Posts Tagged ‘Denny Laine’

McCartney on stage playing guitar and singing.

5-episode Documentary series about the fascinating musical career of Paul McCartney. Episode 1 focuses on 1970-1975. this is a most outstanding documentary, probably the best I have seen on McCartney done with flair, care, expertise and with such a touch of magic that by making it so very special it easily transcends the usual formulaic dirge we’ve been given over the years about The Beatles and their solo careers. I sincerely hope that MPL gets wind of this and realises what a genius they could add to their stable or at least get involved with future McCartney projects. This also will mean such a great deal to the true fans who transcended from The Beatles to the Solo Beatles including myself. Ironic that as Paul was slipping into depression in the autumn of 69 while we were all bathing in the wonderment of Abbey Road…. Without question though imo 70/71 was Pauls finest, the quartet of McCartney/Ram/ Wild Life still retain such a magical aura all of their own.

I loved BOTR & Venus & Mars, but it’s always those first 3 albums I return to again and again. For anyone’s interest Little Lamb Dragonfly on the Red Rose Speedway album was actually recorded in the Ram sessions, and when you learn that fact you realise that it really does belong on Ram. The essential inclusion (and often overlooked) thoughts, feelings and observations of Denny Seiwell , Denny Laine & Henry McCulloch are so vital to the first Wings lineup and very moving too. Their own words reflect how much respect they had for Paul, and really it shows how sadly too they were let down financially leaving Denny Seiwell  and Henry no alternative but to leave. Had Paul perhaps paid the same attention to their payments of salaries that he did to his music they would have never walked out. Linda sadly got a lot of stick at the time but her vocal harmonies (with Denny too) were pure magic and a musical legacy her to be rightly proud of.

As the Beatles were breaking up in 1969–70, McCartney fell into a depression. His wife helped him pull out of that condition by praising his work as a songwriter and convincing him to continue writing and recording. In her honour, he wrote “Maybe I’m Amazed”, explaining that with the Beatles breaking up, “that was my feeling: Maybe I’m amazed at what’s going on … Maybe I’m a man and maybe you’re the only woman who could ever help me; Baby won’t you help me understand … Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time, hung me on the line, Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.” He added that “every love song I write is for Linda.”

One of my favourite elements about this series is how much input there is from people who actually got the chance to work and collaborate with McCartney. Having that kind of “outside” perspective is especially useful when one’s main subject is not very much given to self-examination. And it’s amazing to see how much love and respect Paul creates around him, more clearly observed in the people whose feelings didn’t get distorted by hurt, envy, and bitterness.

5-episode Documentary series on Paul McCartney’s fascinating music career. Episode 2 spans 1975-1980,

Following the addition of guitarist Henry McCullough, Wings’ first concert tour began in 1972 with a debut performance in front of an audience of seven hundred at the University of Nottingham. Ten more gigs followed as they travelled across the UK in a van during an unannounced tour of universities, during which the band stayed in modest accommodation and received pay in coinage collected from students, while avoiding Beatles songs during their performances. McCartney later said, “The main thing I didn’t want was to come on stage, faced with the whole torment of five rows of press people with little pads, all looking at me and saying, ‘Oh well, he is not as good as he was.’ So we decided to go out on that university tour which made me less nervous … by the end of that tour I felt ready for something else, so we went into Europe.” During the seven-week, 25-show Wings Over Europe Tour, the band played almost solely Wings and McCartney solo material: the Little Richard cover “Long Tall Sally” was the only song that had previously been recorded by the Beatles. McCartney wanted the tour to avoid large venues; most of the small halls they played had capacities of fewer than 3,000 people. Wings followed Band on the Run with the chart-topping albums Venus and Mars (1975) and Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976). In 1980, McCartney released his second solo LP, the self-produced McCartney II, which peaked at number one in the UK and number three in the US. As with his first album, he composed and performed it alone. The album contained the song “Coming Up”, the live version of which, recorded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1979 by Wings, became the group’s last number-one hit. By 1981, McCartney felt he had accomplished all he could creatively with Wings and decided he needed a change. The group discontinued in April 1981 after Laine quit following disagreements over royalties and salaries.

