If you’ve already splurged on the handsome two-volume boxed set of Paul McCartney’s “The Lyrics,” you might logically wonder: Why buy the $30 paperback?

There are fewer photos and no glossy pages in the no-frills soft-cover edition on sale now, which squeezes all the insights of the bestselling 960-page original into a slimmer (624 pp.) single volume. McCartney’s song-by-song narrative, drawn from 50 hours of recorded conversation with poet Paul Muldoon, is intact, as are standardized lyric sheets for 161 catalog picks dating back to 1956.

But the biggest draw for fans is the addition of seven songs, three of them Beatles classics (“Day Tripper,” “Hello, Goodbye” and “Magical Mystery Tour”), three from McCartney’s solo and Wings years (“Bluebird,” “English Tea” and “Every Night”) and one (surprise!) written for Cilla Black (“Step Inside Love”).

Purchases you make through our links may earn us and our publishing partners a commission. 

Check out: USA TODAY’s weekly Best-selling Booklist

Here are the highlights of what’s new:

Paul McCartney often gave wife Linda writing credits to protect his songs amid The Beatles’ legal squabbles

Paul McCartney's best-selling book

1973’s “Bluebird,” an album cut from Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Band on the Run,” is notable for crediting Linda McCartney as a co-writer. During messy court battles involving The Beatles’ publishing rights, “I’d had to sue my best friends from childhood to ensure we could keep control of our songs, rather than ‘other parties’ controlling them,” he says. “Even if I’d written a song by myself, I would often add, ‘and Linda.’ Contractually, those ‘other parties’ couldn’t get at her.”

Similarly, “I also had to be careful about where a song was written, or, at least, where I said it was written. … It wasn’t quite ‘one for you, nineteen for me,’ but it was close,” says McCartney, referencing George Harrison’s “Taxman” lyric. “I got creative with where I wrote my songs, because it determined who you owed money to.”

Listen to the AI-assisted recording:The Beatles’ last song is wistful, quintessential John Lennon

The Beatles’ ‘Day Tripper’ is about sex, drugs and ‘possibly being allowed’ to touch a girl’s breast

Paul McCartney photographed backstage at TV's

The 1965 Lennon-McCartney song “Day Tripper,” half of a double A-side single with “We Can Work It Out,” mashes up acid experimentation and the pursuit of sex.

“We sing ‘She’s a big teaser’ … ‘She took me half the way there.’ This was our lives,” he says. “Like many young men, you’d go to the cinema on a date,” in hope of “possibly being allowed to get your hands on a girl’s breast.”

Therefore, “a Sunday driver was someone who wasn’t the full thing. You weren’t getting the total pleasure of sex, or drugs, or these other new freedoms. You were just getting hints of it and ‘taking the easy way out.’ “

Paul McCartney confesses he’s drawn to older women: ‘Eleanor Rigby was not the only one’

“Okay, I admit it – I have a thing for older ladies. Eleanor Rigby, bless her soul, was not the only one,” McCartney says of “English Tea,” a 2005 “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” track based on a woman he identifies as Dorothy. “I just happen to get on well with them and I always have.”

The line “Peradventure we might play” was inspired by Charles Dickens’ use of the word. “I always have a dictionary to hand, so I looked it up to see if I could get away with using the word, and sure enough it means perhaps or maybe. ‘Peradventure I’m Amazed.’ “

He associates ‘Every Night’ with The Beatles breaking up ‘slowly, painfully and bit by bit’

Paul McCartney in 1977, during the recording of

“We played it a few times with The Beatles,” but the song “Every Night” came together for his 1970 solo debut “McCartney.” As the band split “slowly, painfully and bit by bit,” rather than seeking to “get out of my head” by partying in the clubs, he sought solace by staying in with his young family.

“They were there when I needed them,” he says of Linda and his elder daughters Heather and Mary. “It got dark at times, and I think it’s fair to say they saved my life. They gave me purpose.”

The ‘binary tension’ between John Lennon and Paul McCartney was crucial to their success as a songwriting team

“Being a Gemini, which is sort of half-and-half, I’m very attracted to playing with opposites,” McCartney says of 1967’s “Hello, Goodbye.”

“I think there definitely was a sort of ‘hello, goodbye’ about John (Lennon) and myself. But we loved it. … If you had to break it down – and though it is a bit crude to say so – there was a binary tension at the heart of our songwriting together.”

Wait, what? There’s an unreleased Beatles recording called ‘Carnival of Light’

1967’s trippy “Magical Mystery Tour” receives a robust five-page analysis, in which McCartney lays out the numerous drug allusions and notes how the song’s title has made its way into common use. (“You couldn’t talk about a mystery tour really unless you added the adjective magical.”)

And for fans who wonder if there’s anything more in the coffers after the recently released “Now and Then,” McCartney flags a still-unreleased avant-garde Beatles recording cut in January 1967 called “Carnival of Light.”

John and Paul kept the ‘great’ songs for The Beatles and gave the ‘good’ ones to other artists

“Step Inside Love,” a 1968 single recorded by Cilla Black − who worked the cloakroom at The Cavern, where the Fab Four played early in their career, until she was signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein − was written as a theme for Black’s TV show “Cilla.”

“Songs we thought were great, we kept for ourselves,” McCartney says. “Songs we thought were good but maybe not for us, we gave away.”

May Pang interview:John Lennon’s ex says he ‘really wanted’ to write songs with Paul McCartney again