Sir Paul McCartney says Robbie Williams held him up from making 'Kisses from the Bottom'.

The Beatles musician has wanted to make an album covering old rock 'n' roll standards for a number of years, but kept getting beaten to it by other artists such as Robbie, who released 'Swing When You're Winning' in2001, and Rod Stewart, who has recorded five instalments in his 'American Songbook' series since 2002.

In a live web chat, Paul Explained: "Every time I came to make this album someone else would make one. As soon as I thought 'now's the time', Robbie Williams came out with one. And I thought, 'I can't do it now because it's gonna look like I'm jumping on his bandwagon.'

"Then it settled down and just as I thought, 'now's the time,' Rod Stewart comes out with one, so I thought 'oops, can't do it now'.

"But I ended up with a different direction to anyone else, and the songs are not quite as well known as the ones other people have done."

Paul, 69, admitted he was both inspired and a little intimidated when he went into the famous Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with Diana Krall to record the album.

He added: "When I came in to make the album, I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I wanted some inspiration so I thought, 'I'm not going to answer that question until I get on the mic'.

"We were in Capitol studios, the iconic studio where Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Dean Martin, all these guys recorded and it felt a little bit intimidating because I had no idea what the record would sound like, we chose the song, and then started Diana started working it out, and we did it very organically."

'Kisses from the Bottom' - a collection of covers and two new songs by Paul, 'My Valentine' and 'Only Our Hearts' - is released on February 6 in Europe and February 7 in the US.