‘McCartney 3, 2, 1’ is Coming to Hulu

Paul McCartney has just posted this on Instagram:

Seems the McCartney and Rick Rubin documentary series examining the former Beatles’ musical history has landed at Hulu.

It’ll be a fascinating six-part series that will launch on the streamer on July 16. News that two were working together on a documentary series first broke in December last year.

“Never before have fans had the opportunity to hear Paul McCartney share, in such expansive, celebratory detail, the experience of creating his life’s work – more than 50 years of culture-defining music,” said Craig Erwich, president, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “To be an observer as Paul and Rick Rubin deconstruct how some of the biggest hits in music history came to be is truly enlightening. It is an honor that Paul chose to return to Hulu to share this one-of-a-kind series.”

For more detailed information see Deadline (which broke the original story), New Musical Express, or Rolling Stone.

McCartney III Imagined – Out This Week

This week we get to hear what McCartney III Imagined sounds like in full – at least on digital services. The physical mediums for this one aren’t coming until July….

There’s already been a bit of shock from some welded-on McCartney followers about the three tracks previewed from the album so far. They are a re-interpretation of ‘The Kiss of Venus’ by Dominic Fike; ‘Find My Way’ – featuring Beck; and a remix of ‘Slidin” by Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien.

Stand by for quite a few more surprises.

It’s becoming fairly obvious we should all keep an open mind about what else might be in store because, based on what we’ve heard so far, some of it is going to be “out there” and out of the comfort zones of many fans. And that’s a good thing because it means these songs will be heard and appreciated by a far wider (and younger) audience than would have been the case if this remained just a McCartney-only release.

It’s clear that Paul McCartney and MPL sent out the raw elements of his songs to an eclectic and interesting bunch of musos and told them to do with them what they will.

If you want a contemporaneous example of a similar approach then look no further than Crowded House. They’ve got a new album coming in June and have released a single in the lead-up called ‘To The Island’. Check it out below in its original form:

Then have a listen to this:

Just like McCartney has done, Crowded House invited a third party (in this case Kevin Parker from Tame Impala) to do a remix. Here’s what Neil Finn said about it in an email to fans:

With all the world up-ended and nothing in its right place, we became curious to hear how our favourite contemporary musicians and record makers might re-imagine a Crowded House song. I emailed our version of ‘To The Island’ to Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) with an invitation to take it apart and reassemble in his own unique way. Happily, he really liked the song and it was an absolute delight to hear what he made from it, an exotic fantasy I would call it.

I think you’ll agree that the end result is very different – and in some ways quite confronting. But it means that Crowded House (a legacy band still making great new music) will also be heard by a much wider audience.

Strap in because McCartney III Imagined is going to be ‘To The Island’ writ large.

Personally, we’re excited to hear it.

RAM Gets 50th Anniversary Half Speed Master

In March last year we got news that there was to be a 50th anniversary Half Speed Master edition of Paul McCartney’s first solo outing – which of course was simply called McCartney.

This year it’s the turn of RAM, Paul and Linda’s great LP from 1971.

The new RAM vinyl will be very limited (reportedly just 2000 copies for the UK) and it will only be available via independent stores and the usual McCartney/Universal channels.

The RAM Half Speed Master will be released on May 14, so if you want a copy you’d better get your skates on.

Paul McCartney – McCartney III Imagined

After more dice being mailed out to certain fans and a short social media teaser campaign, it’s just been officially announced that there’s to be an album of McCartney III covers and remixes – called McCartney III Imagined.

The details are here and it looks to be a REALLY eclectic and inventive choice of artists:

It’s a 2LP set – and the coloured vinyl whirlwind begins all over again……

At the official McCartney store you can order a limited edition exclusive splatter vinyl, and exclusive cover art:

And of course plain old black:

As far as we know right now there’ll also be an exclusive limited edition gold vinyl version available through Indie stores:Plus a green Spotify exclusive version (available through the official McCartney store):Newbury Comics in the US has weighed in again, this time with red vinyl:

Barnes and Noble (in the US) has added blue to the rainbow:

While Target has announced a silver vinyl exclusive with “alternate artwork” enclosed:

Meanwhile, back over at the McCartney Store (only in the US) they now have a limited edition pink vinyl available, 2500 copies only:

And the official store in the US has also added a dark green vinyl variant. It comes in the same unique cover as the splatter and pink. This green is darker than the Spoitfy vinyl, and there are only 2000 copies available apparently:

McCartney iii Imagined 2There’ll be a single CD too:

And Target stores (US only) will have the CD “with alternate artwork enclosed”:The first YouTube video has also hit. It is Dominic Fike’s version of ‘The Kiss of Venus’. Interesting!

So, what is your take on it? Let us know in the comments below.

Some sites are saying the digital release is April 16. Looks like physical media won’t ship until July 23 though, which is a long way off.

Keep an eye on our site for more details (and vinyl colour variations) as they emerge!

Inspiration for McCartney’s ‘The Kiss of Venus’

Speaking of books, here’s the little one that Paul McCartney referenced as part of the inspiration for his song ‘The Kiss of Venus’, found on the recently-released McCartney III.

