This March saw the publication of Paul McCartney’s latest album, ‘Teddy Boy.’ ‘Live and Let Die,’ on the other hand, quietly celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. In honor of the event, he sat down for an interview with paulmccartney.com, going into the song’s origins. When questioned if the song was more like a James Bond track or a part of his live performance, the former Beatle explained its origins as follows: “I believe it’s a little of both. Writing a Bond song seemed like a significant historical event. Ron Cass, who was running Apple Records at the time, presented the concept to me. ‘Have you ever considered making a Bond film?’ he said.
‘Well, I would,’ I replied. But no one has inquired!” So he approached the film’s producers, and they returned with the title ‘Live and Let Die.'” He went on to say how long it took him to come up with the track: “I went away and began to think about that phrase.” Obviously, what occurs to me is that I think of the old adage, ‘Live and let live.’ Then consider how you’re going to go to the opposite, ‘live and let die.’ It was a puzzle, but I like them; it’s like piecing together a little tale or something.
I obtained the book on which the film was based, read it, and recorded the song the next day. We’ve been playing it in our live shows ever since, and we have these huge pyrotechnic bursts that make people jump. As a result, I now consider it a large performance piece, and I like frightening people with the first bang! So it obviously has a new meaning for me outside of the Bond picture.” At another point in the conversation, McCartney made the audience chuckle with a story about an amazing live performance: “I remember this very old lady at the front in the early days of doing it with all the explosions.
” I’d think she was in her nineties or something. She was enjoying the show, and I’d begun singing the song’s opening words, ‘When you were young, and your heart was an open book…’ But then I saw her and thought, ‘Oh my God! We’re going to murder her! ‘What should we do?’ I kept going until I reached to the key part, ‘Say live and let die,’ and… BAM! The blasts started.
I looked over, expecting the worst, and she said, ‘Yeah!’ She was having a great time! So, instead of killing her, we delighted her!” Originally performed by Wings for the 1973 James Bond film ‘Live and Let Die,’ ‘Live and Let Die’ has been covered by various performers throughout the years. It was also in compilations like Paul’s 2022 ‘The 7′′ Singles Box.’ This week, a clearer version of the song will be available in Dolby Atmos on all supporting systems.