Who Wrote ‘Live and Let Die?’ These Kids Didn’t Know
McCartney and his post-Beatles band Wings released the original version of the theme song for the James Bond movie of the same name in 1973. Guns N' Roses covered it in 1991 on their Use Your Illusion 1 album.
"I thought it was pretty good actually," McCartney said of GNR's version of the song on his A Life in Lyrics podcast (as transcribed by Bang Premier.) "I was more amazed that they would actually do it, this young American group. I was very happy that they had done it. I always like people doing my songs."
However, the massive commercial success of Guns N' Roses' cover got McCartney's school-aged children into some arguments. "The interesting thing was my kids would go to school and they would go, ‘My dad wrote that.’ [Their classmates would] go, ‘No he didn’t, it was Guns N’ Roses,’ so nobody would ever believe them. For a while it was just Guns N’ Roses."
How Guns N' Roses Overcame Their Fear of Covering 'Live and Let Die'
Speaking to MTV a year before Guns N' Roses released their cover of "Live and Let Die," frontman Axl Rose revealed that the band wasn't initially sure they'd be able to do the song justice. "I thought about [covering] it once a long time ago but just thought you would never be able to get that the way it sounds, that well. We didn't think we were good enough to get it done right, but Slash is doing most of the string arrangements on guitar with a harmonizer," Rose noted. "To me it's like Tom Waits meets Metallica, it's the way I sing it, so rough and scratchy. It's working out really good, it sounds like us."
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Gallery Credit: Dave Lifton