Phew. 2018. Every year as December comes to an end we love to take a look back at the past twelve months to remind ourselves of everything that Paul has been up to. We spoke with Paul recently and even he has been amazed at this year – it really has been non-stop since January! So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea (or your seasonal drink of choice) and let’s re-live the crazy year that has been 2018…!
The start of the year is always a time to cuddle up on the couch and stay indoors while the worst of the winter works its magic. But what to do when you’re indoors? How about relaxing and watching TV. Paul revealed this month some of his favourite TV habits – click HERE to find out more! Having just visited Australia on tour, Paul helped raise awareness about the dangers facing the Great Barrier Reef and speaking of the Australia and New Zealand tour, publicist Stuart Bell took us behind the scenes on Paul’s return to our friends “down under”.
February 2018 would have seen George Harrison turning 75 years old. To celebrate their lifetime of friendship, Paul posted a thank you for all the memories. Paul celebrated the 100th anniversary of the suffragette movement as well as one of our favourite days of the year: Pancake Day! (AKA: Mardi Gras!) And how does a man who never sits still avoid jet lag? Learn Paul’s secret HERE!
Having joined the ‘March For Our Lives’ in New York, Paul also spoke with National Geographic Magazine about his Meat Free Monday campaign. The discussion on meat reduction is also at the centre of the campaign’ short film ‘One Day A Week’ which Paul, Mary and Stella filmed with Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson. Watch ‘One Day A Week’ HERE! Paul also celebrated International Women’s Day, Mother’s Day (here in the UK!) and posted a farewell to the tattyfilarious and fellow Liverpudlian Ken Dodd. March also saw Paul discussing Latin American music, teasing at his forthcoming song ‘Back In Brazil’.
To mark the 20th anniversary of Linda McCartney passing, Paul posted his favourite photo of her. Paul also celebrated Easter, #EarthDay, the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s death and St George’s Day. To celebrate the forthcoming reissues of NEW, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, Wings Greatest and Thrillington, we introduced listeners to some of the deep cuts from the records. Read ‘Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket’ HERE! Paul also discussed destiny and fate this month in answer to a fan question for ‘You Gave Me The Answer’. Read what Paul has to say on “fate, destiny, luck, magic and hard work” HERE!
Paul was made a Companion of Honour by the Queen in May for his services to music. See a very proud Paul meeting the Queen HERE! Do you know what an ambigram is? May’s reissue of Chaos And Creation In The Backyard taught us its meaning! The McCartney family donated 63 photographs by Linda to The V&A this month which also tied in with us relaunching her official website. Paul also wished fans a happy May Day, posted the original Wings Greatest TV advert from 1978 (it’s amazing!) to tie-in with its reissue on vinyl and we took a look at the production process of reissuing vinyl. And in our monthly Q&A with Paul we discussed his taste in fashion!
In many ways, the preceding five months felt like one big lead up to June. If we’d been busy before, we were about to get whatever busier than busy is – and we started it all off by completely wiping Paul’s Instagram account! In June, after a couple of weeks of teasing, Paul announced the details of his new album Egypt Station, named after one of his paintings. To kick off the campaign, Paul jumped in a car with James Corden and the pair drove round Liverpool resulting in an episode of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ which became the #1 trending YouTube video of the year in the UK. Watch Paul’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ HERE! To give fans a taste of what was to come, Paul released the double-A side single ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Come On To Me‘. And to finish off the month, Paul told us about which sports he likes to watch including a special message for the England football team who were about to “play a blinder” and do us proud in this year’s World Cup. He also confirmed whether he was a Liverpool or Everton fan…!
It’s possible that July was our favourite month of the year. It was sunny, we were putting the finishing touches on Paul’s new album… and we got to watch him play intimate gigs at Abbey Road Studio 2 (starting the day by walking over the famous crossing!), LIPA (streaming a ‘Casual Conversation’ with Jarvis Cocker on Facebook) and The Cavern. Not bad for a week’s work! We captured the week’s fun and excitement with a special ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ video. And if this wasn’t enough, Paul also announced the first dates on his new #FreshenUpTour!
