What was the music that inspired The Beatles to write their songs?
Though, over the past 50 years, music historians, cultural enthusiasts and mega-fans alike have all proposed their answer to the question, it's Paul McCartney's turn to chime in. A new, as of yet untitled McCartney album to be released on Februrary 7, 2012, will contain the songs he grew up listening to, as well as two new songs.
"In the end it was 'Look, if I don't do it now, I'll never do it," he said in a release. "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. 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'."
It's not just McCartney's personal leanings that these songs expose, however. The album will also have "the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on," according to McCartney.
Two original songs, "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts," will feature Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. And, for premium members of Paul McCartney's website, "My Valentine," will be available to stream free for 24 hours.
To listen to the track, go to www.paulmccartney.com, and click the second box over on the bottom bar where it says "Paul McCartney: Exclusive." Once there, log in or sign up to be a premium member, and the song will be available.
UPDATE: The first single off McCartney's forthcoming album has been released. Listen to "My Valentine" below, featuring Eric Clapton on acoustic guitar: