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There had been rumours for some weeks about the upcoming “McCartney III” album… In an interview for GQ in August 2020, when asked how the lockdown situation due to covid-19 pandemic went for him, McCartney declared:
I’ve been able to write and get into music, starting songs, finishing songs. I’ve had a few little things to write and it’s given me the time to finish some songs that I hadn’t found the time to get around to, you know? I’ve been recording using lots of hand wipes and disinfectant and social distancing, which was good because I don’t like not working.
But what really sparked the rumours is a message on Steve Hoffman’s music forums that “the new record is finished”. From there, some people looked at songs registered by McCartney on the ASCAP site, and found these unreleased titles: “Special Day“, “Quiet Moment” and “Til You Drop” (wrong clues, as those tracks didn’t end up on “McCartney III“). It has also been noticed that the domain name “mccartneyiii.com” was registered by CSC Corporate Domains on August 28, 2020 – the same company who registered paulmccartney.com, and flaming-pie.com (used to promote the 2020 Flaming Pie – Archive Collection).
Paul said that he — ’cause we’ve been hangin’ in Covid — he basically, kind of, finished a record. ‘Cause he had, sort of, nothin’ to do but go down to his studio and record, y’know? So, he sort of, did everything himself. I think there’s a song that we ended up on, that we cut earlier.Rusty Anderson
On October 2, the official paulmccartney.com website launched a new playlist on Spotify streaming music platform, with a focus on songs that feature Paul McCartney playing all the instruments:
Before Paul sang and played bass guitar in The Beatles he started off on the trumpet, but do you know how many instruments he plays in total? Take a look at his songs over the years and you’ll find him playing everything from guitar, piano and drums, to banjo, cello, electric organ, sitar, melodica and even a washboard – the list goes on!
For this month’s ‘Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket’ playlist, we’re listening to songs that feature Paul playing all the instruments. Yes, that’s right, every single one! From ‘Confidante’, the self-proclaimed love song from Paul to his guitar on Egypt Station to the kooky cowbells and aerosol on ‘Oo You’ from his debut solo album McCartney, we’ve selected tracks that show as many weird, wonderful and rocking instruments as possible.
There’s only one song on this month’s playlist that features another musician – can you tell which one it is? We’ll give you a clue: listen out for the backing vocals…
On October 16, 2020, there was another marketing push on social networks to promote this playlist. Except that this time, when listening to “Coming Up” and “Waterfalls” (from “McCartney II“) and “Oo You” and “Man We Was Lonely” (from “McCartney“), we could see a die rolling on the screen and stopping with the number “3” (the die animation was made available on all tracks of the “McCartney” and “McCartney II” albums). Also, the playlist was published at 3.33pm British Standard Time !
Also, on the same day, a die icon was added to the various profiles of McCartney on social networks:
And the “mccartneyiii.com” website, which was previously inaccessible, was changed to show a 303 error (sic), instead of the classic 404 error – another reference to the number 3. This error page also had a die as favicon. Here’s another clue for you all…
Looking at the source code of this error page, tech-savvy people could find the following hint – the word “Three” in binary:
This hint would be changed a couple of days after, to invite users to visit https://dice.mccartneyiii.com/ , an augmented reality app that displays a die overlaid on what you see through the camera of your phone.
On October 19, various journalists and fans received three dice as a promo item from Capitol Records.
On October 20, an article from The Sun mentioned a music insider saying:
Paul has been totally alone, with no producer or sound engineer, while making this record, just as he was for the previous two volumes. Obviously, this time around recording in isolation wasn’t his choice. But it made complete sense for this album to be the third in the trilogy, particularly given the first came out five decades ago. It’s been a true solo effort and he had to get experimental with what he used as instruments, hence the saucepan [used as a percussion instrument].
On the same day, October 20, the following three photos were published on the official social media accounts of Paul McCartney.
Those three photos would be the latest clue, as the official announcement came on October 21.
But the marketing promotion didn’t end with the announcement. On October 23, it was reported that some “McCartney III” stamps were seen on sidewalks in Hollywood and Manhattan.
Last updated on October 24, 2020