Paul McCartney has spoken about his recent studio sessions with Kanye West.
The Beatles icon worked on a number of tracks with Yeezy, including the singles ‘Only One’, ‘All Day’ and ‘FourFiveSeconds’ (which also boasted a Rihanna vocal).
Paul McCartney took part in a Facebook Live chat with Tim Minchin, and the topic quickly turned to Kanye West. The songwriter explained:
“I got a phone call and my manager said, ‘Kanye West would like to work with you.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, we’ll do it.’ I was a little bit nervous at first, because I thought it could go horribly wrong. But I was intrigued to see what he was up to and how he did it.”
He continued: “It was a very intriguing process... You basically don’t write songs. You basically just talk and noodle a bit and you record it all on your phone. And then he goes away. And that’s basically his record. But it was great doing it because I don’t work like that.”
Some time later, Paul McCartney heard the results - and noted similarities to the methods used by The Beatles on 'Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band'.
He explained: “So I was waiting three months after we’d finished [recording]. I didn’t really hear anything but ‘Hey, bro, what’s going on?’ But I’m thinking, should I say, ‘Did we write a song? Will a record come out of this?’ Anyway, this arrives and it’s a Rihanna song… I said, ‘This is great! I have to ring up and say, ‘Am I on this?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, yeah. You’re the guitar player.’ I go, ‘I don’t remember.’ And he said, ‘We sped it up.’”
“So they manipulated this kind of … although, we’re talking about ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ we loved manipulating. So I think we would have been into a lot of these tricks nowadays because we did speed things up a little bit.”
The Beatles definitely did use speed shifts - the classic 'Across The Universe', for example, was turned down a notch to achieve its ultra-trippy impact.