Greg Kurstin

Producer of official Paul McCartney records

Born:
May 14, 1969

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About

From Wikipedia:

Gregory Allen “Greg” Kurstin (born May 14, 1969) is an American record producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Described as “the consummate DIY writer and producer,” Kurstin has been associated with releases which have cumulatively sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. He has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year in 2010 and 2014. In addition to three other Grammys, Kurstin won Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) in 2017.

Kurstin co-wrote, produced and played most of the instruments on the record-breaking 2015 Adele single, “Hello.” Among others, he has worked with Sia, Beck, Kelly Clarkson, Ellie Goulding, Pink, the Shins, Tegan and Sara, Lily Allen, and Little Boots. He often plays guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, and engineers and programs the records he produces.

An “exceptionally accomplished” musician, Kurstin began his career as a jazz pianist and later co-founded Geggy Tah. He has collaborated with Inara George in The Bird and the Bee since 2004. […]

Greg Kurstin first met Paul McCartney during a session for the animated film “High In The Clouds” in February 2015. He then produced Paul McCartney’s 2018 studio album “Egypt Station“. From an interview of Greg Kurstin by Rolling Stone, July 3, 2018:

How did you first meet Paul McCartney?

We did a session together for this film. I’m still not sure if it’s happening or not, but we spent one day live in the studio with a full band, a brass section, background singers and everything for this song that Paul had written for an animated film. I don’t know what the status of it is, but I think it was a trial for Paul and me. I think he wanted to see what it was like working with me. That was the first time.

Do you know the name of this movie?

I don’t, to be honest. It’s an animated movie based on a book, but I don’t know exactly what. I really didn’t get that much information on it.

How long ago did that happen?

At least three years ago, if not more. My timeline skills are horrible, but it was at least a year before I began working on the album.

How did that one song turn into you working on a whole album with him?

A year after that session he reached out about working on some stuff. It wasn’t really like an album commitment at the beginning. It just sort of evolved into that. He expressed that he was into the idea of working together on some stuff to see how it went. In the beginning, I believe, it was just him and his band in the studio. He brought in some songs and we started working on them. It felt like a good vibe and we were very comfortable with each other. We’ve worked together since then in little blocks of time in between his tours and stuff like that. It would be two weeks here and then another two weeks there. Sometimes we were in America and sometimes in England. We’d mix it up. This was spread out after a couple of years.

Greg Kurstin – From Rolling Stone, July 3, 2018

Paul McCartney, from BBC News, March 23, 2017:

I’m making a new album which is great fun. I’m working with a producer I first worked with two years ago on a piece of music I’m doing for an animated film. Since then, he went on to work with Beck and got album of the year with Beck. Then he went on to work with Adele and has just got song of the year, record of the year, with Adele, and just got producer of the year.

So my only worry is, people are going to go, ‘Oh, there’s Paul going with the flavour of the month’. But he’s a great guy called Greg Kurstin and he’s great to work with. So yeah, I’m at it. Beavering away, doing what I love to do. As Ringo says, ‘It’s what we do’.

From Entertainment Weekly, September 14, 2017:

I never know how much I can share,” Kurstin says of his sessions with the rock legend, but “I know it’s out there that I worked with him, and I’m happy it’s out there because it’s a hard secret to keep!” Though there’s currently no public timetable for McCartney’s follow-up to 2013’s New, Kurstin promises great things. “All I can say is that when he brings songs to the studio, it blows my mind that he’s still coming up with the most amazing songs,” he says. “I feel like he’s topping himself.

Paul McCartney interviewed for Sodajerkerpodcast, 2018:

You mentioned Greg Kurstin […] what kind of a collaborator was he?

Well, he’s great, you know, I’d actually written all the stuff that I did with Greg, so it was more a question of just trying to make good records of the songs that I had, so that was how it worked out with Greg. With Ryan, because we only had the week, it was going to be just make them up and we did the three songs, you know, in the week, which is pretty good going and they’ve just got a different feel, you know and that’s sort of what we wanted to do, it was just break it up a bit, not have every station the same sound, you know.

Greg’s a multi-instrumentalist as well, isn’t he, did you let him have a go with the recording process?

Yeah, he plays quite a bit of the keyboard on the record. He’s really good. In one of the tracks, there’s like an instrumental thing and I said, it would be good to like break it down and just play this on piano, so I started learning it, but then I said, ‘oh, this is going to take me forever, Greg, could you do this?’ he goes, ‘well, let me try’ and he plays it perfectly, Of course, you know. so he did that and he’s got a great ‘producery’ feel, particularly for keyboard. I knew he’d done Adele’s Hello and he’d done the instruments on that, so if you listen to it, it’s very simple but the keyboard is like a really good sound. Just got to have some space to breathe, you know, so yeah, he’s a keyboard wiz.

Paul McCartney

Greg Kurstin talking about working with Paul McCartney, in MOJO 299, October 2018:

How do you help Paul McCartney make an album? I would ask myself the same question every day in the studio. Because he can do everything himself if he wants to. He’s an amazing guitarist, an amazing drummer, and he knows his mind. But I do think he likes to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Everybody gets a little self-conscious when they’re singing, even Paul McCartney. So it’s good just to have someone there to say, ‘That was a great take, let’s do a couple more.’ Watching how he crafts a song, though, is a privilege. He’s very in the moment. He’ll sing a song, make a ‘mistake’, and that would be the new lyric— that’s what would stay on the track. No second guessing.

