What Paul McCartney Thought of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Live and Let Die’

One of the most famous songs Paul McCartney wrote after The Beatles‘ breakup was the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die.” Guns N’ Roses released a cover of the song in the 1990s. During an interview, Paul discussed what he thought of the cover.

Guns N' Roses in front of a wall
Guns N’ Roses | Paul Natkin/WireImage

Slash revealed why Guns N’ Roses covered Wings’ ‘Live and Let Die’

During a 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Slash of Guns N’ Roses noted his band had covered many songs as of late. “There are six covers: ‘Live and Let Die,’ by Wings, ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,’ by [Bob] Dylan — that new version that went nowhere — ‘Don’t Care About You,’ by Fear, ‘Attitude,’ by the Misfits, ‘New Rose,’ by The Damned, and ‘Down on the Farm,’ by U.K. Subs. They’re songs that we like — it’s as basic as that.”

Slash gave fans some insight into why his band chose to record those tracks. “The Misfits song was Axl [Rose]’s idea, and ‘Heaven’s Door’ and ‘Live and Let Die’ were songs Axl and I both thought about doing,” he said. Some of those covers appeared on the band’s 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident?”

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What Paul McCartney thought of their version of ‘Live and Let Die’

During a 2016 interview with The New York Times, Paul was asked what he thought of Guns N’ Roses’ rendition of “Live and Let Die.” “It’s funny, because when their version came out, my kids were in school, and they had a lot of defending to do, because all the kids said, ‘Great song, ‘Live and Let Die!'” Paul recalled. “They said, ‘My dad did that!’ ‘No way, it’s Guns N’ Roses!'” 

Despite the mix-up, Paul enjoyed the cover. “I was happy they did it,” he said. “I thought it was a nice little nod. I’m glad to hear our pyro is bigger and better.”

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The way the world reacted to Wings’ and Guns N’ Roses’ versions of the song

Wings’ version of “Live and Let Die” was a big hit. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 14 weeks. Wings appeared on some editions of the album Ruby Rose Speedway. Ruby Rose Speedway was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for three weeks of its 32-week run on the chart.

Guns N’ Roses’ version of “Live and Let Die” was a hit too, although it was considerably less popular than Wings’. The cover peaked at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 16 weeks. The song appeared on the album Use Your Illusion IUse Your Illusion I reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 108 weeks. Guns N’ Roses’ “Live and Let Die” wasn’t as popular as the original — but it received an endorsement from Paul.

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