It was just the opening line, ‘There’s a fine line between recklessness and courage.’ You know, you’ll see some people just go, (sings) ‘Waaah’ and you’ll think, ‘that’s the way you do it and sometimes it is just foolish and just reckless but they think they’re being courageous’ so that thought really was what started me off and I just kind of followed on from that idea that you’ve got to choose which of the two you’re going to do, you know, be reckless or courageous so that was lyrically based on that. And then I just sat down at the piano and started that kind of chuggy thing, keeping it very simple and then the little hook, (sings) ‘Fine line, it’s a fine line’ came so I brought it into the studio in Los Angeles and I was working it out and on that little bit there’s a little riff that goes around the Fine line bit and when I was playing that I made a mistake and I went to a wrong bass note and Nigel [Godrich] goes, ‘That’s great. That’s it.’ I went, ‘Actually it’s a wrong note.’ He said, ‘No, no, check it out. Listen to it.’ ‘Ooh, I see what you mean.’ It just didn’t go where you expected it. It was supposed to be like an F# and it went to an F and so that became a really interesting little thing then. It was like, ‘Ah, OK, that’s good’. That’s got a little signature originality to it so that and the words and the tune then we just put that all together.
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23 January 2022
This is a great album opener.
I read the lyrics as what Paul wishes/believes the other Beatles said to him
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My hot take is that after the Beatles split they went down the paths of spiritualism, solipsism, alcoholism, and Paul McCartney
-- Jason Carty, Nothing is Real podcast
20 August 2013
Never thought about that. Cool way of viewing the lyrics. Have an apple
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14 June 2016
This is one of my favourites from Paul. Very nostalgic…bittersweet.
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14 June 2016
I put this CD single on the other day. It’s one of my favorites off Chaos And Creation…. I also love the B side “Comfort Of Love”.
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It's ya boi! The one and only Billy Shears (AKA Paul's Replacement)
"Sometimes I wish I was just George Harrison" - John Lennon
23 January 2022
7 November 2022
I thought I didn’t care for the lyrics then I took a double take of this part:
If you don’t say which one of these you’re gonna choose
It’s a long way and if every contradiction
Seems the same, it’s a game that you’re bound to lose
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Now today I find, you have changed your mind
26 January 2017
This was the first Paul solo song I heard when I was a kid, right when it came out. Loved the chorus since then, its meaningful and catchy. Since then Its been a favorite, I like the descending piano line and the lyrics of the verses. Its also a good era for Paul’s voice, starting to sound closer his is elderly voice but still has plenty of strength and range.
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"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"
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"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"
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7 November 2022
2 February 2024
I recall McCartney licensed Fine Line to Lexus to use in a TV ad around the time of release. I only saw it once or twice. I assume it was done to help promote the song (an idea Sting used to great success for one of his songs).
McCartney was obviously looking for alternate ways to promote his releases, as he was very unhappy with how the new owners of EMI were promoting his music (he aligned with Starbucks and their new Hear Music label starting with his next release).