Paul McCartney has announced the release of his latest solo album, McCartney III. It's the follow-up to 2018's Egypt Station, but is also the third in a trilogy of self-titled albums that kicked off with his debut solo album McCartney in 1970 and picked up again with 1980's McCartney II.
Like the previous two albums – McCartney was recorded at the singer's home in North London as the Beatles were separating, and McCartney II at his Scottish farm after Wings broke up – McCartney III was recorded in his home studio and written, produced and performed entirely by the former Beatles bassist.
“I was living lockdown life on my farm with my family and I would go to my studio every day," says McCartney. "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.”
The spur for the album's creation came when McCartney returned to When Winter Comes, a track he worked on with Beatles producer George Martin in the early 90s. He crafted a new passage for the song, giving rise to both the album's opener, Long Tailed Winter Bird, and its closer, Winter Bird/When Winter Comes.
On the album, McCartney plays a variety of instruments including a double bass once owned by Bill Black from Elvis Presley's original backing band The Blue Moon Boys, Paul's own Hofner violin bass, and a mellotron from Abbey Road Studios used by The Beatles.
McCartney III will be released on December 11 through Capitol Records.