Music legend Paul McCartney dusts off his his early '80s solo album Pipes Of Peace and Tug of War for re-release and rediscovery, since chances are all you remember (if you were alive and sentient at the time) from them were the massive collaborative singles and videos from the albums: "Ebony And Ivory" with Stevie Wonder, and "Say Say Say" with Michael Jackson.
One of the bonus and promotional elements for the campaign is a new version of the "Say Say Say" video — which has aged about as well as most things from the decade — that let's Sia video choreographer Ryan Heffingon unleash a dance jam across Los Angeles.
Another track from the Kanye and Paul McCartney collaboration drops, this time as the lead single for Rihanna's upcoming new album. Vertically constrained to just the center third of the screen, the focus of this silvery b/w clip is Rihanna's emotional performance, with Sir Paul and Yeezus in supportive mode. It's simple and effective, making clear that Rihanna can thrive with music as simple and easily stylist as a pair of blue jeans. (In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if a country cover of this becomes a hit.)
Maybe you watch this video and think about how simple it is. There's seemingly nothing to it, really. But, it's a culmination of perfect choices, starting from the collaboration between Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and a song that literally speaks from a heartbreaking afterlife. And a video by Spike Jonze that knows what to focus on — Kanye's daughter, his wedding band as he holds her hand — and ducking out the track to hear Kanye sing live on that long road where there's nowhere to hide...
I know you like to think it's effortless — and maybe it is when you're Spike, Kanye and Sir Paul — but don't kid yourself that it doesn't take a long journey with lots of heartbreak to get there.
First off, don't pay attention to the bullshit headlines about Johnny Depp being in the new Paul McCartney video. Not that they aren't true — he has a cameo in a performance set-up with Sir Paul and some blues musicians — but we've been there and done that. Go watch "My Valentine" which is All Depp, All The Time, or the star-studded "Queenie Eye" video. In this case, Johnny Depp is the least notable thing about this video, which I mean as a compliment to all involved.
"Early Days" imagines the story of a rock band from the roots-up, sprouting to life far away from money and fame — and far away from The Beatles' Liverpool hometown. We're down in The Delta, circa the late 1950s, where a mixed-race band is defying all kinds of odds to reach a level of purity, success and maybe even a little peace.
Sometimes Paul McCartney dreams of robots — which I blame on Daft Punk at the Grammys — and because being Paul McCartney allows you to bring those dreams to life, he recruited the puppetry team from War Horse to design Newman The Robot, in addition to getting Microsoft to present it.
If it strikes you as weird, remember: This is mainly meant for Japan.
There's an abundance of riches in this new Paul McCartney video — and that's not a sly way of saying everyone in it is worth millions upon millions. It was shot in Abbey Road studios, which is apparently haunted not just by The Beatles, but also by guest stars Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Sean Penn, Jude Law and many other familiar faces/names.
Paul McCartney has already nabbed celebrities in his videos — "My Valentine" from last year had both Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman — but he's apparently taking things to the next level for "Queenie Eye." Depp is rumored to appear again, but this time he'll be alongside ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, Meryl Streep and UK singer Gary Barlow.
Another reunion that's notable? The video was shot at the famed Abbey Road Studios, where The Beatles cut most of their music and immortalized with and album named for it.