The glory days of Beatlemania may have taken place over 50 years ago, yet part of the reason they continue to resonate so much into the 21st Century is that Paul McCartney remains ever-present, engaging in concert tour after concert tour all around the world, and periodically releasing albums of new material. Case in point, Egypt Station, his 17th solo album since the Fab Four disbanded in 1970, which has debuted in the Number 1 slot on the Billboard charts. It’s actually Paul’s first time since 1982’s Tug of War, selling 153,000 copies, and it also represents the first time in his solo career that he debuted at number one as opposed to reaching that position after an album’s release.
Part of his continuing success must certainly have to do with his intent to stay as tapped into the current music scene as possible, whether that means working with younger producers rather than music veterans, or finding himself collaborating with the likes of Kanye West and Rihanna. It’s actually something he was asked about by DIYMag.com.
“You know what it is?” he responded about working with new collaborators, “It’s ‘cause I get asked. I don’t actually plan too much of this stuff, but for instance with Kanye, my manager just rang me up and said, ‘Kanye’s interested in working with you’. So what would you do? I went, OK great! I didn’t know what we were gonna do or how it was gonna work, so I just took my guitar along and let him lead the dance. We ended up just talking a lot. I played a few little things and one of them ended up as ‘FourFiveSeconds’ with Rihanna. It’s more a question of me feeling lucky that these people are interested [in working with me] and think that I can bring something to it. For me, I feel great. I like diversity.” Well, it’s been working out great for the 76-year-old.
One of the things that tends to happen with the release of a new album is that Paul offers up a track-by-track breakdown of what went into the conception of each of the songs. What follows is his personal guide to the music of Egypt Station — scroll down to read his comments!