started this album, Memory Almost Full, before my last album Chaos
And Creation In The Backyard (released September 2005). The first
recording session was back in the autumn of 2003 at Abbey Road with
my touring band and producer David Kahne. I was right in the middle
of it when I began talking with Nigel Godrich about a brand new
project (which became Chaos And Creation In The Backyard).
the Grammy nomination when everything concerning Chaos was finished I
returned to making this album. I was wondering if I would enjoy it,
but actually I really loved it. In places it’s a very personal
record and a lot of it is retrospective, drawing from memories of
being a kid from Liverpool and summers gone. The album is evocative,
emotional, rocking, but I can’t really sum it up in one
is a medley of 5 songs towards the end and that was purposefully
retrospective. I thought this might be because I’m at this point in
my life, but then I think about the times I was writing with John and
a lot of that was also looking back. It’s like me with ‘Penny
Lane’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ - I’m still up to the same
know people are going to look at some of the songs and interpret them
in different ways but this has always been the case. The thing is
that I love writing songs, so I just write and write. I never really
get to a point where I start thinking I’m going to write about
specific subjects. Inevitably though, what I am thinking finds its
way into what I’m writing.
opening track of the album is ‘Dance Tonight’. I recently got
myself a mandolin and I was just playing about with it and came up
with the basis of this track. A couple of weeks ago we made the
video, which was great fun. It’s directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal
Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) and stars Natalie Portman and
Mackenzie Crook. We had a good time doing it.
album title came after I had finished everything. For me, that’s
when they normally come, with the exception of maybe Sgt. Peppers,
otherwise I don’t think I have ever made an album with The Beatles,
Wings or solo where I have thought of a title and a concept first. I
was looking for something that would sum the whole thing up and
‘Memory Almost Full’ came to mind. It’s a phrase that seemed to
embrace modern life; in modern life our brains can get a bit
overloaded. I realised I had also seen it come up on my phone a few
times. When I started bouncing the idea round with some friends they
nearly all got different meanings out of it, but they all said they
loved it. So the feedback helped solidify the title.
completing the album I then started thinking about the album artwork
and how I’d want it to look. I really wanted to make the CD a
desirable object. Something that I know I’d want to pick up from
the shelf, something that would make people curious. The album sleeve
itself includes an etching by a friend of mine, Humphrey Ocean.
really enjoyed making this album with David Kahne and I’m proud of
all the songs. We had a great time. I hope that the fun we had will
communicate itself to the people who are going to listen to it.
McCartney, April 2007