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At 79, Paul McCartney Has A Best-Selling Album Again—With A Little Help From (New) Friends

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 4, 2021


Paul McCartney is still making music history more than 57 years after his vocals helped propel the Beatles to their first-ever U.S. No. 1 hit, with his latest album—McCartney III Imagined—becoming the first remix album to lead U.S. sales in more than a decade.

Key Facts

The album, which features acts like Anderson Paak, Dominic Fike and Phoebe Bridges on remixes of earlier McCartney songs, was No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Album Sales chart this week.

McCartney III Imagined also topped the Rock Albums chart and the Vinyl Albums chart, after physical album sales started on July 23.

The album came in at No. 19 on the Billboard 200, which also takes streaming plays into account, and appeared as the No. 13 album on the U.K.-based Official Charts Company listing.

The album’s original version—McCartney III, which features McCartney on all instruments—also topped the album sales chart in January.

Big Number

21,000. That’s how many sales McCartney III Imagined rang up the week ending July 29, according to Billboard. Vinyl records accounted for 16,100 of those sales.

Crucial Quote

“It’s official – #ThreeImagined is a record breaker! You guys made it the first remix album to reach #1 on the @billboard US Top Album Sales chart in 10 years,” McCartney tweeted. The last remix album to top the chart was Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never: The Remixes in March of 2011.

Surprising Fact

McCartney personally curated the album in a “kaleidoscopic reinterpretation” of his earlier work, featuring “an A-List assortment of friends, fans, and brand new acquaintances,” according to the Paul McCartney Official Store website.

Key Background

McCartney first burst onto the U.S. music scene in early 1964 when the Beatles song I Want to Hold Your Hand—featuring vocals from McCartney and John Lennon—hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Over the next six years the band had one the most sustained periods of success in music history, with hit after hit dominating U.S. charts. As the group’s lead vocalists, McCartney and Lennon gained immense fame. The two would go on to have successful solo careers over the next decade, with Lennon’s cut short when he was killed in 1980. McCartney mainly found success with the band he formed, Wings, which topped the charts with hits like Band on the Run in 1974, and he released four No. 1 albums between 1973 and 1976. After Wings dissolved in 1981, McCartney collaborated with Stevie Wonder on the No. 1 hit Ebony and Ivory in 1982 and Say Say Say with Michael Jackson in 1983, while his Tug of War solo album reached No. 1 in 1982. But over much of the next 30 years, McCartney’s chart performance waned, with exceptions like his 1997 album Flaming Pie, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200. McCartney has had a bit of a renaissance over the past few years, starting with the FourFiveSeconds single he collaborated on with Rihanna and Kanye West, which peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100. In 2018, McCartney’s album Egypt Station made it to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first No. 1 album in the U.S. since 1982. McCartney III, his next album, topped the album sales chart and appeared as high as No. 2 on the Billboard 200.


McCartney was also in the news this week for posting a photo on Tuesday showing him getting a Covid-19 vaccine. “BE COOL. GET VAX’D,” McCartney said.

Further Reading

Paul McCartney: COVID-19 vaccinations are ‘cool’ (The Hill)

Paul McCartney’s ‘McCartney III Imagined’ Hits No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart (Billboard)


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