Paul McCartney rocks in the studio, on the road

Paul Mc Cartney hasn’t had an idle year since The Beatles formed in 1960, and 2011 is no exception.

He supervised reissues of his first two solo records, 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II, each in special and deluxe editions with multiple extras. Both are out this week. “It’s a lot of fun revisiting the past,” McCartney says. “It’s like looking at old snapshot albums.” He’s not just excavating archives. Turning 69 this year, McCartney is rolling out U.S. dates, recording pop standards and plotting a hard-rock record.

 

McCartney closed his Up and Coming world tour with last Friday’s show in Las Vegas (Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon sat in the first row). He’ll launch his On the Run tour July 15 and 16 at Yankee Stadium, which will continue in Detroit, Chicago and Cincinnati.”We have a few dates lined up over the summer and autumn, some real nice ones that haven’t been announced yet,” McCartney says. “We always love playing in America.” Though he’s been performing since March 2010, McCartney has made time for the studio.

 

His twisted, shambolic version of It’s So Easy, punctuated by his raps, is the runaway standout on Rave On Buddy Holly, an all-star tribute out. He says, “I had the idea to try a crazy, funky version. It seems to be going down well.” McCartney’s planned rock album is tabled until he finishes a long-postponed standards collection. “I’ve wanted to do this kind of album for years,” he says. But “I never wanted to look like I was jumping on the bandwagon. “I’m trying to put a different spin on it,” says McCartney, who has been recording with Diana Krall. “A lot of the songs I’ve just discovered in researching the project. Some are big favorites from family sing-alongs as a kid. Great memories for me, that. And I’ve written a few tunes in the genre. We’re going all sorts of ways, and I’m having a ball.” With his crowded schedule, when does McCartney, who was recently engaged to Nancy Shevell, plan to squeeze in a wedding? “That would be telling, wouldn’t it?” he says

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