Paul McCartney is back with Capitol Records, the label long associated with the Beatles, and has signed a new worldwide recording agreement with them, as announced Aug. 17 by Capitol Music Group Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett. The new agreement will include all his post-Beatles work beginning with his 1970 McCartney album to his most recent recordings. Capitol Records is now a part of Universal Music Group.
Today's announcement also confirmed the news that he is currently at work on a new studio album. No other information, including a release date, was given. He released a career-spanning compilation, Pure McCartney, in June. Plans for a new reissue of his 1989 Flowers in the Dirt album were confirmed in an insert in a recent McCartney album reissue, but no date for that has been announced and there was no word today on which label, Concord or Capitol, will release it. Today's announcement also mentioned the plan on how his catalog will be handled by Capitol, to begin in July of 2017, is now being worked out.
“This is genuinely exciting for me,” McCartney said in a statement. “Not only was Capitol my first U.S. record label, but the first record I ever bought was Gene Vincent’s 'Be-Bop-A-Lula' on the Capitol label.” “We are overjoyed that Paul will be creating new music for years to come, and that Capitol will be helping to present it to the world,” Barnett said.
The announcement noted he has won 21 Grammy Awards and has twice been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beatles and a solo artist. Other awards include an Academy Awards, and being awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and France’s Légion d'Honneur. He is also a Kennedy Center Honors honoree. McCartney is currently finishing out his One On One Tour, which will end in October with two performances at Desert Trip in Indio, California.
The signing is a coup for Capitol, which lost McCartney to Hear Music, a subsidiary of Concord Music Group, in 2007. At the time, the deal was made to help get the forthcoming McCartney album, which turned out to be Memory Almost Full, into the company's Starbucks coffee shops. When McCartney was the Beatles, he was only on two labels in the U.S., Capitol Records and later Apple Records, the Beatles' own label which was distributed by Capitol. But in his U.S. solo career, at least in the U.S., he has moved around several times.
His first solo album, McCartney, was on Apple Records, where he remained until 1979, when he signed with Columbia Records in 1979 for a reported $2 million advance, which, at the time, made him the highest paid recording artist. The first album released under the pact was the McCartney and Wings' disc Back to the Egg that year. After several albums, including McCartney II, Tug of War, Pipes of Peace and Give My Regards to Broad Street, he left Columbia in 1985 to return to Capitol, which released Press to Play in 1986. He stayed with Capitol until 2007, when he announced the signing with Concord Music Group's Hear Music. It was his label until today's announcement. Other albums released during the agreement with Hear Music/Concord included Good Evening New York City, Amoeba's Secret, Kisses on the Bottom, NEW, and the recent Pure McCartney compilation, plus reissues for Band on the Run and Wings Over America, which both won Grammy Awards.