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#413: Band on the Run by Wings

3.21.2011


Band on the Run by Wings (1973)

Favorite Track(s): "Band on the Run" and "Jet" and "Mrs. Vanderbilt" and "Let Me Roll It" and "Mamunia" and "No Words" and "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)" (the STRINGS!)

Thoughts: Look! Saruman is on the cover! (Or Count Dooku, if you are the rare nerd who only dabbles in one fandom. Which is weird. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS, ALREADY.)

I am coming off a particularly nasty cold from the weekend, so when I saw that dear ol' Macca was up next I sent a little prayer of thanks to the Rolling Stone voters. Because I do NOT have the energy to try to listen to something experimental or pissy this morning. I barely have the energy to keep my head off my desk. I apologize if the following is considerably less coherent and more rambling than usual.

As a Beatles fan from a very young age (they were probably my first CDs, but not cassesseetees--holy f*** that word did NOT want me to spell it--cassettes), I somehow knew that I had to absolutely detest anything that the individual Beatles did solo or with other bands, until I became so infinitely saturated with the entire Beatles catalog that I couldn't help but grope towards anything, ANYTHING that the same 4 men produced, albeit separately, however disappointing or incomparable, out of sheer need for more of them. Right?

I saw Ringo with my mom (the only Beatle I've shared the same room with), and I found myself enjoying his solo songs, and thanks to my public library I got hold of a John Lennon greatest hits album and realized I'd liked a lot of his solo stuff without realizing it ("Whatever Gets You Through the Night" was my ring tone for probably over a year), and The Concert for George was when I discovered my liking for George's solo stuff (and remember how much I liked All Things Must Pass!). Which leaves Paul.

My introduction to Paul's solo work, besides hearing it scattered throughout radio play, was through cross-pollination with another musical obsession. I'm not sure if cross-pollination is the right word, but it sounds right to my cold medicine logic. We all know that Paul had been a guest on Michael Jackson's first two solo albums, with Off the Wall's "Girlfriend" and Thriller's "The Girl is Mine." But in the height of my Michael Jackson fandom, I learned there was a Paul McCartney song on which Michael sang! And since this was a time before iTunes, I bought the greatest hits album All the Best! of Paul's solo work just so I could have "Say, Say, Say", that ridiculously infectious song whose video features LaToya Jackson as Michael's love interest.

I was ready to hate the Wings songs on the album (as opposed to the stuff Paul did on his own), but I think that came from a place of a) thinking the 90s TV show of the same name was SUPER corny, even though I'd never seen it and couldn't tell you what it was about except maybe it had airplanes, and b) I figured any work that a Beatle did with their significant other automatically equaled crap. Rude, yes. But sort of a little bit true. It took me years of hearing "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" before I realized that that poor screeching child in the back-up choir was actually Yoko.

Right, so what I've been trying to get at this whole time, I swear, is that I actually like some stuff that Paul did with Wings, even though I'm not 'supposed' to. So! The album!

My favorite song of them all is "Band on the Run", merely for the genius guitar lick (riff? Gawd, I have ZERO musical vocabulary) about a minute and 20 seconds into the song. It's so sexy and dark and funky and infectious. You know, the part that leads into if I ever get out of here... I like the other parts too, but that part just rocks my socks off.

"Jet" is always fun, if only for the oooh-oooh-oooh's. "Mamunia" is my new favorite song about rain, and parts of "No Words" reminded me of Mika. And the other ones I favorited are just good too, Ok? Good grief, I'm tired.

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