The real measure of a songwriter’s skill isn’t how many albums they’ve sold, but how often other artists have performed their songs. While Paul McCartney’s had no trouble moving units over the course of his career, the fact that he’s one of the most widely covered composers in pop music history–with over 2,000 known versions of his Beatles tune “Yesterday” alone–says much more about how much he means to the form.
Nov. 18 will see possibly the biggest tribute yet to Sir Paul’s compositional talents with the release of The Art of McCartney, a massive collection of covers by some of the biggest musicians of the past 50 years, including Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, and seemingly about half the performers who’ve ever been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Billy Joel contributes two covers to the cause: “Live and Let Die” and “Maybe I’m Amazed.” We have a sneak peek at Joel’s take on the biggest hit from the ex-Beatle’s 1970 solo debut–along with some behind the scenes footage and more info on The Art of McCartney–after the jump.