On October 16, 2020, there was a marketing push on social networks to promote Paul’s music playlist. Except that this time, when listening to “Coming Up” and “Waterfalls”and “Oo You” or “Man We Was Lonely”, we see a die rolling on the screen and stopping with the number “3” (the die animation was also made available on all tracks of the “McCartney” and “McCartney II”).
Also, the playlist was published at 3.33pm British Standard Time !
On October 19, various journalists and fans received three dice as a promo item from Capitol Records.
On October 20, the following three photos were published on the official social media accounts of Paul McCartney.
Those three photos would be the latest clue, as the official announcement came on October 21.
But the marketing promotion didn’t end with the announcement.
On October 23, it was reported that some “McCartney III” stamps were seen on sidewalks in Hollywood and Manhattan.
It was also announced that McCartney III would be released December 11 on Capitol Records across digital platforms, on CD, and on LP manufactured by Third Man Pressing.
Vinyl configurations will range from standard 180g to a Third Man Edition of 3000 hand-numbered red vinyl copies, a ‘333’ Edition sold only via Third Man Records online store and limited to 333 copies on yellow-with-black-dots vinyl created using 33 recycled vinyl copies of McCartney and McCartney II, a U.S. indie retail exclusive pressing of 4000 hand-numbered white vinyl LPs, and more.
Here is the list of physical formats / limited editions made available as pre-order on the day of the announcement:
Deluxe digital album (splatter cover)
McCartney III (333 Edition)
McCartney III (Exclusive Third Man Records Version Red LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Newbury Comics – Pink LP)
McCartney III (Target exclusive, Green LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Orange LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Blue LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Violet LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Blue LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive Yellow LP)
McCartney III (Indie exclusive Spotify Limited Edition White LP)
McCartney III (Exclusive White CD)
McCartney III (Exclusive Red CD)
McCartney III (Exclusive Blue CD)
McCartney III (Exclusive yellow CD)
McCartney III (Green cover, CD)
McCartney III (Limited Japanese edition)
McCartney III (Smokey Tint Cassette)
McCartney III (Test Pressing)
Starting from 4 December 2020, McCartney sent via his Facebook page the first post of a series of 12 daily posts unveiling the titles of each of the 11 new tracks from his new album through murals painted in 12 different cities all over the world.
Each mural is showing the title of a new track, an excerpt from its music score and its author along with the album title and its release date.
McCartney also asked all musicians to post their video covers of his 11 new songs through his special website #12DaysOfPaul.
During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show on 15 December 2020, McCartney revealed that American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift originally decided to postpone the release of her album Evermore by one week to respect the original 11 December release date of his album.
Upon learning this, McCartney decided to release his album on 18 December instead so that Swift could move forward with the rollout of Evermore as initially planned.
On 17 December, a day before the album release, two live appearances were revealed for that day: one on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and a YouTube Released special featuring Chris Rock, alongside the release date for the lead single “Find My Way”, which was released at the same time as the album.
In November 2021 a mini-documentary about the creation of the previous year’s Third Man Records 333 edition of McCartney III using recycled McCartney and McCartney II records was released.
McCartney III had strong sales internationally. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart on Christmas Day 2020, marking his first number-one solo album in his home country in 31 years (since 1989’s Flowers in the Dirt).
The album reached the top spot by selling 33,079 album-equivalent units.
The album also reached the top 10 of many other European markets.
In the US, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200–behind Taylor Swift’s Evermore.
The placement earned McCartney the feat of being the first artist to have a new album at the top or second-top of the chart in each of the last six decades.
McCartney III was also the top-selling album in its debut week in the US, outselling Swift’s Evermore and Eminem’s Music to Be Murdered By – Side B in pure sales.
The album also recorded the third largest US vinyl sales week since Nielsen SoundScan tracking era began in 1991.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, McCartney III has an average score of 81, based on 23 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim.”
So, quite a roll out, and a second #1 in a row. Next, Since there was no touring, we will describe what else happened in 2020 concerning Paul.