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Kisses On The Bottom

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Kisses on the Bottom is the fifteenth studio album consisting primarily of covers of traditional pop music and jazz by Paul McCartney. This album is his first since 2007's Memory Almost Full, and was released on Starbucks label Hear Music on 6 February 2012. The album, produced by Tommy LiPuma, is mostly a covers album, barring two originals by McCartney: "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts". The former features Eric Clapton on guitar, while the latter featuresStevie Wonder on harmonica. The album debuted at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 5 on the US Billboard 200 Chart. It reached number 1 on the US Billboard Jazz albums chart.

The album was first released in two editions: a standard edition, and a "Deluxe" edition, which features another McCartney original "Baby's Request"—a cover of the original version by Wings from their Back to the Egg album—and another cover, "My One and Only Love" as bonus tracks. In November, an expanded edition of Kisses on the Bottom, titled Kisses on the Bottom – Complete Kisses was released exclusively on the iTunes store. This expanded release features the 14-track album, with four bonus tracks, and the complete iTunes Live from Capitol Studios performance.


 [hide*1 History and recording

History and recording[edit]Edit

[1]Recording took place at the Capitol Records Building

A year prior to recording the album, jazz producer Tommy LiPuma and an unnamed keyboardist tried out some ideas for five days with Paul McCartney at McCartney's home studio in East Sussex. Featuring just vocals and piano, the trio "put about 15-20 songs on tape", to see what tracks would work.[3] Around this time, an unknown McCartney original was recorded, with the help of engineerGeoff Emerick.[4] The songs that McCartney would work on were voted upon democratically: McCartney comments, "I pulled up some [songs] from my memories, when I was a kid and we had family sing-songs, which was the original inspiration for the whole idea, I said to Tom, 'Let's look at these ones. This is the kind of era I want to look at.' Tommy himself suggested some; a girl in my office; [...] Diana [Krall] suggested some. Then I played Tommy a couple that I'd written, and he said, 'Whoa, that's a great idea,' so we selected a couple of those. [...] We all made suggestions, and we took all those suggestions to the studio."[3]

An alternate musical arrangement of "My Valentine" was recorded, along with remakes of earlier McCartney songs: "Baby's Request", and "Goodnight Princess".[5] Both the version recorded during the album sessions, and the original 1983 vocal version are unreleased.[5] Arranger of "My Valentine" was Alan Broadbent, who recalled his work with McCartney in the book Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013), speaking about the ideas McCartney offered him about the arrangement.[6] Some songs were from McCartney's childhood, in which his father, Jim, would often be playing on the family piano.[3] Most of the songs were played based off the sheet music, as LiPuma said that "We'd have somebody write out a chord sheet for us, and then we went in and figured it out on the date".[1] LiPuma also said McCartney wasn't unfamiliar with the group's way of recording, saying that McCartney said "I love this. It reminds me of the way we used to do the BeatlesJohn [Lennon] and I would write a song, we'd have a date booked at Abbey Road, and neither George MartinGeorge Harrison or Ringo [Starr] knew what the songs were about. They'd work it out right there in the room".[1]

The album was recorded during March 2010 – 2011 at Capitol Studios[1][2] and Avatar Studios.[7] The album's title comes from the lead track "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter", originally a hit for Fats Waller in 1935.[2][3] Said McCartney in the liner notes, "I worked with Diana Krall, and great jazz musicians like John Clayton. This is an album very tender, very intimate. This is an album you listen to at home after work, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea."[8] The disc was helmed by LiPuma who has previously worked with Miles Davis and Barbra Streisand, among others.[9][10] The album is mostly standards, with two originals written in the same style ("My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts").[3] "My Valentine", composed by McCartney, the first song released from the album, features Eric Clapton on guitar.[3] Stevie Wonder plays harmonica on "Only Our Hearts".[3][11][12] McCartney plays acoustic guitar on "Get Yourself Another Fool" and "The Inch Worm", but otherwise contributes only vocals.[13]

Release and promotion[edit]Edit

External video
"My Valentine" Music video

– from McCartney's official account on YouTube

Kisses on the Bottom was released in the UK on 6 February 2012, and a day later in the US, on LP[nb 1][nb 2] and CD. The CD version was originally released in two editions: a standard 14-track edition,[nb 3][nb 4] and a 16-track "Deluxe" edition.[nb 5]