5-episode Documentary series about the fascinating musical career of Paul McCartney. Episode 3 focuses on the 1980s. McCartney participated in Live Aid, performing “Let it Be”,

In September 1989, they launched the Paul McCartney World Tour, his first in over a decade. During the tour, McCartney performed for the largest paying stadium audience in history on 21st April 1990, when 184,000 people attended his concert at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.That year, he released the triple album Tripping the Live Fantastic, which contained selected performances from the tour.

5-episode Documentary series about the fascinating musical career of Paul McCartney. Episode 4 focuses on the 1990s.

In 1991, McCartney performed a selection of acoustic-only songs on MTV Unplugged and released a live album of the performance titled Unplugged (The Official Bootleg). During the 1990s, McCartney collaborated twice with Youth of Killing Joke as the musical duo “the Fireman”. The two released their first electronica album together, Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest, in 1993. McCartney released the rock album Off the Ground in 1993. The subsequent New World Tour followed, which led to the release of the Paul Is Live album later that year

5-episode Documentary series on Paul McCartney’s fascinating music career. Episode 5 is a “double album” covering some of Paul’s greatest works spanning a total of two decades: Part 1 focuses on 2000-2010, Part 2 covers 2010-2020.

In 1997, McCartney released the rock album Flaming Pie. Ringo Starr appeared on drums and backing vocals in “Beautiful Night”. Later that year, he released the classical work Standing Stone, which topped the UK and US classical charts.[155] In 1998, he released Rushes, the second electronica album by the Fireman. In 1999, McCartney released Run Devil Run. Recorded in one week, and featuring Ian Paice and David Gilmour, it was primarily an album of covers with three McCartney originals. He had been planning such an album for years, having been previously encouraged to do so by Linda, who had died of cancer in April 1998.

McCartney did an unannounced performance at the benefit tribute, “Concert for Linda,” his wife of 29 years who died a year earlier. It was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 10th April 1999, and was organised by two of her close friends, Chrissie Hynde and Carla Lane.

McCartney’s enduring fame has made him a popular choice to open new venues. In 2009, he played to three sold-out concerts at the newly built Citi Field, a venue constructed to replace Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. These performances yielded the double live album Good Evening New York City later that year. McCartney remains one of the world’s top draws.

Paul McCartney backed by the most accomplished Wings line up took to the road to give epic performances across the world recorded in the summer of 1976, “Wings Over America” released on December. 10th 1976 feeling like a triumphant musical summation of the summer tour for Paul McCartney and his band Wings.

Originally, Wings over America was to be a two-record set of highlight performances but this was rethought due to the success of a bootleg called Wings from the Wings, which was released as a triple record set on red, white, and blue vinyl, and contained the entire 23r June 1976 concert recorded at The Forum in Los Angeles

In stark contrast to his modern-day globe-trotting ways, McCartney hadn’t up to this point toured the U.S.A  in 10 years , and those concerts dated to his time in the Beatles. Only one of his former bandmates had even attempted such a thing. Highlights of this tour included not just the American concert debuts of a number of ’70s hits with Wings but also – and this was of particular interest at the time – Beatles favorites like “Blackbird,” “The Long and Winding Road” and “Lady Madonna” — all of which were recorded after the Beatles had stopped touring.

From the opening chords of Rock Show which sets the scene and creates plenty of anticipation, Of course, after so many successive McCartney tours since he retook the road in 1989, much of what made Wings Over America so exciting then seems like nostalgia today. It’s much easier, decades later, to separate the music from the moment. This multi-disc set can come off like the sum of its weakest parts.

The second half of Wings Over America was weaker than the first as McCartney and company delve into some of the most lightweight (but biggest selling, mind you) songs from their polyester-era oeuvre, including the smash “My Love” from 1973’s Red Rose Speedway, the 1975 Venus and Mars hit “Listen to What the Man Said,” and “Silly Love Songs” from their then just-released Wings at The Speed Of Sound.

