Wings Over America

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
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. [A remastered edition was released in 2013.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Bruce Eder
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/28/2013
  • Label: Hear Music
  • UPC: 888072343382
  • Catalog Number: 34338
  • Sales rank: 3,876

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Venus and Mars/Rock Show/Jet (10:20)
  2. 2 Let Me Roll It (3:44)
  3. 3 Spirits of Ancient Egypt (4:05)
  4. 4 Medicine Jar (4:06)
  5. 5 Maybe I'm Amazed (5:20)
  6. 6 Call Me Back Again (5:15)
  7. 7 Lady Madonna (2:37)
  8. 8 The Long and Winding Road (4:28)
  9. 9 Live and Let Die (3:20)
  10. 10 Picasso's Last Words (1:53)
  11. 11 Richard Cory (3:05)
  12. 12 Bluebird (3:43)
  13. 13 I've Just Seen a Face (2:09)
  14. 14 Blackbird (2:27)
  15. 15 Yesterday (1:55)
Disc 2
  1. 1 You Gave Me the Answer (2:06)
  2. 2 Magneto and Titanium Man (3:21)
  3. 3 Go Now (3:46)
  4. 4 My Love (4:14)
  5. 5 Listen to What the Man Said (3:32)
  6. 6 Let 'Em In (4:08)
  7. 7 Time to Hide (4:56)
  8. 8 Silly Love Songs (6:04)
  9. 9 Beware My Love (4:58)
  10. 10 Letting Go (4:33)
  11. 11 Band on the Run (5:30)
  12. 12 Hi Hi Hi (3:48)
  13. 13 Soily (5:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul McCartney & Wings Primary Artist
Paul McCartney Indexed Contributor, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Denny Laine Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Joe English Drums, Vocals
Howie Casey Saxophone
Tony Dorsey Trombone
Steve Howard Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Linda McCartney Keyboards, Vocals
Jimmy McCulloch Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Thaddeus Richard Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone
Technical Credits
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer, Producer
Paul Simon Composer
Denny Laine Composer
Linda McCartney Composer
Jimmy McCulloch Composer
Phil McDonald Engineer
Mark Vigars Engineer
Hipgnosis Sleeve Design
Steve Rooke Remastering
Richard Manning Paintings
Guy Massey Remastering
Simon Gibson Remastering
Larry Banks Composer
Milton Bennett Composer
Tom Walsh Engineer
Jeff Cummins Paintings
Jack Maxson Engineer
Colin Eric Allen Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2013

    Wings over America is one of my favorite albums by Paul McCartne

    Wings over America is one of my favorite albums by Paul McCartney and Wings. In addition to the standard edition, I bought two copies of the deluxe edition of Wings over America and the DVD of Rockshow. One of the best live albums of all time.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews