Paul McCartney and Rick Rubin collaborate on six-part docuseries charting Macca's journey as a musician

Paul McCartney x Rick Rubin
(Image credit: Paul McCartney / YouTube)

Paul McCartney and über-producer Rick Rubin have joined forces for documentary series that charts the rise of Macca's musical career, from starting out to changing pop culture forever with the Beatles.

The project was announced via McCartney's YouTube account, just days before the release of his much-anticipated solo album, McCartney III, which hits stores tomorrow, 18 December.

While the title of the documentary has yet to be revealed, Deadline reports that it will be a six-part series, produced by Frank Marshall and Film 45, and marks the first occasion that the original Beatles masters have left Abbey Road Studios.

You can actually control the band with the bass

Paul McCartney

Shot in high-contrast black and white, the teaser cuts between Rubin and McCartney in conversation, and presiding over the Beatles' Come Together. 

Talking about the composition and the power that McCartney's bass wields over the song, Rubin says “It feels almost like the bass is doing what an orchestra would do.“ To which McCartney replies, “You can actually control the band with the bass.”

The pair talk process and production, but it looks like there will be a fair degree of biographical context in the story, exploring McCartney the man as well as the Beatle. With Live And Let Die played in the clip, it augers well for an exploring of his post-Beatles canon, too.

McCartney III is McCartney's first album since 2018's Egypt Station, but it is a long-awaited follow-up to his self-titled solo albums released in 1970 and 1980. On what was a labour of love, undertaken during lockdown (or “rockdown“ as Macca puts it) McCartney performs all instruments and recorded at his home studio.

“It was about making music for yourself rather than making music that has to do a job,“ said McCartney “So, I just did stuff I fancied doing. I had no idea this would end up as an album. Each day I’d start recording with the instrument I wrote the song on and then gradually layer it all up; it was a lot of fun.“

You can preorder McCartney III here.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.