Paul McCartney teams up with Decca label, at last

LONDON Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:33pm EDT

British singer Paul McCartney answers a question via satellite during the Showtime session for ''The Love We Make'' during the 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Cable Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California August 4, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

British singer Paul McCartney answers a question via satellite during the Showtime session for ''The Love We Make'' during the 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Cable Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California August 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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LONDON (Reuters) - Decca has teamed up with Paul McCartney to release his upcoming ballet nearly 50 years after the record label famously rejected taking on the Beatles in what has been called one of the music industry's biggest blunders.

The ballet, "Ocean's Kingdom," is the former Beatle's first foray into the world of dance, and has its world premiere at the New York City Ballet on September 22. There will be four additional performances in September and five more in January.

The Decca recording hits shelves in Britain on October 3.

Decca famously snubbed the Fab Four early in 1962, reportedly saying at the time that "guitar groups are on the way out" and "the Beatles have no future in showbusiness."

The quartet from Liverpool went on to sign with EMI label Parlophone and became arguably the most successful and influential pop band in history.

"Ocean's Kingdom," commissioned by the New York City Ballet, is conducted by John Wilson and performed by the London Classical Orchestra.

When he decided to write a ballet, McCartney visited the Royal Opera House in London and saw "Giselle," meeting the dancers of the Royal Ballet afterward to discuss the work.

McCartney's ballet tells of a love story set in an underwater world where people are threatened by humans. The score lasts an hour and is divided into four movements -- Ocean's Kingdom, Hall of Dance, Imprisonment and Moonrise.

In a statement, the 69-year-old singer/songwriter said he was "trying to write something that expressed an emotion -- so you have fear, love, anger, sadness to play with, and I found that exciting and challenging."

McCartney has written classical music before, including the award-winning choral work "Ecce Cor Meum."

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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