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RED ROSE SPEEDWAY (1973)

In a slight change I am going to review the songs on the “proposed” double album that the record label rejected and settled for a softer single disc.

When I get the average rating for the album, it will be ranked with the others, and also there will be a second ranking of the album based on the songs from the proper single album release.

Then I will discuss/rate the songs that were also worked on at the time that either came out later or still have not seen the light of day.

The proposed double album

1. “Night Out” There are two versions of this song I have heard. One, just the call and response of the lyrics “Night Out…” and another that features a short verse (done in an interesting echo laden march beat). The second version is 10 seconds longer and was featured on the proposed Cold Cut & Hot Hits album, so this might have been the intended version, or McCartney re-recorded parts of it and edited it years later (as he did on a few of the Cold Cuts…). I prefer the second version, but this is a nice rocking way to start the album. McCartney’s voice on this song and throughout the album are top notch. Not much here besides a stomper to get the juices flowing. Did not make the final version of the album. Rating – 6.5

2. “Get On The Right Thing” Another rocker that features the start of the incredible Wings backing vocal sound. This sound really came into play with this album and continued till the bands final demise. Started during the RAM sessions, this is a great little track. Lyrically, not too much is going on here. This is probably the weakest part of the album (the lyrics), for the most part. Rating – 7.5

3. “Country Dreamer” As discussed earlier, became the b-side to “Helen Wheels.” Did not make the final version of the album. Rating – 8

4. “Big Barn Bed” Became the opening track of the single album. Track was hinted at in the final seconds of RAM’s “Back Seat Of My Car.” Another pulsating rocker, fantastic backing vocals and silly lyrics. I may say this a lot during this album. Henry has a nice little solo. They also opened up the TV special by playing this live to a wall of televisions…. Rating – 8

5. “My Love” The huge hit single. Lush orchestration and of course Henry’s on the spot solo are the highlight. A beautiful gentle love song. One that fans of his love songs embrace or critics point as his weakness. I like the song a lot, but it hasn’t aged as well as others on this album for me. Rating – 8.5

6. “Single Pigeon” A slight piano driven toe tapper that offers more to the ear than one initially hears. Good lyrics, but Linda’s call and response part never sits right with me. Paul can knock off songs like this while cooking breakfast. At the end, a string of horns come in…. Why wait so long? Rating – 7.5

7. “When The Night” A mid tempo piano with heavy backing vocals. Interesting synth use. Denny’s drumming as always keeps my foot a tapping. The vocal scatting over the guitar break is brilliant. A nice little song that Macca busts out at the end to bring the magic home.Rating – 7.5

8. “Seaside Woman” As discussed previously, Linda’s first song (with much help by Paul vocally). Would have fit in nicely here but did not make the final version of the album. Released as a single in 1977 by Susie and The Red Stripes. A live version from the time kicks butt. Rating – 6.5

9. “I Lie Around” Another song started during RAM sessions… a new intro added and later released as the b-side to “Live and Let Die.” Would have been Denny Laine’s first lead vocal (Paul does sing lead on the last verse). Interesting song with a great horn backing that slowly gains momentum as it moves along. Would have fit in nicely on the album but…did not make the final version of the album. Rating – 8.5

10. “The Mess” Another song that Wings II did in concert that couldn’t quite get it right in the studio. Another of those McCartney songs which move in a few directions and tempos that only he seems to be able to do so easily. Did not make the final version of the album, but a live version from a 1972 concert made the b-side on the “My Love” single. The live version is magnificent, the studio version is interesting, but not a home run. I think he wanted to include a studio version at this spot, but the live version would have worked better. Rating – 8.5 (live) 6.5 (studio version)

11. “Best Friend” Like “The Mess,” done in concert and this is the only version I have heard. Don’t know if any studio version exists, sadly. A great little rocker that Paul belts out to the delight of the crowd. Did not make the final version of the album. Was this song about John or Linda? Rating – 7.5

12. “Loup (first Indian on the moon)” Odd instrumental from the band, which features a smoking Paul on bass that at one point drives the song. Lots of synth noises and sounds…a song for the stoners. But this made the final album and others didn’t…. Rating – 4.5

13. “Live And Let Die” Imagine this song making this album…and combined with “My Love” would have given the band two huge hits…and made the album much stronger. Discussed in an earlier post. Did not make the final version of the album. Rating – 9.75

14. “The Medley” The four songs that ended up closing the single album, but here ending side #3. Four songs, different in tone and spirit that are actually weaved together at the end. Another Paul “song within a song” but this time….”four songs within a song.”

a. “Hold Me Tight” Beautiful vocals but not much of a song. It does start the ball rolling and plays perfectly into…. Rating – 6

b. “Lazy Dynamite” Always reminded me of an Indian war chant because of Denny’s drumming. Heavy echo on the lead vocals and makes an odd link into…. Rating – 5

c. “Hands Of Love” Paul and Linda share the lead vocal about all things love. The odd break features “Lady Madonna” type wah-wahs… Slowly fades into…. Rating – 5

d. “Power Cut” The best part of the medley, a song that could have been a stand alone. It very nicely incorporates the melodies of the first three parts in lead guitar fashion and vocal backing and fades to a close. I think to have this finish a side or the album was the correct choice. Rating – 8.5 Overall medley rating – 6.125

15. “Mama’s Little Girl” As discussed earlier. Did not make the final version of the album. Rating – 7

16. “I Would Only Smile” As discussed earlier. Did not make the final version of the album. Rating – 3.5

17. “One More Kiss” A faux country toe-tapper that doesn’t really knock it out of the park. A song about the end of a relationship that Paul wants to end on a high note (no pun intended) with a final kiss. I was convinced that this song was written as another peace offering to Lennon when it came out… and even included the line.. “One day we’ll see it standing there..” It has to be about John…!!! Bill Wood at the time wasn’t convinced….Rating – 5.5

18. “Tragedy” As discussed earlier. Did not make the final version of the album, thankfully. Rating – 4

19. “Little Lamb Dragonfly” For me, the highlight of the final single album. Recorded during the RAM sessions, and orchestrated by George Martin. A tender, sad, and loving song about Paul seeing one of his baby lambs dying and his not being able to change the outcome. It makes me well up if I am feeling sad beforehand. A change of pace in the second part of the song (The dragonfly part) blend is seamless and eventually links back to the lamb portion. Fantastic vocals and production and would have been a magnificent ending to the double album. Rating – 9.5

Okay… the overall score for the proposed double album is 7.46 and the final score on the released single album is 7.18. Hmmmm….better then I thought. Up next… The remaining songs from this period.

Unused Alternate album cover

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