‘My Love’ was the lead single from Wings’ second album Red Rose Speedway.

The recording was credited to Paul McCartney and Wings, the first time his name had received top billing alongside the group.

‘My Love’ was embraced by fans, who sent it to the top of the US charts. It became a standard part of McCartney’s live set as a solo artist following the death of his first wife Linda.

‘My Love’ was inspired by Linda. We’d been together a while and were having a great time, and as I sat down at a piano to follow the muse I was thinking about Linda and the song came. It was nice to be able to say, ‘Here, I’ve written this one for you.’
Paul McCartney
Wingspan: Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for My Love

‘My Love’ marked a return to the big ballad style that was absent from much of McCartney’s early post-Beatles work. It was the beginning of Wings’ most successful commercial and artistic phase, which lasted through the albums Band On The Run and Venus And Mars, Wings At The Speed of Sound, and successful European and worldwide tours.

The song was given added weight after the death of Linda McCartney in 1998. It was among the songs chosen by Paul for the memorial services held in London and New York, where it was performed by the Brodsky Quartet and the Loma Mar Quartet respectively.

‘My Love’ was also recorded by the Loma Mar Quartet on McCartney’s 1999 album Working Classical, on which it was arranged by Michael Thomas.

The lyrics of the song were included in McCartney’s 2001 book Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics 1965-1999, and 2021’s The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present.

In the studio

McCartney initially wanted to include a live version of ‘My Love’ on Red Rose Speedway. He had selected a live version recorded at the Congresgebouw in the Hague on 21 August 1972, during the Wings Over Europe Tour.

During the mixing sessions for the album, however, he became convinced of the need for a studio version.

‘My Love’ was recorded live in the studio in 14 takes. The session took place on 26 January 1973 at EMI Studios, Abbey Road.

For the first 13 takes, Henry McCullough played a guitar solo which McCartney had “sort of written, as I often did write our solos”. However, prior to take 14, the master version, McCullough proposed a new solo which became widely acknowledged as a career highlight.

We had an interesting moment on the ‘My Love’ session. Instead of piecing it together and overdubbing I wanted to record it live with an orchestra. Everyone was ready in Abbey Road studio two, we knew exactly what we would be doing, and then just before the take Henry came over and whispered in my ear, ‘Do you mind if I try something different on the solo?’ I had to make one of those decisions – to stick with what we’d rehearsed or to run with his new idea. At the risk of messing the thing up I went with his idea and he pulled a great new solo out of left field. He really rose to the occasion.
Paul McCartney
Wingspan: Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run

‘My Love’ featured an orchestra, which was arranged and conducted by Richard Hewson. McCartney gave Hewson the live version from the Hague, inviting him to write an arrangement.

Paul sent me a demo of the track and we recorded it live in the studio, because McCartney wanted a certain feeling. It was an experiment. On ‘My Love’ I got the best jazz musicians I knew. They had this particular warm sound and the record starts with that long note.

The session lasted three hours. Everything was done live, even the vocal. But it took 20 takes! The guitar solo was different every time. By the end of the session everybody’s got a bit tired and said to Paul, ‘We could not play any better!’ I’m not sure which was the actual take they used.

Richard Hewson
Paul McCartney Recording Sessions (1969-2013), Luca Perasi

‘My Love’ was completed by Wings the following day, 27 January 1973, with a handful of overdubs. Towards the end of the session it was mixed in five attempts.

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