Memory Almost Full

Memory Almost Full
Memory Almost Full
Studio album by Paul McCartney
Released 4 June 2007 (2007-06-04)
Recorded October 2003 - February 2007
Genre Rock
Length 42:05
Label MPL, Hear Music
Producer David Kahne
Paul McCartney chronology
Ecce Cor Meum
Memory Almost Full
iTunes Festival: London
Singles from Memory Almost Full
  1. "Ever Present Past"
    Released: April 20, 2007 (2007-04-20) (United States)
  2. "Dance Tonight"
    Released: June 18, 2007 (2007-06-18)
  3. "Nod Your Head"
    Released: August 28, 2007 (2007-08-28)

Memory Almost Full is the 14th studio album by Paul McCartney, released in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2007 and in the United States a day later. The album was the first release on Starbucks' Hear Music label. It was produced by David Kahne and recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Henson Recording Studios, AIR Studios, Hog Hill Mill Studios and RAK Studios between October 2003 and February 2007.[1]

The grammy nominated album has sold over 4 million copies worldwide and has been certified gold by the RIAA for sales of over 700,000 copies just in the United States.[2] Shortly after the release of the album, it was reported that McCartney was aiming to sign a long term deal with Starbucks due to the success that Memory Almost Full had enjoyed, but with the demise of Hear Music in July 2008, McCartney had to seek another deal, which would be with One Little Indian Records.[3]

A CD/DVD deluxe edition was released on 6 November 2007.



In the website constructed for the album, McCartney stated: "I actually started this album, Memory Almost Full, before my last album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, released September 2005. (...) When I was just finishing up everything concerned with Chaos and had just got the Grammy nominations (2006) I realised I had this album to go back to and finish off. So I got it out to listen to it again, wondering if I would enjoy it, but actually I really loved it. All I did at first was just listen to a couple of things and then I began to think, 'OK, I like that track – now, what is wrong with it?' And it might be something like a drum sound, so then I would re-drum and see where we would get to. (...) In places it's a very personal record and a lot of it is retrospective, drawing from memory, like memories from being a kid, from Liverpool and from summers gone. The album is evocative, emotional, rocking, but I can't really sum it up in one sentence".[4]

Memory Almost Full is an anagram of "for my soulmate LLM" (the initials of Linda Louise McCartney). When asked if this was intentional, McCartney replied; "Some things are best left a mystery".[5] In an interview with Pitchfork Media, McCartney clarified, "I must say, someone told me [there is an anagram], and I think it's a complete mystery, because it's so complete. There does appear to be an anagram in the title. And it's a mystery. It was not intentional."[6] The album's title was actually inspired by a message that came up on his mobile phone. He thought the phrase summed up modern life.[7]

In June 2007, McCartney revealed that "See Your Sunshine" "is pretty much an out-and-out love song for Heather. A lot of the album was done before, during and after our separation. I didn't go back and take out any songs to do with her."[8]

"Mr. Bellamy", the sixth track on the album, was found as an anagram of "Mills betray me" and fans on Internet forums say it is about his divorce.[9] McCartney invited Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke to play piano on the track, but he declined. The press ran articles claiming that Yorke had "snubbed" McCartney, but Yorke later revealed that he "really liked the song" but felt he would be unable to perform to the required standard.[10]

"Gratitude" is reportedly a song about the divorce between Heather Mills and McCartney.

A significant proportion of the CD release of Memory Almost Full incorporated a cover insert whose top-right corner was intentionally folded down to the center of the insert, leaving the CD tray visible. The folded-down white corner covers up the corner of the armchair image, but has the artist and album names printed so that the text is complete despite the fold. Upon opening and flattening out the cover insert, the armchair is complete, but the portion of the text which is printed on the folded-down corner is not printed on the front of the cover, leaving the text incomplete. This was the first time such an artistic intervention occurred within a standard jewel-case, and at first glance had the possibility of being viewed as a mis-manufactured copy.

As part of a promotion with British newspaper the Mail On Sunday, McCartney gave away the standard version of the CD in a unique slip-case with the 18 May 2008 edition.[11]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 69/100 [12]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[13]
Entertainment Weekly A-[14]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[15]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[16]
The Observer 5/5 stars[17]
Pitchfork Media (6.4/10)[18]
PopMatters (5/10)[19]
Robert Christgau (2 star Honorable Mention)(2 star Honorable Mention)(3 star Honorable Mention)[20]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[21]
Yahoo! Music UK 3/5 stars[22]

Memory Almost Full received positive reaction. At Metacritic, the album earned an average score of 69 based on 23 reviews from critics, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews". Many maintained the album had a very Wings-esque sound, as 1997's Flaming Pie was a Beatles-inspired project.[citation needed] Evan Serpick of Rolling Stone magazine also compared the medley of five songs in the second part of the album to the famous song suite in The Beatles' Abbey Road.[23] This album was ranked number 22 on Rolling Stone's list of the Top 50 Albums of 2007.[24]

