(Paris) Certain careers stretched over several decades are more sovereign than others: this is the case of Paul McCartney, who always knows how to restore luster to his crown, as his new album proves, at 78 years old.
McCartney III , scheduled on December 18 at Capitol, is the 18 th Beatles pillar solo album, but the third that Sir Paul was really alone, playing all the instruments (piano, guitar, bass, drums, etc) and juggling the arrangements.
This sober title therefore refers to McCartney released in 1970 and McCartney II released in 1980, albums also produced in complete autonomy.
“McCartney is one of the pioneers of the“ home-studio ”, where everything is done at home, because he knows how to play everything,” said Stan Cuesta, author of The Beatles (Éditions du Layeur) to AFP . “He paved the way for this kind of production, as Prince will do later.”
The first solo album of “Macca” had made a stir 50 years ago, because the singer-songwriter had accompanied it with a letter to the press in which he wrote that he would no longer play with the other three, whereas the separation of the Fab Four had never been laid down in black and white.
The third part in autarky mode will this time speak for its musical qualities, the living myth always taking so much pleasure, as evidenced by its attack on the piano of Women and Wives or the riffs of Lavatory Lil .
“A life of confinement”
McCartney III is the 18 th solo album McCartney.
This time, his seclusion in his Sussex lair in England owes more to constraint than to choice. “I led a life of confinement on my farm with my family and I went to my studio every day,” he explains in the notes of intent transmitted by his record company. I had to work a bit on film scores, which became the opening track, and once it was done I wondered what I was going to do next ”.
“Every day, I started recording with the instrument I had written the song with, then I gradually layered it all together, it was great fun,” he explains. It was about making music for yourself rather than music for a job. So I did things that I liked ”.
The whole is a very good surprise, as were also this year the last vintages of other septuagenarians such as Bob Dylan (79 years) or Bruce Springsteen (71 years).
“McCartney ages in a noble way by continuing to make albums, and when he falls into a musical dead end – like those he knows in the years 1980-90 – he comes out with strokes of genius, like working with Nigel Godrich , Radiohead producer, on Chaos and Creation in the Backyard in 2005, ”explains Stan Cuesta.
“No double bottom”
“What is astonishing is that he is always interested, excited by music, he continues to educate himself musically, he always changes his working methods”, remarks for AFP Sharleen Spiteri, singer of the group Texas .
This questioning also amazes Stan Cuesta, “between the electro of his project The Fireman, his foray into the classic around the oratorio or when he takes up jazz standards with Diana Krall”.
“And, beyond all that, he’s a good person,” insists Sharleen Spiteri. “When you speak with him, he asks questions about you and at home it’s natural, there is no double bottom, whereas when Mick Jagger does that, you don’t believe it for two seconds”, confirms to AFP Yves Bigot, managing director of TV5Monde, ex-rock critic and ex-director of a record company.
Hence an intact aura. “I see him from time to time, on the occasion of concerts, I am not an intimate, but he always recognizes me and when I see him, I always have the impression that he has just fallen from the poster that I had in my room ”, confides to AFP Laurent Voulzy.