Contrary to his later work Paul didn't work with a band, but performed all vocals and instruments by himself, apart from vocal contributions by his wife Linda. Most of it was recorded at his home and later mixed at the Abbey Road Studios. A lot of tracks were just improvisations and in a case of Throw It In! released on the album. Others like "Junk" and "Teddy Boy" were left-overs, originally intended for Beatles albums, but not used in the long run. The album was a commercial success, mostly in the wake of The Beatles break-up. The major stand-out track was "Maybe I'm Amazed", which has become his solo Signature Song.
At the time McCartney was critically dismissed for being under-produced and for having a lot of unfinished Album Filler. In the light of the singer's later output it has been Vindicated by History as one of his best solo albums, with many of the throwaway tracks having a certain simple, anti-commercial charm of their own.
- "The Lovely Linda" (0:43)
- "That Would Be Something" (2:38)
- "Valentine Day" (1:39)
- "Every Night" (2:31)
- "Hot As Sun" (2:05)
- "Glasses" (2:05)
- "Junk" (1:54)
- "Man We Was Lonely" (2:56)
- "Oo You" (2:48)
- "Momma Miss America" (4:04)
- "Teddy Boy" (2:22)
- "Singalong Junk" (2:34)
- "Maybe I'm Amazed" (3:50)
- "Kreen-Akrore" (4:15)
Bonus Disc (2011 Reissue):
- "Maybe I'm Amazed (Alternate Version)"
- "Every Night (Live)"
- "Hot As Sun (Live)"
- "Maybe I'm Amazed (Live)"
- "Don't Cry Baby"
- "Women Kind"
- Alliterative Name and Alliterative Title: "The Lovely Linda" and "Momma Miss America".
- Album Filler: A lot of songs here are short, clearly improvised and not about anything meaningful above the average. "Maybe I'm Amazed" is the main exception.
- Broken Masquerade: McCartney came with a press release announcing the break-up of The Beatles. This was not the greatest PR move for Paul, who was now "the man who broke up the Beatles", since the other three had agreed to keep it silent until the release of Let It Be. Even positive reviews felt compelled to note what they considered a distasteful publicity stunt.
- Coat Full of Contraband: Not contraband, but Paul is seen on the back cover with daughter Mary peering from behind his coat.
- Continuity Nod: "Junk" is reprised as "Sing-A-Long Junk".
- Everything Is an Instrument: Bow and arrow percussion! Shot-glass soloing!
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: "That Would Be Something"
- Falling Basschromatic type: "Junk"
- Flower In Her Hair:Linda with the lovely flowers in her hair.
- Happily Married: The photos in the album sleeve are happy pictures of Paul, Linda and the family.
- Improv: Many tracks were improvisations, done in only one take and then thrown in.
- Instrumentals: "Valentine Day", "Hot As Sun", "Glasses", "Momma Miss America", "Sing-A-Long Junk" and "Kreen-Akrore".
- Let's Duet: Paul & Linda
- List Song: "Junk" about things that were a part of our lives and replaced by others. Paul literally lists most of the stuff.
- Lyrical Dissonance: It's a relatively cheerful pop album but bits of Paul's Creator Breakdown seep in around the edges - "Every Night" is about depression, "Man We Was Lonely" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and even "Maybe I'm Amazed" is sometimes read as an Obsession Song.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: A bowl of red cherries.
- Miniscule Rocking: Several songs are very short. "The Lovely Linda" only takes up 42 seconds. It was intended as a test of the new equipment, but he kept it on the album. "Glasses" is even shorter: 0:38.
- Music Is Politics: Ringo Starr attempted to delay the release of McCartney, as it coincided with the planned release of Let It Be. Paul was not amused.
- No Ending: "Maybe I'm Amazed" lacks a proper conclusion, simply fading out here. This is not true of the more famous Wings Over America version.
- Oedipus Complex: "Teddy Boy" about Ted who is a Momma's Boy who can't stand his mother being with someone else.
- One-Man Band: Paul plays all instrumentals himself. The only assistance he gets is from Linda, who sings along on a few tracks.
- One-Man Song: "Teddy Boy"
- One-Woman Song: "The Lovely Linda".
- One-Word Title: "McCartney", "Junk".
- Re-release the Song: "Maybe I'm Amazed" was also released solo and live by Wings later.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Junk" was originally intended for a Beatles album, but used on this solo album instead. It would end up on a Beatles album in 1996, though: The Beatles Anthology.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Paul is mimicking drums sounds vocally in "That Would Be Something".
- Self-Titled Album
- "Momma Miss America" was sampled by The Beastie Boys during the song "Johnny Ryall" on their album Paul's Boutique.
- In The Simpsons episode Lisa The Vegetarian where Paul and Linda were special guest voices it is implied that Maybe I'm Amazed should be played backwards and then a secret recipe for a ripping lentil soup can be heard. The song also plays over the end credits and indeed, Apu can be heard reading a recipe backwards, with even McCartney saying: "And by the way, folks, I'm not really dead.", referencing the Urban Legend that he had died and was replaced by an impostor.
- Silly Love Songs: "The Lovely Linda", "Every Night", "Oo You", "Maybe I'm Amazed", "Man We Was Lonely".
- Step Up to the Microphone: Linda can be heard singing along in "Man We Was Lonely" and "Teddy Boy". She also provides breathing and animal-like sounds in "Kreen-Akrore".
- Stock Sound Effects: Animal-like sounds and breathing can be heard in "Kreen-Akrore". All provided by Linda.
- Studio Chatter: Linda can be heard giggling at the end of "The Lovely Linda". "Momma Miss America" starts off with the yell: "Rock 'n Roll Spring Time. Take One!"
- Textless Album Cover: No text on the album cover.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Especially coming from a notorious studio perfectionist, McCartney is blatantly the work of one man with a relatively primitive tape machine. Later remasters even call attention to the errors - it's a long way from Abbey Road.