According to Rolling Stone, Sir Paul McCartney has been hard at work on a new album, having spent the last year-plus in the studio with a collection of big-name producers, including Mark Ronson, Paul Epworth of Adele fame, and Giles Martin, the son of classic Beatles producer George Martin.
Most recently, McCartney enlisted the talents of producer Ethan Johns, the son of Glyn Johns (who worked with McCartney’s Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who, among others). Johns is no slouch though, having produced Ryan Adams’ Heartbreak, Gold, and 29, as well as Laura Marling’s last three records, The Vaccines Come of Age, and Kings of Leons’ still-awesome first two albums. It was his work on those KoL releases that led to an early 2012 call from Macca.
“I got a call saying, ‘Would you like to go into the studio with Paul?’” the English producer told Rolling Stone. “And of course I said, ‘I would love to!’
The two spent a “very low-key” session at London’s AIR Studios, where they quickly cut an analog tape track called “Hosannah”. “He walked in with this incredible song,” Johns said of that first meeting. “We threw up a couple of microphones and within four hours, we had this great track. I think we did an edit between the first two takes. It had an incredible feel – a really evocative piece of music, a very interesting lyric, and the performance was great. Then we started to experiment with it, and I put a bunch of psychedelic strangeness on it. You have fun. ‘Oh, try this! Do that!’ It’s just very inspiring to be around.”
Later, the pair entered the famed Abbey Road Studios, where they would lay down four tracks over nearly a month together. Recording straight to tape, McCartney handled guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, while Johns contributed to guitar, drums, and keys himself. Johns said the experience of working with the living legend in the equally legendary studios was “revelatory.”
“He plugged in his bass, I put a microphone in front of it, walked upstairs into the control room, pushed the fader up, and [that sound] came out of the speakers immediately,” Johns said. “I didn’t have to do anything! It was a pretty major light bulb for me. People get so fixated on the equipment and the gear, and those things are important – but ultimately, the bass sound on Revolver is Paul. Paul could be playing anything and he will get that sound.”
McCartney’s as-yet-untitled 16th solo LP is expected to be released this fall. Stay tuned for more.