Paul McCartney to release new studio album February 2012

Recently married Paul McCartney, pictured here playing Germany two weeks ago, will issue a new album in February. © FEDERICO GAMBARINI/epa/Corbis

Putting to rest any notions that it'll be full of any Helter Skelters, Paul McCartney has spoken about his just-announced new studio album set for release on 7 February 2012. The currently untitled disc will be comprised of standards The Beatles legend grew up listening to in his childhood, along with two new compositions.

McCartney worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma, along with Diana Krall and her band (Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder turn in guest apearances), to craft an album of tracks that are "the songs which inspired the songs... me and John [Lennon] based quite a few of our things on. When I kind of got into songwriting, I realized how well structured these songs were, and I think I took a lot of my lessons from them.

"I always thought artists like Fred Astaire were very cool. Writers like Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, all of those guys - I just thought the songs were magical."

Recording the new album presented a new challenge for McCartney who, for the first time ever, performed exclusively in the vocal booth, playing no guitar, bass or piano. Macca says the sessions were very spontaneous, kind of organic, which then reminded me of the way we'd work with The Beatles. We'd bring a song in, kick it around, when we found a way to do it we'd say, 'Okay, let's do a take now,' and by the time everyone kind of had an idea of what they were doing, we'd learnt the song. So that's what we did, we did the take live in the studio."

"It was important for me to keep away from the more obvious song choices, so many of the classic standards will be unfamiliar to some people. I hope they are in for a pleasant surprise."

A tracklisting will be announced shortly. The new record will be released on Hear Music/Concord Records.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.