Paul McCartney’s 1973 James Bond movie soundtrack theme “Live and Let Die” has been remixed in Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin – son of the track’s original producer, George – and Steve Orchard. The new mix mark the 50th anniversary of the single from the film score of the same name, which was produced in full by George Martin.
The new, immersive mix allows fans to hear “Live and Let Die” in a completely new way that puts the listener right at the heart of the track. The song has continued to reach new audiences as a central feature in McCartney’s live shows, including his headlining appearance at Glastonbury Festival last year, marking his 80th birthday.
Paul was commissioned to write the theme song in 1972, overcoming his initial doubts that the piece he came up with might not stand comparison with the likes of ”Goldfinger,” “From Russia With Love,” and “Diamonds Are Forever.” His worries were unfounded: it became the first Bond theme to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, and went on to win a Grammy Award in 1974.
In a January 1974 edition of Rolling Stone, McCartney spoke about the number of offers he received to do such projects. “I get quite a few, you know,” he said. “I just try and choose the ones I like the sound of. It’s not anything I plan out.
“I remember a thing in Rolling Stone — there’s a little bit of chat, I read the papers, you know — that said ‘McCartney’s going to do Live and Let Die, so it’s come to that, has it?’ I thought, you silly sods. Because we were talking to another paper and when I said I was going to do Live and Let Die, the 007 thing, the reporter said, ‘Hey, man, that’s real hip.’ So it just depends which way you look at it.”
‘I’ve got a song for a film’
George Martin, in Stuart Grundy and John Tobler’s 1982 book The Record Producers, recalled: “It all started with Paul ringing me up and saying, ‘Look, I’ve got a song for a film. Would you produce it and arrange it for me?’ I said, ‘Sure,’ and spent some time with him at his house going through the thing, and from my point of view, we were making a record, so I didn’t spare any expense and booked a large orchestra.
“I said, ‘This is the way we’ll do it – we’ll do it with Wings, and work on the session with just the group, and then in the evening, I’ll bring in the orchestra, but we’ll still keep Wings there, and try to do it live altogether, to try to get a live feeling to it,’ and that was what we did, except that I found the pick up from the strings was too loud for Paul’s voice, so I took the strings outside and overdubbed them. Apart from that, it was a live recording, and then we put on backing voices, and made what I thought was a good record.”
Buy or stream “Live and Let Die.”