At the end of a strange and difficult year, it’s reassuring to find that some things remain constant. Like Uncut’s Review Of The Year, for instance – which occupies 35 pages in this month’s issue. Within it, you’ll find our Top 75 New Albums and Top 30 Reissues, as well as Best Films and Books of 2020. This year’s list has been compiled from charts submitted by 52 contributors (a record number, I think), who voted for 400 new albums and 170 reissues. There are also interviews with some of the artists who’ve helped shaped 2020: Elton John, Jarvis Cocker, Phoebe Bridgers, Afel Bocoum, Margo Price, Drive-By Truckers and Moses Boyd.
What else? Well, OK, so we also have a pretty amazing exclusive interview with Paul McCartney. As you’ll know, McCartney has a history of opening up a new decade with an act of musical reinvention – and 2020 is no exception, as he reveals McCartney III in depth in the pages of Uncut. There are other revelations ahead – we learn, for instance, that he still mentally consults John when he hits an obstacle during songwriting – but what struck me most is the reflective, grateful-for-a-good-life tone that runs through the interview. There’s a swathe of lovely, unseen photos, too.
Sharp-eyed UK readers will also note that this issue comes in a posh bag, intended to keep safe a number of gifts. Inside the bag, you’ll find an exclusive Paul McCartney Collectors Cover and our free CD rounding up 15 of the best tracks from 2020. There is also our bespoke McCartney Scrapbook that brings together rarely seen pieces from 1970, taken from the pages of Melody Maker, NME and Disc And Music Echo, as well as Paul’s famous Q&A that accompanied the release of the first McCartney album.
Fanfares and alarums, please, for our intrepid art editor Marc Jones for his sterling design work on the bag, poster and assorted covers. Talking of which, American readers should also look out for another exclusive McCartney cover on sale in Barnes & Noble from early December.
There’s a ton more good stuff, of course, including Tyler Wilcox’s deep dive into Archives II, The Damned’s original lineup reunite, AC/DC return, and on page 90, the unexpected appearance of Penelope Keith.
Anyway, do let us know what you think of the issue once you’ve had a chance to digest the various polls – drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the Uncut discussion online at forum.uncut.co.uk.