Percy Thrillington (Paul McCartney): Thrillington (LP)
180 gram vinyl + download code
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The album was recorded in June 1971 – with McCartney as producer – with an intended release shortly thereafter. Arranger Richard Anthony Hewson was asked to work on the orchestration before Ram had yet been released. When Paul and Linda decided to form Wings the album was shelved.
In preparation for the release of Thrillington, McCartney invented the fictitious socialite Percy Thrillington, and even took out ads in various UK music papers announcing Thrillington's so-called comings and goings to generate curiosity and interest.
Released in April 1977, McCartney's name was mentioned only in the main liner notes where he is described as a friend of Percy. Thrillington went mostly unnoticed upon its release although it was reviewed by Rolling Stone magazine and mentioned in the "Random Notes" section. It was widely assumed that this was McCartney working under a pseudonym and the album became a collector's item. McCartney finally admitted his role to journalist Peter Palmiere at a Los Angeles press conference on 27 November 1989 during his world tour: "What a great question to end the conference. The world needs to know! But seriously it was me and Linda – and we kept it a secret for a long time but now the world knows! – you blew it!"
In 1990 Paul McCartney also admitted to Palmiere, via an autograph request, that he was indeed Clint Harrigan – the liner notes writer for Thrillington and Paul McCartney and Wings' Wild Life album. The first person to reveal the identity of Clint Harrigan was John Lennon, who stated as much during a well-publicised letter feud with McCartney in the New Musical Express in 1972. Hewson suggested that if McCartney had released the album under his own name it may have sold better than it did.
The full story of the Thrillington album was told in detail in 1995 in Beatles fanzine Good Day Sunshine and in music journalist Ian Peel's book The Unknown Paul McCartney (Reynolds & Hearn, 2002). Peel tracked down various musicians who brought McCartney's vision to life – including Richard Hewson, Herbie Flowers and the Mike Sammes Singers – as well as those that were involved in creating its mythology.