Sunday, 11 April 2021


Paul McCartney gathers a collection of artists to rework his most recent album McCartney III on McCartney III Imagined.

Paul McCartney is back with a reimagining of his last album.

In 1970, Paul McCartney released his self-titled debut post-Beatles release. 

McCartney II followed in 1980 and in 2020 came McCartney III. III was recorded during the first round of COVID-19 pandemic “rockdown.” 

The album saw Paul score his first UK #1 in 31 years.

Now comes McCartney III Imagined, featuring a cast of top-tier players putting their own spins on their fave tracks off the record.


The cast of characters invited to cover/reinterpret the album’s material is quite eclectic.

Everyone from Beck and St. Vincent to Khruangbin and AndersonPaak drop their takes on certain tracks. 

Actor Idris Elba even drops in to remix Long Tailed Winter Bird on the physical copies of the release.

Naturally, this isn’t the first time that a tune by McCartney has been recorded or reworked by another musician. 

At any given time, the likelihood of someone performing one of his songs somewhere on the planet is pretty high.


Here are five things to know about the record:

1: Kiss of Venus. Rapper Dominic Fike takes a bare acoustic song that sounds like it could have been on the White Album and upcycles it into a bouncy playful pop dittie that bumps right along on a great warped guitar riff and periodically blows up into full-blown R&B vamp before going a tad weird at the end.

2. Pretty Boys. What happens when Khruangbin gets its hands on this tune is that Paul suddenly sounds like Screamadelica-era Primal Scream. From the echoing dub groove to the psychedelic treatment of the voices, this is a remix that is likely to get a remix to extend it further into space.

3: Seize the Day. Phoebe Bridgers tackles this tune in a straight-ahead reading. It turns out to be a pretty solid pop song too, complete with some nice layered chorus harmony breaks. Plus, that background guitar is ever so George Harrison in its liquid grooves.

4: Long Tailed Winter Bird. The only tune on the set to get two versions, the one on the non-physical album is handled by Damon Albarn. True to form, Albarn adds in quirky keys, moves the bass upfront and makes it more rubbery and drapes a bit of gloom over what is one of the more upbeat songs on the original album. Is that backwards guitar at the end?

5: When Winter Comes. AndersonPaak clearly liked the vibe of the original’s pastoral lyric and swinging folk. He keeps all of that intact while also picking up the pace and adding in some sweet keyboards and nice, sparse kit drums.

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