A stream free live performance was hosted by iTunes on 9 February 2012. McCartney performed live from Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where much of the album was recorded. People tuned into the show by accessing iTunes on their PCs or Macintosh computers.[18] The live performance was later released, asPaul McCartney's Live Kisses, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, airing on PBSGreat Performances in September 2012.[19] The performance was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 13 November 2012.[20] In an interview with Billboard, McCartney said that he didn't rule out the possibility of a tour of the album with the musicians who played on it: "We haven't really talked about it yet. People have plenty of ideas and suggestions. I'd like to see how it goes live, just how much we enjoy it. If we all enjoy it, then we've got to think about taking it out."[1]


McCartney performed "My Valentine" live at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012 with Diana Krall and Joe Walsh of the Eagles[nb 6] The single climbed to number 20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart[22] after its debut at number 28. "My Valentine" also reached number 23 on the Japan Hot 100,[23] number 27 on the Billboard Jazz Digital Songs chart,[24] and number 23 on the Billboard Rock Digital Songs chart.[25] "Only Our Hearts" debuted at number 84 on the Japan Hot 100.[23]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [26]
BBC favourable[27]
Chicago Tribune [28] (mixed) [29]
The Daily Telegraph [30]
The Guardian [31]
The Independent [32]
The Observer [33]
PopMatters (6/10)[34]
Rolling Stone [35]

According to Rolling Stone, "like Rock 'n' RollJohn Lennon's 1975 album of primal rock gems, Kisses on the Bottom is the sound of a musician joyfully tapping his roots; and like his former song writing partner, McCartney is better transforming influences than mirroring them. But it's fun, and touching, to hear him crooning his way through the great American songbook."[35] In a review of the album for BBC Music, writer Patrick Humphries referred to the collection as "an album of neglected dishes from the great banquet of American popular music", before concluding that "what McCartney accomplishes here, in the best possible sense, is an album ideally made for Easy Listening".[27]

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said of McCartney's choice of songs as "faithful, loving versions of songs he's always sung", and calling his two originals—"My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts"—as "quite good".[26] Neil McCormick, reviewing the album for The Daily Telegraph, noted that of McCartney's two original compositions on the album it is "impossible to pick them out as contemporary songs amongst the standards" and that whilst "Only Our Hearts" is "unremarkable", the album's other original, "My Valentine", "has the ring of a classic".[30] Greg Kot said the slow version of "Bye Bye Blackbird" "nearly stalls".[28]

Awards and accolades[edit]Edit

Kisses on the Bottom won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.[36]

Commercial performance[edit]Edit

The album debuted at number 3 on the UK album chart,[37] and number 5 on the US Billboard Top 200 Album Chart,[38] and debuted at number 17 on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart in the US. In its second week on said chart, it jumped seventeen places to number 1.[39] The album also hit number 2 on the Billboard Tastemaker Albums Chart,[40] just behind Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth and ahead ofAdele's 21, the album also debuted at number 5 on Billboard's Digital Album Chart.[41]

Track listing[edit]Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"   Fred E. AhlertJoe Young 2:36
2. "Home (When Shadows Fall)"   Peter van Steeden, Jeff Clarkson, Harry Clarkson 4:04
3. "It's Only a Paper Moon"   Harold ArlenE. Y. HarburgBilly Rose 2:35
4. "More I Cannot Wish You"   Frank Loesser 3:04
5. "The Glory of Love"   Billy Hill 3:46
6. "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)"   Sammy Mysels, Dick Robertson, Nelson Cogane 3:22
7. "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"   Arlen, Johnny Mercer 2:32
8. "My Valentine"   Paul McCartney 3:14
9. "Always"   Irving Berlin 3:50
10. "My Very Good Friend the Milkman"   Harold SpinaJohnny Burke 3:04
11. "Bye Bye Blackbird"   Ray HendersonMort Dixon 4:26
12. "Get Yourself Another Fool"   Haywood Henry, Monroe Tucker 4:42
13. "The Inch Worm"   Loesser 3:43
14. "Only Our Hearts"   McCartney 4:21
Total length: 49:19

Deluxe edition[edit]Edit

The deluxe version of the album includes two additional tracks (including "Baby's Request", a cover of a Wings song from the Back to the Egg album), a download code for access to an exclusive live showavailable from McCartney's website a week after the album's release, and longer liner notes and expanded album packaging, including three postcards.[2] The US deluxe edition of the CD is 16 tracks which is available exclusively through Target stores.[nb 7]

