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Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey - Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey

1971 single from Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney

" Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey "is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album R.A.M . It was released as a single on August 2, 1971 in the United States and peaked at number one on September 4, 1971 Billboard Hot 100. It was the first in a series of post-Beatles singles written by Paul McCartney that topped the US pop charts in the 1970s and 1980s. Billboard ranked the song at number 22 on the Top Pop Singles on the 1971 year-end chart. It became McCartney's first gold record after the Beatles' death.

Elements and interpretation

"Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey" consists of several unfinished song fragments, which Paul wrote similarly to the medleys from the Beatles album Abbey Road joined together . The song stands out for its sound effects, including the sounds of a thunderstorm, including rain, heard between the first and second verses, the click of a phone dialing, and then switching to an answering machine (both actually Paul's voice) The sound of Paul's voice with a "telephone" effect can be heard after the second verse, and the sound of chirping seabirds and wind on the shore. Linda's voice can be heard in both the harmonies and the bridge section of the "Admiral Halsey" part of the song.

Paul said "Uncle Albert" is based on his uncle. "He's someone I like to remember and when the song came up it was like a nostalgia thing." Paul also said to an American journalist, "Admiral Halsey is one of you, an American admiral," referring to Navy Admiral William "Bull" Halsey (1882-1959). Paul has described the "Uncle Albert" section of the song as an apology from his generation to the older generation and Admiral Halsey as an authoritarian figure to be ignored.


Paul McCartney won the 1971 Grammy Award for best arrangement for singers. The single was awarded gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.

According to allmusic critic Stewart Mason, fans of Paul McCartney's music are divided on their opinions on the song. While some fans praise it as "one of his most playful and inventive songs," others criticize it for "just the kind of sweet indulgence they find so annoying about his post-Beatles career". Mason himself thinks it is "grumpy" to be angry about the song, since the song is not meant to be taken seriously, and praises the section "Hands on the Water" as "lovably dizzy".

In a contemporary review by R.A.M. gave Jon Landau from Rolling Stone "Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey" gave a negative review, saying the song was "a piece with so many changes that it doesn't seem to come down anywhere and in the places it seems to be found." sounds like the worst piece of music Paul ever made. "

On the US charts, the song set an all-time songwriting record (at that time) for Paul McCartney for most consecutive calendar years to write a # 1 song. This gave him eight consecutive years (starting with "I want to hold your hand") and left Lennon at just seven.

Later publication

"Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey" appears on the 1978 published Wings Greatest Compilation album, though R.A.M was not a Wings album.

The song appears on several solo compilations by Paul McCartney: the US version of All the best! (1987) and Wingspan: Hits and History (2001) and in both the standard and deluxe versions of Pure McCartney (2016).


Song used

Chart performance



External links