Paul McCartney‘s songwriting is legendary, but the inspiration for those compositions was never widely known. That’s about to change in February, when the former Beatle releases his newest album, Kisses on the Bottom, one that takes the bassist in new musical directions while keeping an eye on the past.
Kisses on the Bottom is focused on jazz standards, or as McCartney puts it, “the songs which inspired the songs”. These are the songs that a young McCartney heard his father playing on piano growing up. McCartney admits this is an album he’s thought of for more than 20 years.
“In the end it was ‘Look, if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it’,” he says.
McCartney enlisted the help of Diana Krall and her band for the album, due out on February 7, 2012. Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder also make appearances on the album, which is produced by Tommy LiPuma, who has worked with many jazz notables including Miles Davis, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Claudine Longet, the Yellowjackets, George Benson and others.
McCartney said the standards were “the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on” and that he wants them to receive the recognition they deserve.
“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,” McCartney 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.”
McCartney has penned two original compositions to be included in the release.
On working with Krall and company, McCartney said, “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.”
The album was recorded throughout 2011 in New York, London and Los Angeles. It is currently available for pre-order.
Kisses on the Bottom Track List:
- I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
- Home [When Shadows Fall]
- It’s Only A Paper Moon
- More I Cannot Wish You
- The Glory Of Love
- We Three [My Echo, My Shadow And Me]
- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
- My Valentine
- My Very Good Friend The Milkman
- Bye Bye Blackbird
- Get Yourself Another Fool
- The Inch Worm
- Only Our Hearts