Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paul McCartney and the Wings: Band on the Run, Deluxe edition 2010

Band on the Run was among my favorite albums as a teen.  The Beatles were done.  John, Paul and George were doing their own things.  My friends and I were listening to Jethro Tull, Return to Forever, Pink Floyd and John McLaughlin.  Venus and Mars, Ram, and BOTR were the three big releases from Paul and Linda in those times, better known as the Wings.  Later, as a grown man, the 25th anniversary edition reminded me of how precious that album was to me.  
Band on the Run
On its cover, along with Paul, Linda and Denny Laine, were other “convicts” including Christopher Lee and James Coburn, caught in the beam of a searchlight, the inspiration for the poster of the animated film, Madagascar years later.  The Apple label with its two sides (inside and outside of apple) mesmerized me as did the storytelling of the songs.  

The Helen Wheels track, which showed up on the album only on the anniversary reissue, but was there on the US and International release, and the first US issues did not list it in the tracks, leading it to be called the hidden track.  The 25th anniversary issue contained a lot of subtext and comments, and is of value only to completionists and students  (I consider myself both) of music of our times.  I felt it was a lot of time and attention to be demanded from a casual listener.  Well, you do save time not having to turn the disc over, though.

The charm of the post Beatles music is how the four went on to live their lives, creative and otherwise, and the tweets that they left behind in their songs.  Harrison had chosen a clear path, as had John and Yoko, and Ringo was happy behind his kit and out of the spotlight.  Paul with his above average bass playing skills, set new benchmarks for popular socially aware song and songwriting.  The who did it better game between the two namesakes of the phenomenon called Lennon-McCartney would last but a few years, as they continued to create their iconic oeuvre.

BOTR, Jet, Bluebird, Mrs Vandebilt, Let me roll it, Mamunia, No Words, Helen Wheels, Picasso’s last words, and 1985, and the 1974 B Side of Helen Wheels in the later reissue, Country Dreamer.  A similar tight act many years later was Tug of War.  BOTR easily remains a critical landmark album, in spite of not containing much of either his best or most popular songs.
Tug of WarVenus and Mars
Mom, Dad, and we recently learned what it meant, even if for a while, to be the band on the run.  Hence it is a wonderful time to wait for the 3 CD 1 DVD combo Deluxe edition releasing on November 2, 2010.  You can get it from amazon by clicking here 

you will also want to read
review of paul mccartney’s chaos and creation in the backyard
tribute to john lennon on his 70th birthday
Band On The Run [Deluxe Edition - 3CD+1DVD Combo] 


  1. This is a fantastic post...I build my taste for Western Music because of The Beatles and almost hunted down evry song possible during the days of cassettes with no intenet and mp3. I loved each of thier Album...Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Sgt.pep, help etc and finally the compliation ONE. Thank you for sharing

    1. Thanks, Shamsud. I hope you will have enjoyed the several Beatles related posts out here too.

  2. Must check out. Btw I thought Paul was a kickass bass player (check out his intro to the "Taxman"), but that is just me. Who do you think is baddest bassist?

    1. looks like you are on an all new guided tour, a rediscovery of the operative note. i too think he is a kickass bassist. there is no way to pick up tracks and say this is better than the other. it might interest you to know that his bass career has been full of start stops. in the early years, he was actually discouraged from going all out because his heavy [semi-acoustic hofner] sound was not suited to the lightweight stylus that standard turntables came with. once they tasted success, paul began playing other instruments too. he came to his own as a bassist really with the geoff emerick years - revolver, sgt. peppers, and then with white album, he took off on an entirely different - more individual - curve.

      baddest bassist - difficult. in rock broadly, after mccartney, jaco pastorius, maybe jack bruce, and definitely the most underrates bassist in rock, frank zappa himself. in jazz though, it is a different story - pastorius is more jazz than rock, so he figures, but my baddest list has mingus, charlie haden, ray brown of OPT, a guy called marcus miller.


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