Too often, it seems, Wings Over America threatens to run out of gas as it couples throwaways like “You Gave Me the Answer” and “Magneto and Titanium Man” or “Hi Hi Hi” and “Soily” with stronger material.

Apart from the songs, listen to McCartney’s bass playing on this record. On ‘Time To Hide’ for example. The rest of the band is also worthy of mention. Jimmy McCullough’s solo on ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ is inspired as is his solo track ‘Medicine Jar’ from the ‘Venus And Mars’ album from 1975. So much better than the album version, not least due again to McCartney’s bass playing.

Later, the project’s reputation took a hit when it was revealed that no small amount of post-production fixes had been employed before release.

“While everybody’s parts were spot-on musically – maybe not the harmonies, maybe not every note was exactly right but the general feel was pretty good,” Wings stalwart Denny Laine said in Luca Perasi’s Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013). “ I had the feeling it could have been a better feeling, a fuller sound, so I double-tracked the guitars, just to fill it out [and] added little bits when you get an obvious mistake. We kept most of the solos, and most of the bass parts as it was.” Drummer Joe English put a finer point on which elements most needed to be retouched, overdubs were necessary because of “people singing out of tune – and I don’t mean Paul.”

So, maybe Wings Over America wasn’t the career exclamation point that it once seemed.

This fizzy rush of anticipation still surrounds the album’s initial trio of songs — “Venus and Mars/Rock Show” combined with incandescent take on “Jet,” even now the best opening Paul McCartney’s ever constructed. Then there’s this set’s definitive version of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” And a remarkable take on “Call Me Back Again,” from Venus and Mars with Jimmy McCulloch’s blistering guitar matched stride for stride by a tough trio of horn players led by saxophonist Thaddeus Richard.

Along the way, McCartney came to feel the Wings had finally come into their own, that fans were ready to accept them on their own terms. “I don’t know for sure, but I’ve got a feeling that they go away thinking, ‘Oh, well, it’s a band,’” “It lets them catch up. I think the press, the media is a bit behind the times, thinking about the Beatles a lot. And I think the kids go away from the show a lot hipper than even the review they’re going to read the next day.”

Wings Over America also stands as the pinnacle of Denny Laine’s often-overlooked career with Wings, from his featured vocals on “Spirits of Ancient Egypt” and “Picasso’s Last Words,” to a vital take of his Moody Blues hit “Go Now” But check out “Time to Hide,” a deep cut from Speed of Sound, where we find Laine brilliantly recapturing the raw emotion of his early R&B-sides with the Moodies.

Then, just as the mawkish distractions of “Let ‘Em In” threaten to sink the whole thing, Wings unleashes the feverish “Beware My Love” — another Speed of Sound track which, though tissue thin lyrically, begins a run of three muscular tracks that secure this album’s enduring legacy: The Venus and Mars cut “Letting Go,” which is shot through with this jagged sexuality, and then the ageless “Band on the Run.”

Two related releases followed the album: A TV documentary Wings Over The World and a film titled Rockshow  purporting to contain a complete show from Seattle. it contains only five songs that were filmed at Seattle’s Kingdome the remainder of the film’s 30 songs come from the band’s New York and Los Angeles shows,  these additional releases appeared three and four years, respectively, after the 1976 live album.

Paul McCartney – vocals,bass,guitar,piano
Linda McCartney – vocals,keyboards
Denny Laine – guitar,vocals
Jimmy McCulloch – guitar,vocals
Joe English – drums
Horn section
Tony Dorsey
Howie Casey
Steve Howard Jr.
Thaddeus Richard

thanks to Ultimate Classic Rock for some words.

See the source image

Paul McCartney and Wings“Listen to What the Man Said” presents as a breezy romp, but sessions for the smash single were actually a painstaking drag. That is, until a key contributor came in and nailed his part on the very first try. “It was one of the songs we’d gone in with high hopes for,” McCartney said in 1975. “Whenever I would play it on the piano, people would say ‘Oh, I like that one.’ But when we did the backing track, we thought we didn’t really get it together at all.”

