Overdubs for Cold Cuts project

September / October 1986 • For Paul McCartney

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the McCartney II - Archive Collection Official album.
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.


In Autumn 1986, Paul McCartney had another try at his project to make an album of unreleased songs – a project named Cold Cuts or Hot Hitz and Kold Kutz – with the help of arranger-producer Richard Niles.

In 1986 I was asked to meet Paul McCartney to work on an album to be called “Cold Cuts” – unreleased (‘cold’) tracks. He had heard my work on Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm and wanted someone who, like George Martin, was an arranger-producer. He asked me to go through 14 tracks and add or replace whatever was necessary to complete them for release. One of these tracks was “Blue Sway” to which I added a large string section and the wonderful Dick Morrissey wailing away on tenor sax.

Richard Niles, from his official website

From the McCartney II archive collection, 2011:

I got a call saying that Paul McCartney wanted to see me about a project called Cold Cuts – tracks that had been unfinished over the past 20 years. George Martin was busy on another project and McCartney was looking for someone who, like Martin, was an arranger-producer. […]

I travelled down to his studio and as we went through every song, I told him what I thought each needed – orchestration, new drums or guitar, synthesiser or backing vocals. McCartney was absolutely happy to leave the entire recording to me. When he had ideas, they were expressed clearly in non-technical language. But when he was working with people he trusted, he let them do their job. […] Any musicians or studios I required were made available to me. And he himself was always focused and ready to work.

As for Blue Sway, it was one of the 14 songs I worked on. I took the tracks to the stage of rough mixes, but before the final mixes were done the project was put on indefinite hold as McCartney became involved in another project. […]

Richard Niles, from the McCartney II archive collection, 2011

The following track list for this nth version of Cold Cuts album was considered.

Side One:

  • Blue Sway
  • Hey Diddle
  • Mama’s Little Girl
  • Twice In A Lifetime
  • Waterspout
  • A Love For You
  • Did We Meet Somewhere Before

Side Two:

  • Same Time Next Year
  • Best Friend
  • Cage
  • Tragedy
  • Thank You Darling
  • Night Out
  • Robber’s Ball

Last updated on May 25, 2020

Related sessions

Mixing "Blue Sway", "A Love For You"

Oct 31, 1986 • Songs recorded during this session appear on McCartney II - Archive Collection

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

Shop on Amazon


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *