New (album)

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Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 14 October 2013 (2013-10-14)
(see release history)
Recorded January 2012 - March 2013, Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles; Avatar Studios, New York; Abbey Road Studios, Air Studios, Wolf Tone Studios, London; The Mill, East Sussex
Genre Rock
Length 46:11
Label Virgin EMI Records (UK)[1]
Hear Music (US)[2]
Producer Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns, Paul Epworth, Giles Martin
Paul McCartney chronology
iTunes Live from Capitol Studios
Singles from New
  1. "New"
    Released: 2 September 2013 (2013-09-02)
  2. "Queenie Eye"
    Released: 24 October 2013 (2013-10-24)
  3. "Save Us"
    Released: 31 March 2014 (2014-03-31)[3]
  4. "Appreciate"
    Released: 16 May 2014 (2014-05-16)
  5. "Early Days"
    Released: 7 July 2014 (2014-07-07)

New is the sixteenth studio album by Paul McCartney, released on 14 October 2013 in the United Kingdom and in the United States on 15 October 2013. This album is his first since 2007's Memory Almost Full to consist entirely of new compositions.[4]

The album was executive produced by Giles Martin with production by Martin, Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth and it was mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York. McCartney has stated that the record was inspired by recent events in his life as well as memories of his pre-Beatles history. He added that some of the arrangements are unlike his usual rock recordings, and that he specifically sought out younger producers to record the album.[5] He and his stage band performed in various venues to promote the record, along with promotional events held through social media.

The first single "New" and the album as a whole has been greeted positively by music critics. The song became BBC Radio 2's record of the week and was placed on their A-list. The album later debuted at number three in the UK Album Chart.


McCartney had initially intended to work on a trial basis with four of his favourite producers and select the best to record the whole album with.[6] McCartney ended up recording with all four: Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns, Paul Epworth and Giles Martin.[4][6] Martin produced the majority of the tracks and acted as executive producer on the album. Recording took place at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles; Avatar Studios in New York; Abbey Road Studios, Air Studios and Wolf Tone Studios in London; and The Mill in East Sussex. The recording sessions started in January 2012 with Paul Epworth (Wolf Tone Studios and Hog Hill) and then resumed at Abbey Road Studios during February–March with other songs taped with Ethan Johns. The sessions with Ronson took place probably around January 2012, with work resuming in July and then later in 2013. Songs produced by Giles Martin were recorded AIR Studios during March 2013 and in Los Angeles, very likely during Spring.[7]

Ronson had been selected following his set as DJ at McCartney's wedding to Nancy Shevell two years before production began. The producer noted that he was preoccupied with his own wedding occurring at about the same time as McCartney's, and had nearly forgotten to call him back to accept the offer. A few months after Ronson served as DJ for another McCartney event in New York, Ronson received a call inviting him into the studio. In total Ronson recorded three tracks: "New", "Alligator" and "Secret Life of a Party Girl", although the third track does not appear on the album.[8]


"I just started knocking something out on the piano, he started drumming to it, and I stuck a bit of bass on it and we had the basis of the song worked out."[9]

—McCartney on songwriting with Epworth, BBC News, August 2013

McCartney has said that the album would be "very varied. I worked with four producers and each of them brought something different".[9] The songs produced by Paul Epworth "weren't written" but improvised.[9] The title track, "New", is a "love song but it's saying, 'Don't look at me, I haven't got any answers.' It says, 'I don't know what's happening, I don't know how it's all happening, but it's good and I love you.'"[9]

Other tracks are autobiographical: "On My Way to Work" was written about his pre-fame past alluding to his time working as a driver's mate for Speedy Prompt Delivery in Liverpool.[10] Similarly on the day McCartney composed "Early Days", he had been reminiscing about his past in Liverpool with John Lennon: "I started to get images of us in the record shop listening to early rock and roll and looking at the posters and the joy that that gave me remembering all those moments."[11] The refrain of "Queenie Eye" was also taken from a childhood game McCartney had played in Liverpool.[12]

