Paul McCartney – Live and Let Die

I’ve seen Paul in concert twice. Some performers you go and see and you may know a lot of their songs but with Paul…it’s nearly 3 hours of songs that you have heard all of your life.

Paul McCartney was given a copy of the Ian Fleming novel to read and he read the book one Saturday, during a break from sessions for the Red Rose Speedway album before writing the song on the following day.

Live and Let Die was the title song for the eighth James Bond film. It was the first to star Roger Moore as Bond.

George Martin produced this song for Paul, they hadn’t worked together since Abbey Road. The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to Barbra Streisand’s The Way We Were, but George Martin won a Grammy for his work on the song.

“Live and Let Die” was not featured on a McCartney album until the Wings Greatest compilation in 1978.

Live and Let Die peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, #9 in the UK, and #20 in New Zealand.

Denny Seiwell  (Wings Drummer) “Everybody thought it was cool that we were doing something for James Bond. I remember what Paul told us – he said a couple weeks before we did the actual recording, he said they wanted him to write the theme to the next James Bond movie, and they sent him the book to read. And we were up at the house one day and he had just read the book the night before, and he sat down at the piano and said, ‘James Bond… James Bond… da-da-dum!’, and he started screwing around at the piano. Within 10 minutes, he had that song written. It was awesome, really. Just to watch him get in there and write the song was really something I’ll remember the rest of my life.” 


From Songfacts

The former Beatle recalled the writing of the song in an interview with the October 2010 edition of Mojo magazine: “I got the book and it’s a very fast read. On the Sunday, I sat down and thought, OK, the hardest thing to do here is to work in that title. I mean, later I really pitied who had the job of writing Quantum Of Solace. So I thought, Live And Let Die, OK, really what they mean is live and let live and there’s the switch.

So I came at it from the very obvious angle. I just thought, ‘When you were younger you used to say that, but now you say this.'”

George Martin produced this and arranged the orchestra. Martin produced most of The Beatles work, so this was McCartney’s chance to work with him again.

This was the most successful Bond theme up to that point. Other hits from James Bond movies include “Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simon (from The Spy Who Loved Me), “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton, and “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duran.

McCartney performed this on his solo tours in 1989-1990 and 1993.

Live and Let Die

When you were young
And your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
You know you did
You know you did
You know you did
But if this ever changin’ world
In which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die (live and let die)
Live and let die (live and let die)

What does it matter to ya
When you got a job to do you got to do it well
You got to give the other fella hell

You used to say live and let live
You know you did
You know you did
You know you did
But if this ever changin’ world
In which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die (live and let die)
Live and let die (live and let die)



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

36 thoughts on “Paul McCartney – Live and Let Die”

  1. very good song from Paul’s post-Beatles collection. Right there with “A View to a Kill” and “Goldfinger”as the James Bond themes I like.
    Lucky you seeing him twice! I rather hoped to get to see him (I think it was) two summers back in Dallas even though his new album sounded… not like the pinnacle of his career, let’s say… but would be something to be there when he did some Beatles tunes and just to say “I saw him!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was happy that his album hit #1 but yea seeing him live is pretty cool. Song after song…yea that one…oh that one… He may have played 1 song I didn’t know the times that I saw him. That was before his new album though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What tours did you see him on?
    I saw Paul Dec 89 in Toronto and May 93 in Winnipeg. Both great shows!
    Live and Let Die is one of his best Wings tune’s.
    Great read and I like that 45 cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw him later on in 2010 and 2014…both were great… It’s like going to a greatest hits concert…you know them all.

      Live and Let Die live was really cool…that one stood out. For being as old as he is…he still has that voice.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It would have been a great mooment! This song pushed up his status after The Beatles…a little later would be Band on the Run.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would say it’s one of Paul’s best tunes post-Beatles and also one of my favorite Bond themes. And, yes, I agree, seeing Paul perform “Live and Let Die” live is quite a spectacle!

    I saw him once in the late ’80s in Germany and a second time in July 2016 in Hershey, Pa. Both shows were among the best concerts I’ve been fortunate to catch.

    I’d love to see him one more time. Even though his voice is showing some wear, I think Paul still is an incredible performer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every song over and over coming at you that you know. Not many can do that.

      I like when he brought out the Epiphone that he used on Paperback writer and the stories he told…
      I’ll see him again if possible.

      In 2010 his voice was spot on but in 2014 I could hear it break for the first time in My Love. This song was great live and I liked his version of Something.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could hear some strain in the 2016 show after Paul had done an intense version of “Maybe I’m Amazed”. I still remember thinking to myself, ‘boy, he’s gonna rip his vocal chords!’

        I just went to to pull up the setlist from that show. Just look at this amazing list of songs!

        Some interesting choices, such as a tune by the Quarrymen or “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite”. Also, I just went back to my blog post I did back then, apparently this tour was the first Paul played “A Hard Days Night” during a solo tour.

        Man, all of these memories even more make me wanna see him at least one more time!

        1. A Hard Day’s Night
        2. Save Us
        3. Can’t Buy Me Love
        4. Letting Go
        5. Temporary Secretary
        6. Let Me Roll It
        7. I’ve Got a Feeling
        8. My Valentine
        9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
        10. Here, There and Everywhere
        11. Maybe I’m Amazed
        12. We Can Work It Out
        13. In Spite of All the Danger (The Quarrymen song)
        14. You Won’t See Me
        15. Love Me Do
        16. And I Love Her
        17. Blackbird
        18. Here Today
        19. Queenie Eye
        20. New
        21. The Fool on the Hill
        22. Lady Madonna
        23. FourFiveSeconds
        24. Eleanor Rigby
        25. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
        26. Something
        27.Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
        28. Band on the Run
        29. Back in the U.S.S.R.
        30. Let It Be
        31. Live and Let Die
        32. Hey Jude

        33. Yesterday
        34. Hi, Hi, Hi
        35. Birthday
        36. Golden Slumbers
        37. Carry That Weight
        38. The End

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I was curious…he does change it up…here is 2014 in Nashville

        Magical Mystery Tour
        All My Loving
        Listen to What the Man Said
        Let Me Roll It
        Paperback Writer
        My Valentine
        Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
        The Long and Winding Road
        Maybe I’m Amazed
        I’ve Just Seen a Face
        We Can Work It Out
        Another Day
        And I Love Her
        Here Today
        Queenie Eye
        Lady Madonna
        All Together Now
        Lovely Rita
        Everybody Out There
        Eleanor Rigby
        Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
        Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
        Band on the Run
        Back in the U.S.S.R.
        Let It Be
        Live and Let Die
        Hey Jude

        Day Tripper
        I Saw Her Standing There

        Encore 2:
        Helter Skelter
        Golden Slumbers
        Carry That Weight
        The End

        Liked by 2 people

      3. You know I’m not sure about that. I’m not sure he did one on Egypt Station. This may be a stupid question…do you get many concerts in Hong Kong from big artists?

        I was going to travel if I had to…he came here in 1974 but didn’t come back til 2010.


      1. I barely remember it but when I saw the video I thought…damn Paul looks young! lol… Then I remembered the song but I never saw the video…I found two of them…one original and one of the remix.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Paul does know how to write good feeling pop songs…yes I agree with your last statement totally.
        I feel bad for the kids now having to go through this.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: