Posts Tagged ‘McCartney III’

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50 years following the release of his self-titled first solo album McCartney, featuring Paul McCartney playing every instrument and writing and recording every song, Macca delivers McCartney III. Paul hadn’t planned to release an album in 2020, but in the isolation of “Rockdown,” he soon found himself fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating even more new ones. Before long an eclectic collection of spontaneous songs would become McCartney III: a stripped back, self-produced and, quite literally, solo work marking the opening of a new decade, in the tradition of 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II.

At midnight on the day of the release, McCartney released the official music video for the lead track, “Find My Way.” Directed by Roman Coppola, the shoot utilized 46 cameras to capture McCartney on every instrument and from every angle, resulting in an intimate glimpse.

McCartney III is mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, overdubbing his bass playing, drumming, etc. atop that foundation. McCartney III spans a vast and intimate range of modes and moods, from soul-searching to wistful, from playful to raucous and all points between — captured with some of the same gear from Paul’s Rude Studio used as far back as 1971 Wings sessions. And Paul’s array of vintage instruments he played on the new album have an even more storied history, including Bill Black of Elvis Presley’s original trio’s double bass alongside Paul’s own iconic Hofner violin bass, and a mellotron from Abbey Road Studios used on Beatles recordings, to name but a few. Just as McCartney’s 1970 release marked Paul’s return to basics in the wake of the biggest band break-up in musical history, and the 1980 avant-garde masterpiece McCartney II rose from the ashes of Wings, McCartney III finds Paul back on his own, turning unexpected circumstances into a personal snapshot of a timeless artist at a unique point in history.

With extra time on his hands due to the pandemic, Sir Paul is rumoured to have recorded as many as 25 tracks. In keeping with McCartney & McCartney II’s photography by Linda McCartney, the principal photos for III were shot by Paul’s daughter Mary McCartney—with additional photography by Paul’s nephew Sonny McCartney as well as photos Paul took on his phone (it’s a family affair). The cover art and typography is by celebrated American artist Ed Ruscha.

From the album’s announcement: Recorded earlier this year in Sussex, McCartney III  is mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, overdubbing his bass playing, drumming, etc.  atop that foundation. The process first sparked when Paul returned to an unreleased track from the early 90s, “When Winter Comes” co-produced by George Martin).  Paul crafted a new passage for the song, giving rise to album opener “‘Long Tailed Winter Bird”—while “When Winter Comes,”  featuring its 2020 intro, “Winter Bird,” became the new album’s grand finale.

Recorded earlier in 2020 in Sussex, “McCartney III” is mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, overdubbing his bass playing, drumming, etc. atop that foundation. McCartney III spans a vast and intimate range of modes and moods, from soul searching to wistful, from playful to raucous and all points between. [A Songbook edition containing piano/vocal/guitar arrangements for all songs from McCartney III and accompanying CD is also available, The three releases are true solo efforts in that McCartney performed all the instruments himself (with occasional vocal assistance from his wife, Linda, on the first two).

A follow-up to his 1970 self-titled solo debut and 1980’s McCartney II, the new album features the McCartney playing all the instruments; he wrote and recorded every song.

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With “McCartney III,” the Ex-Beatle makes a spectacular return to form, produces one of his most compelling albums in decades, and reminds us that at age 78, his musical chops are as exquisite and profound as virtually anyone’s. Ever.

Working at his Sussex studio, Paul McCartney recorded nearly the entirety of “McCartney III” during the pandemic. A one-man band production in the spirit of his eponymous debut solo album in 1970, “McCartney III” arrives more than 40 years after the release of its predecessor, “McCartney II,” in 1980. That summer, the album topped the UK charts and yielded a chart-topping single Stateside in “Coming Up.”

In its own fashion, “McCartney III” functions as the logical extension of its precursors, each acting as lodestones of sorts for signal moments across his long career. As with the first two LPs, McCartney took a carefree, homespun approach to his efforts, allowing his imagination to guide the way. As he remarked in the album’s press notes about his process during its production, “Each day, I’d start recording with the instrument I wrote the song on and then gradually layer it all up; it was a lot of fun. It was about making music for yourself rather than making music that has to do a job. So, I just did stuff I fancied doing. I had no idea this would end up as an album.”

McCartney’s whimsical approach pays dividends from beginning to end, with the songwriter charting the emotional experience of not only surviving, but thriving in his eighth decade on earth. And he has the road miles to prove it. In many ways, McCartney himself is the “Long Tailed Winter Bird” who soars above the opening track, a spirited, largely instrumental number that is highlighted by one of the musician’s niftiest acoustic guitar licks in years.

In short order, McCartney rips off one musical confection after another, including Beatlesque pop ditties such as “Find My Way” and “Seize the Day.” And then there’s “Lavatory Lil,” a composition that, in a very different time and place, might have found a home in the Abbey Road medley nestled alongside “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam.”

McCartney absolutely sizzles on such bone-crunching electric numbers as “Slidin'” and “Deep Down,” with hard-driving guitar licks that might find some listeners hearkening back to the “Band on the Run” track “Let Me Roll It.” Even still, his guitar work on “McCartney III” sounds equally fresh and urgent, as he wrestles with the endlessly fecund muse that has served him well since at least the mid-1950s, when he penned his first song as a paean for his mother Mary.

