a large ensemble (the charity single Let It Be with the Ferry Aid ensemble, released after the Zeebrugge ferry disaster in 1987).
After such an amazing music career it is no surprise that McCartney is one of the wealthiest people in the country and is estimated to have a personal fortune of around half a billion pounds. Despite his huge wealth he and first wife Linda insisted on sending their children to an ordinary state school. This obviously did the no harm as their daughter Stella has gone on to become one of the world’s top fashion designers.
He seems to have found a great deal of happiness in recent years with 3rd wife Nancy Shevell after sadly losing his beloved first wife Linda to cancer in 1998. His current wife seems happy to stay in the background and looks to make him genuinely happy no doubt a massive relief for him after his disastrous second marriage to Heather Mills.
It goes without saying that his music has been a huge influence to many generations of musicians and he still inspires people now. Paul Weller has today released a cover of The Beatles song Birthday as a tribute to McCartney. Proceeds from the song will go to benefit the War Child charity. Weller said he wanted to record the track to celebrate McCartney’s 70th birthday because he has been “an immense and enduring inspiration.”
McCartney was the man chosen to close the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert and it is no surprise that he has also been chosen to play at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Although his voice may not be as a strong as it was 50 years ago his bass playing is still top-notch and that man can still write a song. Happy Birthday Sir Paul and many more.
Fifty Shades of Grey – the novel which has been described as being in the “mummy porn” genre is fast becoming a publishing sensation.
The book by first-time author E. L. James looks set to sell over a million copies in paperback by the end of this year. This follows on from the initial high level of sales in its original e-book format.
It appears that the novel has had so many people reading it that it is now ok to be seen with a copy on the train, bus or sitting in the rest room at work.
Fifty Shades of Grey has sold over 550k paperback copies quicker than any other novel since the Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998.
Another reason behind its popularity seems to be the understated jacket which is contrast to the usual covers that were seen on women’s erotic novels before. With the success of the novel has grown a whole host of copycat “mummy porn” with similar tales of dominant older males seducing innocent younger women and all sold in understated covers with muted colours, pastels or greys.
Fifty Shades is the first book in a trilogy by James (real name Erika Mitchell) and the other 2 novels have also been in 2nd and 3rd place in the UK paperback charts for the past 6 weeks.The trilogy revolves around the character Anastasia Steele a virginal college graduate who submits herself to the sadistic fantasies of billionaire Christian Grey.
It is a remarkable success story for the author who initially released the novels herself on the internet as fan fiction based on the Twilight series of novels.
Amongst the records that the paperback has achieved it is only the 4th paperback ever to sell more than 100k copies in a single week, something that most of the Harry Potter series of novels did not achieve (although it could be argued that they were so popular that people didn’t wait for the paperback copy to come out but paid more for the earlier hardback release.
So bear in mind that the middle-aged lady looking so engrossed in her novel on the train this morning was probably not reading Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte but something altogether more racy.