Clearly determined to follow the example of Run Devil Run's brisk making, Driving Rain—except for two songs—was cut with David Kahne co-producing in two weeks, starting in February 2001 and with a set of new musicians whom McCartney intended on backing him on tour.
Driving Rain features many songs inspired by and written for Heather. "Back in the Sunshine Again" was co-written by McCartney and his son, James. On 11 September 2001, McCartney was sitting on a plane in New York City when the terrorist attacks occurred and was able to witness the events from his seat. Incensed at the tragedy and determined to respond, he composed "Freedom" and helped organise (alongside Harvey Weinstein) The Concert for New York City, a massive all star show at Madison Square Garden on 20 October where "Freedom" was performed to a very receptive audience.
In November 2001, Driving Rain was released to generally strong reviews but stunned many with its very low sales. The album sold 66,000 copies in its first week in the US. Perhaps due to the lack of a hit single to support it, Driving Rain peaked at number 46 in the UK, and became McCartney's lowest selling album in his homeland. The US reaction was a little stronger, though still underwhelming, with the album making number 26 and reaching Gold status.
Impulsively, McCartney halted the pressing of Driving Rain so that "Freedom" could appear as a hidden track (since the artwork had already been printed). The just released "From a Lover to a Friend" (which only reached No. 45 in the UK) was repackaged with "Freedom", though the single failed to re-chart.
Beginning in April 2002, the Driving USA tour—a massive success which would lead to worldwide tour extensions—was launched.
In May 2007, McCartney said there are those who ascribe "militant" connotations to "Freedom" and, because of this, his decision to remove the performing of it from his 2007 setlist, although suggesting it could possibly return when he next mounted a US tour. About the song, McCartney added "I thought it was a great sentiment, and immediately post 9/11, I thought it was the right sentiment. But it got hijacked. And it got a bit of a militaristic meaning attached itself to it, and you found Mr. Bush using that kind of idea rather a lot, in a way I felt altered the meaning of the song."
Due to the last minute addition of "Freedom" to Driving Rain, it was not listed in the track list and thus appears as a hidden track. "Freedom" was recorded live during The Concert for New York City with later studio overdubs. There are some copies of the CD that were issued with an outerbox and a different cover and the tracklistings featured "Freedom" as an official track.
In 2007, upon adding McCartney's catalogue of music, the iTunes Store added one of David Kahne's two remixes of the song "From a Lover to a Friend" as an exclusive bonus track. This remix is the version released on CD-singles for this song and "Freedom".
^Vincent Perez Benitez The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years 2010 p.158 "Your Way hearkens back to the sound of McCartney's first two albums of the 1970s. ... McCartney composed About You for Heather Mills, thanking her for helping him get over his grief regarding the death of his first wife, Linda Eastman."