Written by: McCartney
Recorded: 22 February 1970
Producer: Paul McCartney
Written in London, at the piano, with the second verse added slightly later, as if you cared.
A movie was made, using Linda’s slides and edited to this track.
‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ was a product of the depression McCartney experienced around the time of The Beatles’ break-up. Wondering what to do with his life, he briefly turned to the bottle before Linda encouraged him to start writing and recording music again. This song was a tribute to her inspirational spirit, which shone through amid his melancholia.
Though the song was written immediately after The Beatles’ breakup, it was somehow included under the Lennon-McCartney rubric, where it doesn’t belong. It was one of my first solo songs, but because of the deal, it got caught in the publishing net. That was very annoying.
Actually, Linda and I were probably already married, because I can now visualise sitting at the lovely black Steinway piano that we got after our wedding. I was playing on it one day, and this song came to me – the central idea being that there’s so often a split between the inner and outer… The elements of fear and loneliness are very much to the fore. ‘Maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you’ is itself a troubling idea.
While it’s true that Linda is the person I’m addressing, it’s also true that I’m dealing in fiction. Starting with myself, the characters who appear in my songs are imagined. I can’t state that often enough.
The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present
It was recorded and mixed in Studio Two at EMI Studios, Abbey Road on 22 February 1970, along with ‘Every Night’. It was the most elaborate recording on the McCartney album, featuring three guitars, piano, bass guitar, drums and several vocal overdubs by Paul and Linda.
‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ received considerable radio airplay upon its release. It was even praised by McCartney’s former bandmate George Harrison, who was mostly disparaging about the rest of the album.
‘That Would Be Something’ and ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ I think are great and everything else I think is fair, you know. It’s quite good, but a little disappointing, but maybe I shouldn’t be disappointed, it’s best not to expect anything, then everything’s a bonus. I think those two tracks are very good and the others just don’t do anything for me.
The song, like all the other songs on McCartney, was not released as a single, except in France and Germany. Six years later, however, a live version was issued from the 1976 album Wings Over America and became an international hit.
Sometimes we’re a bit daft here. We have a bit of a funky organisation, you know, which isn’t that clued into picking tracks off albums. At the time we thought ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ was a good track and maybe we should do that as a single, which it probably should have been. But we never did.
A promotional film was made in 1970, however. It was directed by David Puttnam and produced by Charlie Jenkins in 35mm colour, and comprised a montage of photographs taken by Linda McCartney.
In addition to Wings Over America, versions of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ have featured on McCartney’s live albums Back In The US/Back In The World and Tripping The Live Fantastic. An orchestral arrangement was also included on the 1999 album Working Classical.