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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Pop > Documentary > Concert > Music Video > Record Album Art > Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run (1973/Paul McCartney Archive Collection/Concord DVD/2-CD Set)

Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run (1973/Paul McCartney Archive Collection/Concord DVD/2-CD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: B     Extras: B     Music: B



Hard as it is to believe, Wings had trouble getting started as a commercially and critically successful band, but Paul McCartney’s second group already had memorable hits with classics like Give Ireland Back To The Irish, My Love and the title theme to the 1973 hit James Bond film Live & Let Die.  The second album Red Rose Speedway was even a hit, but that was not good enough somehow for some diehard Beatles and McCartney fans.  However, Band On The Run (1973) struck the proper chord for fans and the result was a worldwide sensation that continues to be one of McCartney’s most successful post-Beatles works.


The Concord label has reissued the album as part of the promising new Paul McCartney Archive Collection and among the many editions available (including a new vinyl pressing) are a 3-CD/1-DVD set and this 2-CD/1-DVD set we are covering here now.  As noted before, I always felt Linda McCartney’s contributions, singing and chemistry with her husband were grossly underrated and that their music together for this period (starting with the extremely underrated Admiral Halsey/Uncle Albert) represents one of the greatest love stories in music history.  This new release just adds more support and evidence to my theory and belief in this.


The first CD has the original album as it appeared in the U.K., minus the hit Helen Wheels!  The other tracks are:


1)     Band On The Run

2)     Jet

3)     Bluebird

4)     Mrs. Vanderbilt

5)     Let Me Roll It

6)     Mamunia

7)     No Words

8)     Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)

9)     Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five



The second CD includes Helen Wheels and runs as follows:


1)     Helen Wheels

2)     Country Dreamer

3)     Bluebird

4)     Jet

5)     Let Me Roll It

6)     Band On The Run

7)     Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five

8)     Country Dreamer

9)     Zoo Gang



Track 2 was the B-side of Helen Wheels and has been previously issued, Track 9 was the flipside of the hit title song of the album and the theme to a children’s TV show in the U.K. we have reviewed elsewhere on this site that was not bad.  That leaves tracks 3 through 8, which are from a taped TV music special called One Hand Clapping, included on the DVD in this set.


That lasts about an hour and is in fairly good shape for an older analog videotaping, plus we get three Music Videos (Band On The Run, Mamunia and Helen Wheels), a promo film for the album that includes four songs to promote it, Wings In Lagos clip further promotes the album and Osterley Park is a short version of the behind-the-scenes events of the band and some friends (including James Coburn, Christopher Lee, Michael Parkinson, Kenny Lunch, Clement Freud and John Conteh) creating the classic album cover that remains one of the most famous of the 1970s and best in McCartney’s career.


The album could have been uneven in its attempts to be diverse and though not every song is strong, it is consistent and each song is at least unique and has the kind of energy and joy you would expect from the McCartneys at that point.  Linda was always trying to find new ground outside of the usual pop discourse and Paul continued to find a new voice that was his and not of his Beatles identity, even when some of the material was in that mode like the title song here.  Together, they found their own space and the final establishment of that foundation happened with the making of this album.  As a result, Band On The Run does not sound dated much at all and is a sonically competent as it is a solid work of music.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD is not bad and the Music Videos compare well to the same on the McCartney Years DTS DVD set (see link below).  Otherwise, this looks and sounds as good as it can and older analog video and 16mm footage is centered in a 16 X 9 frame.  The PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo on the CDs and 16/48 on the DVD are just fine, though those hoping for multi-channel sound will be disappointed and McCartney has decided not to include the DTS 5.1 mix of the original album that was issued on the out-of-print DTS DVD from DTS Entertainment that is now more valuable than ever.


For more on the McCartneys and Wings, try The McCartney Years DVD set at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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