It was 50 years ago today (April 17th, 1970) that Paul McCartney released his first solo album apart from the Beatles. Although McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr had all produced and released solo projects before, the McCartney album was the first solo mainstream record released in the aftermath of the group's breakup.
McCartney featured an assortment of tracks recorded at home and in the studio, featuring McCartney on all instruments, with the help of his wife Linda McCartney on harmonies. Several of the songs were Beatles-era rejects, such as “Junk,” which was originally intended for the band's 1968 self-titled double set commonly known as the “White Album.” Early versions of “Every Night,” “Teddy Boy,” and a snippet of “Maybe I'm Amazed” were also rehearsed by various members of the band during the next year's Let It Be sessions. The instrumental track “Hot As Sun,” also performed during the January 1969 sessions, dated as far back as 1960.
Although Lennon had quietly quit the band the previous September, none of the Beatles said anything about the split publicly until McCartney issued a self-penned interview included in the press copies of album. McCartney recalled how the press release issued with the reviewers copies of McCartney broke the news of the Beatles' breakup and the end of his partnership with John Lennon: “It was actually months after we'd broken up and no one was saying anything. And I was putting out a crazy little release, press release with the McCartney album, 'cause someone had said to me, 'We need some press on this, you better do something.' And I didn't want to sit down and be interviewed; I didn't feel secure enough to do that. So I said, 'Well, we'll make up a question and answer thing.' So I said to, actually it was (Beatles aide) Peter Brown, I said to him, 'Write me out a questionnaire of what you think they'd ask me.' So I just filled it all in, like a questionnaire. And it all came out weird. The press got it; it looked like I was trying to do a real number. John then thought, y'know, 'A-ha, he's done the announcement of the Beatles' split.' But, I mean, I thought months after, someone had better do it.”