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Posts from the ‘Wings’ Category


Wings – Wings At The Speed Of Sound (1976)

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.












Artist:  Wings
Title:  Wings At The Speed Of Sound
Year:   1976
Format:  LP
Label:  Capitol Records
Catalog#  5C 062-97581

Wings at the Speed of Sound is the fifth studio album by Wings, released on 25 March 1976 as a follow-up to their previous album Venus and Mars.

If Venus and Mars had the façade of being an album by a band, At the Speed of Sound really is a full-band effort, where everybody gets a chance to sing, and even contribute a song. This, ironically, winds up as considerably less cohesive than its predecessor despite these efforts for community, not because Wings was not a band in the proper sense, but because nobody else in the band pulsed as much weight as McCartney, who was resting on his laurels here. Consider this: the two hits “Let ‘Em In” and “Silly Love Songs” are so lightweight that their lack of substance seems nearly defiant. They have sweet, nice melodies and are well crafted, but as songs they’re nonexistent, working primarily as effervescent popcraft of their time. And that’s the case for most of At the Speed of Sound, as tracks like “She’s My Baby” play like the hits, only without memorable hooks. There is a bit of charm to the record, arriving in Linda McCartney‘s awkwardly sung “Cook of the House,” the mellow “Must Do Something About It,” and especially “Beware My Love,” the best-written song here that effortlessly moves from sun-drenched harmonies to hard rock. Apart from the latter, these are modest pleasures buried on an album that may have been a chart-topping blockbuster, but now seems like one of McCartney‘s most transient works.


Side one
1.  Let ‘Em In   (5:10)
2.  The Note You Never Wrote (lead vocal by Denny Laine) (4:19)
3.  She’s My Baby  (3:06)
4.  Beware My Love   (6:27)
5.  Wino Junko” (lead vocal by Jimmy McCulloch) (5:19)

Side two
1.  Silly Love Songs   (5:53)
2.  Cook of the House (lead vocal by Linda McCartney) (2:37)
3.  Time to Hide (lead vocal by Denny Laine) (4:32)
4.  Must Do Something About It (lead vocal by Joe English) (3:42)
5.  San Ferry Anne   (2:06)
6.  Warm and Beautiful   (3:12)


Wings – Wings Over America (1976) – 3 Lp

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.













Artist:  Wings
Title:  Wings Over America
Year:  1976
Format:  3LP
Label:  EMI-Bovema Records
Catalog# 5C 134-98497

Basically, there are two things that rock bands do: they make an album and they go on tour. Since Paul McCartney fervently wanted to believe Wings was a real rock band, he had the group record an album or two and then took them on the road. In March of 1976 he released Wings at the Speed of Sound and launched a tour of America, following which he released Wings Over America, a triple-album set that re-created an entire concert from various venues. It was a massive set list, running over two hours and featuring 30 songs, and it was well received at the time, partially because he revived some Beatles tunes, partially because it wasn’t the disaster some naysayers expected, and mostly because — like the tour itself — it was the first chance that millions of Beatles fans had to hear McCartney in concert properly (the Beatles had toured, to be sure, and had played before millions of people between 1963 and 1966, but as a result of the relatively primitive equipment they used and the frenzied, omnipresent screaming of the mid-’60s teen audiences at their shows, few of those present had actually “heard” the group). Wings were never a particularly gifted band, and nowhere is that more evident than on Wings Over America. Matters aren’t really helped by the fact that the large set list gives McCartney full opportunity to show off his vast array of affected voices, from crooner to rocker to bluesman. Also, the repertory, in retrospect, is weighted too heavily toward the recent Wings albums Wings at the Speed of Sound and Band on the Run, which weren’t really loaded with great tunes. (It’s also hard to believe that there were two Denny Laine vocals so early in the program, or that the concert ended with the plodding rocker “Soily,” which was never released on any other McCartney album.) In its defense, the album offers bracing renditions of “Maybe I’m Amazed” — arguably the best of McCartney‘s post-Beatles songs and possibly his single greatest composition — and “Band on the Run,” as well as nicely distilling the harder side of his repertory, with a few breaks for softer songs such as “My Love” and “Silly Love Songs”; another highlight is the rippling bass sound, showing off that instrument in a manner closer in spirit to, say, a John Entwistle solo LP than to McCartney‘s more pop-focused studio work. The triple LP, issued two weeks before Christmas of 1976, was priced so low that it was offered by most stores as a “loss leader” to pull customers in; what’s more, the Beatles mystique was still very much attached to record and artist alike — at the time, John Lennon had seemingly burnt out a major chunk of his talent, George Harrison was losing his popular edge and had done a disastrous 1974 American tour, and no one was expecting great things from Ringo Starr — and it seemed like McCartney represented the part of the group’s legacy that came closest to living up to fans’ expectations. Thus the album ended up selling in numbers, rivaling the likes of Frampton Comes Alive and other mega-hits of the period, and rode the charts for months. The double-CD reissue offers considerably improved sound, though the combination of workmanlike performances and relatively pedestrian songs diminishes the appeal of such small pleasures as the acoustic Beatles set or the storming “Hi Hi Hi.” Wings Over America is most valuable as a souvenir for hardcore fans and also as a reminder of the excitement — beyond the actual merits of the group’s work — that attended McCartney and Wings‘ work in the lingering afterglow of the Beatles.


Side one
1.  Venus and Mars/Rock Show/Jet (10:20)
2.  Let Me Roll It (3:40)
3.  Spirits of Ancient Egypt (3:59)
4.  Medicine Jar (3:57)

Side two
1.  Maybe I’m Amazed (5:10)
2.  Call Me Back Again (5:04)
3.  Lady Madonna (2:19)
4.  The Long and Winding Road (4:13)
5.  Live and Let Die (3:07)

Side three
1.  Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me) (1:55)
2.  Richard Cory (1:52)
3.  Bluebird (3:37)
4.  I’ve Just Seen a Face (1:49)
5.  Blackbird (2:23)
6.  Yesterday (1:43)

Side four
1.  You Gave Me the Answer (1:47)
2.  Magneto and Titanium Man (3:11)
3.  Go Now (3:27)
4.  My Love (4:07)
5.  Listen to What the Man Said (3:18)

Side five
1.  Let ‘Em In (4:02)
2.  Time to Hide  (4:46)
3.  Silly Love Songs (5:46)
4.  Beware My Love (4:49)

Side six
1.  Letting Go (4:25)
2 . Band on the Run (5:03)
3.  Hi, Hi, Hi (2:57)
4.  Soily (5:10)


Wings – Venus And Mars (1975) – Lp

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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