New Stripped Back Self-Produced Solo Work in the Tradition of 1970's McCartney and 1980's McCartney II!
50 years following the release of his self-titled first solo album McCartney, featuring Paul McCartney playing every instrument and writing and recording every song, Macca delivers McCartney III. Paul hadn't planned to release an album in 2020, but in the isolation of "Rockdown," 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 in 2020 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. 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.
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."
In keeping with McCartney and McCartney II's photography by Linda McCartney, the 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. 180g vinyl LP housed in single-pocket gatefold packaging with printed inner sleeve.