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In 1999, BBC News Online readers, perhaps with a tinge of chauvinism, named Sir Paul McCartney "the greatest composer of the millennium." (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart finished a distant second.) Even without that honor, there is no denying the popularity and influence of the most successful musician and composer in the history of popular music. Superlatives and fan frenzy have, however, obscured the man himself. This definitive, richly detailed biography by pop culture specialist Howard Sounes (Down the Highway) cuts through that veil with hundreds of new interviews and systematic research. Like its subject, major in every way.