Paul McCartney discusses crate-digging in Jamaica and discovering reggae

Paul McCartney has discussed crate-digging in Jamaica and discovering reggae in an extract from his new book.

As revealed yesterday (November 10), the Beatle will release a new vinyl boxset called ‘The 7″ Singles’ on December 2. Limited to 3000 copies, the product comprises 80 career-spanning 7″ singles personally curated by McCartney.

‘The 7″ Singles’ features 163 tracks overall, totalling 10 hours of music from Macca’s half-century as a solo artist. Additionally, each box contains a randomly selected exclusive test pressing of one of the singles.

Fans will also get a 148-page book with a personal foreword by McCartney, essay by music journalist Rob Sheffield, extensive chart information, liner notes, and official artwork, per a press release.

Following the box set’s announcement, an extract of the book’s foreword has been published by Rolling Stone, in which McCartney remembers discovering reggae while in Jamaica, and how he still loves discovering new music via record shops and buying vinyl.

“I’ve always found there’s something exciting about flicking through the crates in a record shop, looking for that next discovery,” Macca wrote. “I still love it and there are some cool independent record shops near my office in London.

“Some of my happiest memories of buying 7-inch singles come from the Jamaican record shop that we used to go to when we were on holiday in Montego Bay. In the town there was this place called Tony’s Records on Fustic Road. It was great. There were records you didn’t know what they were, they weren’t established artists. So it was kind of a great adventure, just asking the guy behind the counter, “What’s this like? Is it any good?” There would be songs with titles like ‘Lick I Pipe’.”

He went on: “Another was called ‘Poison Pressure’ by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires written by Lennon & McCartney. I had to buy that one. Had they just recorded one of our songs? No. It was something completely different and we all presumed it might be a couple of guys called Tony Lennon and Bill McCartney. Either that, or it was a total scam.”

The singer went on to reveal that the jukebox in his office is “from a scene in the film Give My Regards to Broad Street.

“I liked it a lot, so I talked to the guy who had brought it along and I ended up buying it off him,” he explained. “It’s such a nice vintage piece and the songs on there – things like ‘Long Tall Sally’ by Little Richard and ‘Hound Dog’ by Elvis Presley – really take me back to my childhood. All these memories of when we were kids, back even before the Beatles.

“I hope the songs in this box bring back fun and fond memories for you too. They do for me and there will be more to come….”

McCartney released his 18th solo studio album, ‘McCartney III’, in December 2020. The record completed the trilogy that began with ‘McCartney’ (1970) and ‘McCartney II’ (1980).


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