The announcement

The domain name mccartneyiii.com was registered on 28 August 2020 by CSC Corporate Domains, the company which also registered paulmccartney.com and flaming-pie.com.

On the morning of Tuesday 20 October 2020 (UK time), McCartney’s Twitter feed began dropping cryptic tweets to announce the album:

The tweets each contained three dice emojis, which on Twitter are rendered in red. They were posted at 3.33am, 8.33am, and 11.33am BST, thus continuing the ‘three’ theme.

In the same week, bags containing three dice were sent by Capitol to select journalists and some previous purchasers from McCartney’s web store. The dice show only McCartney’s surname and three dots.

McCartney III dice bag

McCartney III dice bag (image: u/MajorJaXon on reddit)

At the beginning of the year we were on holiday and then the lockdown started just after we got back and so I flew to England and spent the time with my daughter, Mary, and her kids on the farm. So, suddenly, we were all locked down there. So it’s not been bad at all. In fact, I feel a bit guilty admitting that it’s not been bad, and a lot of people do. They don’t want to admit that, actually, you know, [they’re] enjoying it. I’m very lucky. The weather’s been brilliant and Mary and her kids are great, so I’m seeing a lot of my grandkids and Nancy, so it’s been all right. I feel dreadfully sorry for all those who are less fortunate and obviously all those who have lost loved ones, but I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to write and get into music, starting songs, finishing songs. I’ve had a few little things to write and it’s given me the time to finish some songs that I hadn’t found the time to get around to, you know? I’ve been recording using lots of hand wipes and disinfectant and social distancing, which was good because I don’t like not working.

I suppose I learned that you can’t take anything for granted and that it’s very difficult to predict the future now. In all honesty, I don’t think I learned much. I knew the value of my family and it’s been great being able to spend more time with them, but it doesn’t mean I want to do that all the time. I like working as well. But relationships are important. Family is important. Music is important. Like I say, I’m lucky, because what I do, it all starts with writing, and I can pretty much do that anywhere, so long as I’ve got a guitar. I like having stuff to do, as it keeps the brain busy. And on top of all my projects, I’ve had the luxury of just being able to sit down and write songs for no reason, which is great. It keeps me off the streets.

Paul McCartney
GQ, 4 August 2020

On Tuesday 20 October a report in The Sun (UK) quoted a “music insider” about the release:

Paul has been totally alone, with no producer or sound engineer, while making this record, just as he was for the previous two volumes. Obviously this time around recording in isolation wasn’t his choice. But it made complete sense for this album to be the third in the trilogy, particularly given the first came out five decades ago.

It’s been a true solo effort and he had to get experimental with what he used as instruments, hence the saucepan. He’s now gearing up to put it out in the coming weeks, with a global announcement due tomorrow.

The album was finally announced on McCartney’s social media feeds at 5pm BST on 21 October.

The original release date of 11 December 2020 was pushed back a week, reportedly to allow enough time for pressing plants to cope with all the different vinyl editions.

Taylor Swift brought forward the release of her album evermore to avoid clashing with McCartney III.

I did the Rolling Stone cover with Taylor Swift, and she just emailed me recently, and she said, ‘I wasn’t telling anyone, but I’ve got another album.’ And she said, ‘So I was going to put it out on my birthday.’

And then she said, ‘But I found out you were going to put [yours] out on the 10th. So I moved it to the 18th.’ And then she found out we were coming out on the 18th so she moved back to the 10th. So I mean, you know, people do keep out of each other’s way. It’s a nice thing to do.

Paul McCartney
The Howard Stern Show