'Great 20th century innovator'... Sir Paul McCartney turns 69 today



A very happy birthday to Sir Paul McCartney, who turns 69 today (June 18).

And the former Beatle is celebrating in style, with the reissue of his landmark solo LP, McCartney II. Released in 1971, McCartney dealt with The Beatles' tragic demise by hiding away and recording a bizarre electronic album.

The work remains curious and classic yet underrated, and its tunes including Temporary Secretary went on to inspire generations of electronic and dance music producers.


Up there with Gerschwin? McCartney
dominates the world's stadiums -
and the collectors' markets

Music critic Zachary Williams

, writing for the Pop Matters website, perhaps puts it best: "In the year 2300, alien inhabitants will revere Paul McCartney in the same way Mozart and Beethoven are today.


"McCartney's solo run alone would rank him among the great innovators of 20th century popular music."

It's for this very reason that McCartney remains one of the most bankable alternative investments on the collectible autograph markets. Impressive considering that many of the factors which normally make an autograph a 'great investment' don't apply to him....

For instance, McCartney can't claim the "James Dean effect". Unlike Marilyn Monroe, James Dean or Jimi Hendrix, McCartney didn't die young and leave behind a series of impeccable photographs, films and music to remain forever unspoiled.

Instead, he stuck around and continued making music. This has included taking risks, inspiring the ire, as well as adoration, of critics (neither Rolling Stone nor the hip music site Pitchfork offer very positive reviews of McCartney II, for instance), and being branded... well, uncool.

Yet McCartney's influence and the overriding quality of his works have weathered the storm. He can claim iconic status akin to Bob Dylan's, while having none of Dylan's mystique. This culminated in McCartney being awarded the Gershwin Prize by President Barack Obama at the White House, last year.

Group signatures featuring McCartney and his fellow Beatles can command thousands on the private markets - and are going up in value


So how does this translate to returns on the collectibles markets? Well, one look at the industry's PFC40 Autograph Index reveals that a McCartney autograph worth £150 10 years ago could be valued at around £1,500 today.

That's a value rise of 757.1%, incredibly only slightly behind John Lennon's 799.3% rise in the same period (and let's not forget, Lennon can claim the James Dean effect).

With his legacy as one of the 20th century's most vital songwriters established, McCartney's power in the collectibles markets will likely only strengthen as the years go on. Just don't try to sell any of his Bruce McMouse cartoons...


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