Picking the best song from every Paul McCartney album doesn't always mean checking the Billboard charts.
True, the former Beatles star went on to notch nine No. 1 songs as a solo star and leader of Wings. In all, he's claimed 23 Top 10 smashes, most recently with "FourFiveSeconds," a 2015 collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West that rose to No. 4. But, a scant four of those big hits made our list.
Elsewhere, we delve into treasured deep cuts, forgotten gems and also-ran singles. That so many praise-worthy tracks can be found that far off the beaten path speaks to McCartney's astonishing depth as a songwriter, and his astonishing longevity in an industry often governed by flashes in the pan.
Our focus was on McCartney's post-Beatles rock records, so some notable releases did not make the cut. We skipped his five classical albums, including 1991's Liverpool Oratorio; oddities like 1977's Thrillington and 2000's Liverpool Sound Collage; the first two ambient-instrumental Fireman collaborations; and Kisses on the Bottom, his 2012 collection of mid-century standards.