In the summer of 1973 Wings was brought in to record a one off single for Paul’s brother Mike, “Leave It.” Mike had just signed with Warner Brothers.
Warner decided upon hearing the amazing track to expand the recording to an entire album.
Maybe welcoming Michael was the first nugget in an ayyempt to lure Paul away from Capitol Records when his contract was soon up??? (He stayed with Capitol)
In early 1974 Paul, produced and wrote/co-wrote nearly every song.
Wings was again brought in to record, but Denny Seiwell and Henry McCullough had left the band the previous December.
So, besides the project for Mike, Paul was also testing out a new drummer, Geoff Britton, and wunderkind lead guitarist, Jimmy McCulloch. After this, with anticipation to record and get back on the road, this new version of Wings rehearsed and then went into Abbey Road studio, where they were filmed live playing what would come out ONLY as a bootleg, “One Hand Clapping.”
No video, no official release. But a very interesting period for Paul.
Tensions soon led to Britton leaving and drums taken over by Joe English.
The Set List
One Hand Clapping
-Interesting instrumental, heavy on synth blasts by Linda, Paul thumping bass and Jimmy taking the lead. Nice, at a time Wings still love recording instrumentals. Rating -8.5
-Not sure why Jet was recorded again, just 8 months after it was recorded for BAND ON THE RUN. If they were rehearsing these for a possible future tour, but they are recording. Maybe as a companion to the film?? He does this many times on this project, and this would have been the first, not last that Paul has re-recorded the previous album (the BROAD STREET film…). Great version – 8.5
Paul yells out “take 7”. So they were picking up a track that Wings II had attempted and played live in 1972 era. An excellent studio version, with outstanding playing on this odd song Paul would use as final encore on 75-76 world tour. Rating – 9
Little Woman Love/C Moon
– Sorry, never liked this pairing, as the odd tempo change killed for me any momentum either song had. I think I’ve heard him do this the other way, with C Moon opening and Little Woman. This version opens with a partial short fail then restarted. It’s not bad at all, but I think Paul settles on forcing this pairing. Rating – 7
Let Me Roll It
Very Good version. They must have been thinking tour…. Rating – 8.5
Another version I don’t have audio for. See #11. Rating N/A
Wild Life/Hi, Hi, Hi
-Just the ending of what sounded like a nice version of “Will Life” into a fantastic version of “Hi, Hi, Hi.” Played at the perfect speed…. And wonderfully. The trippy ending wasn’t needed. A proper could have made this a classic. Rating – 8.5
Denny says “take 99” and then they re-create Denny’s Moody Blues classic. Done very much like they would do on tour. Excellent version with Linda handling the horn sections on keys while Paul doubles on electric piano…. Background vocals are incredible. Rating- 8.5
Maybe I’m Amazed
-Wonderful version with fairy tale intro. “A novel opening.” Paul actually asks what this one is called. Very good straight forward version. Yes, this had to be a prep for a tour… but still recording take after take in the studio…. Hmmm…. Rating – 8
-Pink and Perky. Opens with an unusual and interesting drop key opening. Without the drum machine but still sounds wonderful. Rating – 8
This is the song this version of Wings is famous for…. “Take me down…James.” Not sure if they got the final studio version in these sessions or in Nashville. Nice version, but nothing other than toned down guitars compared to the final. Rating – 8
-Another attempt. Paul is especially randy mood vocally, loose as a goose. Nothing new here. Rating – 7
Second attempt made…l. Don’t have the audio… yet. Rating – N/A
-Gentle and caring. Paul on electric piano. Denny on bass and the solo is wonderful. Linda doesn’t attempt to add any lush on synth. Wonderful background by Denny, Linda and Jimmy. Rating – 8.5
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
-Odd…. Paul plays solo on piano and then starts out song. He is later synced on a tape from studio version. Outrageous skats to end this one. But odd…. Filmed when he was doing the piano part of the film. Rating – 8.5
Live And Let Die
-Take three. Long before flash pods and fire. A wonderful little song the band brings in a full orchestra for. Outstanding all around recreation of the George Martin arrangement. Paul likes it. Rating – 8.5
Band On The Run
-Take 6, “Hand on the Bun.” Full sound with synths high up on both sides of the mix and the acoustics nice and bright. Paul and the band sounds wonderful. The orchestra on the final build up ices the cake. Paul’s vocals are a tad too deep in the mix for me. Britton’s drumming is excellent here, and throughout. Nothing special. He was a straight egg, who clashed with young brash Jimmy. Geoff would show up in full karate gear and practice between takes. This was the era of tons of weed smoking (see the cover) and Britton was not into this. Rating – 7
Blue Moon of Kentucky
-Fantastic bass riffs by Paul on this quick off of The Bill Monroe track we know Paul loves. Part on original Wings set. Denny on harmonica is the highlight. Everyone shine on this. Rating – 8.5
None of the piano part of the film were released and are available as a bootleg as “The Piano Tape.”
Overall, this unreleased project rates as 8.15/10. I wish that we could get a proper release. This was certainly at a time when Paul was overloaded with plans and projects, still up to his neck in legal issues with the other three Beatles.
But he was nearing his peak in many ways, and he really enjoyed himself making this attempted project. Clean it up as best as possible and put it out as album and video, warts and all.
Next…. 1971…I mean 1977’s remake of Ram, “Thrillington.”