Recording Studio: The 1980s proved a trying time for McCartney. An arrest for marijuana possession in Japan in January put him in jail for nine days. Later that year, his longtime partner and friend John Lennon, with whom he had recently reconciled after years of feuding, was killed outside his New York City apartment. In the wake of Lennon’s death, McCartney stopped touring, not taking it up again for almost a decade. He continued to play and record new music, however, collaborating with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson and still having massive commercial success. By 1989, he was ready to perform live again, and launched a world tour, one that would provide material for a triple live album. The tour also gave him a world’s record when he performed for the largest paying stadium audience in history: a concert for 184,000 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also started a collaboration with Elvis Costello, and they each released albums featuring different tracks they had written together.
Recording Studio: Orchestral Pieces
In the early ’90s, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society commissioned McCartney to compose an orchestral piece. The result was “Liverpool Oratorio,” which hit #1 on the UK classical chart. In 1994, he took four years away from his solo career to work with former bandmates Harrison and Starr on The Beatles Anthology project, then released a rock album in 1997 as well as a classical album. The following year, Linda died of cancer after a long illness.
In September of 2001, he watched the attack on New York City from the tarmac at JFK Airport, then became one of the organizers for The Concert for New York City. He continued recording and performing live around the world, with his 2002 tour being named the top tour of the year by Billboard magazine.
In 2012, McCartney released Kisses on the Bottom, which featured renditions of some of his favorite songs from childhood, including classics like “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “My Valentine.” McCartney made headlines later that year, after performing with fellow rocker Bruce Springsteen at London’s Hyde Park. The two legendary rock musicians even performed two Beatles hits together: “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout.” Unfortunately, this impressive live jam was cut short by the authorities: When the concert exceeded its scheduled end time, both Springsteen’s and McCartney’s microphones were turned off by event organizers.