Talk about a band on the run. Paul McCartney will appear on the Grammy Awards this Sunday with Rihanna and Kanye West. They’ll play their single, “Fourfive Seconds,” which is really Rihanna’s single– she’s the main singer. McCartney plays guitar and presumably wrote the song since it’s the rare single these days with a complete melody and structure.
A few weeks ago, another single called “Only One” was released with Kanye “singing” via Auto Tune but also featuring a melody and composition that wasn’t sampled from something else. A Twitter joke started immediately thereafter asking who was this Paul McCartney?
But McCartney, who’s 72 and the greatest songwriter of the modern era, has always reached to new and younger musicians in order stay current. He’s had excellent collaborations with Elvis Costello and Dave Grohl. He’s also released experimental albums as the Fireman.
The Grammy Awards will be full of off combinations of eclectic acts, and this is the first time I can remember when they’ve promoted it so strenuously. Pierre Cossette, the late great producer of the Grammys for over 30 years invented this idea of unusual pairings. His successor, Ken Ehrlich, picked up the baton and has carried on the tradition.