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June 12, 2016

Wings – Venus And Mars (1975) – Lp

by Record Facts

Wings, also known as Paul McCartney and Wings, were an Anglo-American rock band formed in 1971 by former Beatle Paul McCartney with his wife Linda on keyboards, session drummer Denny Seiwell, and former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine.

wings - venus and mars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Wings
Title:  Venus And Mars
Year:  1975
Format:  LP
Label:  Capitol Records
Catalog#  5C 062-96623

Wings, also known as Paul McCartney and Wings, were an Anglo-American rock band formed in 1971 by former Beatle Paul McCartney with his wife Linda on keyboards, session drummer Denny Seiwell, and former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine. Wings were noted for frequent personnel changes as well as commercial success, going through three lead guitarists and four drummers. However, the core trio of the McCartneys and Laine remained intact throughout the group’s existence and McCartney continued playing bass and other assorted instruments, just as he had done with The Beatles.

Band on the Run was a commercial success, but even if it was billed as a Wings effort, it was primarily recorded by Paul, Linda, and Denny Laine. So, it was time to once again turn Wings into a genuine band, adding Joe English and Jimmy McCulloch to the lineup and even letting the latter contribute a song. This faux-democracy isn’t what signals that this is a band effort — it’s the attitude, construction, and pacing, which McCartney acknowledges as much, opening with an acoustic title track that’s a salute to arena rock, leading to a genuine arena rock anthem, “Rock Show.” From that, it’s pretty much rocking pop tunes, paced with a couple of ballads and a little whimsy, all graced with a little of the production flair that distinguished Band on the Run. But where that record was clearly a studio creation and consciously elaborate, this is a straightforward affair where the sonic details are simply window dressing. McCartney doesn’t really try anything new, but the songs are a little more varied than the uniform, glossy production would suggest; he dips into soft-shoe music hall shuffle on “You Gave Me the Answer,” gets a little psychedelic with “Spirits of Ancient Egypt,” kicks out a ’50s rock & roll groove with “Magento and Titanium Man,” and unveils a typically sweet and lovely melody on “Listen to What the Man Said.” These are a slight shifts on an album that certainly feels like the overture for the arena rock tour that it was, which makes it one of McCartney‘s more consistent listens, even though it’s possible to scan the song listing after several listens and not recognize any song outside of “Listen to What the Man Said” and the opening medley by title.

 

Side one
1.   Venus and Mars   (1:20)
2.   Rock Show   (5:31)
3.   Love in Song   (3:04)
4.   You Gave Me the Answer   (2:15)
5.   Magneto and Titanium Man   (3:16)
6.   Letting Go   (4:33)

Side two
1.   Venus and Mars (Reprise)   (2:05)
2.   Spirits of Ancient Egypt  (lead vocals by Denny Laine)   (3:04)
3.   Medicine Jar  (lead vocals by Jimmy McCulloch)   (3:37)
4.   Call Me Back Again   (4:59)
5.   Listen to What the Man Said   (4:01)
6.   Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People   (4:21)
7.   Crossroads Theme   (1:00)

Vinyl:  Good
Cover:  Good

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