I’m really proud of Back In Brazil. We spent ages not quite getting it and finally to get a version that worked was really satisfying. Then there are songs like Confidante and Happy With You: simple, acoustic, not a great deal of production. It has a variety that goes back to The Beatles — think of When I’m 64 being on the same record as Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Has there been another band who had that sort of variety and pulled it off?

Were there any ‘rules’? The one rule was to not make things ordinary. That was the word he used. He won’t settle for ordinary; even the snare sound has to be ‘special’. Other than that, there was no self-editing. He likes to finish everything. The only real editing job was at the end when we had to decide which songs to include — there’s at least a whole other album, 12 bonus tracks, and I can’t believe some of these songs didn’t make it.

I hope we’ve made a record as good as Chaos And Creation In The Backyard – I love that album. The songs deserve it. Certain lines would stick with me at the end of the day. A song like Do It Now — which is apparently something his father used to say to him, about living in the moment – that knocked me out. This album is definitely about where he’s at right now. There’s a vulnerability about these songs that makes them special.

Greg Kurstin
This image has an empty alt attribute
From Instagram – Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga working on High In The Clouds – Capitol Studios, Feb 2015 – Photo by MJ Kim
From Twitter – © 2016 MPL Communications Ltd / Photographer:MJ Kim – During the recording of “Egypt Station”

Last updated on March 27, 2021

Sessions



"Egypt Station" sessions at Hog Hill Mill

2016-2018 ? • Songs recorded during this session appear on Egypt Station


Recording "Sunday Rain"

March - April 2017 ? • Songs recorded during this session appear on Concrete And Gold

Albums, EPs & singles which Greg Kurstin contributed to


Egypt Station (Limited Orange & Blue LP)

By Paul McCartney • Official album

Contribution: , Backing vocal arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass fx, Cello, Claps, Clarinet, Drum programming, Drums and percussion programming, Electric guitar, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Finger snaps, Harpsichord, Marimba, Mellotron-flute, Moog bass, Moog synths, Orchestral percussion programming, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Prophet synth, Sampler, Synth-french horns, Timpani, Upright piano dampened single note, Upright tack piano, Vibes, Wurlitzer • 17 songs


Concrete And Gold

By Foo Fighters • Official album

Contribution: Producer, Synthesizer • 1 songs


Egypt Station

By Paul McCartney • Official album

Contribution: , Backing vocal arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass fx, Cello, Claps, Clarinet, Drum programming, Drums and percussion programming, Electric guitar, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Finger snaps, Harpsichord, Marimba, Mellotron-flute, Moog bass, Moog synths, Orchestral percussion programming, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Prophet synth, Sampler, Synth-french horns, Timpani, Upright piano dampened single note, Upright tack piano, Vibes, Wurlitzer • 17 songs


Egypt Station (Deluxe edition)

By Paul McCartney • Official album

Contribution: , Backing vocal arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass fx, Cello, Claps, Clarinet, Drum programming, Drums and percussion programming, Electric guitar, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Finger snaps, Harpsichord, Marimba, Mellotron-flute, Moog bass, Moog synths, Orchestral percussion programming, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Prophet synth, Sampler, Synth-french horns, Timpani, Triangle, Upright piano dampened single note, Upright tack piano, Vibes, Vibraphone, Vocal arranger, Wurlitzer • 18 songs


Egypt Station (Limited Green Spotify LP)

By Paul McCartney • Official album

Contribution: , Backing vocal arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass fx, Cello, Claps, Clarinet, Drum programming, Drums and percussion programming, Electric guitar, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Finger snaps, Harpsichord, Marimba, Mellotron-flute, Moog bass, Moog synths, Orchestral percussion programming, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Prophet synth, Sampler, Synth-french horns, Timpani, Upright piano dampened single note, Upright tack piano, Vibes, Wurlitzer • 17 songs


Egypt Station (Limited Red LP)

By Paul McCartney • Official album

Contribution: , Backing vocal arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass fx, Cello, Claps, Clarinet, Drum programming, Drums and percussion programming, Electric guitar, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Finger snaps, Harpsichord, Marimba, Mellotron-flute, Moog bass, Moog synths, Orchestral percussion programming, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Prophet synth, Sampler, Synth-french horns, Timpani, Upright piano dampened single note, Upright tack piano, Vibes, Wurlitzer • 17 songs


I Don't Know

By Paul McCartney • CD Single

Contribution: Backing vocal arrangement, Cello, Clarinet, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Mellotron-flute, Producer, Synth-french horns, Timpani • 1 songs


Come On To Me

By Paul McCartney • CD Single

Contribution: Electric guitar, Engineering, Percussion, Producer • 1 songs


I Don't Know / Come On To Me (RSD exclusive)

By Paul McCartney • 7" Single

Contribution: Backing vocal arrangement, Cello, Clarinet, Electric guitar, Electric tremolo guitar, Engineering, Mellotron-flute, Percussion, Producer, Synth-french horns, Timpani • 2 songs


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