Sir Paul McCartney has said he sometimes wishes he could “be more like Bob Dylan”.
The acclaimed Beatles musician said the American singer-songwriter’s latest album, Rough And Rowdy Ways, is “really good”.
The 78-year-old told Uncut magazine: “I always like what he does. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more like Bob. He’s legendary … and doesn’t give a shit! But I’m not like that.
“His new album? I thought it was really good. He writes really well. I love his singing – he came through the standards albums like a total crooner. But, yeah, I like his new stuff.
“People ask me who I’m a fan of and Bob Dylan and Neil Young always make the list.”
Dylan scored his ninth number one album with Rough And Rowdy Ways – breaking two chart records in the process.
It places the chameleonic performer alongside Abba and Queen, who also both secured nine number one albums in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company.
He is the oldest artist to score a number one album of new and original material, as well as the oldest male solo artist to land a number one in the albums chart.
Sir Paul was speaking ahead of the release of the third part of his trilogy of self-titled solo albums later this year after working on new music in lockdown.
McCartney III, which will be released in December, will follow on from 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II.
The album, written, performed and produced by the Beatle, will coincide with the 50th anniversary of his first self-titled solo endeavour, which featured Maybe I’m Amazed, Every Night and The Lovely Linda.
Asked if he will retire, Sir Paul told the magazine he is still “very happy to be able to go to the studio and hang with my buddies”.
“I’m very lucky, I can go out on my old gee-gee, go into the woods and lose myself,” he said.
“I love nature, I always have done. It’s so calming and inspirational. When we were kids, we used to live on the perimeter of Liverpool.
“You’d walk one yard and you were in Lancashire. Then you’d walk a mile and you were in a village where they spoke very differently.
“There was always a sense that you were falling off the edge of the world. I fell off the edge of Liverpool into nature.
“So it’s not so much that I would retire – I’m very happy to be able to go to the studio and hang with my buddies. I still enjoy that in my life.”
Sir Paul said he still mentally consults John Lennon while he is writing songs, adding: “I’m working on one at the moment that was going one way, but I didn’t like the lyric. ‘No, this is not happening, mate.’
“This would have been the point where John and I would have said ‘You know what, let’s have a cup of tea and try and rethink this’.”
He added: “We collaborated for so long, I think ‘OK, what would he think of this? What would he say now?’
“We’d both agree that this new song I’m talking about is going nowhere. So instead of sitting around, we’d destroy it and remake it.”
– McCartney III will be released by Capitol Records on December 11