Rock superstar Sir Paul McCartney has spoken out again to defend his decision to switch songwriting credits on former Beatles hits that appear on his latest album.

The 60-year-old singer caused controversy and angered the widow of former Beatles bandmate John Lennon when it was revealed he'd switched the traditional Lennon\McCartney credit on his BACK IN THE USA LP - which features 19 Fab Four tracks. Instead the songs are credited to 'Paul McCartney and John Lennon'.

Last December (02), after rumours Lennon's widow Yoko Ono was considering legal action, McCartney insisted he had done nothing wrong as all the tracks used were written by him only.

Now he has used a new interview to emphasise his right to claim credit for the songs - which include YESTERDAY and HEY JUDE.

Insisting it was agreed in a meeting with LENNON - who died in 1980 - and the band's former manager Brian Epstein that the names would be reversed, McCartney says, "They said, swear to god, hand on heart, but there was nobody else in the room and they're both dead, 'We can change it as we go along. And we can change it any time we want out of fairness.'"

He adds, "...Songs, like Hey Jude or Yesterday, John openly acknowledged, particularly in a Playboy interview, he had nothing whatsoever to do with... John actually made a list for the Playboy thing showing which songs were his and which were mine.

"I would be quite happy if, on one of the songs, it would be allowed, for my name to just come first."

The rocker adds his campaign to correct Beatles' credits goes deeper.

He continues, "More importantly for me, It's trade descriptions. If, for example, I was reading a book, an anthology of poetry, and one of the poems in it was BLACKBIRD, which is my lyric. And it said 'by John Lennon and Paul McCartney'.

"John had nothing to do with those words. I think it's fair enough to put Blackbird in a poetry book 'by Paul McCartney'.

"GIVE PEACE A CHANCE? Take my name off it. It was a great, great, anthem of John's."

McCartney confesses he'd been sent letters from fans angry at his actions, but he remains unrepentant; "There is an unfairness there, I'm not trying to ruin John's reputation.