What a year. After releasing a ‘Rockdown’ album in 2020, we thought we might be in for a quiet 12 months here at PaulMcCartney.com… but along came a remix album, a career-spanning book, a cookbook, a picture book, two major documentaries, a Royal Mail stamp collection and much, much more!
Again it was an unpredictable year for many around the world, but we had music, and each other, to turn to in times of trouble. So take a seat (you’ve earned it!), stick on your favourite Paul album, and travel back with us along the long and winding road of 2021…
A photo of Paul shared on his birthday in June 2021
We saw in 2021 still riding a McCartney III high, celebrating its chart-topping success as a Number One album in the UK and Number Two in the US. The official McCartney III lyric videos were released, featuring Paul’s handwritten lyrics animated for each track, and Paul chatted to Nile Rogers on his Apple Music radio show 'Deep Hidden Meaning'. Paul also paid tribute to his friend and fellow Liverpool musician Gerry Marsden, who sadly passed away at the beginning of the month.
In February, Paul’s career-spanning book The Lyrics was announced, along with an exciting new trailer, and pre-orders opened ahead of its 2nd November release. McCartney III came slidin’ into 2021 with a new video for - you guessed it - ‘Slidin’’! Paul celebrated love on February 14th by sharing a photo of his wife Nancy. On Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) Paul shared some _McCartney III_-inspired creations to Twitter and TikTok. Paul also shared a family photo featuring his rescue dog Rose to mark ‘Love Your Pet Day’, and celebrated what would have been his former Beatles bandmate George Harrison’s birthday with a photo on social media**.**
Paul and Nancy with their rescue dog, Rose
Rarely a month went by in 2021 without an exciting announcement, but it truly was "March Madness" as we announced not one, not two, but four brand new exciting projects that Paul would be releasing this year! We shared the news that RAM would be reissued on 14th May as a limited-edition, half-speed mastered vinyl pressing, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. There was also the news that the new album McCartney III Imagined was coming, featuring an A-List assortment of friends, fans and brand-new acquaintances reimagining their favourite McCartney III moments. The music video for ‘The Kiss of Venus (Dominic Fike)’ featured a special guest appearance from someone… can you spot who?
The cover artwork for McCartney III Imagined
Also in March, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney announced the brand-new cook book Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen, arriving 24 June 2021, and Paul revealed that the long-awaited sequel to Hey Grandude! would come to shores in September, in Grandude’s Green Submarine!
Paul still found time to wish “Mothers all over the world a Happy Mother’s Day”, to mark St Patrick’s Day with a special message for fans and to share a photo for fans celebrating Passover.
What’s your take on it? That was the question on our lips here at PaulMcCartney.com in April, as we celebrated the digital release of McCartney III Imagined! Paul caught up with four of the featured artists on a series of special Instagram Live conversations, and shared his own take on the album in a special ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ website Q&A.
On April 1st**, Paul shared a fun photo for April Fools’ Day.** He also joined those around the world celebrating Easter, and dedicated St George’s Day to ‘two great Georges’: George Martin and George Harrison. Earth Day on the 22nd April marked a special time for environmental causes close to Paul’s heart, as he teamed up with Meat Free Monday and PETA to highlight the positive impact of a vegetarian diet. Paul also showed his support for Greenpeace, wearing an item from Stella McCartney’s new StellaXGreenpeace collaboration on Instagram. And in other environmental news, Linda McCartney Foods celebrated its 30th anniversary this month!
A selfie of Paul wearing an item from the StellaXGreenpeace collaboration
After teasing something was coming with a photo of a post box taken by Linda McCartney, we revealed in May that Royal Mail were releasing a set of twelve Special Stamps and limited edition collectables celebrating Paul's solo music career.
The collection of Royal Mail x Paul McCartney stamps
May also marked 50 years since Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album RAM was released, and we couldn’t resist a celebration with the 50th anniversary vinyl pressing, newly HD remastered music videos for ‘Heart Of The Country’ and '3 Legs’, new canvas videos for each RAM track on Spotify and an exclusive Listening Party with fans across the globe. Paul joined us on Zoom for a _RAM-_themed ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ fan Q&A, and everyone shared their memories of RAM on social media with the hashtag #RAMiversary.
Also in May, Paul and Mary McCartney also joined Table Manners podcast hosts Jessie and Lennie Ware to talk food, family and fighting at the dinner table in a veggie-friendly episode. Paul also appeared in a new video for Linda McCartney Foods’ #GYOwithLindas program, and he encouraged fans to watch Netflix’s documentary Seaspiracy. On a sadder note, Paul shared a message on the recent passing of friend and lead engineer in charge of the Kisses on the Bottom sessions, Al Schmitt.
Paul and Mary with Lennie and Jessie Ware
“You say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too, yeah!” June gave us cause for a big celebration, as Paul celebrated his birthday and thanked everyone for their loving vibes, and we saw the amazing new cookbook Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen finally arriving in bookshops! To celebrate the book, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney sat down with Romesh Ranganathan for a special online event, and Paul revealed how he and Linda made the decision to go vegetarian in the first place, in a new website Q&A. Spreading the veggie love further**, Meat Free Monday** got the lowdown on Paul’s eating habits, and Paul supported Stella McCartney and HSI Global’s no fur petition #OurTimeHasCome, because “no animal should worry about losing their fur.”
The cover of Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen
On International Surfing Day, Paul partnered with Surfrider Foundation Australia to create a new music video for McCartney III’s ‘Slidin’’. It wouldn’t be June without a little sun celebration, so Paul shared a sunny message marking the summer solstice on 21st June. On Sunday 20th June, Paul paid tribute to his ‘lovely dad’ with a heart-warming Father’s Day photo.
July brought McCartney III Imagined out on vinyl, CD and cassette! Physical copies of the album featured a new bonus track by Idris Elba, and the music video for the album’s opening track ‘Find My Way (feat. Beck)’ was #ThreeImagined as a psychedelic visual trip, starring Paul as you’ve never seen him before…
A still of 'Paul' from the 'Find My Way (feat. Beck)' music video
The new docuseries McCartney 3,2,1 landed on Hulu on July 16th, where viewers were treated to intimate and revealing conversations between two music legends: super producer Rick Rubin, and Paul! Tenacious D paid tribute to The Beatles with a spectacular cover song which got a big thumbs up from Paul; Paul wished fans in the US a happy Independence Day on July 4th; celebrations were in order for Ringo’s birthday and what would have been Paul’s dad Jim’s birthday on July 7th; and UK music retailer HMV marked 100 years in business.
‘BE COOL. GET VAXX’D’! That was the message Paul wanted everyone to hear in August, as he shared a photo of himself receiving one of his COVID-19 vaccines.
Paul receiving one of his COVID-19 vaccinations
Also in August, McCartney III Imagined reached Number One on the Billboard US Top Album Sales chart, as well as the Number One Rock Album and Number One Vinyl Album charts! Paul released the behind the scenes video for ‘Find My Way (feat. Beck)’, which you can check out here. McCartney 3, 2, 1 landed on Disney Plus on the 25th August, and we created a playlist of all the songs featured in the show****.
Sadly, August also saw the passing of the iconic Rolling Stones’ drummer and long time friend of Paul’s, Charlie Watts. Paul shared a tribute on social media, describing Charlie as a rock and sharing condolences to his family.
September might have sailed by, but it was action-packed with magical trips with Grandude, as Paul’s new picture book Grandude’s Green Submarine arrived on shores and on bookshelves! We asked fans on Paul’s social media channels if they had any questions about the book - from the writing process, to inspiration and of course the biggest question of them all… Why is Grandude’s submarine green and not yellow? Find out what Paul had to say. And from one book to another, we were treated to a new trailer for The Lyrics, this time featuring Paul in conversation with comedian Bob Mortimer about the inspiration for the song ‘Rocky Racoon’.
The cover artwork for Grandude's Green Submarine
In other news, Paul marked what would have been Linda McCartney’s 80th birthday, and on September 7th celebrated the three year anniversary of Egypt Station - what a journey it’s been!