In the United States, Memory Almost Full debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 with about 161,000 copies sold, making it McCartney's highest-charting album there since 1997's Flaming Pie.[25] It was ranked at #90 on the top-100 of the Billboard Year-end chart, becoming his first non-compilation album which entered there since 1983. While it was announced that copies of the album sold in the Starbucks coffee shops in the U.K. would not be counted by the Official UK Charts, because they are not registered in the copies counting system, Memory Almost Full still managed to hit #5 on the UK Album Charts.[26] The album reportedly sold 100,000 copies in his homeland until it was given away with The Mail on Sunday for free.[27]

Release details

On 15 May 2007 the album (in both standard and deluxe editions) was made available for pre-order from the iTunes Store, with the single "Ever Present Past" being made available for immediate download.

Country Date Label Format Catalog
Germany 1 June 2007 Mercury Records
United Kingdom 4 June 2007 Mercury Records, MPL, Hear Music CD/LP 8 88072 30348 5
Deluxe Limited CD set 8 88072 30358 4
United States 5 June 2007 MPL, Hear Music CD/LP HMCD-30348 / 8 88072 30348 5
Deluxe Limited CD set HMCD-30358 / 8 88072 30358 4
Japan 6 June 2007 Universal Music Group CD UCCO-3001[28]
Deluxe Limited CD set UCCO-9151[29]

On 18 May 2008, the original 13 tracks were included on a free CD giveaway with UK newspaper The Mail on Sunday.


The first United States single, "Ever Present Past", made its radio debut on April 20, 2007.[30] Even without a music video, reception was strong, and it became McCartney's first song since 2001's "Freedom" to climb the Billboard charts, debuting at number 10 in the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart the week ending June 6, 2007. The lead single for the rest of the world is "Dance Tonight", released on McCartney's 65th birthday in the United Kingdom, June 18, 2007. The music video for the song was directed by Michel Gondry and features Natalie Portman and Mackenzie Crook.[31] The video premiered exclusively on YouTube on 23 May 2007. "Dance Tonight" is also featured in an iPod + iTunes commercial with McCartney playing mandolin. The third single, "Nod Your Head", was released as a free download single on 28 August 2007 via the iTunes Store. It was packaged with a music video for the song.

Track listing

Standard edition

All songs written and composed by Paul McCartney. 

No. Title Length
1. "Dance Tonight"   2:54
2. "Ever Present Past"   2:57
3. "See Your Sunshine"   3:20
4. "Only Mama Knows"   4:17
5. "You Tell Me"   3:15
6. "Mr. Bellamy"   3:39
7. "Gratitude"   3:19
8. "Vintage Clothes" (This track marks the start of a five-song medley on the album.) 2:22
9. "That Was Me"   2:38
10. "Feet in the Clouds"   3:24
11. "House of Wax"   4:59
12. "The End of the End"   2:57
13. "Nod Your Head"   1:58

2-CD edition

Disc 1 is the standard edition of the album. Disc 2 contains the following:

No. Title Length
1. "In Private"   2:08
2. "Why So Blue"   3:11
3. "222"   3:38
4. "Audio commentary: Paul talks about the music of Memory Almost Full"   26:04
5. "Dance Tonight (Acoustic version)" (iTunes Store pre-order bonus)  

Deluxe Edition

On 6 November 2007, the album was re-released as Memory Almost Full - Deluxe Edition. The set included one CD and one DVD. The CD included the standard album plus the three extra songs from the 2-CD edition. The DVD contained five tracks recorded live at The Electric Ballroom in London, and two videos.[32] The DVD program is the following:

No. Title Length
1. "Drive My Car"    
2. "Dance Tonight"    
3. "House of Wax"    
4. "Nod Your Head"    
5. "Only Mama Knows"    
6. "Dance Tonight (video)"    
7. "Ever Present Past (video)"    

The Rock Radio website leaked a track listing for the album on 12 April 2007.[33] A day later, producer David Kahne stated on the same site that the leaked listing was bogus.[34]


Paul McCartney played all instruments except for "Only Mama Knows", "You Tell Me", "Vintage Clothes", "That Was Me", "Feet In The Clouds", and "House of Wax", where he was joined by the following musicians(All from his touring band):


Memory Almost Full has been nominated in the following categories:

  • Best Pop Vocal Album for Memory Almost Full (2008)
  • Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Dance Tonight" (2008)
  • Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for "Only Mama Knows" (2008)
  • Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "That Was Me" (2009)


Chart positions

Chart (2007) Position Weeks
Danish Albums Chart (top 40)[35] 2 14
United States Billboard 200[36] 3 15
Swedish Albums Chart (top 60)[37] 3 14
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart (top 40)[38] 4 7
UK Albums Chart (top 100)[39] 5 6
Dutch Mega Albums Top 100[40] 6 10
Italian Albums Chart (top 20)[41] 8 1
French SNEP Albums Chart (top 200)[42] 13 14
Japanese Oricon Weekly Albums Chart (top 300)[43] 17 10
Austrian Albums Chart (top 75)[44] 17 4
Spanish Albums Chart(top 100)[45] 17 2
Swiss Albums Chart(top 100)[46] 20 5
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia) (top 100)[47] 25 8
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders) (top 100)[48] 25 4
Australian ARIA Albums Chart (top 50)[49] 33 3
Finnish Albums Chart (top 50)[50] 33 2

