On February 7, Paul McCartney will be releasing a brand new album of standards he grew up listening to in his childhood—plus two brand new McCartney compositions. The album is called ‘Kisses on the Bottom‘ and will be released on Hear Music/Concord Records.
The album was recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, New York and London throughout 2011. It also features guest musicians Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder, respectively, on the original compositions ‘My Valentine’ and ‘Only Our Hearts’.
[You can listen to Paul’s new song, My Valentine, at this link on Soundcloud.com. Paul wrote the song for his new bride, Nancy Shevell, and the song was played for the first dance at their wedding on October 9, 2011].
This is the album McCartney has been thinking about making for more than 20 years – and probably the last thing his fans are expecting. “In the end it was ‘Look, if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it,” he says.
In short, Paul believes it is about time “the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on” received the recognition they deserve. Moreover, the record also features a couple of new original McCartney compositions in the spirit of those classics.
“When I kind of got into songwriting, I realized how well structured these songs were and I think I took a lot of my lessons from them,” Paul explains. “I always thought artists like Fred Astaire were very cool. Writers like Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, all of those guys – I just thought the songs were magical. And then, as I got to be a songwriter I thought it’s beautiful, the way they made those songs.”
Paul enlisted the help of of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band—who delivered ultra-high quality musicianship and were completely in tune with Paul’s restraint and feel for the music. In the studio, the recording of this album was also a new challenge for Paul who, for the first time ever, performed exclusively in the vocal booth without no instrument – no guitar, no bass, no piano – which led to a vocal performance like no other in his career.
He adds, “It was very spontaneous, kind of organic, which then reminded me of the way we’d work with The Beatles. We’d bring a song in, kick it around, when we found a way to do it we’d say ‘Okay, let’s do a take now’ and by the time everyone kind of had an idea of what they were doing, we’d learnt the song. So that’s what we did, we did the take live in the studio.”
“It was important for me to keep away from the more obvious song choices so, many of the classic standards will be unfamiliar to some people. I hope they are in for a pleasant surprise.”
[Source: Official Press Release]