"Can't Fight Lightning" / "Stop And Smell The Roses" sessions

July 11st-21st, 1980 • For Ringo Starr

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Stop and Smell the Roses Official album.
Super Bear Studios, Berre-Les-Alpes, France

Some songs from this session appear on:

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From Wikipedia:

Soon after meeting soon-to-be second wife Barbara Bach on the film set of Caveman in early 1980, Ringo Starr met fellow former-Beatle Paul McCartney, and his wife, Linda, at a hotel while they had earlier visited the 33rd annual Cannes Film Festival, on 16 May. Starr asked McCartney whether he would like to play on and possibly produce Starr’s next album, to which McCartney agreed. Starr started sessions in France for a new album, at this point titled Can’t Fight Lightning, on 11 July, at Super Bear Studios, lasting until 21 July. With Wings then in limbo and McCartney II just released, McCartney booked time with Starr to record three songs: “Private Property” and “Attention” (both McCartney originals) plus a cover of “Sure to Fall”. They also recorded the song “You Can’t Fight Lightning”, which Starr wrote after he and Bach were nearly stuck by lightning. Following on from a brief holiday, Starr and Bach flew to Los Angeles on 27 July. Recording moved to Devonshire Sound Studio in Hollywood on 11 August.

Laurence Juber, in interview with DAYTRIPPIN’ BEATLES MAGAZINE, August 9, 2010:

Daytrippin’: In July 1980 you recorded “Private Property” and “Attention” with Paul and Linda McCartney for Ringo Starr’s Stop and Smell the Roses. What was it like watching Paul and Ringo interact and work together?

Juber: Simply amazing. The fact that I’m sitting there in the studio watching Paul and Ringo work and I say to myself, “Wow, there’s half of the Beatles. How cool is this?” They had a sixth sense about each other and where to go musically. It was magical to watch the two interact. We also did  “Sure to Fall” and Linda’s tune “Love’s Full Glory” that ended up on Wide Prairie.

About Super Bear Studios, from the official Facebook page:

Super Bear Studios was the world’s most successful, privately owned residential recording studio from 1977 and 1986. Forging a reputation for technical excellence and service innovation, it created a musical legacy which has been compared to Abbey Road and Muscle Shoals.

With state-of-the-art acoustic design by Tom Hidley (Eastlake Audio), a quadraphonic control-room sporting one of the first automated, analogue mixing desks (MCI JH-500), an impressive list of outboard gear, microphones and studio instruments, Super Bear was the destination of choice for some of the biggest names in the music industry; Pink Floyd, Queen, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, The Police, and Alan Parsons Project, to mention a few.Located in the foothills of the Alpes Maritimes near the city of Nice, France, the bijou mediaeval village of Berre-les-Alpes provided an idyllic setting for this discreet musical hideaway. Situated only minutes from the buzzing nightlife of Monte Carlo and beaches of the Cote d’Azur, it was owned and operated by Damon Metrebian and a small group of young British expats. […]

What do you say to Ringo Starr, and Paul and Linda McCartney when they visit your recording studio? Some of the greatest legends in music graced the studio with their presence. It wasn’t the first time I had met them though. I knew Ringo from a few encounters in Monaco, where we both lived. And I met Paul and Linda when I had auditioned for Wings a few years earlier. I always think of it as having half of The Beatles in the studio. Oh, so did the press who kept calling to ask if the group was reforming!

Damon Metrebian, owner of Super Bear Studios, from Facebook

Interview with Sheila Casey, wife of Howie Casey:

In the 1980s you worked with Paul and Ringo. That would’ve been in the studio?

Yes. The studio was in Southern France and I did backing vocals with Linda (McCartney), Lezlee Livrano Pariser and Paul McCartney. It was good fun. It was two weeks of just having a nice time, to be honest. The work was easy and well paid for. (laughs) I got to know Linda fairly well and liked her a lot. She was a perfect lady. We would go to the local shops (in Nice, France) and hang out and chatted a lot. It was really great. And of course Paul always had his kids with him. He always liked to have his family around him wherever he went. His kids were just little at the time. It was a great time. Really enjoyable.

Sheila Casey – from ClassicBands interview by Gary James
From Meet the Beatles for Real
From Laurence Juber (@OM28LJ) / Twitter – Paul and Ringo at Superbear Studio, Nice, France during 7th “Stop And Smell The Roses” sessions July 1980

Last updated on July 30, 2023

Songs recorded


Private Property

Written by Paul McCartney


Album Officially released on Stop and Smell the Roses



Written by Paul McCartney


Album Officially released on Stop and Smell the Roses


Love's Full Glory

Written by Linda McCartney

Recording • Not intended for Ringo, but for an upcoming Linda McCartney project.

Album Officially released on Wide Prairie


Production staff

Paul McCartney:

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

Shop on Amazon

Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

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