After teasing fans with clues earlier in the week, Paul McCartney has confirmed a December 11 release date for “McCartney III,” an album intended to be in the lineage of two previous collections he recorded all by himself, 1970’s “McCartney” (his first post-Beatles solo release) and “McCartney II.”
The album marks his followup to 2018’s “Egypt Station” — a big production that had a stadium tour following close behind it. The singer said the new release came about under quarantine conditions.
“I was living lockdown life on my farm with my family and I would go to my studio every day,” McCartney said. “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.”
“McCartney III” is being described as being “mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, overdubbing his bass playing, drumming, etc. atop that foundation.”
The trigger was an unreleased track, “When Winter Comes,” that McCartney had worked on in the early ’90s, with the late George Martin as co-producer. His reworked version is the final number on the album, augmented by a couple of supplementary tracks, “Long Tailed Winter Bird,” the album opener, and “WInter Bird,” an intro to the finale.
Where the photography for “McCartney” and its 1980 sequel were done by Linda McCartney, daughter Mary McCartney is the photographer on the new release, with additional photos by nephew Sonny McCartney. Artist Ed Ruscha did the typography and cover art.
Jack White’s Third Man Records is handling the vinyl editions of the release, which will include a standard black vinyl issue, a Third Man Edition of 3,000 hand-numbered red vinyl copies, and a much more limited 333-copy edition.