- Live And Let Die
Music By: George Martin
James Bond Theme: Monty Norman
Song Composed By: Paul and Linda McCartney
Song Performed By: Paul McCartney and Wings)
Album Label: EMI / United Artists (USA), United Artists
Single Label: Apple (USA, UK)
Highest Chart Position:
9 (UK), 2 (US)
Taking a temporary hiatus from scoring
Bond films, John Barry subsequently passed the baton over
to George Martin to compose the soundtrack for "Live
And Let Die". This was the first James Bond film that
Barry was, in at least some aspect, not a part of. Barry
was then working on a musical and had had quarrels with
producer Harry Saltzman over his title song to Diamonds
are Forever (Saltzman thought the lyrics were too crude).
The score for Live and Let Die was orchestrated and conducted
by George Martin, and recorded at the AIR Studios. In his autobiography,
Martin said he was approached by Harry Saltzman who was impressed
by the orchestral backing of Paul
McCartney's demo of the title song and wanted Martin to score
the film. Martin agreed but then was surprised when Saltzman
asked him who he thought should sing the title song; Martin said
that Paul McCartney intended to. Saltzman wanted a black soul
singer to match the blaxploitation theme of the film, but a compromise
was agreed when B.J. Arnau would sing the title song in a nightclub
sequence. 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". Martin
related how he worked closely with director Guy Hamilton who
practically dictated how one of the tracks "If He Finds
It, Kill Him" should sound.
For the theme song, Martin teamed with
former-Beatle Paul McCartney, who had previously been considered
for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971. This was the first time
the pair worked together since Abbey Road in 1969. The
theme was written by Paul and his wife Linda McCartney
and performed by Paul and his group, Wings.
Wings recorded "Live and Let Die" during
the sessions for the Red Rose Speedway album. The single
reached #2 in the U.S. and #7 in the U.K. 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." This is because the B-side of the single, "I
Lie Around", was not sung by Paul McCartney but instead
sung by Wings guitarist Denny Laine. When the song made its
first album appearance on the soundtrack album, however,
the song was credited to "Paul McCartney & Wings".
Above: Sleeve artwork from the original
single release in the US by Apple records.
"Live and Let Die" was the last Paul
McCartney single on Apple Records that was credited only to "Wings". Despite
its first LP appearance on the 1973 soundtrack album, "Live
And Let Die" was not featured
on a Paul McCartney album until the Wings Greatest compilation
in 1978. "Live and Let Die" was the first James Bond
theme song to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original
Song (which gave Paul his second Academy Award nomination and
Linda her first), but it lost to the theme song from "The
Way We Were".
for the "Live And Let Die" single releases in Germany
(left) and Japan (right).
The single and the soundtrack album also disagree
on the composer credit. The single giving sole authorship to
Paul McCartney, while the soundtrack album credits Paul & Linda
McCartney as the composer. In the 2001 documentary Wingspan,
Paul revealed that Linda wrote the bridge section "What
Does It Matter To You..."
For many years "Live and Let Die" was a highlight
of McCartney's live shows, complete with fireworks and lasers
and in 2005, it was performed live during the halftime show at
Super Bowl XXXIX. The song was first covered by the Stan Kenton
big band in 1973, and then in 1991 by the rock band Guns N' Roses.
Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Geri Halliwell and Chrissie Hynde
each covered the title tune, the latter for current Bond-composer
David Arnold's compilation album, Shaken And Stirred: The David
Arnold James Bond Project.
1. Live and Let Die (Main Title)
2. Just A Closer Walk With Thee/New Second Line
3. Bond Meets Solitaire
4. Whisper Who Dares
5. Snakes Alive
6. Baron Samedi's Dance of Death
7. San Monique
8. Fillet of Soul New Orleans/Live and Let Die
9. Bond Drops In
10. "If He Finds It, Kill Him"
11. Trespassers Will Be Eaten
12. Solitaire Gets Her Cards
14. James Bond Theme
2003 Remastered Release
1. "Live and Let Die (Main Title)" – Paul
McCartney & Wings
2. "Just a Closer Walk with Thee/New Second Line" – Harold
A. "Duke" Dejan & The Olympia Brass Band
3. "Bond Meets Solitaire"
4. "Whisper Who Dares"
5. "Snakes Alive"
6. "Baron Samedi's Dance of Death"
7. "San Monique"
8. "Fillet of Soul – New Orleans/Live and Let
Die/Fillet of Soul – Harlem" – B. J. Arnau
9. "Bond Drops In"
10. "If He Finds It, Kill Him"
11. "Trespassers Will Be Eaten"
12. "Solitaire Gets Her Cards"
14. "James Bond Theme"
16. "Bond to New York"
17. "San Monique (Alternate)"
18. "Bond and Rosie"
19. "The Lovers"
20. "New Orleans"
21. "Boat Chase"
22. "Underground Lair"
Total Time (Original Release): 31:34
Total Time (2003 Remastered): 56:23