The Paul McCartney Project

So Bad

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Pipes Of Peace Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1983
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1982 (Paul McCartney was 40 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Recording "So Bad"

Sep 16, 1982


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Song facts

So Bad” is a track from 1983 album “Pipes Of Peace“. From McCartney’s own words:

It was a little melody I had and I started writing words. They seemed to be very simple and very corny but they seemed to fit. There was no way I could make them more grammatical – “Girl I love you so bad-ly” – it had to be “Girl I love you so bad”.

I started singing it at home with the kids and Linda, and “Girl I love you so bad” was fine for everyone except James, who would have been about four and a half, and I felt I was leaving him out. So just for him I sang ‘Boy I love you so bad’ and he would go all shy and it was lovely. Then I worked it into the song as ‘And she said Boy I love you so bad.’

It’s just a very simple love song which is overtly sentimental. Sometimes you have to write that way because you love it. You can relate to it when you’ve been through the mill and you’ve got a nice partner. Maybe it means more than it does to a lad of eighteen.

Paul McCartney – From the “Give My Regards To Broad Street” book, Pavilion Books, 1984

In another interview:

l think after the Beatles, it was great, but as most people know, it really went sour, and you had to have something, and, you know, the family was the strongest thing, and has been ever since… I mean, on ‘So Bad,’ I had ‘Girl I love you so bad’, and you look at it, and think ‘Oh God, that’s corny’. But then you think, I like it, it’s OK. It’s simple, so straightforward, it’s almost not on, you know, but it is on. But I’ve got ‘Girl I love you so bad,’ and I was singing it at home, and I’ve got a little boy who’s aged six, who was a bit younger when I was writing it, so I used to sing ‘Boy I Love you so bad,’ just to include him so he didn’t feel left out.

Paul McCartney, from Club Sandwich N° 31, 1983

Eric Stewart, from CultureSonar, December 3, 2018:

Q: You played with the Beatles rhythm section in “So Bad.” How was that for a Beatle fan?

A: Dream come true… I saw The Beatles years beforehand when they played “Love Me Do” onstage. I tell a story in my book where I say my band did an audition for the BBC when The Beatles did. We passed, they didn’t! I thought it was hilarious because I thought “Love Me Do” was the future of English music. My mates said Cliff and The Shadows with their footsteps was the way!

From smoothradio – Ringo Starr, Linda, Eric Stewart and Paul McCartney filming a video for ‘So Bad’. Picture: Getty

So Bad” was re-recorded for the McCartney’s 1984 movie, “Give My Regards To Broad Street“, and released on the CD version of the soundtrack (it was omitted from the LP version of the album).

In 2001, 15 year-old singer Lindsay Pagano recorded a cover of “So Bad” with Paul McCartney proving backing vocals. From MTV:

Pagano was recording the album at the same Los Angeles studio where McCartney was recording Driving Rain when he introduced himself and asked to hear some of her music.

I played him some, and he was dancing all around the studio,” Pagano recalled. “Everyone was freaking out that it was Paul McCartney, and I would be like, ’Oh, I just saw Paul. Whatever.’ He just became a regular person. He asked how the album was doing one day, and I said, ’Well, I’m just looking for a really simple acoustic song for the end of the album, just to end it.’ And he said, ’Well, I wrote this song called ’So Bad,’ which I think would go really good with your voice.’ I laid down a rough track, and when I came back to work on it again, I hear this vocal in the back, and it’s Paul’s vocal. He was singing on it as kind of a surprise. So it became a duet.

Last updated on March 29, 2020

Lyrics

There is a pain, inside my heart
You mean so much to me,
Girl, I love you, girl, I love you so bad

And if you leave, my pain will go
But that's no good to me.
Girl, I love you, yes, I love you so bad

Well, it feels so good, sometimes it feels so bad
This is worse than anything I've ever had

There was a pain, but now you're here
And I don't fear a thing.
Girl, I love you, yes, I love you so bad
And she said, boy, I love you
Boy, I love you so bad

- solo -
Girl, I love you,
Girl, I love you so bad

Well it feels so good, sometimes it feels so bad
This is worse than anything I've ever had

There was a pain, but now you're near
And I don't fear a thing
Girl, I love you
Girl, I love you so bad
And she said
Boy, I love you
Boy, I love you so bad.
Girl, I love you,
Girl, I love you.

Officially appears on


Pipes Of Peace

Official album • Released in 1983

3:21 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric piano (?), Piano (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards (?)
Ringo Starr :
Drums
Eric Stewart :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
George Martin :
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Unknown musician(s) :
Strings

Session Recording:
Sep 16, 1982
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Mixing :
Unknown
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Pipes Of Peace

7" Single • Released in 1983

3:21 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric piano (?), Piano (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards (?)
Ringo Starr :
Drums
Eric Stewart :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
George Martin :
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Unknown musician(s) :
Strings

Session Recording:
Sep 16, 1982
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Mixing :
Unknown
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Give My Regards To Broad Street (CD version)

Official album • Released in 1984

3:25 • Studio versionB

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Keyboards, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums
Eric Stewart :
Guitar, Vocals
George Martin :
Producer
Dave Edmunds :
Guitar
Stuart Breed :
Assistant engineer (?)
Chris Spedding :
Guitar
Jody Lindscott :
Percussion
John Kelly :
Recording engineer (?)

Session Recording:
March 1983 ?
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK


Pipes Of Peace (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:21 • Studio versionA • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric piano (?), Piano (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards (?)
Ringo Starr :
Drums
Eric Stewart :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
George Martin :
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Unknown musician(s) :
Strings

Session Recording:
Sep 16, 1982
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Mixing :
Unknown
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Give My Regards To Broad Street (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:25 • Studio versionB


Love & Faith & Inspiration

Official album • Released in 2001

3:39 • Studio versionC

Paul McCartney :
Background vocals

Pipes Of Peace - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

3:22 • Studio versionA.2015 • 2015 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric piano (?), Piano (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards (?)
Ringo Starr :
Drums
Eric Stewart :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
George Martin :
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Sam Okell :
Remastering
Alex Wharton :
Remastering
Unknown musician(s) :
Strings

Session Recording:
Sep 16, 1982
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Mixing :
Unknown
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

3:09 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

3:16 • Studio version


Driving Rain... In The New Century

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

3:35 • Studio versionC • A&M Studios, Los Angeles. During the recording of "Driving Rain" Paul visited young Lindsay Pagano in the neighbour studio. Her producer Jude Cole told Paul that they still needed another song for Lindsay's debut album. Paul assumed his "So Bad" from "Pipes Of Peace" and offered it with the words: "Hey Jude, take this song and make it better!". Paul also joined for the vocals. The song was released 01-12-18 on the album "Love & Faith & Inspiration" (Warner 947953-2).

Recording :
February 2001


UK Singles Collection - Volume 02

Unofficial album • Released in 2007

3:21 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass, Electric piano (?), Piano (?), Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards (?)
Ringo Starr :
Drums
Eric Stewart :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
George Martin :
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Mixing engineer assistant, Recording engineer assistant
Unknown musician(s) :
Strings

Session Recording:
Sep 16, 1982
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Mixing :
Unknown
Studio :
AIR Studios, London, UK

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Driving Rain - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:36 • Studio versionC • New version of the Pipes of Peace song, recorded by Lindsay Pagano in the A&M Studios, Hollywood and released on September 25, 2001 on the album Love & Faith & Inspiration. Paul appears as co-singer. 


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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