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Paul McCartney and Wings - Wings Over America RIAA Certified Platinum! Click here to see this CD at Amazon.com!

By Nigel Incubator Jones

Wings Over America was Paul McCartney's first live album and was recorded on the 1976 tour in support of the Wings At The Speed Of Sound album. Highlighting Paul's post-Beatles career, this set includes a good cross section of the McCartney catalog. Sadly, songs from Ram are notably absent. There's nothing from Wild Life, which is probably a good thing; and we were also spared from having a live version of Mary Had A Little Lamb.

I would have gladly traded Go Now, You Gave Me The Answer, Spirits Of Ancient Egypt and Magneto and Titanium Man for live versions of Junior's Farm, Big Barn Bed, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, and perhaps an extra Beatles song or two. Still, this isn't a bad 'Greatest Hits Live' type collection. The sound quality of the currently available CD is decent, however it was transferred to CD in the mid-1980's when analog to digital technology was in its infancy.

Paul's other live albums show a Paul McCartney embracing his past fondly and giving his fans what they really want. Wings Over America shows a different McCartney - the one that was trying to establish Wings as a band in its' own right. Paul's attitude about playing Beatles songs in these days was pretty much "Okay, I'll play a few, but this isn't The Beatles. I want you all to accept me and my band for who we are now."

Wings over America features enjoyable versions of Blackbird, Yesterday, Lady Madonna, I've Just Seen A Face and The Long And Winding Road. Three other songs appear on Wings Over America that appear nowhere else in Paul's catalog - Go Now, Richard Corey and Soily. Go Now features Denny Laine, and it's from Denny's days with the early Moody Blues. Richard Corey, also featuring Laine on vocals, comes from the Simon & Garfunkel catalog. Soily supposedly exists in studio form, but this live version is the only release this song was given. It's a somewhat energetic rocker with forgettable, undecipherable lyrics sung by Paul, with a simple but interesting lead guitar intro played by Jimmy McCulloch. It seems to me like a lazy rewrite of The Mess (b side to the My Love single). If I could understand what Paul was singing here I might actually like this song. They should have done Long Tall Sally instead!

Overall, Paul and his band are pretty tight here, and they rocked this tour. The horn section that augmented this tour greatly add to the sound, although I really don't like the 'Salvation Army Band' sound they add to Yesterday.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best (Tripping the Live Fantastic gets that rating), I rate this album a 7.

Tracks
1. Venus and Mars/Rock Show/Jet15. Yesterday
2. Let Me Roll It16. You Gave Me the Answer
3. Spirits of Ancient Egypt17. Magneto and Titanium Man
4. Medicine Jar18. Go Now
5. Maybe I'm Amazed19. My Love
6. Call Me Back Again20. Listen to What the Man Said
7. Lady Madonna21. Let 'Em In
8. Long and Winding Road22. Time to Hide
9. Live and Let Die23. Silly Love Songs
10. Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)24. Beware My Love
11. Richard Cory25. Letting Go
12. Bluebird26. Band on the Run
13. I've Just Seen a Face27. Hi Hi Hi
14. Blackbird28. Soily

 

Share Your Memories!

Is Wings Over America one of your favorite albums? What interesting or amusing stories can you tell? Wanna write a review? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I'm normally not a fan of "live" recordings- the cheering gets annoying, the songs don't sound as good as the familiar studio recordings, etc... However, I must say that I love this album! I remember buying it when it first came out in '76 as I was a huge Beatles/Wings fan at the time. I hadn't played it in years until recently, and all my memories of that time period came back to me. This is a good, solid, well recorded, well produced album. McCartney was still rocking then, along with his wife, Linda (God rest her soul), Denny Laine, Jimmy McCullough (God rest his soul, too), and Joe English. What a great gathering of talent! If you haven't heard this before, please check it out. If it's been a long time since you've heard it, listen to it again. I'll bet you'll be reliving the wonderful Super70s as I did!"

--Anonymous

"One of the best live albums ever recored. If you are a fan of McCartney or the Beatles and have not heard this - it is worth ever penny."

--beatlefan

"Those of you old enough to have actually seen a concert from this tour would know how well the album captures the event. Paul is exuberant. His slightly-concert-hoarse voice only adding to the charm. Paul loves to play, and in this album, it shows.

McCartney's back-up band, Wings, does a fine job with their tunes, but suffer a bit when it comes to covering the Beatles' songs. The short acoustic set is pleasing, with Paul doing a very nice solo job on Blackbird.

If you have the time, and saw the original show, it is a great experience to put on the head phones, close your eyes, and listen to the entire album from start to finish. ...almost like being there!"

--Big Johnny 9

"McCartney's greatest album of the Super70s. It has all the best tracks from the previous albums sung live on stage. It also includes some of his favourite Beatles songs. It is much better than his live albums of the 90's. This is Macca at his very best at the age of 34."

--Anonymous

"This Double Album/CD set is truly amazing. When Paul formed,"Wings" he wanted to dream it all up again. He wanted to keep going where the Beatles had left off. When Wings first started out, they played colleges, and smaller venues, an idea Paul had thrown at the Beatles, that was quickly shot down. This Album showcases Paul as a Superstar. Wings had made it. Paul was playing the big stadiums to sold out crowds. Playing Beatle songs that had never been performed live before. It's amazing to hear Paul play Blackbird, and then Yesterday. You can hear the love the crowd has for this man, and these songs. This album also adds a bit of a hard edge to Paul, which some people never see, or don't remember. He has some rockers like,"Rockshow, Soily, and Hi Hi Hi" a lot of energy in those songs, and you can hear it on the album. He's not just the Beatle who wrote Silly Love Songs, the man can play. This album has so many great tunes. Band on the Run, Live and Let Die, Maybe I'm Amazed, well worth it."

--LASHTSHOUT

"WOW! Incredible performance. These albums spanned so much musically. It's so hard to belive how old they are and yet they are so fresh. I hadn't heard this for almost 20 years and when I did, the tears just rolled. It took me back to a simpler time when music was really music, an art. Paul continued to share some of the world's most wonderful music on these albums. I'm a die hard Beatles fan and wouldn't consider my collection complete without this album even if it is solo."

--Anonymous

"Wings Over America is one of the greatest classic rock albums of all time showcasing Paul McCartney & his band Wings at their finest with his Beatles classics, solo classics & his current songs at the time proving that a former Beatle was still relevant as a live act in the decade of Led Zeppelin, Elton John & Kiss. Paul McCartney is one of the greatest singers, songwriters, musicians & performers of all time while his 76 US tour which this live album documented is the reason why he has survived since the breakup of the Beatles because he has stayed in the mainstream with his brand of rock, pop & schlock without going to extremes as an artist. "

--Wayne L.

Looking for a rare import-only single, a gold record, world tour book, hard to find magazine, an autographed guitar, or simply this CD? You'll find them at eBay!


 

MUSICAL NOTES

Artist: Paul McCartney

Released: December 11, 1976

Availability: CD, Vinyl

Awards:  Platinum


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