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Is writing solo songs any different than it was when you were writing in The Beatles and Wings?

Paul McCartney : Yeah, it is different when you’re writing with someone. Particularly with John, who I did most of my collaborations with, it was a completely different ball game because we were working off each other. Often one of us would say a line, and then – it was like it was a joke – the other one would say the next bit!

It became quite conversational. I’d write ‘it’s getting better all the time‘ and then John would go, ‘it couldn’t get much worse!’ You’re spinning each other through the song, and so that process is interesting. In fact, I think it makes it a bit easier, because if you’re stuck then hopefully the other person isn’t, and if they’re stuck hopefully you can help them out of it. So, it’s a pretty good way of working.

Working on your own isn’t quite as easy, but it’s something different altogether. It’s more like writing a novel. You do the opposite of sitting in a room with someone; you go off as far as you can, into the quietest part of the house when no one can hear you and no one can see you, hiding away under the staircase or something, until you’re very much in your own thoughts. It can make something that turns out better, really.

But yes, it’s not as easy. It’s all on you, whereas when you’re collaborating with someone, that’s on you both and you can help each other out. I think good songs can come from both methods.

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