Write Now: ‘McCartney III’ Made During ‘Rockdown’

FILE - In this July 26, 2017 file photo, Paul McCartney performs on the One on One Tour at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill. Commuters with tickets to ride out of New York's Grand Central Station heard a special serenade on Friday evening, Sept. 7, 2018, with McCartney taking over a corner of the majestic hub for a concert. It was a stunt to promote a new album called "Egypt Station." (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)

At first thought, I did not want write about him, but the name of his release — “McCartney III” — intrigued me.

Then I had a rethink, some time to re-evaluate my position.

I’m not a big fan of music reviews, so this is more of my commentary.

I haven’t really bought any new music since probably 2013. And the music ironically was by Paul McCartney. It was his “New” release.

So this situation is similar. McCartney is one of my favorite musicians, and was my favorite member of The Beatles. As a bass player, he is one of the best that has ever played the instrument. As a songwriter, few have matched his abilities.

And at 78, he keeps writing and playing.

On “McCartney III” he played all of the instruments, and wrote and produced all of the songs. If you watch YouTube, then chances are you have had access to see some videos about McCartney’s new release. The teaser trailer that ran did exactly what it was supposed to. It enticed me, but since I was already fan, I was hooked.

Before its release, I had seen and listened to a lot of hype surrounding this new release. Most of it good. And upon release, the floodgates opened. I tried getting a digital copy from iTunes, but it took me three days before the servers were free so I could download a copy. That told me a lot of fans, new and old, were anticipating his release.

For me, “McCartney III” is a back-to-basics approach to his songwriting. It’s all there: his catchy melodies, his great musicianship, his creativity, and his presentation of his songs.

He told CBS “Sunday Morning” correspondent Seth Doane that during the pandemic people have been cleaning out their closets and that’s what McCartney did. “I just started cleaning out my cupboards,” McCartney said. Then he described the process which includes saving many demos to his iPhone. “Wait a minute. What was that song last year that I started, but never got to finish. Let’s have a look at that. I should finish this.”

McCartney commented to Doane that he wrote many of the songs during lockdown or “Rockdown” as he referred to it, being quarantined with his daughter Mary and four of his eight grandchildren at his farm and studio in England. Incidentally, his daughter also took the cover photo for “McCartney III”.

“It’s not like working with a band,” McCartney told Doane. “I know what I want to hear. I don’t even have to tell anyone.” The whole interview can be seen at cbs.com/shows/cbs-sunday-morning.

McCartney is one of the reasons I love music. It seems fitting that “McCartney III” should be released now since “McCartney” was released in 1970 and “McCartney II” was released in 1980.



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