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Paul McCartney and Wings
"Band On The Run"

25th Anniversary 2CD Edition
EMI Parlaphone's/MPK 4991762

Band on the RunThe re-release of this album some 25 years on is somewhat interesting from a personal point of view, as this was the first album I ever bought, shortly after ISO's original release date, for the sum of £5.00; Big money in 1973, let me tell you!

Paul McCartney himself has said "I think that there will be a lot of 'Wings' stuff rediscovered in years to come." Well now is a good time to do just that with the re-release of the 25th Anniversary 2 CD edition of the 1973 LP 'Band On The Run'.

Undoubtedly Paul's finest album to date, unveiled during December of '73, it arrived some three and a half years after The Beatles final album, and yet it was already Paul's fifth LP, and his third with 'Wings'.

Paul couldn't top his work with The Beatles, but occasionally he came close. It's worth noting that 'Wings' had a longer recording career than The Beatles. As part of his post Beatles success he scored Twelve Top Ten singles, and Eight Top Ten albums than by any bands standards that is a spectacular achievement.

Disc 1: Is a newly remastered version of the original U.S. edition of the album. Although against Paul's wishes at the time the U.S. album included the single "Helen Wheels" which was named after Paul's land rover!

WingsThe running order for Disc One is:

Disc 2: Is a newly produced additional CD which relives the period when the album was made and includes the voices of Paul and Linda, Dustin Hoffman, and the celebrities who appear on the cover. This disc has a running time in excess of 50 minutes. CD 2 also includes previously unreleased versions of some 'Band On The Run' tracks.

On dialogue track 18, Dustin Hoffman gives us the background to "Picasso's Last Words" (Drink To Me), whilst having dinner with the McCartneys Hoffman asks Paul, "How do you write songs?", Paul replied "They just come out of the air" Dustin asks "Can you write them about anything?" Paul: "Yeah". Dustin: "Try this" and Hoffman points to an obituary of Pablo Picasso and reads from it Picasso's last words which were: Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can't drink anymore.

Paul said, "Well, you could possibly write a song about that." After a moment he began singing it. Hoffman jumped up shouting "Look, he's doing it!!" Hoffman rates being present at the writing of 'Picasso's Last Words' "Right under childbirth in terms of the great events of my life"

Sleeve notes for the first album are split into two sections, part one is based on the recording of the album and is written by Mark Lewisohn who covers the background leading up to and the actual recording of the album in Lagos, Nigeria. Paul had gone to Lagos after a typically 'well thought out' McCartney decision. After 'Wings' British tour ended in August Paul wanted to record again, but said he was getting bored with London and that he and Linda wanted to go someplace warm where they could combine vacation and work and generally have a good time.

Paul had asked EMI where they owned studios in warm climes. The list included Bombay, Rio De Janeiro, Peking and Lagos.

For Paul, the word Lagos conjured up images of lazy days, hazy days, hot tropical days, days of ceaseless music and buzzy rhythms on the West Coast of Africa. He envisioned lying on the beach all day doing nothing. and recording at night but. as he noted later, it didn't turn out quite like that!

Band on the RunBand On The Run
The Cover

A Who's, Who.

1 Michael Parkinson
2 Paul McCartney
3 Kenny Lynch
4 James Coburn
5 Clement Freud
6 Linda McCartney
7 Christopher Lee
8 Denny Lane
9 John Center



U.K. 7th December, 1973 - No. 1
USA 5th December, 1973 - No. 1
In the U.S. the album was Number 1 on 3 separate occasions, a precedent setting achievement.


Helen Wheels/Country Dreamer
U.K. 26th October, 1973 - No. 12
USA 12th November, 1973 - No. 10


USA 28th January, 1974 - Single withdrawn.

Jet/Let Me Roll It

U.K. 15th February, 1974 - No. 7
USA 28th February, 1974 - No. 7

Band On The Run/Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five

USA 8th April, 1974 - No. 1

Band On The Run/ Zoo Gang

U.K. 28th June, 1974 - No 3

Review by Damien Smyth

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Music Reviews
Band on the Run
Yellow Submarine
Anthology 3
A Place in Time
Vertical Man
Brainwashed - A Labour of Love
Photograph Smile
John Lennon Anthology
Let It Be...Naked



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