“I had a cool little book Jools Holland’s wife had given me, kind of an astrology book, all about the planets and the movements and the fantastic synchronicity of it all. A fascinating book, actually, when the planets go through all the little things, if you look at a graph, as it were, of them all, it like makes a lotus. It’s trippy. There was some great little phrases – “the kiss of Venus” was one of them. So I was loving that book and I was making up a song about that, but that was an instance of forcing myself to write. And I felt good after it. I thought, ‘Yeah that’s a pretty good little song.’ I haven’t had time to record it, but I will.”

It is indeed a lovely little paperback by John Martineau called A Little Book of Coincidence in the Solar System, which examines geometry and harmony in the universe and yes, there is a chapter entitled The Kiss of Venus.

Martineau is the publisher and editor of the award-winning Wooden Books pocket liberal arts series, which has been translated into 20 languages worldwide.

The “kiss” of Venus with the Earth occurs every 584 days and, over an eight year period (exactly!), that movement of the heavenly body as it moves around the Earth draws a beautiful geometric pattern.

Meanwhile, the song features Paul on vocals and guitar, and there’s a neat little harpsichord solo included as well:

A demo “phone” version of ‘The Kiss of Venus’ is one of the four bonus tracks on the Japanese CD edition of McCartney III. It’s can also be found as a single bonus track (Track 12) on one of the four “budget” CD versions of the album released in the UK and in the US:

I wonder if we’ll learn anything more about the origins of ‘The Kiss of Venus’ in McCartney’s forthcoming The Lyrics book?

McCartney – ‘The Lyrics’ Book

Does this 78 year-old ever stop?

The latest content announced from the ever-prolific Paul McCartney is to be a comprehensive, two-volume book examining the lyrics to 154 of his songs dating back to 1956 and progressing to the present day. And it really looks like is going to be something special.

Simply called The Lyrics, the 960 pages will feature never-before seen photographs, letters, drafts, and more.

The Lyrics is edited by the Irish Pulitzer Prize–winning author and poet Paul Muldoon, who also penned the introduction. It is based on conversations with McCartney about his songs and his songwriting craft, conducted over a five year period.

“These commentaries are as close to an autobiography as we may ever come,” Muldoon said in press materials. “His insights into his own artistic process confirm a notion at which we had but guessed—that Paul McCartney is a major literary figure who draws upon, and extends, the long tradition of poetry in English.”

Rather than a traditional autobiography, the book will cover the inspiration behind the lyrics and McCartney’s reflections on them. It won’t be in chronological order, but alphabetical.

The book itself is two hardcover volumes that slide into an outer slipcase. The volumes will not be available separately and each one is 480 pages in length. The outer slipcase of the UK edition features the same photograph, taken by Paul’s brother Mike, that was used as the cover to McCartney’s 2005 album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.The US edition appears to have a different, plain green outer slipcase, and a different spine:

The Lyrics will be published on November 2.

Lennon ‘Gimme Some Truth’ – Target Coloured Vinyl

Looks like the Lennon camp is belatedly getting in on the coloured vinyl craze – but nothing as lavish/extensive/crazy as the McCartney team (see * links and **image below).

There’s going to be an exclusive US Target store Opaque Blue release for the recent Gimme Some Truth 2 LP set:This Gimme Some Truth double gatefold, previously only available on good old black vinyl, will hit Target stores in the United States on February 19, 2021.

* To view the many, many iterations of Paul McCartney’s just-released McCartney III, check out the following links: The Many Different Versions Emerge, There’ll Be A Cassette, More McCartney III Variations, Orange Vinyl, and Yellow….and More.

**And here’s the latest graphical representation of all the McCartney III variations presently out there [click on the image to enlarge]:

McCartney and Rick Rubin

Now this actually looks interesting.

Paul McCartney can be difficult to interview and get new and deeper insights from. He’s been interviewed and the subject of so many on-screen studies of his craft that he almost automatically falls back on a tried-and-true set of reactions and answers – and we (the audience) end up learning nothing new.

But chuck in a personality like veteran producer Rick Rubin – in what looks to be an in-depth, six-part examination of some of the greatest songs that McCartney has ever been involved with – and we might just have a classic on our hands.

McCartney has just teased on his website and YouTube channel “Paul McCartney x Rick Rubin. A Forthcoming Documentary Event. Coming Soon”

And it looks good:

The pairing of the two has been known about for some time, but there are scant other details as yet – not even where or when it will be shown. Rumour is it’ll be either Netflix or Apple TV+. Hence the interest in this 1’36 clip.

Deadline says the project is still untitled but it’s a six-parter, and that it marks “….the first time ever that the original masters have left Abbey Road”.

That claim is a little questionable as in 1982 the original master tapes of all 14 Beatle studio stereo albums left the EMI vaults at the Abbey Road Studios and were couriered to the Mobile Fidelity offices in California to produce this box set:

Suffice it to say, if that’s what’s happened again for this new doco, the original master tapes leaving the building nowadays is a very, VERY rare thing. A more likely scenario is that they’re using a digital copy.

