By my count, there are 400-plus new albums, EPs, singles, anthologies, box set, holiday album and vinyl reissues landing next week. But in the end, there’s only one title most people will care about. Drum roll, please:
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The third instalment in Paul McCartney’s eponymous trilogy, McCartney III will be the former Beatle‘s 18th solo studio album — following on from 2018’s Egypt Station — and has been uniquely ‘Made in Rockdown.’
Paul hadn’t planned to release an album in 2020, but in isolation, 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 (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 new 2020 intro Winter Bird, became the new album’s grand finale.
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.”