(Credits: Far Out / Alamy / MPL Communications)
It’s hard to think of Paul McCartney making as many classic love songs without the help of Linda McCartney. Although she received the same nasty treatment from many former Beatles fans as Yoko Ono when working with John Lennon, Linda’s influence on her husband provided some of the most incredible melodies of her time, inspiring tracks like ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’. While she may have departed from this earth in 1998, Linda’s final song was a sweet look into her relationship with her husband.
When Linda started working as a rock and roll photographer, she was struck by Paul from the first time she met him when attending a release party for Sgt Pepper. Much like Ono had served as an influence on Lennon, McCartney would write songs that had a personal touch towards Linda, including penning the track ‘Birthday’ for her on The White Album.
As The Beatles moved on to their solo careers, though, Linda’s love of the country lifestyle started to have a drastic effect on the way that Paul wrote songs. While there are faint wisps of Linda’s New York upbringing on a track like ‘Another Day’, her contributions to the album RAM would become staples of the former Beatle’s solo catalogue, providing the stirring choruses of “hands across the water” in the epic ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’.
Once Paul started putting another band together, it was only logical for Linda to join the group, serving as keyboardist and backing vocalist on every one of Wings’s records. Even when Paul ventured past his 1970s stadium rock era, Linda was still present for every single session, often providing a backup vocal and helping bring structure to the tune with her voice.
Outside of her musical career, Linda proactively used her platform to help the world. Throughout their time together, Linda’s work as an advocate for the vegetarian diet helped to shed light on how to live a vegetarian lifestyle. Although Linda always maintained her voice away from her husband, one of the biggest struggles came when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Working relentlessly to fight the disease, Paul would continue to put out as much optimistic music as he could, penning songs that either channelled his grief or took a lighthearted approach to music. By the time that filming had wrapped up on The Beatles Anthology, it was clear that Linda was slowly starting to lose her battle with cancer.
During the recording of Flaming Pie, Linda would add occasional backup vocals until her passing in 1998. While many of the songs feature Paul working his magic alongside ELO frontman Jeff Lynne, ‘Great Day’ is the final track that features the lovers singing to each other.
Written around a song Paul came up with on the spot before Wings, the short track was a fixture of their household, known as a piece they would sing to each other around the house. Instead of adding any unnecessary effects, the song is kept in the same arrangement as it had in the McCartney house, bringing an intimate end to the closing of the record. While McCartney has been known to hide his emotions whenever he steps in front of the camera, ‘Great Day’ is a look at the man behind it all and a loving ode to what Linda gave to the world.