Tag Archives: Wings Greatest

Rocks In The Attic #549: Wings – ‘Wings Greatest’ (1978)

RITA#549.jpgI’m currently half-way through reading Howard Sounes’ Fab: The Intimate Life Of Paul McCartney. While it’s not the most revelatory of Beatle biographies, Sounes does win points for writing the most cutting paragraph of Sir Paul’s woeful fashion sense:

Paul showed up in a baggy tartan suit, like a Caledonian clown. [Linda McCartney] wore a maternity dress. Paul had cut a sharp figure during the Sixties, never more so than when he strode across the Abbey Road zebra crossing in a beautifully tailored Saville Row suit. Now he had mislaid his style compass. It would be years until he found it again. Not all Seventies fashion was bad, but it is fair to say that Paul McCartney dressed appallingly throughout that decade and much of the Eighties, wearing ill-chosen clothes and sporting a trendy yet hideous mullet haircut.

Ouch! Thankfully, unless you scan the record covers intensely, it’s now quite easily to overlook his sartorial crimes. All’s that’s left is a load of catchy – sometimes syrupy – songs. The other target in Sounes’ book is the strength – or weakness, if we’re going to be honest – of McCartney’s lyrics. For me, you can forgive something like Silly Love Songs when you have something like Live And Let Die to consider. The unbelievably good sometimes outweighs the unbelievably bad. Still, he does seem to defer to the act of choosing words because they rhyme rather than the words meaning anything. Just try and decipher the lyrics to Jet; it’s just gibberish.

You can’t fault the man’s light-hearted approach to promotion though. The album was supported by a jokey television advert, featuring several members of the public singing Wings tunes, ending with a dustman, parked in his lorry in Abbey Road, singing a wildly out of tune rendition of Band On The Run, at which point Paul, Linda and Denny Laine pull up alongside and Paul shouts “You’re a bit flat mate!”. The driver leans out his window and says “Funny, I only checked them this morning”.

Hit: Live And Let Die

Hidden Gem: Junior’s Farm

Rocks In The Attic #65: Paul McCartney – ‘Wingspan: Hits & History’ (2001)

Rocks In The Attic #65: Paul McCartney - ‘Wingspan: Hits & History’ (2001)I remember buying Wings Greatest on CD when I was at University, from Our Price (Our Price!) in Huddersfield town centre. Then, a few years later when I was building my vinyl collection, McCartney released this – a retrospective of (mainly) his work with Wings, even though the collection is credited to McCartney in name, as though it is purely a solo compilation.

This was an album I bought on vinyl and immediately transferred onto tape so I could play it in my crappy Nissan Sunny on drives over to Ireland. I’ve spent many a reggae-inspired middle-eight of Live And Let Die racing through the Welsh valleys on my way to the ferry port at Fishguard.

The Wings stuff across this double-LP set is essentially their greatest hits (their singles complimented by their better album tracks), and these are bookended by McCartney’s solo stuff both pre- and post-Wings. Thankfully, there’s not a great deal of McCartney’s solo cheese on here – the only real example is No More Lonely Nights, which gets two versions for some reason. The rest of his solo cheese – especially the likes of Ebony & Ivory and Wonderful Christmastime – is thankfully overlooked.

I’d have stuck Say Say Say on this if I had the opportunity, but given that none of his big duets appear on the album, it’s probably a simpler affair to keep it strictly a McCartney / Wings affair.

Hit: Band On The Run

Hidden Gem: Too Many People