Year-end charts

Chart (2007) Position Sales
U.S. Billboard Year-End[51] 90 546,000+[52]


Region Provider Certification
(sales thresholds)
Russia NFPP Platinum[53] 2008
Canada CRIA Gold[54] August 2007
United States RIAA Gold[2] 21 March 2008[A]


  • A^ On the article that Concord Music Group posted on their official site in February 2007 (a month before Memory Almost Full was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America), Hear Music announced that shipments of the album reached a platinum status in the US.[55] Label also claimed that the album gained a gold in other countries like UK and Norway, though International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has not certified the album at any label there as of 2010.


  1. ^ "Paul McCartney /". MPL Communications. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  2. ^ a b RIAA - Gold & Platinum "(Searching results by albums entitled "Memory Almost Full")". Recording Industry Association of America. RIAA - Gold & Platinum. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Gregory, Jason (21 June 2007). "Paul McCartney Plots Second Starbucks Deal". Gigwise. 
  4. ^ "Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". 
  5. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (19 May 2007). "'There is a tunnel and there is light, and I will get there'". The Guardian (London).,,2082152,00.html. 
  6. ^ Dahlen, Chris (21 May 2007). "Interview: Sir Paul McCartney". Pitchfork. 
  7. ^ Murphy, Kim (3 June 2007). "Life for a man on the run". Los Angeles Times.,1,1265126.story?track=rss&ctrack=2&cset=true. 
  8. ^ Gregory, Jason (22 June 2007). "Paul McCartney Writes Song for Heather Mills". Gigwise. 
  9. ^ "McCartney fans hail 'Mills' song". BBC News. 24 March 2008. 
  10. ^ Colothan, Scott (10 December 2007). "Thom Yorke Reveals Reason Behind Paul McCartney Snub". Gigwise. 
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  12. ^ "Memory Almost Full reviews". Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Allmusic review". 
  14. ^ "Entertainment Weekly review".,,20040696,00.html. 
  15. ^ Rogers, Jude (14 June 2007). "The Guardian review". London.,,2103102,00.html. 
  16. ^ "Los Angeles Times review".,0,6931155.story?coll=cl-albumreviews. 
  17. ^ Spencer, Neil (20 May 2007). "The Observer review". The Guardian (London).,,2081014,00.html. 
  18. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". 
  19. ^ "PopMatters review". 
  20. ^ "Robert Christgau review". 
  21. ^ "Rolling Stone review". 
  22. ^ "Yahoo! Music UK review". 
  23. ^ "Preview Paul McCartney’s New Album, "Memory Almost Full"". Rolling Stone. 15 May 2007. 
  24. ^ Christgau, Robert; Fricke, David; Hoard, Christian; Sheffield, Rob (17 December 2007). "The Top 50 Albums of 2007". Rolling Stone. 
  25. ^ Hasty, Katie (13 June 2007). "T-Pain Soars To No. 1 Ahead Of Rihanna, McCartney". Billboard. 
  26. ^ "Paul McCartney's latest album faces sales battle". NME. 5 June 2007. 
  27. ^ Brook, Stephen (9 May 2008). "Mail on Sunday to give away free Paul McCartney album". The Guardian (London). 
  28. ^ "Paul McCartney Memory Almost Full Japan CD ALBUM (398868)". espirit / Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  29. ^ "Paul McCartney Memory Almost Full Japan DOUBLE CD (402962)". espirit / Retrieved 7 June 2007. 
  30. ^ "New Paul McCartney single to air on Friday". The Rock Radio. 18 April 2007. 
  31. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (30 April 2007). "Paul McCartney Confirms New Album Track List". Billboard. 
  32. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2 October 2007). "New Songs, Live DVD Jog McCartney's 'Memory'". Billboard. 
  33. ^ "New Paul McCartney album tracklisting leaked". The Rock Radio. 12 April 2007. 
  34. ^ "Paul McCartney producer says leaked tracklisting is bogus". The Rock Radio. 13 April 2007. 
  35. ^ " Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard - Paul McCartney". Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  37. ^ " Paul McCartney -Memory Almost Full". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  38. ^ " Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Chart Stats Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  40. ^ " Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". MegaCharts. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  41. ^ " Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  42. ^ " Paul McCartney -Memory Almost Full". SNEP. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
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  50. ^ " Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full". Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Billboard Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200". Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2008. 
  52. ^ "The Official Soundscan Thread - Page 23". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  53. ^ "Russian Gold and Platinum Awards, 2007 albums". Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  54. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  55. ^ "Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full" Certified Platinum". Concord Music Group. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 

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