Wings Wild Life (1971)


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Just before the Beatles broke up, Paul McCartney had expressed his desire to go on tour again. He didn't want to play in big stadiums any more, but just to have little gigs in small places. Now the Beatles have broken up and the idea is still there. But before going on tour, Paul has to set up a new band and he has to release a new album.

In the second half of 1971, Paul gathers a new band around him and he names it Wings. First member of the band is Denny Seiwell who already played drums on the Ram album. Then Paul asks Denny Laine, former Moody Blues' member, to join the band. Paul had already met Denny Laine in 1965 during a Beatles' tour in which the Moody Blues took part. Last member of the band is Paul's wife, Linda, who will hold the keyboards. Now they just have to release an album before hitting the road.

At that time, Paul hears that Bob Dylan has just released his latest album with only one week of studio, every song having been recorded in one take. He decides to do the same and records Wild Life very quickly in August 1971. The whole recording sessions only take two weeks. The album is released on December 7th and includes 10 songs.

This production is considered by most of the critics to be the worst album Paul ever made. Part of Paul's fans even agree with them on this particular work. But like McCartney, his first solo album, Wild Life is one of Paul's creations that improve as the years go by, for there are many good songs in it.

  First Wings constitution in 1971.

Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell, Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney and Henry McCullough, 1971.

Despite of the heavy attacks made by the critics against this album (and against the way Linda plays on keyboards), Wild Life becomes #2 in the US charts and Paul is rewarded with a Golden Record on January 13th, 1972.

The original album's cover does not mention any title. It mentions neither Wings, nor McCartney. A presentation of the band is printed on the back (as it was made for the Jazz albums many years ago).
This presentation is signed by
Clint Harrigan who is probably Paul himself.

First Wings Rehearsals in 1971. The album starts with Mumbo, a sharp rock song with Paul's rough voice and some good electric guitar lines.

Then comes Bip Bop, a catchy pop song frequently broadcasted by radios at the time Wild Life came out.

The third track, Love Is Strange, is not a McCartney's title : it comes from the Everly Brothers' repertoire and was written by Smith/Baker. This song is covered by Paul using an efficient reggae arrangement.

The next track, Wild Life, gives his title to the album. It's a hard and dark song strengthened by Paul's rough voice. This title will be covered by Wings on stage later on.

Then follows Some People Never Know, a gentle ballad with a nice melody sung by Paul and Linda who gather in a duet.

Paul on drums for the first Wings' rehearsals...  

The next following title is I Am Your Singer, a love song that sounds very Beatles.

The next two tracks are definitely the strongest titles of the album. The first one, Tomorrow, starts as an happy ballad and ends as a strong rock performed by Paul using his hard-rocking voice.
An instrumental version of this song was covered by Paul but never released. It can be found on some bootleg albums.

Then comes Dear Friend which ends the album with a beautiful and sad song played on piano. This title really belongs to Paul's legendary masterpieces.
Unlike other songs included in the previous
Ram album, Dear Friend clearly adresses a friendly message to Paul's old mate John Lennon.


Someday, Paul at the Piano...

Wild Life will be remastered twice as a CD:

Paul on stage singing Give Ireland Back To The Irish After the Wild Life issue, Paul releases two singles at the beginning of 1972. On February 25th comes Give Ireland Back To The Irish. This is the only political song ever released by Paul. It has been recorded right after Bloody Sunday (that Sunday, on January 3rd, Irish catholic people were killed by British soldiers). Paul's quick reaction to this terrible event is probably due to the fact that his mother Mary was catholic herself. The title is banned by the BBC, but it doesn't prevent this song from meeting with success and from being #1 in the Irish and the Spanish charts.
Henry McCullough
, an Irish guitarist, has joined Wings for the recording sessions of this single. He will stay as a true member of the band.

A second single, Mary Had A Little Lamb / Little Woman Love (recorded in early 1972) is released on May 12th.
Mary Had A Little Lamb
is just a nursery tune for the kids and many critics consider this song as Paul's answer to the censorship who banned Give Ireland Back To The Irish. It won't be confirmed by Paul in any interview.

Paul on stage: Give Ireland Back To The Irish...  

Another single could have been issued in 1972 with Mama's Little Girl. But this nice acoustic ballad will not be released until January 1990 as the B-side of the Put It There CD single. A next issue for this song is its inclusion on the CD remastered release of Wild Life in 1993, as already noticed above.

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