Paul McCartney shared two exclusive versions of the John Lennon-inspired track “Dear Friend” to mark the upcoming release of his 11-disc archive collection of 1971’s Wild Things and 1973’s Red Rose Speedway on Dec. 7 via MPL/Capitol/UMe.
“With ‘Dear Friend,’ that’s sort of me talking to John after we’d had all the sort of disputes about The Beatles breakup,” McCartney says in a press release. “I find it very emotional when I listen to it now. I have to sort of choke it back. I remember when I heard the song recently, listening to the roughs [remastering works-in-progress] in the car and I thought, ‘Oh God.’”
McCartney also mentioned the relief he felt after reconciling with his former Beatles bandmate before Lennon’s death in 1980. “That lyric: ‘Really truly, young and newly wed,’ listening to that was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s true.’ I’m trying to say to John, ‘Look, you know, it’s all cool. Have a glass of wine. Let’s be cool.’ And luckily we did get it back together, which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he’d been killed as things were at that point and I’d never got to straighten it out with him. This was me reaching out. So, I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt.”
The 76-year-old singer-songwriter will include a remastered version along with unreleased intimate home recordings of the track that originally appeared on Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1971 Wild Life album.
The full Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway archive collection will include the remastered albums, artwork, rough mixes, bonus videos and more.
Check out McCartney’s “Dear Friend” below.