McCartney Gets 2 Grammy Nominations For Recent Solo LP

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(Photos: © Mary McCartney)

Paul McCartney has earned two Grammy nominations for his 2020 album, McCartney III. The LP itself was nominated for Best Rock Album, facing competition from AC/DC and Foo Fighters, among others. His song “Find My Way” is up against Weezer, Kings of Leon, Mammoth WVH (Wolfgang Van Halen), and the Foo Fighters for Best Rock Song. The nominations were announced on Nov. 23, 2021. The 64th annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2022.

McCartney III became his first #1 solo album in the U.K. in 31 years. The album, recorded in the isolation of “Rockdown,” as he calls it, and released on Dec. 18,  2020, debuted on Britain’s Official Charts at #1, his first to accomplish that since 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt. The legend calls the album “an eclectic collection of spontaneous songs.”

McCartney III debuted at #2 in the U.S., behind Taylor Swift’s Evermore.

McCartney did an extensive interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, on the eve of the album’s release

At midnight on the day of the release, McCartney released the official music video for the lead track, “Find My Way.” Directed by Roman Coppola, the shoot utilized 46 cameras to capture McCartney on every instrument and from every angle, resulting in an intimate glimpse. Watch the video for the Grammy-nominated song and listen to several other songs below.

McCartney III comes decades after the first two in the series: 1970’s McCartney (which essentially announced the Beatles’ breakup) and McCartney II, which arrived ten years later in 1980. McCartney formally announced the album on October 21 after teasing it briefly.

The release has 11 songs; there are an additional four tracks on a Japanese edition. See below for the track listing.

The three albums, decades apart, are true solo efforts in that McCartney performed all the instruments himself (with occasional vocal assistance from his wife, Linda, on the first two).

Watch the video for “Find My Way”

The album comes via his deal with Capitol Records. It’s available for order on vinyl in the U.S. here and CD here.

Related: McCartney contributed vocals to Ringo Starr’s great song from 2020, “Here’s to the Nights”

Listen to the album’s leadoff track, “Long Tailed Winter Bird”

With extra time on his hands due to the pandemic, Sir Paul is rumored to have recorded as many as 25 tracks.

In keeping with McCartney & McCartney II’s photography by Linda McCartney, the 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.

From the album’s original announcement: 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. The process first sparked when Paul returned to an unreleased track from the early 90s, “When Winter Comes” co-produced by George Martin).  Paul crafted a new passage for the song, giving rise to album opener “‘Long Tailed Winter Bird”—while “When Winter Comes,”  featuring its 2020 intro, “Winter Bird,” became the new album’s grand finale.

More songs are below the links.

McCartney III Track Listing

1. “Long Tailed Winter Bird” 5:16
2. “Find My Way” 3:54
3. “Pretty Boys” 3:00
4. “Women and Wives” 2:52
5. “Lavatory Lil” 2:22
6. “Deep Deep Feeling” 8:25
7. “Slidin'” 3:23
8. “The Kiss of Venus” 3:06
9. “Seize the Day” 3:20
10. “Deep Down” 5:52
11. “Winter Bird / When Winter Comes”

Japanese Edition – Bonus Tracks
12. “Women and Wives” (studio outtake)
13. “Lavatory Lil” (studio outtake)
14. “The Kiss of Venus” (phone demo)
15. “Slidin'” (Düsseldorf jam)

Listen to “Lavatory Lil'”

Speaking about III, McCartney said,” 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 fancie  doing. I had no idea this would end up as an album.”

Listen to “Seize the Day”

McCartney hadn’t planned to release an album in 2020, but in the isolation of “Rockdown,” he found himself fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating new ones. Before long an eclectic collection of spontaneous songs would become McCartney III: a stripped, self-produced solo work marking the opening of a new decade. Built mostly from live takes of Paul on vocals & guitar/piano, overdubbing bass, drums, etc. atop this foundation.

Listen to the album’s longest track, “Deep Deep Feeling”

McCartney III is his first album since 2018’s Egypt Station. That title received an extra long teaser campaign which included many surprise club dates. The legend, who turned 78 on June 18, 2020, had a European concert tour planned for 2020. It was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Listen to “Women and Wives

Related: Our Album Rewind of 1970’s McCartney

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  1. Blue Robb
    #1 Blue Robb 18 December, 2020, 03:23

    Why did McCartney put four extra tracks on the Japanese version? Has he forgotten how the country jailed him for cannabis?

    Reply this comment
  2. John Rose
    #2 John Rose 19 December, 2020, 08:08

    You can’t release an album in Japan without bonus tracks. They claim it’s because the country is flooded with illegal imports, but I’m sure the real reason is so that they can sell their versions to completists around the world. I’m sure all the tracks will show up on a deluxe edition next year. That’s been Paul’s pattern for his last few releases.

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  3. Ray
    #3 Ray 19 December, 2020, 20:13

    I’ll probably be in the minority but I’m not impressed.

    Reply this comment
  4. Bert Ludwig
    #4 Bert Ludwig 21 December, 2020, 09:59

    His writing style went from his 1960’s great observations, 1970’s great yarns, to the late 1970’s through today his preaching political correctness, borderline communism. Paul lost his ability to paint the canvass without light. Musically Paul needs Lennon, Harrison, Starr and Martin; without them, his magic only worked a few times since, and not since the mid 1970’s.

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  5. watcher of the skies
    #5 watcher of the skies 26 December, 2020, 09:26

    Like Ray, I’m not too impressed considering Sir Paul’s legacy. I’m guessing the reason it debuted at #1 is because of all the limited edition colored vinyls which were promoted so heavily.

    Reply this comment

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