Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paul was in a band before Wings? Huh?

This is the first of, hopefully, many blog entries regarding all things music on behalf of Rediscover Records. Tonight, we are going on a bit of a limb here, putting whatever musical cred on the line in discussing the music of Paul_McCartney, Sir Paul, or Macca, if you will. Did you know that he was indeed in a band before he assembled Paul McCartney and Wings in the early 1970's?

It was hard not to hear McCartney and Wings songs in the early to mid-1970's on the ol A.M. radio dial. They put together a string of hits that even decent hit makers of any era would covet. Thus if you are a person a of a certain age, you may really *not* have known that McCartney was in a band before Wings. The pinnacle of his solo career may have come with the release of the record "Band on the Run" in 1973. This led to a string of decent, but sometimes spotty records that included "Red Rose Speedway", "Venus and Mars", and "Wings At the Speed of Sound". Prior to "Band on the Run" McCartney released his first solo record "McCartney" with arguably one of the great love songs of all time, "Maybe I'm Amazed" and the very overlooked album "Ram", to name a couple. With the release of "Venus and Mars" and "Speed" McCartney toured the United States for the first time since he was in that other band in 1966. Here's a video of Venus and Mars/Rock Show. "It looks a lot like the one used by Jimmy Page!"

My own first record bought with my own money was a copy of "Wings Greatest" at a little record shop in Sycamore, Illinois. It was like an appliance center/slash music store. It was only the beginning of my musical sojourn that has taken me to many places that may or may not be discussed here on this blog, or in person, if you stop into Redisocover Records.

There's a lot of things you can say about McCartney but one thing he seems pretty decent at is surrounding himself with a good band. That "other band" withstanding, the Wings line-ups he assembled included (former Moody Blues) Denny Laine, Joe English, Steve Holly, Lawrence Juber, Jimmy McColluch, as well as, the much maligned Linda McCartney. In the late 80's and early 90's his band included Paul "Wix" Wickens and former Pretenders guitarist Robbie_McIntosh. McCartney still tours and his current touring band is very solid. The list of other artists he's worked with reads like a "who's who" of musicians, much too long for one blog entry.

Even as a McCartney apologist, I've had trouble following his career post the 1980 release "McCartney II". "Tug of War" in 1982 had some redeeming qualities but soon after that he was giving his regards to Broadstreet and doing duets with Micheal Jackson. What was he going to do next, offer Jackson the rights to his other bands songs? Hey, wait a minute . . . Two later releases got my attention in the 1990's, the rockin record of covers, "Run Devil Run" and "Flaming Pie", which as you listen to it now, really sounds like a farewell to his beloved wife, Linda.

There's been times when I think of McCartney and can only think, "Oh how the mighty have fallen" and then I'll put on one of those early Wings records and I'm brought right back to those A.M. hits of the 1970's and going to that little record store in Sycamore to buy that *one* record...

However, for my (first) record buying money and for a good pop song on the radio in the 1970's it was hard to top McCartney and Wings. So if you were 9 or 10 years old in 1976, you were too young to remember The Beatles but heard all those Wings records you may have asked your parents one day, "You mean Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?"

now playing as we write: "McCartney"

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