Via paulmccartney.com: On December 18, Paul McCartney releases the third album in a trilogy of classics, with McCartney III. McCartney III will be Paul's eighteenth solo studio album, following on from 2018's Egypt Station. 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 charms have only grown in stature and influence over time. The chart-topping album would signify not only a creative rebirth for Paul after the Beatles, but also as a template for generations of indie and lo-fi musicians seeking to emulate its 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, and multi-million-selling albums including Band on the Run, Venus and Mars, and Wings at the Speed of Sound. In 1980, ten years after 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 songs 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 legendary status grow exponentially, with solo works 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 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.
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.”
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.
McCartney III will be released December 18 on Capitol Records across digital platforms, on CD, and on LP manufactured by Third Man Pressing. Vinyl configurations will range from standard 180g to a Third Man Edition of 3000 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.