This week Paul McCartney announced the release of The 7″ Singles Box, which collects 80 7-inch vinyl singles — packaged in a wooden crate. It also comes with a forward Paul wrote about his love of singles. Rolling Stone has an exclusive excerpt, in which he discusses the “adventure” of discovering reggae music in Jamaica.
“Some of my happiest memories of buying 7-inch singles come from the Jamaican record shop that we used to go to when we were on holiday in Montego Bay … There were records [that] you didn’t know what they were, they weren’t established artists,” he calls. “So it was kind of a great adventure, just asking the guy behind the counter, ‘What’s this like? Is it any good?'”
He recalls one in particular called “Poison Pressure” by Byron Lee and The Dragonaires, which was credited to Lennon & McCartney. He writes, “I had to buy that one. Had they just recorded one of our songs? No. It was something completely different and we all presumed it might be a couple of guys called Tony Lennon and Bill McCartney. Either that, or it was a total scam.”
Or not. It turns out the song is based on the melody of Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” which explains the credit. Paul also writes about how much The Beatles loved to put weird and wacky stuff on their B-sides, and he continued that tradition in his solo career.
“I still respect the B side – where else can you find songs like ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)‘ or ‘Ode to a Koala Bear‘?” he writes. “So, when my team suggested we put out this box of 45s, one of my hopes was that both sides of the record will be of interest to you.”
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