Either way, it certainly looks from the footage released that Rubin and McCartney are listening to original recordings, isolating various tracks on the mixing desk, and discussing in detail the making of classics like ‘Lovely Rita’, ‘Come Together’ and ‘Live and Let Die’. This will be fascinating because the legendary producer knows his stuff and will hopefully push for detail and stories that haven’t ever been told before. Fingers crossed.

New Ringo Starr EP Coming

Universal Music has announced overnight pre-orders for a new 5-song EP from Ringo Starr called Zoom In, available on March 19, 2021.

At the launch of last year’s What’s My Name LP (his 20th solo effort), Ringo intimated he was done with putting out full albums of songs and in future would turn to the more limited tracklists of the EP, or ‘extended play’. He’d just issue an EP here and there when he felt he had enough decent material to justify it.

Looks like that wish is coming true because this next release is definitely being marketed as an EP.

Zoom In will be issued on traditional black vinyl:

The now de rigueur coloured vinyl:

And of course on CD and digital download.

Zoom In tracklist:
1. Zoom in, Zoom Out
2. Here’s to the Nights
3. Waiting for the Tide to Turn
4. Not Enough Love in the World
5. Teach Me to Tango

To mark the occasion, Ringo has today released Track 2 from the EP, ‘Here’s To The Nights’. It’s an all-star affair with vocal contributions from Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eric Burton (Black Pumas), Sheryl Crow, Finneas, Dave Grohl, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny Lewis, Steve Lukather, Chris Stapleton and Yola:

UPDATE: And here’s the official video for ‘Here’s To The Nights’:

McCartney III – Yellow Vinyl….and More [UPDATE]

Since we last posted about the ever-growing McCartney III virtual rainbow of coloured vinyl on offer to pre-order, yet another two colour options have surfaced!

A yellow LP and a violet LP have now been added to the ten other colours already out there.

Late last week Paul McCartney used Facebook to send out this message:

Text Paul +1 (212) 313-9547 There may be something special coming your way soon…

[​IMG][​IMG]

Fans who responded are today receiving texts back with a link to the official McCartney US store selling the latest in the never-ending, limited edition coloured vinyl craze surrounding this yet-to-be-released album. Seems that violet coloured heart emoji was a hint about the latest coloured vinyl:The site says this is limited to 3000 copies. No sign yet of it being offered in the UK or other territories.

Also limited to 3000 copies in the US, but being offered on the Canadian Music Vaultz site and the UK Paul McCartney Official Store as well, McCartney’s new album can also be had in opaque yellow vinyl:

Interestingly, on the US store site it says that this yellow vinyl LP is only available for shipping to US addresses.

By our count that makes no fewer than 12 different vinyl colours……

Also since we last posted there’s been news of a Japanese SHM-CD release of McCartney III that contains four “Japan bonus tracks” on the one disc. There’s speculation that these four bonus tracks are the same four tracks that are only available individually on four separate CDs in other markets (although that is yet to be confirmed).

The Japanese SHM-CD Special Edition comes in a jacket with a red dice on the cover:And, for a limited time, it comes with an A4 sized 2021 calendar:

Meanwhile, back at campaign headquarters, the people doing the marketing for the worldwide release of McCartney III have put us on a Twitter and Facebook “countdown” called The Twelve Days of Paul.

This is an international series of events leading up to the album’s official launch date on December 18.

For each of the twelve days, in a different city around the world, a big white wall is having a mural applied to it depicting the sheet music from a song from McCartney III.

The first went up in London, then came Los Angeles, followed by Mexico City, and today Sydney Australia.

Online you can follow along with each city depicted as a white dice on a map and, as the campaign is rolled out (no pun intended), that dice turns red. Check out the map for a sped-up video of the sheet music graphic being applied.

On mobile devices the map is replaced by a list of the cities involved in #12DaysOfPaul:

http://PaulMcCartney.com/12DaysOfPaul
@AmazonMusicUK
London – McCARTNEY III
Los Angeles – McCARTNEY III
Mexico City – McCARTNEY III
Sydney – McCARTNEY III
Toronto – McCARTNEY III
Berlin – McCARTNEY III
New York City – McCARTNEY III
Tokyo – McCARTNEY III
Chicago – McCARTNEY III
Paris – McCARTNEY III
Rio – McCARTNEY III
Liverpool – McCARTNEY III

(Being based in Australia we kind of think the Sydney offering looks a bit small compared to the other cities so far!)

There also seems to be a cover version campaign associated with The Twelve Days of Paul campaign whereby relatively well-known local musicians in each place record a cover version of the song for their city.

In London it was Blossoms doing a pretty cool version of the LP opener ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird‘. Oddly there didn’t seem to be anyone doing a version of ‘Find My Way’ (the song for LA), but in Mexico City the singer Lasso covered ‘Pretty Boys‘. (Lasso is actually a Venuzuelan singer who moved to Mexico in 2015 to expand his audience and musical career. Check out his website).

Amatuer singers and bands are also being encouraged to upload their versions of the new songs too.

Bring on release day! (Can there possibly be any more teasers or vinyl colour variations still in the woodworks?)