‘Used To Be Bad’ is the ninth song on Paul McCartney’s tenth solo album Flaming Pie.

It was co-written by McCartney and Steve Miller, and originated from a jam session at McCartney’s Hog Hill Mill studio following the recording of ‘Young Boy’.

I like blues but don’t do a lot of it, so when Steve Miller said that he wanted to get me singing ‘Texas blues’ it sounded like a good offer. I got on drums, he got on guitar, all live, and we had fun. Then Steve came up with some words, suggesting we use old blues lines like ‘I used to be bad but I don’t have to be bad no more’. I put bass on it, Steve did some solos, and we decided to sing alternate lines, singing at the same microphone. It was a jam, based on Steve’s riff and made up in the studio, and the vocal came in one take. Steve and I are donating our royalties on the track to LIPA.
Paul McCartney
Club Sandwich, Summer 1997

After we’d done ‘Young Boy’ in America, I got him over in England and he came saying ‘I want to get you singing Texas blues’. That sounded like a good offer and he turned up with millions of little blues riffs.

‘Used To Be Bad’ came out of that. It was just a jam, really, with Steve whacking out these riffs. I got on the drums and we just went for it, with Steve suggesting these old blues words… I used to be bad, but I don’t wanna be bad no more.

I hit on the idea that he should sing the first line and I’d sing the second, sort of like answering him, and we’d work through the whole song like that, alternating lines.

And when we did that, you could see the engineers’ faces light up in the control room – Oh, this’ll work – so that was it; a little duet, sung on one mike, from a jam. And we did it in one take.

Paul McCartney
Club Sandwich, Summer 1997

Paul McCartney never performed ‘Used To Be Bad’ live.

Previous song: ‘Heaven On A Sunday’
Next song: ‘Souvenir’
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