Paul McCartney has announced a new book chronicling his iconic songwriting career, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present. More than just the words to his songs, the book delivers detailed information behind each track – from inspiration to changes that were made to the circumstances surrounding their recording.
In that way, The Lyrics aims to give fans unfiltered access to both the songs and the songwriter himself.
“More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right,” McCartney noted in a press release. “The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”
The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present will be released Nov. 2 and is available for pre-order now. You can watch a short trailer promoting the book, set to McCartney’s Flaming Pie song “Calico Skies,” below.
In total, 154 songs are covered in the book, spanning McCartney’s work in the Beatles, Wings tracks and his solo material. Rather than going in chronological order, the songs are presented alphabetically, giving a “kaleidoscopic” account to readers. Never-before-seen material, including handwritten notes, letters, early drafts and photographs, will be included in the book.
“I hope that what I’ve written will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven’t seen before,” McCartney said. “I’ve tried to say something about how the music happens and what it means to me and I hope what it may mean to others, too.”