Recording "Flaming Pie"

Tuesday, February 27, 1996 • For Paul McCartney

Part of

"Flaming Pie" sessions with Jeff Lynne at Hog Hill Mill #2

February 1996 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Flaming Pie

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Master release

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Flaming Pie” was recorded in February 2016 during the second round of sessions with Jeff Lynne. The song was written on the spot during those sessions, and emerged from the work done on “Souvenir”. Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

I was working with Jeff Lynne on ‘Souvenir’ when we decided that we wanted to add some raw, heavy-ish guitars. We had the amps belting in the studio, playing the guitars in the control room with long leads, and while the engineers were getting the sound we started vamping and found a few chords and some funky riffs. I started shouting a little bit of a melody and so I asked the engineer to stick on a DAT tape. We just jammed, but then I suggested we turn it into a song. The words came to me a few days later when I was out horse riding with Linda, going through some birch woods. I was musing and dreaming about the lyrics, looking for a rhyme for “sky”, going through the alphabet, when I got to “pie”. The words “flaming pie” fitted and I got quite excited about it. “Making love underneath the moon” became “Making love underneath the bed” – it was great fun to write.

Paul McCartney

Between 20 and 27 February 1996, writes words for FLAMING PIE [at home], to put to melody that evolved out of jam during session for SOUVENIR

From Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997

Mark Lewisohn, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

One of the many remarkable aspects for Paul when revisiting his earlier years for The Beatles Anthology was the problem of correlating differing memories of the same event. Perhaps the knottiest issue was the all-important “how did the Beatles acquire their name?”. The crux of the matter was a short, witty article written by John Lennon for the launch issue of the Liverpool pop paper Mersey Beat, published in July 1961, in which he wrote “How did the name arrive? It came in a vision – a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them ‘From this day on you are Beatles with an A’. Thank you, Mister Man, they said, thanking him.” While some recognise this as characteristic Lennon whimsy – much like the prose that would later go into his best-selling books – there remained, during the making of the Anthology TV series, a fantastic private debate as to whether or not John really did receive a vision about a man appearing on a flaming pie. The dispute fascinated Paul, and one morning in February 1996, while out horse-riding, his musings about song lyrics caused him to recall the phrase “flaming pie”. With what he now admits to being a “mischievous” gleam in his eye, he quickly wrote the entire set of verses and chorus, which fitted perfectly with some funky riffs he and Jeff Lynne had evolved days earlier while waiting to overdub guitars on to ‘Souvenir’. With lyric and music fashioned, ‘Flaming Pie’ was recorded quickly – for, entirely appropriately, Paul suggested that the song be taped with the speed that the Beatles often worked, cutting three songs in a day. Setting themselves a four-hour deadline, the track came together with relative ease, Paul singing live to his own piano accompaniment (something rarely done in these days of expansive multi-tracking) with Jeff Lynne on guitar, before adding drums and bass and then more guitars and harmony vocals. […]

Last updated on September 17, 2020

Songs recorded


Flaming Pie

Written by Paul McCartney



Production staff

Paul McCartney:
Jeff Lynne:
Geoff Emerick:
Jon Jacobs:

Going further

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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