Paul McCartney Gets the Rights Back to His Own Beatles Songs; Re-records "Blackbird;' Performs With Kronos Quartet at Outside Lands (Video)
By Tony Sokol | August 11, 2013 01:30 PM EDT
Paul McCartney lost the rights to the songs he wrote for the little band he had before Wings, The Beatles, when Michal Jackson and Sony/ATV Music Publishing bought up the copyrights. It looks like Paul McCartney will regain control over his own music again. The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 says that the rights to any songs written before 1978 go back to the songwriters after 56 years. For Paul McCartney, this means that he will own his own songs again starting in 2018, when he will be 76 years old. The Beatles broke up in 1970, so McCartney will get the bulk of his sons back by 2026.
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Paul McCartney is worth about $737 million, so it might not seem like a big deal financially, but they are his songs.
Paul McCartney recently re-recorded the song “Mother Nature’s Son,” which was on the influential “The Beatles” album, better known as “The White Album.” McCartney is the only Beatle on the song, having recorded his acoustic guitar and vocal parts on Aug. 9, 1968, after finishing a session on George Harrison‘s song “Not Guilty.” Paul did 25 takes of the song before deeming it finished. Paul saw it as a solo piece very much like the song “Blackbird” from the same album and “Yesterday,” from 1965, which McCartney recorded solo with an acoustic guitar with strings added later. George Martin added horns later. George Harrison’s “Not Guilty” was never included on a Beatle album.
Paul McCartney performed “Yesterday” with "live strings" provided by the Kronos Quartet at his show at Outside Lands last night. McCartney first performed “Yesterday” live on the Ed Sullivan Show. He performed it solo with an acoustic guitar and strings piped in. The Beatles performed full band versions of “Yesterday” on their 1966 tour. Rolling Stone called The Kronos Quartet have been called "classical music's own Fab Four" in 1987.
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