Paul McCartney, musical nobility obliges

Some 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 evidenced by his new album, at 78 years old.

“McCartney III”, scheduled for December 18 at Capitol, is the Beatles mainstay’s 18th solo opus, but the third that Sir Paul has really done on his own, playing all instruments (piano, guitar, bass, drums, etc.). ) and juggling the arrangements.

This sober title therefore refers to “McCartney” published 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,” Stan Cuesta, author of “The Beatles” (Layeur editions), told AFP. “He paved the way for this kind of production, as Prince will do later.”

The first solo album of “Macca” had caused 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”

This time, his seclusion in his Sussex lair in England owes more to coercion than choice. “I led a life of confinement on my farm with my family and went to my studio every day,” he explains in the notes of intent from his record company. I had to work on some film music a bit, which became the opening track and when it was finished I wondered what I was going to do next. ”

“Every day I started recording with the instrument I had written the song with, and then gradually layered it all together, it was a lot of fun,” he explains. It was about making music for yourself rather than music for a job. So I did things that I loved. “

The whole is a very good surprise, as were also the latest vintages this year from other 70-year-olds like Bob Dylan (79 years old) or Bruce Springsteen (71 years old).

“McCartney ages in a noble way by continuing to make albums, and when he falls into a musical dead end – like the ones he knows in the years 1980-90 – he comes out with strokes of genius, like working with Nigel Godrich. , producer of Radiohead, on “Chaos and creation in the backyard” in 2005 “, dissects 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 classical music around the oratorio or when he takes up jazz standards with Diana Krall”.

“And, beyond all that, he’s a good person,” Sharleen Spiteri insists. “When you talk to him, he asks questions about you and with him it’s natural, there is no double-bottom, whereas when Mick Jagger does that, you don’t believe it for two seconds”, confirms with 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 feel that he has just fallen from the poster that I had in my room ”, confides to AFP Laurent Voulzy.

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