|Studio album by|
|Released||24 September 1974|
|Recorded||January - February 1974|
|Mike McGear chronology|
|Singles from McGear|
McGear is the second and final solo album by English singer Mike McGear, released in 1974. The album was a collaboration between McGear and his older brother Paul McCartney, who produced the record. All backing tracks on the album are performed by McCartney's band Wings, occasionally accompanied by various guest artists, although all lead vocals are sung by McGear.
On the original release, Paul McCartney is not credited as a musician or backing singer, although he performed both roles during the recordings. McCartney sang a harmony vocal on "What Do We Really Know?" and other tracks.
At the time, Mike had just left the music and poetry group Grimms during a tour after a fight with Liverpool Poet (and fellow member) Brian Patten, and Paul suggested that Mike record a single with Wings to resurrect Mike's solo career.. Once the single "Leave It" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Paul sent the tape to his in-laws Lee and John Eastman to arrange for its release, but instead they suggested recording an entire album. Mike said that "the whole process [of this album] was magical" and that the recording "was a truly collaborative process with my older brother." The rest of the album was recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, where Mike had recorded his previous solo album Woman.
The front cover shows Mike captured like Gulliver, surrounded by little people. Included in the people are pictures of the band members and photos of other people from McGear's life, as well as a childhood picture of Paul and Mike.
When Warner Brothers signed McGear and Badfinger to quite a bit of fanfare, coinciding with McCartney's EMI contract nearing expiration, there was quite a bit of rumour at the time suggesting that Warners were trying to interest McCartney in signing with them.. "Leave It" reached No. 36 in the UK singles chart.
In 1991, McGear was re-released by Rykodisc in the U.S. with a previously unreleased version of the song "Dance The Do" as a bonus track (a different mix had been issued as a stand-alone single on UK Warner Bros).
In 1992, McGear was re-released by See For Miles Records in the U.K. with two bonus tracks, a different mix of "Dance The Do" and "Sweet Baby," which had been the B-side of the single "Leave It". The liner notes to that album quote Mike as saying that "Sweet Baby" had originally been named "All My Lovin'" but "some other group had already done one with that name". Both of these reissues quickly went out of print.
In 2019, Cherry Red Records produced a two-disk remastered reissue on its "Esoteric Records" imprint (which features an "ER" logo duplicative of the Warner Brothers "WB" logo), with one disk the same as the 1992 reissue, and the other disk a collection of alternate takes, outtakes, and a few other songs recorded by McGear between 1973 and 1980 (including his 1976 EMI single "Do Nothing All Day").
- "Sea Breezes" (Bryan Ferry) – 4:29
- "What Do We Really Know?" (P. McCartney, L. McCartney) – 3:47
- "Norton" – 2:35
- "Leave It" (P. McCartney, L. McCartney) – 3:44
- "Have You Got Problems?" – 6:16
- "The Casket" (P. McCartney, L. McCartney, Roger McGough) – 4:19
- "Rainbow Lady" – 3:26
- "Simply Love You" – 2:47
- "Givin' Grease a Ride" – 5:35
- "The Man Who Found God on the Moon" – 6:26
CD Bonus Tracks:
- "Dance the Do" – 3:53
- "Sweet Baby" – 3:47
- Only on the 1992 and 2019 reissues.
- Mike McGear: Lead vocals.
- Paul McCartney: Bass, guitars, keyboards, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals, occasionally co-lead vocals.
- Linda McCartney: Moog, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
- Denny Laine: Electric guitars, backing vocals.
- Jimmy McCulloch: Electric guitars.
- Gerry Conway: Drums, percussion.
- Denny Seiwell: Drums, percussion (on "Leave It").
- Brian Jones: Saxophones.
- Tony Coe: Saxophones (on "Leave It").
- Paddy Moloney: Aeolian pipes (on "The Casket").
- Derek Taylor: Voice (on "Norton").
- Benna and Theran McCartney (Mike's daughters): Backing vocals (on "The Man Who Found God On the Moon").
- The Halle Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Gerry Allison.