13 songs Paul McCartney should play at Target Field, but probably won't

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Plenty of musicians have impressive back catalogs and prestigious songbooks to their credit. But the exalted 50-plus-year oeuvre of Sir Paul McCartney is something else. He's bringing a fraction of those celebrated songs to a sold-out Target Field on Saturday night, for the first full-stadium rock 'n' roll show in the ballpark's history.

There will ultimately be nothing to complain about in McCartney's song selection during his upcoming performance -- with typical set lists on his current tour stretching to a generous 39 tracks -- but we dug through Macca's impressive collection of musical gems and found 13 overlooked numbers.

See also:
Gov. Dayton declares Paul McCartney Day in Minnesota

"I'm Down"

This spirited tune was originally a b-side to "Help" released in the summer of '65. "I'm Down" began the long tradition of U.K. acts not including killer b-sides on their official full-length studio albums, and it remains one of the hardest-rocking numbers in the Beatles' early catalog. The group recorded this song in a prolific session that also saw them lay down finished versions of "Yesterday" and "I've Just Seen a Face," proving that every time the Fab Four stepped into a studio during this highly productive period all George Martin had to do was hit record and wait for the magic. But hidden within the relentlessly upbeat tempo of the track was a desperate plea from McCartney, letting attentive listeners know that there were dark moments inside the mad, chaotic world of Paul and his Beatles cohorts.

"I'm Looking Through You"

This rollicking Rubber Soul jam was featured on McCartney's recent tours, but hasn't been included in the sets during his current string of shows. That's too bad, because the track really lets loose in the bridge following the acoustic-guitar driven verses. When the electric guitar kicks in, they reinforce the sting of McCartney's kiss-off to then-girlfriend Jane Asher, as well as his percipient look at how the band was treated differently by everyone now that they had become worldwide superstars. This emphatic number represented a quick transition from the darling "I Want to Hold Your Hand" Beatles who had their adoring female fans incessantly shrieking, to a band that clearly wanted their space and wasn't afraid to call out old hangers-on who just couldn't act naturally around them.

"Drive My Car/The Back Seat of My Car"

The lead-off track to Rubber Soul seems tailor-made for rocking big stadiums. It's all too easy to picture massive crowds singing the jubilant "Beep beep, beep beep, yeah!" part of the chorus, as McCartney takes it all in with his winsome smile. Plus, it would make a smooth and suitable pairing with the rousing section of "The Back Seat of My Car," one of the hit singles drawn from McCartney's 1971 album Ram. Cars and long drives have long been an inspiration to McCartney in his songwriting (see "Helen Wheels" on the following page, as well) and tying these two tracks together would be a way of unifying two radically different times of his creative career that both were motivated by the pleasure drawn from taking a ride.

"Got to Get You Into My Life"

This brass-laden number has long been one of my favorite McCartney numbers, and I'm including it on this list for purely selfish reasons. This track anchors the strong finish to Revolver along with Lennon's psychedelic gem "Tomorrow Never Knows" -- two numbers that brazenly prove the duo's impressive creative progress as songwriters over the scant three years spent in the intense public spotlight. In addition to the soulful horns, McCartney's impassioned vocals resonate boldly above the vibrant arrangement. There are also clear references to the drug culture that was permeating the Beatles' lifestyle -- and much of society in the '60s -- at the time, with McCartney later admitting that the song was essentially "an ode to pot."

"Why Don't We Do It in the Road"

I've always felt that this White Album stomper could stretched out into a full-fledged jam as opposed to its scant 1:42 running time. And what better place to extend this bluesy, percussion/piano-filled track than in a live setting? Since Paul ostensibly recorded this number mainly on his own in the studio (with Ringo later adding drums and handclaps) he could expertly lead a full band through a scorching live take, with each member of the group taking a few quick bars for a seamless solo. It never quite gets its proper respect amid the chaotic sonic hodgepodge of The White Album, perhaps due to its preposterous title. Plus, including this number in his sets would also provide the 72-year-old McCartney an opportunity to take a seat at the piano if he needs to catch his breath during his marathon sets.



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43 comments
Stephen Young
Stephen Young

13 good selections and none of them made the set list, yet it was still a pretty amazing show. That man has a back catalog to rule them all.

tenniselbowz
tenniselbowz

Off the top of my head:

Beware my love,

On the way,

Whole Life,

House of Wax,

Momma Miss America,

Girl's School,

I wanna cry,

Somedays,

Little Willow,

Don't Stop Running,

About you,

Back in the Sunshine,

Riding to vanity fair,

Friends to go,

...

Jackie May
Jackie May

Going to be a great show! :-). For sure I'll want to hear Jet. :). Oh and to those of you that don't like him, why bother to post, the question was meant for you then.

Linda Trondson
Linda Trondson

I would love a ticket and I don't care what he sings.

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

I would like to hear him play either the song "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls or else "Fuck the Police"

Jessica Adair
Jessica Adair

I have two tickets I can't use if anyone is looking!! Great seats!

Ali Olson
Ali Olson

Omg. Saturday could not come soon enough!!!! So excited!!! ✌️💙🙌

Brian Mack
Brian Mack

Juniors Farm, Coming Up, venus & Mars Rock Show, Letting Go, magnito & Titanium Man, Call me back again, Silly Love Songs, Munkberry Moon Delight, Smile Away

Matt McGovern
Matt McGovern

Paul McCartney can charge whatever Paul McCartney wants to charge! He has earned that, and I get it. I still think he is gouging people to get money as he knows they will pay it.

Kyle Fritze
Kyle Fritze

So true! Do we truly know how much the artist is charging vs the ticket peeps?

Matt McGovern
Matt McGovern

Which is why the artists keep charging more and more and more. If people would stop paying $250 dollars for a concert ticket, the artists would stop charging that much.

Justin Holmberg
Justin Holmberg

Fine. Your not invited to dinner tonight Juliet Bruneau. Lol

Tammy Belka
Tammy Belka

LOL I was just joking about Temporary Secretary this morning!

Matt McGovern
Matt McGovern

Who cares. With his unbelievable ticket prices, people should really be requesting that he stop being greedy.

Tony Ray
Tony Ray

He opened with "Venus and Mars/Rock Show/Jet" when he played the St Paul Civic Center on the 1976 Wings Over America tour.

Jennifer Foxhoven
Jennifer Foxhoven

Jet, Hope of Deliverance, Coming Up, Uncle Albert Admiral Halsey, Don't say goodbye, Juniors Farm, Silly Love Songs, My Love, should I go on?! ;)

CommentGuyAl
CommentGuyAl

stop acting like this setlist won't be freaking magical without any of these already

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