Paul McCartney: ‘McCartney III’ Album Out Friday 12/18; Six-Part Documentary with Rick Rubin Coming in 2021 (Preview)

paul mccartney rick rubin trailer

Sir Paul McCartney has been quite busy these past few months, that’s for sure.

Macca is one of the many icons appearing on “Here’s to the Nights,” a new song from Ringo Starr (penned by Diane Warren) shared this week. He’s also on the verge of releasing McCartney III, his anticipated new studio album, this Friday, Dec. 18.

McCartney III follows in the footsteps of his two previous self-titled albums (from 1970 and 1980, respectively), and features music entirely written, performed and produced on his own, making this a fully “hands-on” creative experience from the Beatles legend.

Click here to pre-order McCartney III on CD, on sale from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order McCartney III on LP, on sale from our Rock Cellar Store

As if that wasn’t enough activity, he also has a special documentary event set for release in 2021, involving super-producer Rick Rubin.

https://twitter.com/PaulMcCartney/status/1339284161484320768

A trailer for the “documentary event” was shared on Wednesday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTSe5hgB04s

Deadline reports that this will be a six-part documentary series “that will amount to a behind-the-scenes magical mystery tour of McCartney’s unbelievable musical journey.”

McCartney’s website says “keep your eyes peeled in 2021 for more information.”

From the looks of that trailer, the documentary ought to be another excellent addition to McCartney’s canon. Take this quote about the music he and Ringo, John and George made with the Beatles, for example:

“We were writing songs that were memorable, not ’cause we wanted them to be memorable, but because we had to remember them!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMtFqPRdj7o

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.

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.

By Rock Cellar Magazine Staff

Staff writer from Rock Cellar Magazine