Recording "Whole Life"

Oct 22-23, 2003 • For Various Artists

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the One Year On 46664 EP.
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

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In October 2003, Paul McCartney and Dave Stewart, from Eurythmics, recorded “Whole Life” for Nelson Mandela’s AIDS awareness campaign (they had previously recorded this song in 1995). The backing of the track was done by Paul’s live band. As Rusty Anderson remembers:

Well that was interesting because it was all of sudden last minute where Paul went into the studio and, “Oh yeah Dave Stewart’s coming by and we’ve got this song that I want to finish up”. I wasn’t sure if, I thought well Dave Stewart plays guitar you know maybe I won’t even be part of this so I don’t know what he’s really talking about. So, but then we all got together and we all sort of did it live so it was cool. Dave Stewart played acoustic and Paul and I played electric and Brian played bass and Abe played drums. It was really fun actually. It was kind of cool meeting Dave Stewart who I never met before. Just getting in there and really quickly getting the song together. Then we all got around the mike, I guess the four of us, Paul, Abe, Brian and I did all the background vocals and then pretty quickly it was mixed that night.

Rusty Anderson, interview for

That was just for the charity. [Macca and Stewart] had previously sort of written the song [in 1995] and they touched it up a bit and got it to the point where they were ready to record it, and so we went out and tracked it. Abe [Laboriel Jr.] on drums, Brian [Ray] on bass, I was on guitar and Paul was on guitar, and Dave Stewart was on acoustic. And then he redid his acoustic. And Paul and Abe and Brian and I went out and did the background vocals for it. And that was it. I think I might have overdubbed the lead.

Rusty Anderson – from interview with Bill King, Beatlefan #146, January – February 2004

Last updated on January 21, 2021

Songs recorded


Whole Life

Written by Paul McCartney, Dave Stewart


Album Officially released on One Year On 46664



Paul McCartney:
Vocals, Electric guitar
Rusty Anderson:
Electric guitar
Abe Laboriel Jr.:
Paul Wickens:
Electric piano, Organ
Brian Ray:
Dave Stewart:
Acoustic guitar


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