“Mainly we’re coming here to make our own album,” McCartney told local reporters back then. “I don’t like to come to a place and use too much of the local talent, because you get people saying, ‘Oh, they’re taking our style.” But New Orleans worked its way into the proceedings anyway.

Wings stayed at the Le Richelieu Hotel in the French Quarter, right in the middle of the annual Carnival festivities. During a break from recording, Paul and Linda dressed as a pair of clowns then actually waded into the crowds on February 1975, as revelers celebrated Mardi Gras. Wings went back the next day to complete a raucous future b-side called “My Carnival,” before returning to the still-unfinished “Listen What the Man Said.”

Dave Mason of Traffic fame happened to be in town on tour, so a frustrated McCartney brought him in. “A couple of the guys from Wings came by to the see the show, and we had a day off the next day,” said  Mason “They said: ‘Why don’t you come down to the studio? I’m sure Paul would love to see you.’ So, I just stopped by, and they happened to be cutting ‘Listen to What the Man Said.’ Paul was, like: ‘Hey, c’mon, you should sit in with us.'”

McCartney still remained dissatisfied. At this point, a song that ended up as the gold-selling lead single from Venus and Mars seemed to be going absolutely nowhere. Mulling it over, McCartney hit upon another idea: “We thought it would be great to have a very technical musician come in and do a great lyrical solo,” That’s when someone in the studio mentioned that Tom Scott, the well-known jazz saxophonist, lived nearby. “We said, ‘Yeah, give him a ring, see if he turns up,’ and he turned up within half an hour!” McCartney said. “There he was with his sax, and he sat down in the studio playing through. The engineer [Alan O’Duffy] was recording it. We kept all the notes he was playing casually. [Scott] came in and I said ‘I think that’s it.’ He said ‘Did you record that?’ I said yes, and we listened to it back.”

The instrumental track for “Listen to What the Man Said” was finally complete. “No one could believe it, so [Scott] went out and tried a few more,” McCartney told Gambaccini, “but they weren’t as good. He’d had all the feel on this early take, the first take.”

As McCartney completed the vocal, O’Duffy added a barely heard Easter egg, positioned right after Paul sings “soldier boy kisses girl.” “I do remember exactly that it was lovely Linda who did the kiss on a microphone during one of the vocal takes,” O’Duffy said in Luca Perasi’s Paul McCartney: Recordings Sessions. “I made a point of making sure it was audible in the mix later at Wally Heider Studios.”

Issued on May 16, 1975, “Listen to What the Man Said” became Paul McCartney and Wings‘ eighth consecutive and the fourth of their seven total No. 1 singles.

Mason and Scott became part of a group of outside collaborators on Venus and Mars. Toussaint played piano on “Rock Show.” Local legends George Porter Jr. and Benny Spellman appeared on “My Carnival.” O’Duffy also hired trombonist and arranger Tony Dorsey, an area native; Dorsey then brought in some college buddies to complete the horn section.

In a final nod to his Big Easy surroundings, McCartney attached a pre-song sentence to “Listen What the Man Said”: “Alright, okay, very good to see you down in New Orleans, man – yeah reet, yeah yeah,” he mumbled, impersonating Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. McCartney later invited the Meters to play at the release party for Venus and Mars, held aboard the Queen Mary out of Long Beach, Calif.

As a further addition to the Paul McCartney Collection of Re-issues the two Wings albums VENUS AND MARS and WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND were issued at the end of September 2014, originally recorded in 1975 and 1976 they were made available as a standard 2CD set and a deluxe 2CD 1 DVD and Book with 135 pages of photos and memorabilia, all included unreleased tracks and demos. these releases are following the superb sets of BAND ON THE RUN, McCARTNEY and McCARTNEY II and the live set WINGS OVER AMERICA,