Due on November 18, "The Art Of McCartney" is a long awaited and very special project celebrating one of the most universally acclaimed songwriters of all time, Sir Paul McCartney. With backing provided by McCartney's long time band, classic tracks such as "Maybe I'm Amazed", "My Love", "The Long And Winding Road", "When I'm 64", "Let It Be", "Helter Skelter", "Eleanor Rigby", "Live And Let Die" have been recorded by some of the world's greatest artists.
The calibre of artists showing their respect to Paul's songwriting genius is truly staggering. Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, THE CURE, THE WHO's Roger Daltrey, Brian Wilson, Alice Cooper, DEF LEPPARD, Dr John, Yusuf, Barry Gibb, Jamie Cullum, KISS, Chrissie Hynde, ELO legend Jeff Lynne, and many more have recorded McCartney songs exclusively for this album.
Video footage of Cooper talking about his cover version of THE BEATLES classic "Eleanor Rigby" and the McCartney song "Smile Away" (the latter of which is featured on the limited-edition vinyl box set and deluxe box set) can be seen below.
"The Art Of McCartney" is the brainchild of Los Angeles producer, BEATLES and McCartney fanatic Ralph Sall, who has driven this project from conception to delivery. Sall met and worked alongside Paul in 2003 when they revived a song from the 1971 "Ram" sessions for a movie soundtrack. Ralph then asked Paul and his publishing company if they would support his making this album to honour him. They came back with Paul's own blessing and thumbs aloft for the project to go ahead.
Ralph became a man on a mission, first recruiting McCartney's gifted backing guitarists, Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, keyboard player Paul "Wix" Wickens, plus the larger-than-life drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. They know Paul's extensive back catalogue intimately and this is the first time they have recorded his songs with anyone else since they first started working together with Paul over 12 years ago.
Ralph then set about approaching the world's greatest performers to invite them to step forward and make their mark. This has been a labour of love, not only for Ralph but also for the artists who gave their time to be part of it. All have spoken of the importance of McCartney and his songwriting in their own careers and wanted to show their appreciation.
A key strength of "The Art Of McCartney" is the way these world-class artists have got to grips with the sheer range and quality of Paul's work. From his groundbreaking recordings with THE BEATLES, through to key moments with WINGS and his solo compositions, they are all featured on the album.
Legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson, was the first to take up the challenge. Undoubtedly he set the bar very high with his rendition of "Wanderlust" from the underrated 1982 album "Tug Of War".
There are very few artists whose own work rivals THE BEATLES. So when producer Ralph Sall approached Bob Dylan to take part, he knew it was ambitious. Dylan's choice was "Things We Said Today" — a track from THE BEATLES' soundtrack "A Hard Day's Night" – and audiences will be captivated as he growls his way through his remarkable version.
There are so many great interpretations here but look out for Willie Nelson's heartfelt "Yesterday", Roger Daltrey's frenzied version of "Helter Skelter", B.B. King's atmospheric "On The Way" and THE CURE's "Hello Goodbye". Also Smokey Robinson who makes his version of "So Bad" from Paul's "Pipes of Peace" album his own, his tender vocals taking the song in a new direction.
All aspects of Paul's peerless back catalogue have been explored from THE BEATLES to his experimental early solo work, to WINGS and his latter solo output. Lesser-known hidden classics such as "Junk" and "Every Night" are given a fresh outing and interpretation.
The lead off track from the album is THE CURE's take on THE BEATLES classic "Hello Goodbye" which is the band's first release in 6 years and also features Sir Paul's son James on keyboards. The track is available for download now for those who pre-order "The Art Of McCartney".
Whether it is THE CURE's Robert Smith, Corinne Bailey Rae, Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel or KISS, they each bring their own special talent to Paul's much-loved songs. In so doing, they have created versions that are both new and classic at the same time.
"The Art of McCartney" is the very definition of the universal appeal and timeless magic of Sir Paul McCartney's songs and songwriting.
"The Art Of McCartney" is an audiophile's dream. It is available in five beautifully packaged formats for the McCartney fan in your life:
"The Art Of McCartney" is available to pre-order now via "The Art of McCartney" online store, iTunes and Amazon.