Paul McCartney releases previously unheard, cosy version of Calico Skies

Taken from the upcoming deluxe reissue of Flaming Pie.

Paul McCartney

Image: Samir Hussein / Getty

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Paul McCartney has released a previously unheard, version of Calico Skies. The unearthed version of the song is a “Campfire Acoustic” one – recorded in February 1997, when a hurricane struck in the US where McCartney was staying at the time. Take a listen to the song below.

The original Calico Skies featured on McCartney’s 1997 album Flaming Pie, his second-highest-charting album of the last 25 years.

This new version features on an extensive new boxset containing unreleased demos, outtakes, and rehearsal tapes from Flaming Pie’s recording sessions.

Speaking to NME about the track, he said: “I wanted to write something acoustic in the vein of Blackbird, something simple that would stand on its own and which you wouldn’t have to put drums on or an arrangement – and if anyone said ‘give us a song’, you could just do it.”

He also spoke about the story behind the song, saying: “We were in America and they’d just had a big hurricane – Bob, I believe – and it’d knocked out all of the power so there was no light, everything was candlelit, all the cooking had to be done on a wood fire. And we like all that enforced simplicity. It’s very primitive.

“So, we had a few days of that and because I couldn’t play any records, I spent a lot of time on my acoustic guitar, making up little bits and pieces and ‘Calico Skies’ was one of them. It’s just a simple little song to play to people when you’re sitting around in candlelight, powerless after a hurricane. It’s a primitive little powercut memory.”

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