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Next Week in Music | Dec. 14-20 • The Short List: The Only Title Anyone Really Cares About

When it's all said and done, there's just one album on the way that truly matters.


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:

Paul McCartney
McCartney III

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.”