A day before he turns 80, Paul McCartney has picked out his own present: a compendium of his self-titled albums, which span a half-century of his life. The limited-edition collection, dubbed McCartney I II III, presents McCartney (1970), McCartney II (1980), and McCartney III (2020) — three albums on which he performed nearly all of the instruments himself — side-by-side. It will be available on colored vinyl, black vinyl, and CD in slipcases that sport new design and typography (that highlights the word “art” within McCartney’s name) by pop artist Ed Ruscha on Aug. 5.
The colored LP editions will feature the first album on clear vinyl, the second on white, and the third on creamy white vinyl. All editions will feature special photo prints containing bespoke notes on each album by McCartney.
Paul's career-spanning, self-titled albums McCartney I, II, and III are being packaged together in one special boxset for the first time! Available now for pre-order: https://t.co/8Al7mzgwNT
📷 by Linda McCartney and Mary McCartney pic.twitter.com/3xNfG9OlpQ
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) June 17, 2022
The first McCartney album was the artist’s declaration of independence from the Beatles, an opportunity to show that he could do everything himself. He wrote, produced, and performed every instrument on the recording other than some backup vocals by his wife Linda. Without any singles, it became an instant hit, making it up to Number One in the U.S. and Number Two in the U.K. The record’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” later became a hit when it was released a single off the Wings Across America live album.
Similarly, McCartney II signified the artist’s separation from his post-Beatles group Wings. He wrote, produced, and performed the entire album himself. He launched the album via Saturday Night Live with a silly bit that led to the premiere of the single “Coming Up.” Both that song and, in more recent years, the new-wavey “Temporary Secretary,” have been setlist staples for McCartney.
Fifty years after the first McCartney, the artist decided to do it again with McCartney III, which came out in December 2020. Like the previous two installments, it was an immediate hit, charting at Number One in the U.K. and Number Two in the U.S. The artist has been playing its “Women and Wives” on his current Got Back tour.
McCartney also celebrated his birthday Thursday night during the New Jersey stop of his Got Back tour. Bruce Springsteen joined him on renditions of his “Glory Days” and the Beatles’ “I Wanna Be Your Man,” while Jon Bon Jovi came onstage to sing “Happy Birthday.” Springsteen also came out for “The End.”