Paul McCartney's new album is the result of the former The Beatles star taking the time to polish up old recordings that he just couldn't get right.

McCartney III, slated for release on 11 December, comes 50 years after the debut of his self-titled first solo venture, and 40 years after the follow-up.

In an interview with the BBC, the star explained that most of the album is "new stuff" that he worked on during lockdown, but some of the tracks had been set aside because they "just didn't cut it" in their original form.

"I thought 'OK, wait a minute, what about that one?'," he pondered.

"So I'd get it out and think, 'Ugh, oh dear.' And you'd try to figure out what was wrong with it, or why you didn't like it," he went on.

McCartney said his creative process sometimes involved rebuilding a track entirely.

"In some cases the vocal or the words just didn't cut it, so you'd strip it all down and go 'OK, let's just make it completely different'," recalled the Hey Jude star.

"When I'd done them, I was going 'Well, what am I going to do with this?' And it suddenly hit me: this is McCartney III. You've done it all yourself, like the others, so this qualifies," he marvelled.

Although the Brit thrilled fans with news of the release, he admitted he "wasn't aiming at a proper record release, I was just having a go," musing on the finished product: "I think it has ended up being exactly what it is - which is me not really trying very hard, except to have fun."