Next, we have legendary Beatle Paul McCartney and his band Wings, with one of their best and most well-known albums, “Band On The Run”. Because it is Paul McCartney and not John Lennon, of course it is not included in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, but it really is a solid record.
On this record, almost all of the instruments were played by Paul, including some impressive guitar parts as bass, piano, and drums. He was assisted by his wife Linda, and musical partner Denny Laine, but Paul did all of the heavy lifting on this album. Interestingly enough, legendary drummer Ginger Baker from Cream played on “Picasso’s Last Words”.
The album opens with the title track, a great mini-medley of songs, and possibly my favorite overall Paul McCartney solo song. Each of the mini-clips are great and work well together, not unlike the medley on “Abbey Road”. Next, we have another big hit, the rocker “Jet”, which helps to give this album the edginess any McCartney project needs to keep from drifting too far into soft, slow and sappy. I also really like the next song, “Bluebird”, which I wondered if it was going to be similar to “Blackbird”. It was not, but I do think it is one of the better songs on the album.
Not quite as well-known, but always a standard when Paul plays live, is the bluesy rocker “Let Me Roll It”. The echo-treated, passionate and powerful vocals are outstanding, and in an imaginary world where the Beatles reunited somewhere way down the road, I would have enjoyed hearing the band together take on this song. Two more favorites are “No Words” and the fairly well-known and “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five”, which strikes me as a template for Paul’s successful solo sound in the early 1970s.
It’s no secret that I’m a big Beatles fan, and certainly that extends to the unparalleled success and talent of Paul McCartney. He is truly the highest-ranking living member of rock music royalty, and it warmed my sad heart today to see Paul be one of the first to take to the internet in a recorded video, not just a written statement, expressing his sadness at the death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. As I alluded to, for all of his accomplishments, I don’t always think Paul is always fully appreciated by the critics of the music world, and I could list many reasons why that is probably the case. All of that said, I firmly believe Paul McCartney remains as a true living legend and in general, a really good guy who does his best to support and encourage the world of musicians who try their best to follow in his massive footsteps.