Paul McCartney celebrates 50th anniversary of James Bond song Live and Let Die | Music | Entertainment

When fans think of great James Bond themes the likes of Goldfinger, GoldenEye and Skyfall come up, but perhaps the very best is Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die.

Three years out of The Beatles, Macca was recording and performing with his Wings band and was asked to write the new Bond song for Roger Moore’s first outing as 007 in 1973’s Live and Let Die.

Half a century on this week and the 80-year-old told his official website: “I don’t believe it, do you? I’m only forty-five!

“But no, it’s always very weird when you get these kind of anniversaries because I don’t keep count. I have no idea if it’s coming up for fifty or sixty years or whatever.

“It’s shocking really, but in a nice way. I think, ‘Where did the time go?’ It’s nice that the song has lasted though, and people still enjoy it.”

READ MORE: Paul McCartney fought Bond producers to save Live and Let Die theme

Asked if he thinks of it as a Bond song or more of a staple in his live performances with all the fiery pyrotechnics, McCartney admitted it was a bit of both.

He said: “It felt like an important historical thing, writing a Bond song. The idea was suggested to me by Ron Cass, who was a guy who ran Apple Records at the time. He said, ‘Have you ever considered doing a Bond film?’ And I said, ‘Well, I would. But no one has asked!’. So, he spoke to the film’s producers, and then they came back and gave me the title Live and Let Die.

“I went away and started thinking about that phrase. To me, obviously what happens is you think of the usual saying, ‘live and let live’. And then think about how you’re going to get to the opposite which is, ‘live and let die’. It was a little conundrum, but I enjoy those; it’s like putting together a short story or something. I got the book the film was going to be based on, read it, and did the song the next day.”

Incredibly, Bond producer Harry Saltzman didn’t want Macca to sing Live and Let Die at first, even though the star wrote it.

George Martin played Saltzman the demo tape, but said he wanted Shirley Bassey or Thelma Houston to sing Live and Let Die.

The Beatles producer pointed out he already had Paul McCartney and it was Paul McCartney and Wings or nothing.

Macca added: “Ever since then, we’ve played it in our live shows, and we have these big pyrotechnic explosions that make people jump. Because of that, I now think of it as this big performance piece, and I do enjoy shocking people with the first bang! So, it’s definitely taken on a new meaning for me beyond the Bond film.”


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