Thursday 12/17/2020 12am ET: Feature LP: Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run (1973)

Band on the Run is the third studio album by the British–American rock band Paul McCartney and Wings, released in December 1973. It was McCartney’s fifth album after leaving the Beatles in April 1970. Although sales were modest initially, its commercial performance was aided by two hit singles – “Jet” and “Band on the Run” – such that it became the top-selling studio album of 1974 in the United Kingdom and Australia, in addition to revitalizing McCartney’s critical standing. It remains McCartney’s most successful album and the most celebrated of his post-Beatles works.

The majority of Band on the Run was recorded at EMI’s studio in Lagos, Nigeria, as McCartney wanted to make an album in an exotic locale. Shortly before departing for Lagos, however, drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Henry McCullough left the group. With no time to recruit replacements, McCartney went into the studio with just his wife Linda and Denny Laine. In addition to playing bass, McCartney also played drums, percussion and most of the lead guitar parts himself. On arriving, it was discovered that the studio was below standard, and conditions in Nigeria were tense and difficult; the McCartneys were robbed at knifepoint, during which a bag containing unfinished song lyrics and demo tapes was taken. After the band’s return to England, final overdubs and further recording were carried out in London, mostly at AIR Studios.

In 2000, Q magazine placed it at number 75 in its list of the “100 Greatest British Albums Ever”. In 2012, Band on the Run was voted 418th on Rolling Stone’s revised list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. A contemporary review by Jon Landau in Rolling Stone described the album as “with the possible exception of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, the finest record yet released by any of the four musicians who were once called the Beatles”. It was McCartney’s last album issued on the Apple record label.

1. “Band on the Run” 5:12
2. “Jet” 4:09
3. “Bluebird” 3:23
4. “Mrs. Vandebilt” 4:40
5. “Let Me Roll It” 4:51
6. “Mamunia” 4:51
7. “No Words” 2:35
8. “Helen Wheels” 3:44
9. “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)” 5:49
10. “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” 5:28

1. “Paul McCartney (Dialogue Intro)/Band on the Run (Nicely Toasted Mix)” 1:12
2. “Band on the Run (Original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 1)” 2:17
3. “Band on the Run (Barn Rehearsal – 21 July 1989)” 4:59
4. “Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 2)/Mamunia (Original)/Denny Laine (Dialogue)/Mamunia (Original)/Linda McCartney (Dialogue)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 3)” 4:23
5. “Bluebird (Live version – Australia 1975)” 0:55
6. “Bluebird (Original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 4)” 0:23
7. “Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 5)/No Words (Original)/Geoff Emerick (Dialogue)” 1:24
8. “No Words (Original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 6)/Tony Visconti (Dialogue)/Band on the Run (original)/Tony Visconti (Dialogue)” 1:47
9. “Jet (Original from Picasso’s Last Words)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 7)/Jet (Original from Picasso’s Last Words)/Al Coury (Dialogue)” 2:55
10. “Jet (Berlin Soundcheck – 3 September 1993)” 3:52
11. “Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 8)/Clive Arrowsmith (Dialogue)” 1:44
12. “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five (Original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 9)/James Coburn (Dialogue)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 10)/John Conteh (Dialogue)” 3:24
13. “Mrs. Vandebilt (original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 11)/Kenny Lynch (Dialogue)” 2:10
14. “Let Me Roll It (Cardington Rehearsal – 5 February 1993)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 12)” 3:52
15. “Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 13)/Mrs. Vandebilt (Background)/Michael Parkinson (Dialogue)/Linda McCartney (Band on the Run Photo Shoot) (Dialogue)/Michael Parkinson (Dialogue)” 2:25
16. “Helen Wheels (Crazed)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 14)/Christopher Lee (Dialogue)” 5:32
17. “Band on the Run (Strum Bit)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 15)/Clement Freud (Dialogue)” 1:01
18. “Picasso’s Last Words (Original)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue link 16)/Dustin Hoffman (Dialogue)” 4:22
19. “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me) (Acoustic version)” 1:11
20. “Band on the Run (Nicely Toasted Mix)/Paul McCartney (Dialogue Link 17)” 0:42
21. “Band on the Run (Northern Comic Version)”


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