Paul McCartney's 40 Greatest Solo Songs

The definitive guide to his post-Beatles best – chart smashes, psychedelic curiosities, punk, folk, disco and plenty of silly love songs

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2. "Band on the Run"

If anyone still wondered whether McCartney could really cut it solo, "Band on the Run" settled the question once and for all. It's an audaciously daft multipart suite about a rock & roll prison break, with hints of escaping his Beatles past. ("If we ever get out of here" was a phrase George Harrison had muttered in a business meeting.) But even when McCartney is singing about conflict and confinement, he gets swept up, hollering in delight. The whole world decided to run along with him, taking the song to the top of the pop charts here. No one dismissed him as a lightweight after this.

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