Wings at the Speed of Sound [Bonus Tracks]

Wings at the Speed of Sound [Bonus Tracks]

by Paul McCartney & WingsPaul McCartney & Wings


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If Venus and Mars had the façade of being an album by a band, At the Speed of Sound really is a full-band effort, where everybody gets a chance to sing, and even contribute a song. This, ironically, winds up as considerably less cohesive than its predecessor despite these efforts for community, not because Wings was not a band in the proper sense, but because nobody else in the band pulled as much weight as McCartney, who was resting on his laurels here. Consider this: The two hits "Let 'Em In" and "Silly Love Songs" are so lightweight that their lack of substance seems nearly defiant. They have sweet, nice melodies and are well-crafted, but as songs they're nonexistent, working primarily as effervescent popcraft of their time. And that's the case for most of At the Speed of Sound, as tracks like "She's My Baby" play like the hits, only without memorable hooks. There is a bit of charm to the record, arriving in Linda's awkwardly sung "Cook of the House," the mellow "Must Do Something About It," and especially "Beware My Love," the best-written song here that effortlessly moves from sun-drenched harmonies to hard rock. Apart from the latter, these are modest pleasures, buried on an album that may have been a chart-topping blockbuster, but now seems like one of McCartney's most transient works. [At half the length of the generous 14-track Venus & Mars supplemental disc, the extra CD added to the 2014 Paul McCartney Archives reissue of Wings at the Speed of Sound feels a little lightweight in comparison. Truth is, there wasn't much in the vaults to be put on this disc. There were no non-LP singles along the lines of "Junior's Farm" (or "Walking in the Park with Eloise," for that matter), all the record's singles featured album tracks as B-sides, any recordings from the accompanying tour showed up on the live Wings Over America triple-LP released just nine months later, and apart from a 24-second clip of McCartney fooling around with a voice synthesizer (included here as "Message to Joe"), there weren't unheard songs left behind. That leaves the six songs on the supplemental At the Speed of Sound as demos of one sort or another. Apart from "Beware My Love"-- billed as the "John Bonham Version," the big-boned pulse of the Zeppelin is felt nearly as strongly as McCartney conducting the band by calling out transitions, proof that this wasn't close to being a finished track -- and maybe "Must Do Something About It," where Paul's vocal feels like a guide for eventual singer Joe English, these all feel like demos. "Warm and Beautiful" is nothing more than an instrumental, "Silly Love Songs" is spare with Paul accompanied by just a piano and Linda, "Let 'Em In" is lively but spare and muffled (the percussion, harmony, and piano arrangement is quite fun), as is "She's My Baby." It's fun to hear Paul -- and despite the appearance of Linda here and there, this is quite thoroughly his show -- so stripped down, but it's also something that amounts to the kind of archival listen that's spun not regularly but as a curiosity.]

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2014
Label: Hear Music
UPC: 0888072356719
catalogNumber: 35671


Disc 1

  1. Let 'Em In
  2. The Note You Never Wrote
  3. She’s My Baby
  4. Beware My Love
  5. Wino Junko
  6. Silly Love Songs
  7. Cook Of The House
  8. Time To Hide
  9. Must Do Something About It
  10. San Ferry Anne
  11. Warm And Beautiful

Disc 2

  1. Silly Love Songs
  2. She's My Baby
  3. Message To Joe
  4. Beware My Love
  5. Must Do Something About It
  6. Let 'Em In
  7. Warm And Beautiful

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul McCartney & Wings   Primary Artist
Paul McCartney   Group Member
Denny Laine   Group Member
Joe English   Group Member
Howie Casey   Horn
Tony Dorsey   Horn
Steve Howard   Horn
Linda McCartney   Group Member
Jimmy McCulloch   Group Member
Thaddeus Richard   Horn

Technical Credits

Paul McCartney   Composer,Producer
Denny Laine   Composer
Colin Allen   Composer
Robert Ellis   Inside Photo
Linda McCartney   Composer,Cover Photo
Jimmy McCulloch   Composer
Clive Arrowsmith   Back Cover Photo
Humphrey Ocean   Illustrations
Pete Henderson   Engineer

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