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Paul McCartney Tries to Recapture a Fresh Sound

Sir Paul McCartney -- now 63 -- has spent the better part of his life playing music for crowds numbering in the thousands. Many of his fans squeal with delight just at the sight of the former Beatle.

The recording of his latest CD, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, effectively reduced McCartney's audience to one: producer Nigel Godrich.

McCartney talked with NPR's Steve Inskeep about the recording process, just before a recent concert in Washington, D.C. He said that working on Chaos was almost like going back to school again because producer Godrich wasn't afraid to call into question some of McCartney's musical choices.

By some estimations, the collaboration has resulted in McCartney's best music in years.

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Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.