Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wings At The Speed Of Sound (1976)

Note: the CD I listened to was the double disc 2014 "Archive Collection" reissue.

So I got this in the mail yesterday and it's practically all I've been listening to since, so I thought I'd go ahead and write it up.  For all you audiophiles: yes, the remastering sounds great and if you're a fan of the album, you should spring for this reissue.  The problem with this particular edition isn't the sound, it's the lack of liner notes (we get lyrics and that's it) and the almost pointless bonus disc.

We all know that Wings was Paul McCartney's joint, but on this album, he attempted to truly embrace the band concept - every band member sings lead on at least one track and the group records two songs written by band members other than McCartney.  As a result, it's a little uneven, but it's a fine album - cleverly arranged, recorded, and produced.  As mentioned in the 1976 Rolling Stone review, "McCartney, like almost no one else, seems able to play the studio as an instrument."  And while that's true, there still more than few memorable pop melodies to be found here.  After all, we're talkin' 'bout Sir Paul.  So, like most post-Beatles McCartney releases, the critics panned it and the public loved it.  Put me in the latter group.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 for seven non-consecutive weeks
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #1 (6 consecutive weeks)

Tracks:  The top track is, and has always been, Silly Love Songs.  Other favorites include Let 'Em In, The Note You Never Wrote, She's My Baby, Beware My Love, and Warm And Beautiful.  And while they've never sounded better on this edition, I usually skip Wino Junko and Cook Of The House.

Bonus disc:  At only 22 minutes in length, this disc is light on material (the whole edition could have fit on one CD), but there are two points of interest that should be heard at least once: an alternate take of Beware My Love with John Bonham on drums and a version of Must Do Something About It with Paul on lead vocals.  The rest are demos, which are the musical equivalent of eating an empty taco shell.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  the singles from this album were all over the radio during the summer in which I turned 10.  Even though I lived in the hot, hot West Texas desert, I spent most of that summer outdoors terrorizing my neighborhood, usually with my transistor AM radio in hand, blaring tunes like the ones found here.  My usual mode of transportation at that time was my Mr. America bicycle (with sweet banana seat) that I had gotten at Christmas a few years earlier:

Previously revisited for the blog:
Wingspan: Hits and History (2001)
All The Best! (1987)
Band On The Run (1973)


  1. Sweet ride there, Mr. America. I'm assuming you had uninstalled the sweet red, white and blue streamers from the end of the handelbar grips but otherwise kept the bike in stock condition. Notice you didn't install the cards in spokes modification. Lowered the back end of the seat and you would have had what we called a mini-sissy bar.

  2. Think my Dad picked up the album so I snuck a few private listening sessions. The radio single Silly Love Songs instantly captivated me even though the wink-wink irony evaded me at the ripe old age of ten. Bought the 45 for a girl (Diana or Janet?) and we were boyfirend-girlfriend for the whole weekend in fourth grade. She broke up with me on Monday cause I didn't call her all weekend. On Tuesday she brought in the three things I had given her: a necklace, a note and the 45 which now had a scratch all the way across the side with Silly Love Songs on it. Went out and bought another copy the following weekend and kept on loving the song.

    Anyone interested can A-B the old version and the shiny new remastered version on Spotify.