‘Vanilla Sky’ was written and recorded by Paul McCartney for the soundtrack of the 2001 film of the same name.
It was recorded at Henson Studios in Los Angeles in June 2001 towards the end of the Driving Rain sessions, although it was never intended for that album.
McCartney invited Vanilla Sky director Cameron Crowe into the studio and offered him a choice of songs, but Crowe instead requested something more like a folk song. A few days later McCartney came back with ‘Vanilla Sky’.
‘Vanilla Sky’ was the third song on the soundtrack album Music From Vanilla Sky, which was released on 4 December 2001.
The song was nominated for Best Original Song at the 74th Academy Awards. It was McCartney’s first Oscar nomination since ‘Live And Let Die’ in 1974, but lost out to Randy Newman’s ‘If I Didn’t Have You’ from Monsters, Inc.
McCartney performed ‘Vanilla Sky’ at the ceremony, which was held in Los Angeles on 24 March 2002. He was accompanied by Rusty Anderson on guitar and Jim Walker on flute. It was McCartney’s only appearance at the Oscars.
Also in 2002, ‘Vanilla Sky’ won the Best Song award at the Critics Choice awards. It was also nominated for Best Original Song at the Golden Globes, and in 2003 was nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media at the Grammy Awards.
McCartney performed ‘Vanilla Sky’ on 25 dates of the Driving USA Tour in 2002. A recording from 10 May at the Reunion Arena in Dallas can be heard on the live album Back In The US.