Paul McCartney announced Monday morning that he'll be releasing a new album of cover songs, along with two new compositions, on Feb. 7.
Featuring songs that McCartney says were key early influences on him and fellow former Beatle John Lennon — in his words, "the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on" — the as-yet-untitled album has guest appearances by Diana Krall, Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton.
Following in the footsteps of other baby boomer crooners dipping into the classics, McCartney digs into the attic of popular music to uncover gems that inspired him.
"When I kind of got into songwriting, I realized how well structured these songs were and I think I took a lot of my lessons from them," McCartney said in a statement. "I always thought artists like Fred Astaire were very cool. Writers like Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, all of those guys — I just thought the songs were magical. And then, as I got to be a songwriter I thought it's beautiful, the way they made those songs.
"It was very spontaneous, kind of organic," he said, "which then reminded me of the way we'd work with The Beatles. We'd bring a song in, kick it around, when we found a way to do it we'd say, 'OK, let's do a take now,' and by the time everyone kind of had an idea of what they were doing, we'd learnt the song."
The Associated Press