Paul McCartney releasing ‘McCartney III’ in December (watch the trailer)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Paul McCartney's first solo album and he'll release a new one, titled McCartney III, on December 18. Like the first, and 1980's McCartney II, this is a true solo album, self-produced, just him, one-man-band-style.
“I was living lockdown life on my farm with my family and I would go to my studio every day," says Paul. "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.”
An unreleased song Paul had made with George Martin, "When Winter Comes" has been turned into bookends for the album: "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 also spoke more about the album in an interview with Loud and Quiet:
To start with the most obvious question, a lot of people will be thinking why now for McCartney III?
It was kind of unintentional. I had to go into the studio at the beginning of lockdown to do a couple of bits of music for an animated short film. So I got got in and did that bit of work and sent it off to the director, and then I thought, ‘Oh, this is nice, I’m enjoying this, this is a nice way to spend lockdown,’ so I ended up finishing off some songs, looking at bits and bobs, making up stuff, and generally enjoying myself in the studio. And then I’d come home in the evening, and I just happened to be with my daughter Mary’s family. The combination of being able to go to work, make some music, and then hang out with four of my grandkids, I was very lucky. Y’know, we were being super careful, but being able to make music really helped.
At what point did you realise that what you were doing was making McCartney III?
Right at the end of it, I’d just been stockpiling tracks, and I thought, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of this – I guess I’ll hang onto it,’ and then I thought, ‘Wait a minute, this is a McCartney record,’ because I’d played everything and done it in the same manner as McCartney I and II. That was a little light bulb going off, and I thought, ‘Well, at least that makes a point of explaining what I’ve been doing, unbeknownst to me.’
Loud and Quiet also got an early listen of the album, and they said it "features some of the best music McCartney has made in years," describing it like this: "...it’s perhaps number three that’s the most eclectic of them all, opening with a long (practically instrumental) acoustic guitar piece and continuing to throw caution to the wind after that – a vital characteristic in making it McCartney III rather than any other Paul McCartney solo album. Inside are vintage, chipper McCartney tracks, the odd eccentric to sit next to Polythene Pam, some big glam riffs, full band sounds and delicate demos, and a brilliant midway point that accurately portrays the overwhelming feeling of being in love and the current claustrophobia of 2020 lockdown."
Read more at Loud and Quiet.
You can watch a teaser trailer for McCartney III below.