"McCartney II" sessions #1

June - July 1979 • For Paul McCartney

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the McCartney II Official album.
Studio:
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK
Studio:
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Kintyre, Scotland, UK

Master release


Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

About

In June / July 1979, Paul McCartney recorded a series of synth-based experimentations, which would later be released as his second album, “McCartney II” in 1980. To put things into perspective, in Summer 1979, Wings was still existing – soon to be on the road – for its final UK autumn tour, and the planned but cancelled Japan tour early 1980.

Those recordings were done in two of his properties – in Sussex then Scotland – and temporarily transformed into home studios by Eddie Klein:

One day I received a call asking me to meet up with Paul to discuss a recording project he had in mind. Paul explained to me that he wanted to do some recordings in the same way he’d done with the McCartney album almost ten years previously. This entailed simply plugging the microphones into the tape machine inputs and completely bypassing the recording console. […] He wouldn’t need a recording engineer standing by, and would therefore be able to record whenever the mood took him.

I don’t know of anyone else who has recorded in this way, it seems so basic and pioneering but the very idea appealed to me. […] I set up the equipment in the old farmhouse in Sussex where Paul had chosen to record and all went well. […] Delivering the equipment and setting it up for recording was all that was required of me. In fact, I rarely saw Paul. He truly recorded everything on his own. When he was finished in Sussex I would dismantle it all and take it up to the barn on Paul’s farm in Ranachan, Scotland and set it up there. Once I’d tested everything I left to return home.

Eddie Klein, from McCartney II Archive Collection, 2011

By sessions’ end, roughly 20 songs were recorded. They would be mixed soon after (in September / October) at Abbey Road, and then shelved for the time being – with the exception of Wonderful Christmastime, released in November 1979.

From Twitter – Paul’s studio set up in Scotland during recording sessions for ‘McCartney II’. Photo by Linda McCartney #ThrowbackThursday #TBT
72edd764286b8ef55e8a38caa5e7d399
From puremccartney.com – PAUL RECORDING ‘MCCARTNEY II’, EAST SUSSEX, 1980
From Instagram – Linda McCartney
From Hog Hill Mill Blog (@hoghillmillblog) • Instagram photos and videos – @paulmccartney playing the @yamahasynths_official CS-80 at Spirit Of Ranachan in 1979 during the ‘McCartney II’ sessions. This photo is interesting to me because it shows a few things that can’t be seen in most other photos from these sessions. 1. The Arp 1601 Sequencer that was hired and used on “Temporary Secretary” can be seen on the floor. 2. The box for a brand-new @rolandglobal CR-78 drum machine 3. A mystery kick drum with a dark finish. 4. Most interestingly to me, a light colored right-handed @fender Telecaster in the bottom left corner. It’s hard to tell from this file, but I’ve seen this photo printed and you can tell that its strung lefty. We know his ’66 sunburst Tele was around at this point, but this Tele is a mystery!
From Hog Hill Mill Blog (@hoghillmillblog) • Instagram photos and videos – @jamesmccartneyofficial tugs on Dad’s shirt at Lower Gate Farm in Sussex, 1979. Before moving the ‘McCartney II’ sessions to Spirit Of Ranachan, @paulmccartney had the gear set up in this empty farm house on his property in Sussex where he stated the record. This photo was used on the record sleeve for the album. @neumann.berlin u47 and u67 in the foreground of this photo. Paul is working on the Studer A80 16-track tape machine.
From Hog Hill Mill Blog (@hoghillmillblog) • Instagram photos and videos – A different view of @paulmccartney’s control room for the ‘McCartney II’ sessions as Spirit Of Ranachan in 1979. In the foreground is a @neumann.berlin u67 large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone. In the back is a Studer A80 16-track 2″ multitrack tape recorder. On the table to the right is a Custom 16-channel mixer built by Eddie Klein with an @abbeyroadstudios speed control on top, next to a Teac A-480 cassette deck. The headphones on the chair are @beyerdynamic DT 100s. The kick drum is a “pure white” 70’s @pearl_drums Wood-Fiberglass bass drum, and the toms are @gretschdrums “stop sign badge” (manufactured ’72-’79) toms in silver sparkle.
From Hog Hill Mill Blog (@hoghillmillblog) • Instagram photos and videos – @paulmccartney’s bog/tom setup at Spirit Of Ranachan recording ‘McCartney II’ in 1979. “Secret Friend”, “Frozen Jap”, and “Bogey Music” all have tom overdubs listed on the track sheets. My guess is that if these bathroom tom overdubs ended up on the record, it was on “Secret Friend”. “Frozen Jap”, and “Bogey Music” especially sound very dry and muffled so I don’t believe they were done in the bathroom. The black rack tom is a @pearl_drums Wood-Fiberglass tom. He had three of the Wood-Fiberglass toms (12″, 13″, and 16″) in “Jet Black” finish. Hard to tell if this is the 12″ or 13″. The floor tom is a @gretschdrums “stop sign badge” (manufactured ’72-’79) floor tom in silver sparkle. The microphone is an @akgaudio D202E.
From Hog Hill Mill Blog (@hoghillmillblog) • Instagram photos and videos – Its been a few days since I’ve posted a picture of @paulmccartney recording in the bathroom, so here you go! Recording drum overdubs at Spirit Of Ranachan for ‘McCartney II’ in 1979. The drum is a @pearl_drums Wood-Fiberglass tom. He had three of the Wood-Fiberglass toms (12″, 13″, and 16″) in “Jet Black” finish, as well as a kick in “Pure White” finish. From the photos it seems that the toms were mostly used for overdubs and not with any kind of drum set in the traditional sense. The headphones are @beyerdynamic DT100s, and the microphone is an @akgaudio D202E..

Last updated on September 3, 2022

Songs recorded


1.

Coming Up

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


2.

Temporary Secretary

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


3.

On The Way

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


4.

Waterfalls

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


5.

Nobody Knows

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


6.

Front Parlour

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


7.

Summer's Day Song

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


8.

Frozen Jap

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


9.

Bogey Music

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


10.

Darkroom

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


11.

One Of These Days

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II


12.

Check My Machine

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Waterfalls / Check My Machine


13.

Secret Friend

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Temporary Secretary / Secret Friend


14.

Blue Sway

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II - Archive Collection


15.

Mr. H Atom

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II - Archive Collection


16.

You Know I'll Get You Baby

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II - Archive Collection


17.

All You Horse Riders

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II - Archive Collection


18.

Bogey Wobble

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on McCartney II - Archive Collection


19.

Wonderful Christmastime

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Wonderful Christmastime

Going further


Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

Shop on Amazon


https://twitter.com/PaulMcCartney/status/865251598649503747

Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.