By: Cindy Annis, Jan. 2019
Ok.! We’re back! I hope everyone had a GREAT Christmas, and a Happy New Year!! Let’s get back to Paul.
The band Wings was formed in 1971. The group had no choice but to be great to follow the Beatles. That same year, in September, their daughter was born. Stella was named for Linda’s both grandmothers that had the same name. The band started touring in 1972.
They did a bunch of colleges and universities. Paul wanted to know if he and the band could make a go of it without doing any Beatles songs. So, they started out getting paid very small amounts, mostly what college kids had in their pockets. By the end of the ten-gig tour, they knew they were ready, and the unannounced Wings Over Europe Tour commenced. This was a 25-stop tour and mostly small places of about 3000 people or less.
Now it’s time to get into some great stuff. In 1973 Wings had their first US hit. On their second album, Red Rose Speedway, there was the song “My Love.” It climbed to #1 on the US charts and it was also in the top 10 in the UK. “Live and Let Die” was next. The theme song for a James Bond movie that had the same name. This was a big deal as it hit #2 in the US and #9 across the pond. It was nominated for an Academy Award. The former Beatles producer, Martin won a Grammy for his orchestration work on this one. This was considered “symphonic rock at its best!”
After some changes in the membership of the band, Wings went on to record Band On The Run. This album came out in 1973 and would be the first of seven Platinum Wings albums. This album was kind of unique as it was their first album to go all the way to the top in the US and the UK, and it would also be the first to hit Billboards Charts for three different singles. The album would stay on the charts in the UK for 124 weeks. That’s about two and a half years, folks! The album won all kinds of awards and broke records. It also hit the Rolling Stones Magazine’s top 500 albums of all times at #413. This album had some kickin’ great stuff on it.
1975 and 1976 would also be very good years for Wings. Venus and Mars, and Wings at The Speed of Sound would be the two albums to follow Band on the Run. The Wings Over the World Tour would start in 1975.
This was to be a 14-month tour is which Wings would, for the first time, perform Beatles songs. In the two hours plus concerts they would play about 5 songs that Paul had performed with his former group. Paul and Linda would have their third child named James in 1977. Also, in 1977 Wings would come out with “Mull of Kintyre.” This would be the best song ever for Wings and also the best song of Paul’s career. This song would sell double the previous record holder sold. Twice the sales of “She Loves You” by the Beatles. Ouch! It sold more than 2.5 million copies.
Let’s jump into the world of MTV!! Wings broke up in 1981. In just a year Paul had hooked up with Stevie Wonder and did “Ebony and Ivory” which was on Paul’s Tug of War album. Then he worked with Michael Jackson on “The Girl Is Mine” for Jackson’s Thriller album. “Ebony and Ivory would prove to be Paul’s 28 single to hit the #1 spot on the Billboards Charts. Then in 1983 Paul would, again, work with Michael Jackson on “Say Say Say.”
Paul McCartney did a lot of writing for others during the mid to late 80s. He felt it was time for something else. He tried a Broadway play. He wrote and performed the music and also wrote the play. One upright critic said “skip the play and proceed straight to the soundtrack!” Give my Regards to Broad Street did, however, give us the top ten hit single “No More Lonely Nights.” This song featured David Gilmour on lead guitar. Paul wrote the theme song for Warner Brother’s Spies Like Us. Like I said earlier, Paul wrote for a lot of others then.
Paul McCartney formed a new band in 1989. He and Linda and some friends would go on the Paul McCartney World Tour, and they would play Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to a record-breaking sized audience of about 184, 000 people at the Maracanã Stadium. Then he would release Tripping the Live Fantastic. This was a triple-album with many tracks straight from the tour.
As I said at the very beginning of Paul McCartney, the third part of Paul will follow. I hope you have learned and enjoyed part two. This has been very good for me. Look for part three next month!
You can hear Paul’s music when you listen to Cindy’s Vinyl Vault. Remember, we play the best music ever recorded on vinyl. We’re at 980 WCAP Radio every Sunday night at 10:00, Monday night at 11:00 and Wednesday night at 10:00, and remember folks, it’s not how old it is, but how great it sounds! ◊