McCartney III will be the final album in a trilogy of LPs where Sir Paul plays all the parts on each song and produces the album. It follows ‘McCartney’ made 50 years ago in 1970 shortly after the Beatles split and McCartney II made in 1980.
Sir Paul, who described his lockdown as a “rockdown” in his Sussex studio, 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.”
Sir Paul, 78, hadn’t planned to release an album in 2020, but sources say in lockdown he soon found himself “fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating even more new ones”.
Like the music icon himself, Paul’s array of vintage instruments he played on the new album have a rich history, including the original double bass of Bill Black from Elvis Presley’s band, alongside Paul’s own iconic Hofner violin bass, and a mellotron from Abbey Road Studios used on Beatles recordings including Strawberry Fields Forever.
The final track on the album When Winter Comes, is a song originally made with “fifth Beatle” George Martin in the early 90s.
Martin, who worked on all the Beatles albums, died in 2016 and this track which was recently discovered by Sir Paul is thought to be the last song he will release that features his last friend on the mixing desk.
The principal photography for the new album is also a family affair and shot by Paul’s daughter Mary McCartney. She was the baby in Paul’s arms on the cover of the first album ‘McCartney’ 50 years ago. McCarney was his debut solo album in April 1970 and sold more than a million copies in the US.
The new album was first teased on Tuesday when eagle-eyed fans have spotted an animation of a dice with three dots drops on streaming service Spotify. The dice will be the album cover.
McCartney III will be released on December 11 on Capitol Records.