Oct 20, 2018

Paul McCartney Releases Previously Unheard Alternate Studio Version of "Live And Let Die"

Yesterday Paul McCartney announced two new, multi-disc, super deluxe reissues from his Archive Collection, the Wings albums Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway. The latter will include among its copious bonus tracks the album version of his classic 1973 James Bond title track "Live And Let Die" (which originally appeared on the George Martin-scored soundtrack LP and as a single, but not on a Wings album) along with a previously unissued alternate version. (This makes sense, as the song was recorded during the Red Rose Speedway sessions.) The alternate version, labelled "Live And Let Die [Group Only, Take 10]," is stripped down, lacking Martin's gloriously bombastic orchestral arrangements, and includes some extra screaming from Paul at the very end. It's an interesting listen! While "Live And Let Die" has been covered by almost everyone, it seems (including Guns'n'Roses, Billy Joel, Ginger Spice, Chrissie Hynde, Duffy, and perhaps most thrillingly, the must-listen version from Brazilian band Pato Fu), and McCartney has included it on almost all of his live albums, alternate studio versions from Wings are quite rare. As far as I'm aware, this is the first such official release.

One of the DVDs in the massive, deluxe Red Rose Speedway set will also include a live performance of the track, listed as "Live in Liverpool," but with no date given on the track list. The DVD also includes the 1973 James Paul McCartney TV Special, which marked the debut of "Live And Let Die" (preceding the film's premiere by a few months), showing footage of the band in the studio interspersed with clips of the film.

You can listen to the alternate version below, courtesy of Universal Music Group:

Read more about the sometimes surprising connections between The Beatles and James Bond over the years in my post "The Beatles vs. James Bond (or Blond)."

1 comment:

David Morefield said...

YES! At 00:25 Paul clearly says, "...but if this ever-changin' world in which we're living..." You have no idea how much it's bothered my OCD all these decades that he says (or seems to say) "in which we live in" for the final, official take. This is a welcome sign that he at least started out with a grasp of proper English. I can forgive a simple slip of the tongue.

This is a nice,clean arrangement, but it really does need Martin and the orchestra to put it over the top (where all things Roger belong).