Wingspan (Hits & History)

Wingspan (Hits & History)

4.4 10
by Paul McCartney
     
 

Although sometimes given the short shrift by Beatlemaniacs and classic-rock purists, Paul McCartney's "other" band crafted some of the most memorable hard-driving pop of the 1970s and '80s -- a point that's made emphatically clear on this wide-ranging, 40-track collection. While many of the songs on the digitally remastered Wingspan are well known to anyone who…  See more details below

Overview

Although sometimes given the short shrift by Beatlemaniacs and classic-rock purists, Paul McCartney's "other" band crafted some of the most memorable hard-driving pop of the 1970s and '80s -- a point that's made emphatically clear on this wide-ranging, 40-track collection. While many of the songs on the digitally remastered Wingspan are well known to anyone who turned on a car radio in the past 25 years -- from the rough-'n'-ready rockin' of "Band on the Run" and "Junior's Farm" to the suave and sinister "Live and Let Die" to the moving strains of the majestic "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "My Love" -- this two-CD collection's real treasures are those brought in from the margins. Songs like "Mull of Kintyre" (never a Stateside hit, although it still ranks among the biggest-selling singles in British chart history) and the pastoral "Waterfalls" emphasize McCartney's unparalleled songwriting skills, while the then-controversial "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" showed he was every bit as fluent in political commentary as any of his peers. Still, Sir Paul and his Wings were at their best when simply kicking back in party mode, as evidenced by a passel of good-natured rave-ups like "Hi, Hi, Hi" and a previously unreleased, Wild Life-era medley of "Bip Bop/Hey Diddle/I Am Your Singer" that, while not essential, earns plenty of points for charm alone. Wingspan is available in a regular and a limited edition, both of which include a 24-page, five-color annotated booklet featuring rare photographs of the various Wings lineups, liner notes by Beatle-ologist Mark Lewisohn, and a personal introduction by McCartney. The lavish limited edition is housed in a stamped, clothbound book rather than a slimline jewel case, and the booklet features a holographic cover. It's an elegant package -- a more than fitting tribute to the greatest popsmith of the 20th century.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Paul McCartney always got the short end of the stick when he was in the Beatles and again in the '70s, as he and his erstwhile partner John Lennon pursued solo careers. McCartney was attacked for his virtues -- for his melodicism and his domesticity, along with his desire to form a real touring band following the Beatles. None of these were celebrated at the time, but he moved many, many records and sold countless concert tickets, which only hardened opposition toward him. But, in retrospect, McCartney's albums make for the most fascinating body of work among any of the ex-Beatles, and really among any of his peers. Yes, there were pitfalls among the heights, but that's part of what makes his career so fascinating -- each record is distinctive, and even if the songs themselves are shallow, at least lyrically, the melodic skill and studio savvy behind each are hard not to admire. This may require a bit of conversion, and if you're not up to trudging through his individual works, even such masterworks as Ram (truly the roots of homemade pop), the double-disc set Wingspan is ideal. McCartney has had a number of career overviews before, including such seemingly comprehensive discs as All the Best, but those were plagued by vaguely haphazard sequencing. This is nearly perfectly executed, dividing McCartney's career between the "hits" and "history," with the latter being devoted to album tracks that are acknowledged classics, yet never were singles. Now, it's true that this isn't completely comprehensive -- some will notice that superstar duets with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson are missing, and others will wonder where such terrific latter-day singles as "Press" are or why such charting hits as "So Bad" are bypassed, or why album tracks like "Ballroom Dancing" are absent -- but nothing has come as close to capturing the quirky brilliance of McCartney's solo career, how it balanced whimsical pop with unabashedly sentimental romantic ballads, piledriving rockers, and anything in between. And what makes Wingspan so impressive is how the "History" disc fills in the gaps that "Hits" leaves, whether it's on the tremendous "Maybe I'm Amazed" (one of the very best songs he ever wrote), the charming "Junk," the clever "Take It Away," or such absolutely stunning miniatures as "Heart of the Country," an effortless folk-pop tune that ranks among his very best songs. That's why Wingspan isn't just a good hits collection -- it's a convincing argument that McCartney's solo recordings are a rich, idiosyncratic body of work of their own merits. Ram, Red Rose Speedway, and London Town all have their merits, but if you need to be converted, this is where to start.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/08/2001
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0724353294625
catalogNumber:
32946

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Listen to What the Man Said
  2. Band on the Run
  3. Another Day
  4. Live and Let Die
  5. Jet
  6. My Love
  7. Silly Love Songs
  8. Pipes of Peace
  9. C Moon
  10. Hi, Hi, Hi
  11. Let 'Em In
  12. Goodnight Tonight
  13. Junior's Farm
  14. Mull of Kintyre
  15. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
  16. With a Little Luck
  17. Coming Up
  18. No More Lonely Nights

Disc 2

  1. Let Me Roll It
  2. The Lovely Linda
  3. Daytime Nightime Suffering
  4. Maybe I'm Amazed
  5. Helen Wheels
  6. Bluebird {Band on the Run}
  7. Heart of the Country
  8. Every Night
  9. Take It Away
  10. Junk
  11. Man We Was Lonely
  12. Venus and Mars/Rock Show
  13. Back Seat of My Car
  14. Rockestra Theme
  15. Girlfriend
  16. Waterfalls/
  17. Tomorrow
  18. Too Many People
  19. Call Me Back Again
  20. Tug of War
  21. Bip Bop/Hey Diddle
  22. No More Lonely Nights /

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul McCartney   Primary Artist,Bass,Piano,Drums,Vocals,Harmony Vocals
Denny Laine   Guitar,Vocals
Henry McCullough   Guitar,Vocals
Joe English   Drums,Vocals
Laurence Juber   Guitar,Vocals
Geoff Britton   Drums
Howie Casey   Brass
Tony Dorsey   Brass
Steve Holly   Drums
Steve Howard   Brass
Linda McCartney   Keyboards,Vocals,Harmony Vocals
Denny Seiwell   Drums
Jimmy McCulloch   Guitar,Vocals
Dennis Selwell   Drums

Technical Credits

Paul McCartney   Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer
George Martin   Producer
Mike Bobak   Engineer
Tony Clark   Engineer
Geoff Emerick   Engineer
Tim Geelan   Engineer
Richard Lush   Engineer
Linda McCartney   Producer
Phil McDonald   Engineer
Alan O'Duffy   Engineer
Bill Price   Engineer
Ernie Winfrey   Engineer
Eddie Klein   Engineer
Mark Vigars   Engineer
Alan Parsons   Engineer
Mark Lewisohn   Liner Notes,Sleeve Notes
Pete Henderson   Engineer

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