Band on the run (1973)

 

Produced by Paul McCartney

Once The Beatles broke up, it was Paul who really took time in finding success as a solo artist. Yes, he had number one songs and his first album sold well, but they were not considered great works compared to Lennon’s album Plastic Ono Band, George’s All things must Pass. Paul started a new band called Wings. The first album did not go as expected, they improved by the second album Red Rose Speedway, but it was their next album that would bring Paul back to his commercial powers. Proving both a success in sales and with critics.

This album has a lot of stories. Paul wanted to record in some exotic location and decided to go to Lagos, Nigeria in an EMI studio. They also lost two members of the band, Denny Seiwell and Henry McCullough. So, this record was recorded as a three-piece band with Denny Lane and Paul switching guitars and bass, Paul played drums and percussion among other instruments. Another that happened was Paul and Linda were robbed at knifepoint, and they took tapes of demos and lyrics. But even with all these situations, they achieved a great album.

I always saw Paul as a talented songwriter and a storyteller, though he could write personal lyrics and inspirational songs. He had the tendency to just write for fun and he is very talented at that. In this album that talent is shown in full effect for the first time since leaving The Beatles. The songs are creative both lyrically and musically. Band on the run opens the album and would become a number one single. I really like the structure of the song and how it changes in melodies. The second song inspired by one of Paul’s dogs, Jet is a song featured in most of his concerts even today. Those two became hit singles for McCartney. One song that I love is Mamunia, that means a safe haven in Arabic. There is a story on the song Picasso’s last word, Paul was with Dustin Hoffman and he challenged him to write a song based on an article, and Paul wrote it right in front of him. the song is used as a coda for the album as it goes through most of the songs on the album before going to the last song Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five.

A fine album and one that remains, in my opinion, Paul’s best album as a whole. Maybe in terms of songs, other albums have better, but in terms of a complete album this one for me it’s his best. The cover may be inspired by the Sgt Pepper cover, has familiar faces escaping with Paul, Linda, and Denny.

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