In the LP’s latter stages, McCartney offers up a pair of memorable acoustic tunes in “The Kiss of Venus” and “When Winter Comes.” He reportedly composed “The Kiss of Venus” after reading an astrological book about the balletic movements and synchronicity of the planets. It was “a fascinating book,” the songwriter recalled, about the ways in which our solar system structures itself as a “trippy” lotus shape.

Capitol Records will release “McCartney III” on digital platforms, CD and LP manufactured by Third Man Pressing on December 11th, 2020,

Announcing McCartney III, to be released December 11th on Capitol Records across digital platforms, on CD, and on LP manufactured by Third Man Pressing. Vinyl configurations will include Third Man Edition of 3000 hand-numbered red vinyl copies sold on the Paul McCartney webstore, a ‘333’ Edition sold only via ThirdManRecords online store and limited to 333 copies on yellow-with-black-dots vinyl composed from a “regrind” of 33 McCartney & McCartney II records. 

2020 marks 50 years since Paul McCartney released his self-titled first solo album. Featuring Paul playing every instrument and writing and recording every song, McCartney’s effortless charms have only grown in stature and influence over time. The chart-topping album would signify not only a creative rebirth for Paul, but also as a template for generations of indie and lo-fi musicians seeking to emulate its warm homespun vibe and timeless tunes including “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Every Night” and “The Lovely Linda”. 

The 1970s saw Paul forming his second band Wings and dominating the charts, stages and airwaves of the world, with multiple #1 singles, sold-out world tours, multi-million-selling albums including Band on the Run, Venus and Mars, Wings at the Speed of Sound, London Town and more.  In 1980, 10 years from the release of McCartney, Paul wrapped up the decade of Wings with the surprise release of his second solo album, the electronic-tinged McCartney II. Once again featuring Paul entirely on his own, McCartney II would come to be regarded as a leftfield classic, with classic cuts such as “Coming Up”, “Temporary Secretary” and “Waterfalls”.  

The 1980s saw Paul start again, this time kicking off an unprecedented solo run. The following four decades would see Paul’s iconic and legendary status grow exponentially, with solo masterpieces including Tug of War, Flowers in the Dirt, Pipes of Peace, Flaming Pie, Memory Almost Full and New, and massive live shows the world over — actually setting the World Record for the largest attendance at a concert. In 2018, 54 years since The Beatles first hit #1 on the Billboard Album Charts – Paul’s Egypt Station would be yet another historic #1 McCartney album.

Hard as it is to believe, it’s only been two years since Egypt Station went #1–and it was only last year that Paul’s Freshen Up tour played its last show before Covid hit pause on live music, a legendary blowout at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Paul hadn’t planned to release an album in 2020, but in the isolation of “Rockdown,” he soon found himself fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating even more new ones. Before long an eclectic collection of spontaneous songs  would become McCartney III: a stripped back, self-produced and, quite literally, solo work marking the opening of a new decade, in the tradition of 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s  McCartney II.

Recorded earlier this year in Sussex, McCartney III is mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, overdubbing his bass playing, drumming, etc. atop that foundation. The process first sparked when Paul returned to an unreleased track from the early 90s, When Winter Comes (produced by George Martin). Paul crafted a new passage for the song, giving rise to album opener Long Tailed Winter Bird—while When Winter Comes, featuring its new 2020 intro Winter Bird, became the new album’s grand finale.

Speaking about III, Paul said: “I was living lockdown life on my farm with my family and I would go to my studio every day. I had to do a little bit of work on some film music and that turned into the opening track and then when it was done I thought what will I do next? I had some stuff I’d worked on over the years but sometimes time would run out and it would be left half-finished so I started thinking about what I had.  Each day I’d start recording with the instrument I wrote the song on and then gradually layer it all up, it was a lot of fun.  It was about making music for yourself rather than making music that has to do a job.  So, I just did stuff I fancied doing. I had no idea this would end up as an album.”

Long Tailed Winter Bird and Winter Bird/When Winter Comes bookend McCartney III’s vast and intimate range of modes and moods, from soul searching to wistful, from playful to raucous and all points between — captured with some of the same gear from Paul’s Rude Studio used as far back as 1971 Wings sessions. And Paul’s array of vintage instruments he played on the new album have an even more storied history, including Bill Black of Elvis Presley’s original trio’s double bass alongside Paul’s own iconic Hofner violin bass, and a mellotron from Abbey Road Studios used on Beatles recordings, to name but a few. 

In keeping with McCartney & McCartney II’s photography by Linda McCartney, the principal photos for III were shot by Paul’s daughter Mary McCartney—with additional photography by Paul’s nephew Sonny McCartney as well as photos Paul took on his phone (it’s a family affair).  The cover art and typography is by celebrated American artist Ed Ruscha

McCartney and McCartney II each saw Paul open up a new decade with reinvention, both personal and musical. Just as McCartney’s 1970 release marked Paul’s return to basics in the wake of the biggest band break-up in musical history, and the 1980 avant-garde masterpiece McCartney II rose from the ashes of Wings, McCartney III finds Paul back on his own, turning unexpected circumstances into a personal snapshot of a timeless artist at a unique point in history.

McCartney III will be released December 11th on Capitol Records manufactured by Third Man Pressing. Vinyl configurations will range from standard 180g to a Third Man Edition of 3,333 hand-numbered red vinyl copies, a ‘333’ Edition sold only via Third Man Records online store and limited to 333 copies on yellow-with-black-dots vinyl created using 33 recycled vinyl copies of McCartney and McCartney II, a U.S. indie retail exclusive pressing of 4000 hand-numbered white vinyl LPs, and more.