The Paul McCartney Project

Used To Be Bad

Album This song officially appears on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1997
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1995 (Paul McCartney was 53 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Recording "Used To Be Bad"

Starting May 05, 1995

Related songs


My Dark Hour

Officially appears on Brave New World


If You Wanna

Officially appears on Flaming Pie


Broomstick

Officially appears on Young Boy #2

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Song facts

Used To Be Bad” is a song from 1997 album “Flaming Pie“. From the liner notes:

Having enjoyed ‘Young Boy’ Steve Miller was keen to extend the collaboration, wanting to get Paul singing some “Texas blues.” As a consequence, he arrived at their second set of session with dozens of guitar riffs; this prompted Paul to climb behind the drum kit and the pair played away for some time, kicking around ideas, until Miller began adding words to the jam, utilizing blues lines line, “I used to be bad but I don’t have to be bad no more”. Once the piece had gelled Paul overdubbed bass and Steve added some solos before the traded vocal lines.

This was just a jam, really. Steve whacked out these blues riffs, I got on the drums and we just went for it – a duet, sung on one mike. We did the vocal in one take.

Paul McCartney, from the liner notes of “Flaming Pie”
Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

I like blues but don’t do a lot of it, so when Steve Miller said that he wanted to get me singing “Texas blues” it sounded like a good offer. I got on drums, he got on guitar, all live, and we had fun. Then Steve came up with some words, suggesting we use old blues lines like “I used to be bad but I don’t have to be bad no more”. I put bass on it, Steve did some solos, and we decided to sing alternate lines, singing at the same microphone. It was a jam, based on Steve’s riff and made up in the studio, and the vocal came in one take. Steve and I are donating our royalties on the track to LIPA.

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

Having enjoyed cutting ‘Young Boy’ with Paul, Steve Miller was keen to extend the collaboration, insisting that he wanted to get Paul singing some blues. As a consequence, Miller arrived at their second set of sessions with dozens of blues guitar riffs. This prompted Paul to climb behind the drum kit and the pair played away for some time, kicking around ideas, and later Miller began adding words to the jam. Once the live piece had gelled as ‘Used To Be Bad’ Paul overdubbed bass guitar and Steve added some solos before the crucial decision was made to alternate the lead vocal lines. This was not the only blues duet recorded by the pair this day; another may be released on Steve Miller’s next album. Additionally, the previous day, Paul and Steve cut ‘Broomstick‘, released in Britain on the second ‘Young Boy’ CD single.

After we’d done ‘Young Boy’ in America, I got him over in England and he came saying ‘I want to get you singing Texas blues’. That sounded like a good offer and he turned up with millions of little blues riffs.

I Used To Be Bad’ came out of that. It was just a jam, really, with Steve whacking out these riffs. I got on the drums and we just went for it, with Steve suggesting these old blues words… I used to be bad, but I don’t wanna be bad no more.

I hit on the idea that he should sing the first line and I’d sing the second, sort of like answering him, and we’d work through the whole song like that, alternating lines.

And when we did that, you could see the engineers’ faces light up in the control room – Oh, this’II work – so that was it; a little duet, sung on one mike, from a jam. And we did it in one take.

Paul McCartney, from Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997

I was trying to get Paul to do some Texas blues and stuff. It’s just me, that’s what I like to play. I threw the rhythm track together, and we just started pulling out blues lines and blues lyrics and just throwing them together — just tossed a bunch of stuff on the table, wrote down a bunch of paragraphs and picked them up, and I’d sing a line, he’d sing a line, I’d sing a line, he’d sing a line and it was done.

Steve Miller, about recording “Used To Be Bad” with Paul McCartney, from the Flaming Pie Archive Collection, 2020

Last updated on September 27, 2020

Lyrics

I used to be bad
But I don't have to be bad no more
Yeah, I used to be bad
But I don't have to be bad no more
Well ain't no doubt about it, people
It's something you can't ignore

Well, I ain't good looking
People, you know I've been up on a shelf
Yes, I know I ain't good looking
And I've been put up on the shelf
But I got a sweet disposition
I like to enjoy myself

I used to be bad
But I don't have to be bad no more
Yeah, I used to be bad
But I don't have to be bad no more
You know I learned my lesson
A long, long time ago

Well, no matter what you say
No matter what you do
You got one life to live
It's gonna come back home to you
I used to be bad
But I don't have to be bad no more
Yeah people, I learned my lesson
A long, long time ago

The good Lord made this world
And everything that's in it
The way I see it, baby
You got to love it to the limit
Oh yes, now people
It's something you can't ignore
Yes I used to be bad
But I ain't gonna be bad no more

Well, the way you treat me darling
Made me understand
Never quit you baby
I'm gonna love you to the end
Yeah, I used to be bad
But I ain't gonna be bad no more
Yes, I learned my lesson
A long, long time ago

Yes, I learned my lesson
A long, long time ago
Yes, I learned my lesson
You're gonna reap just what you sow

Variations


A Album version

A1 Pre-mastered version

A2020 2020 remaster

Officially appears on


Flaming Pie

Official album • Released in 1997

4.08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


The World Tonight #1

EP • Released in 1997

4:08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pies

Official album • Released in 1997

4.08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie - 6-track sampler cassette

Cassette • Released in 1997

4:04 • Studio versionA1 • Pre-mastered version

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie (White-Label Promo LP)

Official album • Released in 1997

4.08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


The World Tonight / Used To Be Bad

7" Single • Released in 1997

4:08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

4:12 • Studio versionA2020 • 2020 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer
Alex Wharton :
Remastering

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Bootlegs


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

3:39 • Radio showA • From the "Flaming Pie Radio Show"

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


UK Singles Collection - Volume 06

Unofficial album • Released in 2007

4:13 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Flaming Pie - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

4:12 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass guitar, Drums, Lead vocal, Producer
Steve Miller :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer

Session Recording:
May 05, 1995
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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