Upcoming Paul McCartney Podcast Omits Discussion of One of His Biggest Hits

Paul McCartney discussed many of his most famous songs in his book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present. It’s a fascinating deep dive into his discography that would pique any McCartney or Beatles fan’s interest. An upcoming podcast will expand upon Paul McCartney’s book, but a discussion of one of his biggest hits didn’t make it out of the editing room.

An upcoming Paul McCartney podcast cut out the discussion of ‘Ebony and Ivory’
Fans of Sir Paul will learn more about the origins of his music in the upcoming podcast, McCartney: A Life in Lyrics. The 12-episode podcast is co-produced by iHeart Podcasts and Pushkin and will feature interviews between The Lyrics co-authors McCartney and Irish poet Paul Muldoon. The book covers 154 songs, and producers must go through hours of audio for this podcast.

In an interview with The Verge, executive producer Justin Richmond discussed going through all the footage and figuring out what deserved to stay and what should be cut. One surprising song that Richmond said is cut from the podcast is “Ebony and Ivory”, McCartney’s collaboration with Stevie Wonder. Richmond said it wasn’t interesting enough to justify leaving it in.

“We did end up leaving out “Ebony and Ivory,” which was tough,” Richmond explained. “Not that it’s my favorite song of McCartney’s by any stretch of the imagination, but you know, it’s a collaboration with Stevie Wonder. It’s an opportunity to hear Paul McCartney talk about Stevie Wonder. You know, how could we not do that? We kind of beat our heads against a wall figuring out how we can make that episode. But at the end of the day, the idea of Paul McCartney talking about Stevie Wonder was far more interesting than… it actually would have been.”

“Ebony and Ivory” was released as a single in 1982, and on the album Tug of War. It’s one of the most successful songs of McCartney’s solo career, as it reached No. 1 on the U.S. charts and held the spot for seven weeks. Richmond wanted to include the conversation about the song, which lasted for “20-30 minutes”, but it wasn’t intriguing enough to make a whole episode around.

“I feel like the promise of Paul McCartney talking about his collaboration with Stevie Wonder for 20–30 minutes was greater than what we necessarily could do with the footage,” Richmond continued. “We just couldn’t make an episode about it — it wouldn’t deliver as well as the rest of the series did. So we had to kind of let that one go.”
McCartney still discussed the famous song in his book

While “Ebony and Ivory” was cut from the podcast, Paul McCartney still discusses the duet in The Lyrics. One interesting fact he shares is that it almost didn’t happen, as it was practically impossible to get Wonder to fit a studio session into his schedule. McCartney said it was “great to work with him,” but he wasn’t used to someone having an inconsistent schedule.

“So there was a lot of phoning,” McCartney shared. “Which is the way it is with Stevie. ‘We’re here. When are you coming out?’ It was always ‘this Friday.’ Then the weekend would go by, and I’d ring him on Monday. [He’d say] ‘Oh, I’ll be there on Wednesday.’ Oh, okay.’ So there was a lot of that. He’s his own man. He’ll show up when he’s ready.”

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