was born in Liverpool on June 18, 1942. He was raised in the city and educated at the Liverpool Institute.Having changed the world of music forever with The Beatles, McCartney has continued to push boundaries for over 40 years as a solo artist, member of Wings, Brit award-winning classical composer, half of the experimental project The Fireman, and composer for the New York City Ballet with last year’s Ocean’s Kingdom. His newest adventure is Kisses On The Bottom (out February 7 on Hear Music/Concord), a collection of standards beloved to Paul since childhood as well as two new McCartney compositions ‘My Valentine’ and ‘Only Our Hearts.’ Created with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band—as well as guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder—Kisses On The Bottom is the first record in McCartney’s historic oeuvre to feature him almost exclusively on vocals. With the exception of a bit of acoustic guitar on two tracks, Paul’s sole instrument on Kisses On The Bottom is that unmistakable voice at its most intimate and unadorned.
Kisses On The Bottom is obviously a work born of intense inspiration and affection—and possibly most important of all fun. This is certainly reflected in the album’s title, which confused more than a few Macca obsessives (with many fixating on an anatomical interpretation!), but actually quotes from the album’s opener ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter’. Originally made a big hit by Fats Waller in 1935, the song opens with the lines ‘I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter and make believe it came from you. I’m gonna write words oh so sweet. They’re gonna knock me off of my feet. A lot of kisses on the bottom, I’ll be glad I got ‘em’.
Kisses’ heartfelt interpretations of these classics—many of which were introduced to a young Paul by his father on piano--were recorded along with its two McCartney originals at the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, and in New York and London over the course of 2011. The album also features stellar guest turns from Eric Clapton (on ‘My Valentine’ and ‘Get Yourself Another Fool’) and Stevie Wonder (‘Only Our Hearts’) and suitably classy cover art featuring a portrait of Paul shot by his daughter Mary McCartney worked into a concept by Jonathan Schofield (Visual Director at Stella McCartney) and design by Matthew Cooper (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, etc.).
That Kisses’ song choices are equally reverent and adventurous should come as no surprise: Since writing his first song at the age of 14, McCartney has always followed his own unique muse while changing the course of musical history. It’s borderline ludicrous to attempt to describe the past, present and future impact of The Beatles and their legendary albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (a/k/a The White Album), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be—so suffice to say that The Beatles’ 1 compilation was the biggest selling album of the first new millennial decade of 2000-2010.
Paul’s output through the ‘70s to the present has been one of unflagging energy and influence, debuting as a solo artist with 1970’s timeless McCartney followed by 1971’s rustic classic RAM by Paul and Linda McCartney, then with Wings efforts including the currently Grammy-nominated Band On The Run, Venus and Mars, Wings at The Speed Of Sound and London Town, and following that as a solo artist again, with highlights including the ahead-of-its-time 1980 reinvention McCartney II, 1982’s Tug Of War, 1989’s Flowers In The Dirt, 1997’s Flaming Pie, 2005’s Chaos And Creation In The Backyard and 2007’s Memory Almost Full. In 2008, The Fireman, his collaborative project with revered producer Youth, released Electric Arguments, which generated rave reviews, yielded a live favorite of the current McCartney set list in ‘Sing The Changes,’ and topped the Billboard Independent Album Charts.
Paul McCartney is also an accomplished classical composer, with works ranging from last year’s aforementioned Ocean’s Kingdom score to 1991’s Liverpool Oratorio, 1997’s Standing Stone, 1999’s Working Classical, and 2006’s Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart), which took Best Album honors at the 2007 Classical Brit Awards.
A 14-time Grammy winner and recipient of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards, McCartney’s list of accolades reads like no other: 2012 will see Paul adding MusiCares Person of the Year to this unrivalled list, the award recognizing both his incomparable creative achievements and his lifelong commitment to charitable work, which includes decades’ worth of philanthropic activities for PETA, LIPA, One Voice, The Vegetarian Society, Nordoff Robins and Adopt-A-Mine-Field—not to mention his participation in historic benefit concerts including Live Aid in 1985, The Concert for New York City in 2001, and Live 8 in 2005.
In 2010, Paul made two visits to the White House, receiving singular honors on each trip. In June he performed in front of President Barack Obama and his family while becoming the first-ever British recipient of the prestigious Gershwin Prize For Popular Song. Paul returned to the White House in December (where even the President joked about Paul becoming a regular) to receive a Kennedy Center Honor.
McCartney’s many other citations have included the 2008 Brit award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, an honorary doctorate of music from Yale University, his 1999 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and of course being knighted in in 1996 by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.
With a reputation for live performance that rivals his songwriting prowess, Paul McCartney has spent much of the last several years performing sold out concerts to literally millions of people the world over to universal rave reviews. Standouts have included 2003’s performance to over half a million people outside the Coliseum in Rome and Paul’s first show in Red Square, Moscow, his 2005 wake-up set for the crew of the International Space Station, and a 2008 punctuated by his Liverpool Sound concert, the Ukraine’s largest ever outdoor music event in Kiev with over 400,000 in attendance, a performance celebrating Quebec’s 400th anniversary that drew 300,000 people to the city’s national park, The Plains Of Abraham, and the Friendship First concert in Tel Aviv--Paul’s first ever visit to Israel.
Paul jumped right into 2009 by teaming up with Dave Grohl to perform ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ at the Grammys. Kicking things up a notch that April, Paul performed in New York at the David Lynch Foundation’s benefit concert, Change Begins Within (where he was joined on stage by Ringo Starr for a special finale), turned in a stunning first ever US festival appearance at the Coachella Festival and opened The New Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, a gig which sold out at a record rate of 600 tickets per second! That July, Paul would perform his first ever concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia--the mayor of the city describing the performance on the Halifax Common as the largest and most exciting concert in its 260-year history.
Paul then embarked on the Summer Live ’09 tour, which commenced with the inaugural run of shows at New York’s Citi Field Stadium--the site of the former Shea Stadium where The Beatles made history with the 1965 concert that set the precedent for the modern day stadium rock show. The New York shows were preceded by Paul’s surprise Late Show with David Letterman performance on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater (inside which The Beatles made TV history decades ago) that drew throngs packing Broadway from Columbus Circle to Times Square. The Citi Field performances were seen by over 100,000 people and hailed by critics and fans alike as the concert experience of a lifetime. The tour hit DC’s FedEx Field, set the record for highest ever two-day concert attendance in the history of Boston’s Fenway Park, and stopped at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park and Tulsa OK’s BOK Arena, before concluding in grand Texas-size fashion at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. ... (Source: Concord Music Group)