Kisses On The Bottom is a collection of standards Paul grew up listening to in his childhood as well as the two new McCartney compositions "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts." With the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band--as well as guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder, McCartney's new album is a deeply personal journey through classic American compositions that, in some cases, a young Paul first heard his father perform on piano at home. The full track listing reveals that Paul has been both reverent and adventurous in his song choices.
The phrase `Kisses On The Bottom,' comes from the album's opener `I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter'. Originally made a big hit by Fats Waller in 1935, the song opens with the lines "I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter and make believe it came from you. I'm gonna write words oh so sweet. They're gonna knock me off of my feet. A lot of kisses on the bottom, I'll be glad I got `em."
As authentic and daring a musical statement as he could make, this is the album Paul has been thinking about making for more than 20 years - and probably the last thing his fans are expecting. "In the end it was 'Look, if I don't do it now, I'll never do it'," he says. In short, Paul believes it is about time "the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on" received the recognition they deserve. Moreover, the record also features a couple of new original McCartney compositions in the spirit of those classics.
"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," Paul explains. "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."
Determined to approach the record in a new and unique manner, Paul enlisted the help of LiPuma and Krall and her band-who delivered ultra-high quality musicianship and were completely in tune with Paul's restraint and feel for the music. In the studio, the recording of this album was also a new challenge for Paul who, for the first time ever, performed exclusively in the vocal booth without an instrument - no guitar, no bass, no piano - which led to a vocal performance like no other in his career.
He adds, "It was very spontaneous, kind of organic, 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 'Okay, 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. So that's what we did, we did the take live in the studio."
"It was important for me to keep away from the more obvious song choices so, many of the classic standards will be unfamiliar to some people. I hope they are in for a pleasant surprise."
The album was recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, New York and London throughout 2011.