6 of Paul McCartney's greatest ever duets, from George Michael to Michael Jackson

15 June 2018, 16:20

Paul McCartney and George Michael

Sir Paul McCartney has been pretty prolific in the making music department over the past six decades.

But surprisingly, he hasn't recorded as many duets with other artists as often as you might think.

Every now and then, he has teamed up with some of the world's greatest, and here's our very favourites.

1. 'The Girl is Mine' (with Michael Jackson)

Perhaps surprisingly, this pop ballad was the first single to be taken from Michael Jackson’s Thriller

This song features the pair fighting over the same girl. She clearly has no particular type! Jackson said it was “one of my favourite songs to record” as there was “lots of playing, and throwing stuff at each other, and making jokes.” Many members from Toto also took part in the recording.

2. 'Ebony and Ivory' (with Stevie Wonder)

OK, this one might be a bit on the sickly sweet side, but come on, it's a classic!

It is a self-empowerment anthem that tackles issues of racial equality, and it reached number one on both the UK and the US charts. The title was inspired by McCartney hearing Spike Milligan say "black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony, folks!".

3. 'Say, Say, Say' (with Michael Jackson)

Produced by Beatles collaborator George Martin, this song was actually recorded before 'The Girl Is Mine', but was released a year later.

Michael stayed at the home of Paul and his wife Linda during the recording sessions, and became friends with both. While there, Paul apparently showed Michael a booklet that showed all the songs that he owned publishing rights for.

"This is the way to make big money", he told Michael. "Every time someone records one of these songs, I get paid. Every time someone plays these songs on the radio, or in live performances, I get paid." Whoops.

4. 'Heal the Pain' (with George Michael)

George Michael first released this song in 1991, having written it in the style of a Paul McCartney ballad as a tribute to him.

14 years later, he asked McCartney to record it as a duet, and later included it on his 2006 ‘best of’ compilation Twenty Five. The song sees the singer(s) telling a potential lover that their partner is not treating them with the kind of love respect that they can offer them.

5. 'The Very Thought of You' (with Tony Bennett)

A jazz standard recorded by everyone from Billie Holiday to Frank Sinatra, Paul took it on with another crooning legend in 2006.

For Bennett's album Duets: An American Classic, the pair collaborated in style to celebrate the American's 80th birthday.

6. 'New Moon Over Jamaica' (with Johnny Cash)

Paui teamed up with country legend Johnny Cash to co-write this track in 1988.

It was featured on Cash's album Water from the Wells of Home, which also featured Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris and others.