Note: the CD I listened to was the 25th Anniversary Edition released in 1999 with a bonus disc, excellent liner notes, and a reproduction of the poster that came with the LP.
Last night I read a NME blog post which called Paul McCartney the "Greatest Living Songwriter." I thought about that statement for only a few seconds before fully agreeing with it. Who else could it be? So I'm listening to some McCartney this morning. What a great way to start the day.
From Sir Paul's own website:
Band on the Run is one of those rare albums that spans a magically self-contained world. From the unfolding promise of its title track – itself a pocket symphony of dawning optimism and thrilling new horizons – this is music that takes us places. Is it a ‘concept album'? Not exactly. There is no continuous narrative nor any hidden pattern. The beauty of Band on the Run is simply that it feels complete. Released in late 1973, Band on the Run was Paul's fifth album since the break up of The Beatles and it triumphed both critically and commercially. The Grammy award-winning album was recorded in Lagos and became Wings most successful album. Band on the Run was the top selling album in the UK in 1974 and reached no.1 in the US on 3 separate occasions. It went on to sell 7 million copies world-wide. Its success has endured and in 2000 the album was included in Q magazine's list of Greatest British Albums Ever, as well as Rolling Stone magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time list.The Grammy? Best Pop Vocal Performance By a Duo, Group or Chorus. Band On The Run lost Album Of The Year honors to Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale. I'm glad I wasn't asked to help with that decision.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (4 weeks between April 13 - July 6, 1974)
Tracks: 5 of the 10 tracks appear on the Wingspan compilation (Band On The Run, Jet, Bluebird, Let Me Roll It, and Helen Wheels). It's a mystery to me as to why Let Me Roll It wasn't a massive hit. In my mind, the chorus of that song is a insistent earworm; I find myself singing it often (usually in inappropriate locations/situations). The other 5 songs are clearly filler, but they're McCartney filler, so even in a song like Picasso's Last Words there are moments when you think "that's a clever little thing he did there."
Bonus disc: On the back cover, this disc is described thusly:
The newly-produced additional CD relives the period when the album was made and includes the voices of Paul and Linda McCartney, Dustin Hoffman and the celebrities who appear on the cover. Running in excess of 50 minutes, the programme also includes previously unreleased versions of some Band On The Run tracks.Based on that description, my expectations were low. It turns out that it's a fairly decent, cohesive disc in the style of a self-important radio special, containing interviews, rehearsal outtakes, and sound checks from more recent tours. I don't listen to it often, but it's not a wasted hour.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (2005)
Wingspan: Hits and History (2001)
Flaming Pie (1997)
Unplugged: The Official Bootleg (1991)
All The Best! (1987)
Tug of War (1982)