Out Now: Paul McCartney Adds to His Legacy with Strong New Album ‘McCartney III’ (Listen/Buy)

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Sir Paul McCartney chose the final weeks of 2020 to release his new album … and now, finally, McCartney III is here. The record, which follows in the footsteps of 1970’s McCartney LP and 1980’s McCartney II, and is his first release since 2018’s Egypt Station, features music entirely written, performed and produced by “Macca,” making this a fully “hands-on” creative experience from the Beatles legend.

In the build-up to the record’s release, Sir Paul referred to the album as coming from “rockdown,” referring to being relegated to isolation during much of 2020, like the rest of us, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Click here to pick up McCartney III on CD, on sale from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up McCartney III on LP, on sale from our Rock Cellar Store

There wasn’t a standard pre-release single or music video ahead of McCartney III. There was, though, an official album trailer:

Everything else, though, was just dropped at once, right now, making it all a rather exhilarating experience, honestly. Here’s a new music video for “Find My Way,” shared late Thursday evening:

Here’s a special video with McCartney and Chris Rock:

Paul checked in with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show about all things McCartney III:

Said Sir Paul in a statement about the album:

“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.”

Just as Linda McCartney famously shot the photographs for McCartney and McCartney IIthe 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.

There’s also a six-part documentary event featuring McCartney and super producer Rick Rubin coming in early 2021. It was previewed this week:

More on the album and how it came about:

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. 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.

As the years roll on, times change … but Sir Paul McCartney just keeps doing his thing, in his own way, and McCartney III is one of the stronger collections of music he’s released in quite some time.

Stream it below, via Spotify.

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