Fine Line

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Fine Line CD Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2005
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 2004 (Paul McCartney was 62 years old)

Song facts

Fine Line” is a track from Paul McCartney’s 2005 album “Chaos And Creation In The Backyard“. It was released on August 29, 2005, as the first single from the album in the UK (the album would be released two weeks after, on September 12).

From an interview of Paul McCartney by Gary Crowley:

What’s the inspiration behind “Fine Line”?

It was just the opening line, ‘There’s a fine line between recklessness and courage.’  You know, you’ll see some people just go, (sings) ‘Waaah’ and you’ll think, ‘that’s the way you do it and sometimes it is just foolish and just reckless but they think they’re being courageous’ so that thought really was what started me off and I just kind of followed on from that idea that you’ve got to choose which of the two you’re going to do, you know, be reckless or courageous so that was lyrically based on that.  And then I just sat down at the piano and started that kind of chuggy thing, keeping it very simple and then the little hook, (sings) ‘Fine line, it’s a fine line’ came so I brought it into the studio in Los Angeles and I was working it out and on that little bit there’s a little riff that goes around the Fine line bit and when I was playing that I made a mistake and I went to a wrong bass note and Nigel goes, ‘That’s great.  That’s it.’  I went, ‘Actually it’s a wrong note.’  He said, ‘No, no, check it out.  Listen to it.’  ‘Ooh, I see what you mean.’  It just didn’t go where you expected it.  It was supposed to be like an F# and it went to an F and so that became a really interesting little thing then.  It was like, ‘Ah, O.K. that’s good’.  That’s got a little signature originality to it so that and the words and the tune then we just put that all together.

Paul McCartney – from 2005 UK promotional-only interview CD, recorded July 2005 at Air Studios in London

Lyrics

There is a fine line,
Between recklessness and courage
It's about time
You understood which road to take
It's a fine line
Your decision makes a difference
Get it wrong you'll be making a big mistake

Come home brother all is forgiven
We all cried when you were driven away
Come home brother everything is better
Everything is better when you come home to stay

Whatever's more important to you
You've got to choose what you want to do
Whatever's more important to be
Well that's the view that you got to see

There is a long way
Between chaos and creation
If you don't say
Which one of these you're going to choose
It's a long way
And if every contradiction seems the same
It's a game that you're bound to loose

Come home brother all is forgiven
We all cried when you were driven away
Come home brother everything is better
Everything is better when you come home to stay

Come on back, come on back, come on back to me

It's a fine line, It's a fine line

Whatever's more important to you
You've gotta choose what you want to do
Whatever's more important to be
Well that's the view that you got to see

It's a fine line

Officially appears on


Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (Special Edition)

Official album

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Fine Line

CD Single • Released in 2005

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Fine Line

7" Single • Released in 2005

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (Japanese edition)

Official album • Released in 2005

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Official album • Released in 2005

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (Limited Edition - Gold LP)

Official album • Released in 2018

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


The 7” Singles Box

7" Single • Released in 2022

3:05 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Baldwin spinet, Bosendorfer grand piano, Epiphone casino electric guitar, Hofner bass, Ludwig drums, Martin d28 acoustic guitar, Shakers, Tambourine, Vocals
Millennia Ensemble :
Strings
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Joby Talbot :
Orchestra conductor, String arrangement
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
September 2004
Studio :
AIR Studios Lyndhurst, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon

Bootlegs


Acoustic

Unofficial album

3:26 • Outtake


Live In Iowa 2005

Unofficial live


Toronto A. C. C.

Unofficial live • Released in 2005


Chronicles in the Backyard Disc 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2006


Chronicles in the Backyard Disc 7

Unofficial album • Released in 2006


Latest concerts where Fine Line has been played


400e Anniversaire De Quebec

Jul 20, 2008 • Canada • Quebec City • Plains Of Abraham


48th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Feb 08, 2006 • USA • Los Angeles • Staples Center




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