The release

In a bid to stop the album leaking onto file-sharing networks, advance promotional copies were issued with the title Album and the artist’s name as Pete Mitchell. Copies were watermarked and the recipient’s name was printed on the disc. The measures were largely successful, although it did find its way online two days prior to the official release date.

The lead single, ‘Fine Line’, was issued in August 2005, a month before the album. It reached number 20 in the UK, but failed to chart in America. The b-sides were ‘Comfort Of Love’ and ‘Growing Up Falling Down’.

Critical reaction to Chaos And Creation In The Backyard was broadly positive, and it sold 357,000 copies in the USA in the first 12 weeks. It debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 with sales of 91,544 copies, and was nominated for two Grammys, for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.

In the United Kingdom it spent three weeks on the albums chart, peaking at number 10. According to EMI, Chaos And Creation has sold more than 1.3 million copies worldwide.

A CD/DVD Special Edition of the album was released, featuring McCartney’s name as an ambigram on the cover, and a 20-page booklet including lyrics. The 51-minute DVD was titled Between Chaos And Creation, and contained a 30-minute documentary, a studio performance of ‘Fine Line’, a 12-minute animated film titled Line Art, and a menu sequence to the song ‘How Kind Of You’.

Chaos And Creation In The Backyard was also issued on vinyl, with four bonus 12″ square prints of line drawing.

Promotion for the album was heavy, with a three-month tour of the US and Canada, known as the US Tour, which was became McCartney’s fastest selling tour to date. There was also a a special edition of Billboard magazine, and a promotional concert held at Abbey Road Studios, called Chaos And Creation At Abbey Road.

McCartney granted a range of other interviews to print and radio outlets, including the BBC’s Front Row and Sold On Song. Parlophone also released an interview disc.

Chaos And Creation In The Backyard was McCartney’s final rock album release for EMI, although the classical album Ecce Cor Meum followed in 2006. In March the following year he signed with Hear Music, a subsidiary of Starbucks.

Other recordings

The album contained a hidden track, ‘I’ve Only Got Two Hands’, which followed the final listed song ‘Anyway’. Furthermore, the Japanese edition featured a bonus song, ‘She’s So Beautiful’, which was offered as a free download to those who purchased the album at Target stores in the US.

Six songs recorded during the Chaos And Creation sessions were released in a range of formats.

A live version of ‘Jenny Wren’, recorded live at Abbey Road, was also released as an exclusive download from McCartney’s official website.

Cover artwork

The cover of Chaos And Creation In The Backyard featured a 1962 photograph of McCartney taken by his brother Michael. The image was taken from a window of the McCartneys’ family home at 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, and featured Paul playing a guitar in the garden.

The photograph was originally known as ‘Paul Under Washing’, but was later retitled ‘Our Kid Through Mum’s Net Curtains’.

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