Did you hear ‘Fuh’, or something else? In the office we were split! Make up your own mind by checking out the lyric video for ‘Fuh You’, the third song taken from Paul’s Egypt Station and the song that became the office summer anthem. After a good tease, we also revealed the final tracklisting for Egypt Station. And if preparing for the new album and tour wasn’t enough, Paul took time out this month to celebrate Vinyl Record Day, #LeftHandersDay and giving thanks for the “beautiful life of Aretha Franklin“. In this month’s ‘You Gave Me The Answer’, Paul revealed his holiday reading. And finally, some mysterious photos of New York starting showing up on Paul’s social media…
All trains now departing for Egypt Station! It’s an odd feeling releasing an album. You work tirelessly for many months, trying to keep everything secret and then from one day to the next… the whole world gets to hear it! It’s one of the most satisfying things you can imagine helping Paul – a bottomless well of ideas and energy – release an album. And what could be better than a #1 album, which is where Egypt Station charted in the US! We were beyond proud to be a part of that. Paul’s first #1 album in the US since Tug of War. To celebrate the album’s release Paul wanted to play somewhere grand. And central. And a station would be good, because of the title. There was only place in the world to launch – Grand Central Station! Watch back Paul’s #1 globally trending YouTube livestream ‘Live in NYC’ HERE! To read about Paul’s reaction to the news, click HERE! We ran a Twitter Q&A with Paul to hear all about the new album. We also published ‘Words Between Tracks’ where Paul talks in-depth about each of the songs on ‘Egypt Station’. As Egypt Station was released on Independence Day in Brazil, he let them see the video for ‘Back In Brazil’ first before publishing it for the rest of the world to see. Watch the video for ‘Back In Brazil’ HERE! And those of you who remember us talking about Paul’s gig in Abbey Road in July may want to give the next link a click. Watch Paul’s special ‘Under The Staircase’ video playlist HERE! During his time in New York, Paul also appeared on Jimmy Fallon, surprising fans in the lift and dancing with Kendall Jenner. He spoke with Howard Stern and LIPA graduates Sodajerker, he answered the most Googled questions about himself for Wired, he spoke with Amazon about his #FirstAndLast. Paul also released the music video for ‘Fuh You’, shot in Liverpool. Watch ‘Fuh You’ HERE! And if all this wasn’t enough… Paul started his new #FreshenUpTour and somehow found time to write a new children’s book, ‘Hey Grandude!’ We’ve changed our mind – September was our favourite month of 2018!
While Paul was preparing Egypt Station, he was also working on the most recent releases in his Archive Collection: Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway and the very limited Wings 1971-73. But he didn’t let up on Egypt Station either creating the #COTMChallenge. Watch Paul dancing to ‘Come On To Me’ HERE! And then he published four different versions of ‘Come On To Me’ featuring some great dancing! Paul hoped US fans would vote for politicians who advocate sensible gun control, posting a photo of him and Nancy at the ‘March For Our Lives’, he took his tour to Japan, paid tribute to the late great engineer Geoff Emerick, thanked BBC Music for making ’Sgt Peppers’ their biggest album of all time on ’National Album Day’ and published a special Wild Life themed ‘You Gave Me The Answer’.
Finishing off his tour of Japan, Paul posted a thank you to his fans for coming out and making it a memorable one. We talked more about Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway with a ‘Meet The Band’ feature. Paul wished US fans a Happy Thanksgiving, paid tribute to Stan Lee, released a limited edition 7” of ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Come On To Me’ for Black Friday’s ‘Record Store Day’, celebrated one billion views on his GIPHY channel, and for this month’s ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ Paul discussed Red Rose Speedway.
Announcing more dates on his #FreshenUpTour, Paul took the show to Europe finishing off the year with an incredible gig at The O2 in London where he was joined on stage by Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood for a rousing rendition of ‘Get Back’. It coincided with PaulMcCartney.com’s Christmas party so it was certainly a night to remember. Who Cares? We do… Paul released a short musical film for Egypt Station’s latest single ‘Who Cares’ starring himself and Oscar winner Emma Stone to help stand up to bullying. Go behind-the-scenes of ‘Who Cares’ HERE! December also saw Paul reissue Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway as the 11th and 12th instalments in his GRAMMY-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection. Want to learn more about them? Who better to introduce them than the essay writers themselves: Watch David Fricke discuss Wild Life HERE! And Amanda Petrusich talk all things Red Rose Speedway HERE! To celebrate the releases, Paul allowed fans to send ‘My Love’ to your love. Paul gave fans free downloads of alternate versions of ‘Dear Friend’ and ‘Hands Of Love’ and we took a look at how Red Rose Speedway was originally planned to be a “Double Album”. We asked fans to let us know their favourite songs from this year’s releases using the hashtag #MaccaMadness and Paul chatted with us about his year for the last ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ of 2019.
So. Phew. There we go. And that was only the headlines!!! There are also a few more interesting things coming your way before 2019 properly starts too, so remember to keep checking back to PaulMcCartney.com and we’ll see you in the new year!