The Scaffold performed a mixture of comic songs, comedy sketches, and the poetry of McGough, as evidenced on their 1968 live album, and released a number of singles and albums on Parlophone and EMI between 1966 and 1971, with several more on Island, Warner Bros. and Bronze thereafter.
The group also wrote and sang the theme tune to the BBC comedy 'The Liver Birds', which aired from 1969–1978.
The Scaffold achieved Top 10 success in the UK with:
"Thank U Very Much" (# 4), composed by McGear; the reference in the song to "Aintree Iron" is one that McGear has been reluctant to explain.
In addition to the hit singles, The Scaffold's output included four albums: The Scaffold on Parlophone in 1968, L. the P. on Parlophone in 1969, Fresh Liver on Island in 1973, and Sold Out on WB in 1975. The Scaffold's first greatest hits album, entitled Singles A's & B's, was released on See For Miles Records in 1982. This was followed by a second greatest hits collection, the first on Compact Disc, The Scaffold: The Songs, in 1992. Three additional compilations of the band's Parlophone tracks have since been released (two of which also include the Warner Bros. “Liverpool Lou” track).
In early 1971, they provided some catchy tunes for inclusion in a television publicity campaign heralding the introduction of decimal currency to the UK. In this series of five-minute programmes, titled Decimal Five and shown on BBC1, they sang such inspired lyrics as "Give more, get change" and "Use your old coppers in sixpenny lots".
In 1972, they made a half hour musical movie called Plod based on an earlier stage production. The film was made on location in Liverpool, and included boys from the Liverpool Institute High School, earlier attended by the McCartney brothers and Beatle George Harrison.
After the 1974 success of "Liverpool Lou," recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings, The Scaffold reunited for their final album, Sold Out, on Warner Bros. Records. The B-side of "Liverpool Lou", "Ten Years After on Strawberry Jam", was an instrumental composed by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by Wings. The Scaffold moved to the Bronze Records label in 1976, and continued touring through 1977. After that the group disbanded, although there have been occasional reunion performances.
The group also reunited to record a new track for a special album, commemorating Liverpool's 2008 "European Capital of Culture" event. Michael McCartney and John Gorman represented The Scaffold in the Number One Concert in the 10,500-seater Echo Arena and received a standing ovation from the capacity audience. In 2009, the group were reunited in Ronnie Scott's London Jazz Club for a BBC TV programme. In October 2010, The Scaffold reunited for a Gala Concert in Shanghai, to celebrate the end of the Liverpool Pavilion as part of the World Expo. They shared the concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, OMD and the Liverpool Chinese Children's Pagoda Orchestra.
There were probably other albums released in Japan. The two above are included because they have not been released on CD in the UK.
There has been considerable debate as to the meaning of the place, item, person or event described in the lyric of the song Thank U Very Much as the Aintree Iron. The songwriter himself, Mike McGear, has apparently refused to divulge its identity.
^Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 247–248. ISBN0-214-20512-6.
^In his 1981 book "Thank U Very Much – Mike McCartney's Family Album", Mike McGear describes a later meeting with Elton John during which John advises him he used to sing background vocals for the group when he was still using his real name, Reg Dwight.