In September of 2018, Paul McCartney released Egypt Station, his first album in five years. It became McCartney’s first album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 since 1982’s Tug of War.
Nearly all of the album was produced by Greg Kurstin, who’d previously worked with Adele, Foo Fighters, Sia, Kelly Clarkson and other stars. OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder also co-wrote and produced a track on the album, “Fuh You.”
McCartney promoted Egypt Station with a variety of special intimate concerts, including a July 23 gig at Abbey Road Studios in London; a July 25 show at the Cavern Club in his hometown of Liverpool, U.K.; and a release-day performance at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal that was streamed on his official YouTube channel.
Sir Paul also appeared in The Late Late Show‘s popular “Carpool Karaoke” feature with host James Corden in Liverpool in early June. In the segment, McCartney and Corden drove around the city singing various Beatles tunes and solo songs by Paul, while also visiting McCartney’s childhood home, Penny Lane and other landmarks. In addition, Macca played a set at a local pub called The Philharmonic.
Paul’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment, which aired on The Late Late Show on June 22, was hugely popular on YouTube. An hour-long prime time special featuring extended footage from the segment aired on CBS on August 20.
Paul also released a number of music videos for the Egypt Station songs, the most high-profile of which was a short film for “Who Cares” that co-starred Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone. The surreal clip echoed the song’s anti-bullying theme, and in conjunction with the tune and video, McCartney partnered with a number of organizations to launch a new campaign, #WhoCaresIDo, which seeks to inspire people to stand up to bullying and negativity.
Meanwhile, McCartney also mounted the Freshen Up Tour, kicking off the trek with four concerts in Canada in September. He also played Japan, mainland Europe and the U.K. In addition, Sir Paul played two headlining sets in October at Texas’ Austin City Limits Music Festival.
At Macca’s final 2018 concert, December 16 at London’s O2 Arena, his ex-Beatles band mate Ringo Starr and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood joined him during the show’s encore for a rendition of the Fab Four’s “Get Back.”
The Freshen Up Tour is scheduled to start up again in 2019 with a series of South American shows in March and a U.S. leg that gets underway in May.
Also of note: 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ classic self-titled double album, aka The White Album. To mark the milestone, expanded reissues were released on November 9.
The most expansive of the reissues was a seven-disc Super Deluxe edition that boasts three CDs of studio outtakes, a CD of rare demo recordings, and a Blu-ray disc featuring 5.1 surround-sound, mono and stereo mixes of the album.
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