Bob Dylan, B.B. King and The Cure have all been covered extensively in their own right, but the artists have come together to interpret a giant — Paul McCartney.
On a new album that is striking for the caliber of performers, McCartney’s longtime back-up band entered the studio with leading acts who covered favorite songs by the former Beatle.
“The Art of McCartney,” to be released on November 17, will feature 42 songs from The Beatles or the songwriter’s solo career, an announcement said Tuesday.
The project has been in the making since 2003, when Los Angeles producer Ralph Sall approached McCartney about the idea and recruited his band which knows his repertoire intimately.
On the first track released from the album, The Cure performs the 1967 Beatles song “Hello, Goodbye.” The version is largely faithful to the original but, when performed in Robert Smith’s distinctive voice, The Beatles’ influence on The Cure is apparent.
In the album announcement, Sall said that he knew he was “ambitious” to approach Bob Dylan as he was one of the “very few artists whose own work rivals The Beatles.”
But he agreed to perform “Things We Said Today,” a track of “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964 –the same year Dylan released “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”
Other artists who contributed to the album included blues titan B.B. King, country legend Willie Nelson, Motown giant Smokey Robinson and Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson as well as hard rockers Kiss and Def Leppard.