The countdown to The Lyrics was on in October, as Paul spoke to the New Yorker about his writing process, and also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘This Cultural Life’. Extracts from The Lyrics were released in the Sunday Times and the New Yorker, and you can listen to Paul read a selection of commentaries himself on Radio 4 or on the BBC Sounds app! We took you behind the scenes of some of Paul’s most iconic songs with Instagram Reels, and added a bit of music to your Twitter feeds with a new Paul McCartney lyrics account.
October was also National Vegetarian Month: Paul marked the occasion with an appearance on the River Café Table 4 podcast, and by celebrating sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg’s adoption of the Meat Free Monday campaign with a special video message. Paul also showed his support for a new Meat Free Monday comic strip by Rewriting Extinction – have a read here, and enjoy! 9th October marked two special occasions: Paul’s 10th wedding anniversary with Nancy, and what would have been John Lennon’s birthday. On the 31st, Paul posted a spooky Halloween photo and message on social media.
After a long and winding wait, Paul’s career-spanning book The Lyrics: 1956 to The Present landed on bookshelves around the globe on 2nd November!
Paul's book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present
We weren't the only ones excited to finally have Paul’s book in our hands, as Barnes & Noble booksellers across the United States crowned The Lyrics Barnes & Noble’s 2021 Book of the Year! To celebrate, Paul spoke to CEO James Daunt in an online Barnes & Noble event, and soon we received the amazing news that The Lyrics topped both the New York Times and The Sunday Times bestsellers lists. Paul took to the stage at the Royal Festival Hall on November 5th for a special ‘In Conversation’ event – his first in-person live event since 2019 – with The Lyrics editor Paul Muldoon and host Samira Ahmed, and on the same day The British Library opened a free display Paul McCartney: The Lyrics, which is on until March 2022. What a busy start to a busy month!
November was a great month for anyone who wanted more Paul on their TV screens: the BBC showed a brand new 90 minute special Paul McCartney at the BBC, and Peter Jackson’s three-part documentary event The Beatles: Get Back arrived on Disney+ just in time for Thanksgiving. Paul attended the London preview and gave a heartfelt speech before the screening - watch here!
The Beatles at Twickenham Studios in 1969, by Linda McCartney
What else did Paul get up to in November? In a month where Paul inducted the Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, wished us a bonnie Bonfire Night, thankful Thanksgiving and a happy Hanukkah, he was also nominated for two GRAMMYs for McCartney III, for Best Rock album and ‘Find My Way’ for Best Rock Song! We also went behind the scenes at the Third Man Records pressing plant, and saw how McCartney and McCartney II created the incredible McCartney III 333 edition. Sadly, November saw the passing of the great American composer Stephen Sondheim - Paul shared a message in memory of the Broadway legend. November also marked the 20th anniversary of George Harrison’s passing: read Paul’s message here.
Rounding off a jam-packed year, we started December with the news that The Lyrics is also Waterstones Book of the Year 2021! Then there were some exciting anniversaries to celebrate, starting with the 50th anniversary of Wings’ debut album Wild Life (look out for a limited edition half-speed mastered vinyl coming next year), and the 1st anniversary of McCartney III. A track from McCartney III Imagined also got a moment in the spotlight, as Paul released the music video for ‘Slidin’ (EOB Remix)’.
At last, it was time to simply have a wonderful Christmas time! Paul’s hit festive song was released in Dolby ATMOS surround sound on Apple Music, Amazon Music and TIDAL, and we shared a Christmas card featuring Grandude, Nandude and the Chillers for you to colour in at home**. Paul posted a photo of a Christmas ornament on 25th December**, and answered some questions about the festive season and his highlights of 2021 here on PaulMcCartney.com.
Paul's photo of a piano Christmas ornament
As the year comes to a close, we’re looking ahead to 2022 – find out what it might have in store for you, with this fun _Lyrics_-themed wordsearch! There’s plenty of fun to be had, and exciting new projects to reveal, so keep your eyes on PaulMcCartney.com and sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear news from us and Paul.
As ever, we send our love and best wishes from ours to yours, and here’s to a safe and happy 2022!