Wings Over America (1976)
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The huge Wings world tour of 1975/1976 lasts one year.
It starts on 9 September 1975 with a british tour and ends on 21 October 1976 in Wembley.
More than 2 millions people will attend 64 concerts performed by Wings in 10 countries.
After the British and Australian tours in late 1975 and after the European tour on March 1976, Wings prepare to storm America. Unfortunately, Jimmy McCulloch brakes a finger and Wings has to wait until the beginning of May. They finally take off to the US and start what will be the biggest American tour ever done at that time.
The American tour starts on May 5th and ends on June 22nd. More than 600.000 people will attend the 31 live shows performed by Wings. Huge means are set up for this big tour. Paul and Linda successively rent a home in New York, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles. Every night, they use their private jet to reach the place where they have to play live with the band, and when the show is over, they fly back to their home.
Paul on tour.
Most of the songs performed by Wings during the shows are taken from the albums Band On The Run, Venus And Mars and Wings At The Speed Of Sound. Some Beatles songs are also added to the list.
Near the end of the tour, on June 18, 1976, a special event is set up for the wedding of Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd (George Harrison's ex-wife) and for Paul's birthday: Paul and Denny Laine are joined on stage by Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Brian Ferry and Jeff Beck in front of a dumbfounded audience !
Ringo joins Paul on stage.
The American tour is a tremendous success for Paul. Wings is really at the top of its fame. They now have a dedicated public who does not only gather Beatles fans but also young people who just love Wings without knowing who hell the Beatles were. At that time, Wings sell more records than the Beatles did.
A beautiful triple-album, Wings Over America, is made with the recordings of the various concerts performed during the US tour. Its has an excellent sound and gives a faithful atmosphere reproduction of what a Wings concert could be. Beyond dispute, Band On The Run and Wings Over America are the two greatest albums ever released by Wings.
Wings Over America is issued on 12 December 1976. It gets good reviews from almost all the critics and is staying at #1 for a week in the US charts. It will be charting in the US for 86 weeks. In the UK charts, it only reaches #8, probably due to the heavy price of the triple-album.
The band is on the run...
A nice video about the Wings US tour will also be released many years later.
The Wings Over America album starts slowly with the introduction of Venus And Mars, quickly followed by the very hot Rock Show which rapidly rises temperature in the audience !
Then Paul keeps putting everyone under pressure with the interpretation of Jet. This hot start-up finally ends with a heavy performing of Let Me Roll It.
Afterwards Paul gets a little break and leaves the lead vocal to Denny for Spirits Of Ancient Egypt and to Jimmy McCulloch for Medicine Jar.
After Call Me Back Again, Paul stays at the piano and gets back to the Beatles standards performing Lady Madonna and The Long And Winding Road.
Jimmy plays Medecine Jar.
The last piano performance is Live And Let Die, with a lot of light and smoke effects on the stage.
Afterwards comes an acoustic period starting with Picasso's Last Words.
Denny Laine goes on with Richard Cory, a Paul Simon's song, and Paul performs a nice version of Bluebird.
Wings keep on playing acoustic and cover once again some Beatles songs: an exulting interpretation of I've Just Seen A Face, Blackbird which responds to Bluebird, and Yesterday, which definitely brings the audience on his knees.
Paul performing Yesterday.
The second part of the show starts with the joyful You Gave Me The Answer and the tough Magneto And Titanium Man.
Now comes the time for ballads. Denny performs Go Now (Banks/Bennett), which he was used to sing with the Moody Blues, and Paul performs My Love, Listen To What The Man Said and Let'Em In.
Denny Laine comes back with a wondeful interpretation of Time To Hide, one of his own songs. Then he hands over to Paul who performs Wings' big hit Silly Love Songs. At that time, Silly Love Songs is still #1 in the US charts.
Now the show is near the end and it will close in an explosion of five hard-rocking songs.
First is performed the apocalyptic Beware My Love with Paul's unique shouting voice, followed by the heavy Letting Go.
It seems to slow down a little bit with the intro of Band On The Run but it quickly comes back to a fast and hard tempo.
Afterwards comes a hot interpretation of Hi Hi Hi with a fast guitar rhythm and the show finally closes with a gorgeous and astounding cover of Soily performed by Paul to the binary rhythm of heavy guitars. The song ends in a thunder of sound leaving the audience exhausted.
The only single released from the album is Maybe I'm Amazed / Soily, issued on 2 April 1977. It reaches #10 in the US charts.
The American tour closes in late June 1976 and is followed by an European tour which come through Vienna (9/19), Zagreb (9/21), Venice (charity concert on 9/25), Munich (9/27) and Wembley (3 concerts on 19, 20 and 21 October 1976).
Paul hard-rocking on Soily song.
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