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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Live and Let Die on Wikipedia
"Live and Let Die"
Single by Paul McCartney & Wings
from the album Live and Let Die
B-side"I Lie Around"
Released1 June 1973
Format7" single
RecordedOctober 1972
Writer(s)Paul McCartney
Linda McCartney
ProducerGeorge Martin
Paul McCartney & Wings singles chronology

"Live and Let Die" is the main theme song of the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die and was performed by Paul McCartney & Wings for the movie soundtrack and appears on the soundtrack album. The song was one of Wings' most successful singles, and the most successful Bond theme to that point.[citation needed] Commissioned specifically for the movie and credited to Paul McCartney and his wife Linda, it reunited McCartney with Beatles producer George Martin, who both produced the song and arranged the orchestral break. It has been covered by several bands, with Guns N' Roses' version being the most popular. Both McCartney's and Guns N' Roses' versions were nominated for Grammys.


Even before Tom Mankiewicz had finished writing the screenplay to Live and Let Die, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli invited Paul McCartney to write the theme song. McCartney asked to be sent a copy of Ian Fleming's novel. "I read it and thought it was pretty good. That afternoon I wrote the song and went in the next week and did it... It was a job of work for me in a way because writing a song around a title like that's not the easiest thing going."[1]

Originally, producer Harry Saltzman was interested in having an African American female artist perform it instead of Wings.[citation needed] Martin said that McCartney would only allow the song to be used in the movie if Wings were able to perform the song in the opening credits. Saltzman, who had previously rejected the chance to produce A Hard Day's Night, decided not to make the same mistake twice and agreed. A second version of the song, performed by B. J. Arnau, also appears in the film. Arnau's performance was originally meant for the group Fifth Dimension.[2] The Arnau version of the song appears on the soundtrack album as a component in a medley that also contains two George Martin-composed instrumental pieces, "Fillet of Soul - New Orleans" and "Fillet of Soul - Harlem".

Wings recorded "Live and Let Die" during the sessions for the Red Rose Speedway album. The single reached number 2 in the United States and number 9 in the United Kingdom[3][4] The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[5] Although McCartney's previous single, "My Love", had been credited to "Paul McCartney & Wings", the label of the "Live and Let Die" single credited the performing artist simply as "Wings." On the soundtrack album, however, the song was credited to "Paul McCartney & Wings", and was credited as such in the opening titles to the film. "Live and Let Die" was the last Paul McCartney single on Apple Records that was credited only to "Wings".

"Live And Let Die" was not featured on a Paul McCartney album until the Wings Greatest compilation in 1978. The entire soundtrack was also released in quadrophonic.

"Live and Let Die" was the first James Bond theme song to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (garnering Paul his second Academy Award nomination and Linda her first), but lost to the theme song from The Way We Were.

In Wings' live performances of the song, the instrumental break featured flashpots and a laser light show. Paul has continued to play the song on his solo tours, often using pyrotechnics when playing outdoor venues. "Live And Let Die" is the only song to appear on all of McCartney's live albums (barring the acoustic-based 'Unplugged'.)

Following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, the song was placed on Clear Channel's list of inappropriate song titles.


It was covered by the Stan Kenton big band in 1973. In 1986, it was covered by LA shock-rockers Lizzy Borden. In 1991, it was covered again by Guns N' Roses. Hank Marvin did an instrumental version in 1993 on his album Heartbeat. The Mantovani Orchestra performed an instrumental version in 1994 on the album, The Many Moods of The Mantovani Orchestra. Due to its status as a Bond theme, it was also covered by The Pretenders and released on the album Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project. Geri Halliwell, of the Spice Girls, released the song as a b-side track for her solo number one single "Lift Me Up", in November 1999. Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas performed the song on Movies Rock 2007, a CBS television special celebrating music in movies. A cover by singer Duffy appeared on the War Child charity's 2009 album Heroes.[6] In 2011, Céline Dion has included the song as part of a James Bond Medley for her Las Vegas show.


In 1984, McCartney asked "Weird Al" Yankovic when he was going to parody one of his songs.[7] A couple of years later, Yankovic asked for permission to put his parody "Chicken Pot Pie" on an album (as a courtesy; legally he did not need permission). McCartney denied the use because he is a vegetarian and didn't want to promote the eating of meat. Fellow vegetarian Yankovic said he respected the decision;[8] however, he has performed the song live.

Christian parody band ApologetiX performed a parody as "Didn't Just Die". It was released on their album ApologetiX Hits: The Road and was performed back-to-back with "Died and Rose," a parody of "China Grove" by The Doobie Brothers.

In the video game Spy Fox 3: "Operation Ozone", there is a parody called "Live and Let Fry". This is because Spy Fox is based on James Bond.

In 2010, the Brazilian experimental music group Pato Fu recorded a version in which two children performed the back vocals and the band members played plastic slide whistles, a toy xylophone and children-sized drum kit, cavaquinho and bass guitar and two toy keyboards for their album Música de Brinquedo ("Toy music").

Guns N' Roses version

"Live and Let Die"
Single by Guns N' Roses
from the album Use Your Illusion I
A-sideLive and Let Die (LP Version)
B-sideLive and Let Die (Live)
ReleasedDecember 1991
FormatCD, 7", 12"
GenreHard rock
ProducerMike Clink, Guns N' Roses
Guns N' Roses singles chronology

"Live and Let Die" was released as the second single from Use Your Illusion I album and the fourth out of all the Use Your Illusion singles. A music video was made in November 1991 featuring the band playing live on stage and showing old pictures. The video was also made shortly before Izzy Stradlin's departure and it was the last video where he appears. It became a top 40 hit, peaking at 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it also charted at 20 on the Mainstream Rock chart.[9]


Guns N' Roses
  • Axl Rose - lead vocals, production
  • Slash - lead guitar, production
  • Izzy Stradlin - rhythm guitar, backing vocals, production
  • Duff McKagan - bass, backing vocals, production
  • Dizzy Reed - piano, backing vocals, production
  • Matt Sorum - drums, production
Additional musicians
  • Shannon Hoon - backing vocals
  • Johann Langlie - synthesiser
  • Jon Thautwein - horn
  • Matthew McKagan - horn
  • Rachel West - horn
  • Robert Clark - horn


  1. ^ Barnes, Alan; Hearn, Marcu (1997). Kiss Kiss Bang! Bang!: the Unofficial James Bond Film Companion. Batsford Books. pp. 110–11. ISBN 9780713481822. 
  2. ^ Lindner, Christoph (2003). The James Bond Phenomenon: a Critical Reader. Manchester University Press. pp. 130, 134. ISBN 9780719065415. 
  3. ^ "Paul McCartney singles". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Humbling response delays Heroes, by Adam Woods - Retrieved 7 October 2008
  7. ^ Weird Al Yankovic Interviews on Yahoo! Music
  8. ^
  9. ^

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