Regarding contemporary inspirations, McCartney expressed that the album had been influenced by his marriage to Shevell: "This is a happy period in my life, having a new woman — so you get new songs when you get a new woman." He felt that New is generally joyful, but with an undercurrent of "pain getting changed to laughter".[11] Ronson referred to the song "Alligator" in particular as being "brooding" and "quite tough".[8] McCartney also revealed that "Alligator" was the oldest song written for the album.[13] McCartney wrote "Everybody Out There" specifically to "get the audience singing along" and that he was particularly proud of "Early Days" and the hidden track "Scared".[14]


A "drive-in" listening event took place at the Open Road car dealership in Manhattan.

"New" was released as a single to the iTunes Store and SoundCloud on 28 August 2013.[4] The single came with the announcement that the album would be released on 14 October in the United Kingdom, and a day later in the United States.[9] A deluxe edition was also announced featuring two bonus tracks.[4] An official McCartney Instagram account launched at the same time the album was revealed.[15] McCartney debuted the songs "Save Us" and "Everybody Out There" at the third annual iHeartRadio Music Festival.[16]

On 23 September 2013, McCartney's news blog unveiled the final artwork for New, replacing the earlier minimal black and white logo used as a placeholder for online retailers. The logo and cover concept was conceived by UK art and design team Rebecca and Mike, with CGI created by Ben Ib. The imagery of fluorescent lights was inspired by the sculptural work of Dan Flavin.[17][18] The titles of the deluxe edition bonus tracks were also announced: "Turned Out" and "Get Me Out of Here".[17] Promotion later included a Twitter interview on 4 October, when McCartney answered fan questions related to the album.[14]

On 6 October, full-album listening events took place in the form of drive-ins: in the Los Angeles area fans brought their vehicles to the Vinland Drive-In, whereas in New York City listeners were taken to the rooftop of an Open Road Volkswagen dealership to sit in new cars belonging to the company.[19] The drive-in idea came about late into the promotional campaign, when McCartney had been listening to the album in his own car about a week before the event took place.[20]

On 10 October, McCartney and his band performed a surprise concert in Times Square after posting two short tweets announcing the event about an hour before it occurred.[21] The brief performance consisted of four tracks off the album ("New," "Save Us," "Everybody Out There," and "Queenie Eye"), lasting about fifteen minutes. The event gathered a large crowd and came a day after another surprise concert to 400 students at Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Queens, New York. The performance at the school was filmed and was streamed on Yahoo! on 14 October.[22] McCartney has also performed songs from the album on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 77/100[23]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[24]
The Daily Telegraph 5/5 stars[25]
Clash (7/10)[26]
Entertainment Weekly A−[27]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[28]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[29]
Daily Mail 5/5 stars[30]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[31]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[32]

The first track to be released, "New", was greeted positively by critics and the musical press. As well as being selected as BBC Radio 2's Record of the Week[9][33] and placed on their A-list,[34] the track was greeted as the 'Track of the Day' by Mojo which praised its "doe-eyed optimism, irresistible melody" and "orchestrated pop arrangements".[35] Rolling Stone's Will Hermes, praised its "bouncy harpsichord-laden melody", giving it a four-star rating and drawing comparisons to the Beatles' "Got to Get You into My Life",[36] a view shared by The Daily Telegraph which described it as a "jaunty, Beatles-esque stomp".[37] Rolling Stone also went on to rank it the 4th best album of 2013. J.C. Maçek III of PopMatters said "New is no Abbey Road, but it is a remarkable album from the 71-year-old version of the man who has brought us decades of great rock ‘n’ roll songs."[31]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 3 in the North American charts, with first-week sales of 67,000 copies in the United States and 8,500 units in Canada, respectively.[38] [39] The title track for the album received extensive airplay on Japanese radio stations, peaking at #4 on the country's Hot 100.[40] Anticipation for subsequent tour also boosted sales of the album in Japan, providing the artist with first top-3 hit since his 1982 chart-topping LP Tug of War.[41][42] The album reached top five in the charts in at least 10 countries, including Norway where McCartney topped the chart for the first time since his album Flowers in the Dirt in 1989.[43] Until the end of 2013, 15,000 copies of New were sold in Brazil.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Paul McCartney, except "Save Us", "Queenie Eye", and "Road" written by McCartney and Paul Epworth.

New – standard edition[44]
No. Title Producer(s)[5][45] Length
1. "Save Us"   Paul Epworth 2:39
2. "Alligator"   Mark Ronson 3:27
3. "On My Way to Work"   Giles Martin 3:43
4. "Queenie Eye"   Epworth 3:47
5. "Early Days"   Ethan Johns 4:07
6. "New"   Ronson 2:56
7. "Appreciate"   Martin 4:28
8. "Everybody Out There"   Martin 3:21
9. "Hosanna"   Johns 3:29
10. "I Can Bet"   Martin 3:21
11. "Looking at Her"   Martin 3:05
12. "Road" (includes "Scared" as a hidden track) Epworth, Martin ("Scared") 7:39
Total length:


Adapted from liner notes[46]

  • Paul McCartney - Vocals (1-14), Guitar (1-5, 8-11, 13, 14), Bass Guitar (1-4, 6, 8-13), Percussion (2, 4, 5, 6, 10-13), Synthesizers (2, 4, 10, 11, 13), Celeste (2, 12), Glockenspiel (2), Play-Me-A-Song Book (2), Cigar Box Guitar (3, 7), Piano (3, 6, 8, 12), Drums (3, 7, 10, 11, 13), Lap Steel Guitar (4), Mellotron (4, 6, 8, 11), Upright Bass (5), Harmonium (5), Harpsichord (6), Wurlitzer Piano (6, 10), Bouzouki (6), Keyboards (7, 8, 12, 13), Tape Loops (9, 10), Tubular Bells (13), Ngoni, Washboard & Thimbles (14)
  • Rusty Anderson - Guitar (2, 3, 5-8, 10, 11, 13), Bouzouki (6, 7), Backing Vocals (6, 7), Water Bottle (14),
  • Brian Ray - Guitar (2, 3, 6-8, 13), Dulcimer (5), Backing Vocals (6, 7, 14), Baritone Guitar (7), Congas (14)
  • Paul Wickens - Keyboards (2), Guitar (3), Piano (3), Accordion (3), Backing Vocals (6), Hammond Organ (10)
  • Abe Laboriel, Jr. - Drums (2, 6-8, 13), Backing Vocals (5-7, 13, 14), Djembe & Bass Drum (14)
  • Toby Pitman - Programming (3, 7, 8, 10, 11), Keyboards (8, 11)
  • Ethan Johns - Drums (5), Percussion (5), iPad Tambora app (9), Guitar (13)
  • Paul Epworth - Drums (1, 4, 12)
  • Eliza Marshall, Anna Noakes - Alto Flutes (8)
  • Giles Martin - Foot Stamp (8)
  • McCartney Family Chorus (8)
  • "On My Way to Work" and "Everybody Out There": Cathy Thompson, Laura Melhuish, Patrick Kiernan, Nina Foster - Violins; Peter Lale, Rachel Robsin - Violas; Caroline Dale, Katherine Jenkinson, Chris Worsey - Cellos; Richard Pryce, Steve McManus - Double Basses
  • "New": Steve Sidwell - Trumpet; Jamie Talbot - Tenor Saxophone; Dave Bishop - Baritone Saxophone


Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Germany 11 October 2013 (2013-10-11) Digital download Hear Music/Concord Music Group
South Korea[80] 14 October 2013 (2013-10-14) Universal Music
United Kingdom[81] Virgin EMI Records[1]
United States[82] 15 October 2013 (2013-10-15) Hear Music/Concord Music Group


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