Paul McCartney Teams Up with Producer Ethan Johns for Solo Sessions, Preps Album for Fall Release

Paul McCartney Teams Up with Producer Ethan Johns for Solo Sessions, Preps Album for Fall Release
Photo: Steve Louie
Paul McCartney's recent tours have relied heavily on classic back catalogue material, but the famed former Beatle also has his eyes set on a new solo album. Following prior reports of sessions with Mark Ronson, the songwriter has teamed up with another renowned producer in Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams).

Johns and Macca initially joined forces at AIR Studios in London, UK, where they recorded a ballad called "Hosannah" on analog tape.

"He walked in with this incredible song, we threw up a couple of microphones and within four hours, we had this great track," Johns told Rolling Stone. "I think we did an edit between the first two takes. It had an incredible feel — a really evocative piece of music, a very interesting lyric, and the performance was great. Then we started to experiment with it, and I put a bunch of psychedelic strangeness on it."

The pair later entered Abbey Road Studio to record four new songs over three or four weeks. During the session, McCartney played guitar, bass, drums and keyboards himself.

"It was revelatory for me, recording Paul in that space having listened to the sound of those Beatles records," Johns said. "He plugged in his bass, I put a microphone in front of it, walked upstairs into the control room, pushed the fader up, and [that sound] came out of the speakers immediately. I didn't have to do anything! It was a pretty major light bulb for me. People get so fixated on the equipment and the gear, and those things are important — but ultimately, the bass sound on Revolver is Paul. Paul could be playing anything and he will get that sound."

It's unknown whether these songs will appear on McCartney's next LP, but we should know soon, since he's slated to release the disc in the fall. In addition to Johns and Ronson, Sir Paul has cut tracks with Adele producer Paul Epworth and George Martin's son Giles.