They were still putting away all the giant eggs used at the Wings launch party on June 11th, when Paul had Eddie Klein help Paul set up two 16 track portable recording studios at two of Paul’s homes, one is Sussex and then one in Scotland.
He used roughly the same recording technique he used 10 years earlier on McCARTNEY, by plugging his chords directly into the recorders, and bypassing a console, so no engineer would be needed.
Paul would be free to record night and day, at his whim.
Over the next two months, Paul put down on tape around 20 new tracks. Another year of producing an amazing amount of new material.
When he would play some of his ideas to people, they would say “Oh, that’s from your next album.” And Paul went from “I’m just getting some ideas down” to eventually “yeah, I get it is…
No members of Wings (Linda helped a bit on backing vocals) were called to help out, and when the tracks were brought into Abbey Road studios in September and October of 1979 to be mixed, no one was called in to help augment the recordings.
I don’t know what was going on in Paul’s head, whether he just needed a break from the day to day of leading his band, or if it was a crack in the foundation of the wall.
Singles continued to be released from BACK TO THE EGG, all of them hardly making an impact on the charts.
The critics were beyond harsh in their review of EGG, despite healthy sales. But even these sales were a disappointment to Columbia records and EMI, compared to other McCartney releases. How did this affect Paul’s attitude to his latest band?
Behind the scenes, tour plans were set up, to have the band get back together in early November, rehearse and start the tour on the 23rd of November, and go thru December 17th.
After a holiday break, plans were being made to have Wings fly to Japan to do the next leg of the tour, and then maybe onto the U.S. and other parts of the world.
On October 24th Paul was given an award and lavish party, naming him the “most successful songwriter of all time.”
On November 16th Paul released a new solo single, “Wonderful Christmastime.” He recorded this during the summer sessions at home, and this single was credited to him alone.
Wings rehearsed this song and performed it during the first part of the tour (England) and also the entire band all appeared in the music video produced for the song.
“Wonderful Christmastime” Super synth based track, that is filled with holiday feel and cheer. It is light, it is fluffy, it is an easy to process toe tapper. It is a song that some love, some hate, but when all is said and done, you can’t get it out of your head after hearing it. Rating – 8
“Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reggae” Another song Paul knocked off during the summer. It is a take off of the basic Rudolph song, but with an island beat. He called up a local fiddler, who showed up and one-offed the violin which accompanies Paul on synth. Not a big fan of this one, but a nice holiday companion as the b-side. Rating – 5
Wings did quite a bit of interviews when they got together to do their British tour, and behind the scenes all seemed well (see attached videos).
They even did shows in good old Liverpool and invited local school children and teachers (including those that taught Paul).
Around this time Wings participated in The Concert for Kampuchea (subtitled “Rock for Kampuchea”) A film and album were made, “Concerts for the People of Kampuchea.” The material was culled from the 4 nights of concerts in Hammersmith Odeon to raise money for Cambodia.
The event was organized by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim, who was then Secretary-General of the U.N., and it involved well-established artists such as McCartney, The Who and Queen as well as younger punk and new wave acts like The Clash and The Pretenders.
The film finishes with the presentation of Wings’ Rockestra (more of 25 musicians playing together).
Paul had added more Beatles songs he had never played live previously on this new tour as well as his solo, older Wings tracks, old time rock and roll and even new tracks from the album EGG.
All seemed well…. The British 1979 went as well as expected. Paul admits they didn’t really work hard preparing and drummer Holly noted that Paul didn’t seem to be enjoying the shows or bands performance as they would come off the stage each night.
On to the next part of the tour, on to 1980, on to big and hopefully better things. But first, time to pack the luggage and head for the airport. On to Japan……. wait, what????? He did what???
Next… 1980 and a year that would forever change Paul and most of our lives.