Red Rose Speedway album artwork - WingsWritten by: Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
Recorded: October 1972
Producer: Paul McCartney

Released: 23 March 1973 (UK), 9 April 1973 (US)

Available on:
Red Rose Speedway
Wings Over America
Working Classical
Paul Is Live
Back In The US
Back In The World
Good Evening New York City

Personnel

Paul McCartney: vocals, electric piano
Linda McCartney: vocals
Denny Laine: bass guitar
Henry McCullough: guitar
Denny Seiwell: drums

‘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

‘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.

In the studio

‘My Love’ was recorded live in the studio. The session took place in October 1972 at EMI Studios, Abbey Road.

During the early takes Henry McCullough played a guitar solo which McCartney had “sort of written, as I often did write our solos”. Prior to the master take, however, 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.

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