Damon Albarn and Idris Elba among stars reworking Sir Paul tracks

Alex Green
·2-min read

Damon Albarn, Idris Elba and Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien have remixed songs from Sir Paul McCartney’s most recent album.

The former Beatle, 78, has recruited artists from the worlds of hip hop, rock and more to rework tracks from McCartney III – the third in a trilogy of homemade albums stretching back to 1970.

Beck, Blood Orange, Phoebe Bridgers, Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, Khruangbin, Massive Attack’s 3D, Anderson .Paak and St Vincent have all contributed to the record, titled McCartney III Imagined.

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Damon Albarn (Yui Mok/PA)

The first offering is out now and comes from US singer and rapper Dominic Fike who has covered The Kiss Of Venus, turning an acoustic ballad into an R&B-tinged track.

McCartney III, which was released in December, followed 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II.

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It went to number one in the UK, marking his first chart-topping album in 31 years.

The album, written, performed and produced by Sir Paul, coincided with the 50th anniversary of his first self-titled solo endeavour, which featured Maybe I’m Amazed, Every Night and The Lovely Linda.

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Idris Elba (Matt Crossick/PA)

Sir Paul previously said he had not planned to release an album in 2020 but during lockdown he started fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating more, leading to the stripped-back, self-produced solo work.

The album, recorded in Sussex, is mostly built from live takes of Sir Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, before he overdubbed his bass playing and drumming.

The process began when he returned to an unreleased track from the early 1990s, When Winter Comes, which was co-produced by Sir George Martin.

McCartney III Imagined (Capitol Records/PA)
McCartney III Imagined (Capitol Records/PA)

McCartney III Imagined will be released digitally on April 16 on Capitol Records.

Luther star Elba’s contribution to the album, a remix of Long Tailed Winter Bird, will feature on physical copies, out in summer.

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