Kisses on the Bottom – Complete Kisses[edit]Edit

An expanded edition of the album, titled Kisses on the Bottom – Complete Kisses, was released exclusively on iTunes on 26 November 2012 for the UK, and 27 November 2012 for the US. The album contained the original 14 track version of the album, plus 4 bonus tracks, and the complete Live from Capitol Studios performance (13 tracks).[43] One of the bonus tracks, "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)", was released as a single and peaked at number 25 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.[22] The track was also featured on the 2012 Christmas compilation album Holidays Rule.[44]

Kisses on the Bottom – Complete Kisses
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"   Ahlert, Young 2:36
2. "Home (When Shadows Fall)"   Steeden, Clarkson, Clarkson 4:04
3. "It's Only a Paper Moon"   Arlen, Harburg, Rose 2:35
4. "More I Cannot Wish You"   Loesser 3:04
5. "The Glory of Love"   Hill 3:46
6. "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)"   Mysels, Robertson, Cogane 3:22
7. "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"   Arlen, Mercer 2:32
8. "My Valentine"   McCartney 3:14
9. "Always"   Berlin 3:50
10. "My Very Good Friend the Milkman"   Spina, Burke 3:04
11. "Bye Bye Blackbird"   Henderson, Dixon 4:26
12. "Get Yourself Another Fool"   Henry, Tucker 4:42
13. "The Inch Worm"   Loesser 3:43
14. "Only Our Hearts"   McCartney 4:21
15. "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"   Mel TorméBob Wells 3:35
16. "Baby's Request"   McCartney 3:30
17. "My One and Only Love"   Wood, Mellin 3:50
18. "My Valentine" (Johnny Mandel Original Arrangement) McCartney 3:12
19. "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" (Live) Ahlert, Young 2:44
20. "Home (When Shadows Fall)" (Live) Steeden, Clarkson, Clarkson 4:26
21. "It's Only a Paper Moon" (Live) Arlen, Harburg, Rose 2:55
22. "More I Cannot Wish You" (Live) Loesser 3:28
23. "The Glory of Love" (Live) Hill 3:53
24. "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)" (Live) Mysels, Robertson, Cogane 4:14
25. "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" (Live) Arlen, Mercer 2:51
26. "My Valentine" (Live) McCartney 3:31
27. "Always" (Live) Berlin 4:21
28. "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" (Live) Spina, Burke 3:14
29. "Bye Bye Blackbird" (Live) Henderson, Dixon 4:45
30. "Get Yourself Another Fool" (Live) Henry, Tucker 7:48
31. "My One and Only Love" (Live) Wood, Mellin 4:16


Personnel per standard edition booklet.[7]

  • Paul Du Noyer – interviewer
  • Tommy LiPuma – producer
  • Al Schmitt – engineer, mixing
  • Elliot Scheiner – engineer
  • Brian Montgomery – engineer, pro-tools
  • Steve Genewick – engineer, pro-tools
  • Fernando Lodeiro – assistant engineer
  • Marcus Johnson – assistant engineer
  • Sam Okell – assistant engineer
  • Kris Burton – assistant engineer
  • Gordon Davidson – assistant engineer
  • Paul Pritchard – assistant engineer
  • Eddie Klein – assistant engineer
  • Keith Smith – assistant engineer
  • Jamie Kirkham – assistant engineer
  • Doug Sax – mastering
  • Sanwook "Sunny" Nam – mastering
  • Shari Sutcliffe – music contractor, project coordinator
  • Mary McCartney – cover photo
  • MJ Kim – additional photographer
  • John Hammel – images
  • Jonathan Schofield – art conception
  • Matthew Cooper – design
  • Nancy Jeffries – A&R
  • Scott Rodger – project manager
  • MPL Production Team:
    • Lisa Power
    • Ruth Birch
    • Claudia Schmid
    • Rebecca Church
    • Billie Temple
    • Toby McColl
    • Kat Holder
    • Richard Miller
    • Jess Whiteley

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Peak positions[edit]Edit

Chart (2012) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[45] 15
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[46] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[47] 8
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[48] 6
Canadian Albums Chart[49] 4
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[50] 3
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[51] 5
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[52] 18
French Albums (SNEP)[53] 4
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[54] 9
Hungarian Albums Chart[55] 34
Irish Albums (IRMA)[56] 9
Italian Albums (FIMI)[57] 15
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[58] 13
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[59] 7
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[60] 18
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[61] 18
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[62] 12
UK Albums Chart[37] 3
US Billboard 200[38] 5
US Billboard Jazz albums[39] 1

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (2012) Position
Danish Albums Chart[63] 75
Dutch Albums Chart[64] 81
French Albums Chart[65] 152
US Billboard 200[66] 132


Region Sales
United States (Nielsen SoundScan)[67] 243,000

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