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It’s official. Everyone still loves Paul McCartney. He made headlines once again after surprisingly being a part of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. The pair spent nearly six hours driving through McCartney’s hometown of Liverpool, England and sing Beatles songs to their hearts' content. Not only did that epic appearance make waves, but he also released two new songs with the promise of an album later this year.
With the resurgence of young Beatles fans and in-turn McCartney fans, it’s only natural for them to eventually discover Wings. Despite having numerous hits like "Silly Love Songs" and "Live and Let Die," Wings was constantly bashed and ridiculed by the press for years. In 2018, it’s now time to let the "Wings-hating" go and appreciate yet another ten years of music in McCartney’s mile-long discography.
The band was formed in 1971 after McCartney spent much of 1970 severely depressed about the breakup of the Beatles. The heaviness of losing his songwriting partner, John Lennon, delayed the process as the heartthrob truly didn’t know if he could write another great song.
Originally consisting of Paul and his wife Linda, former Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine, and session drummer Denny Seiwell, Wings was created. Although the group would experience quite a few personnel changes over the years (three lead guitarists and four drummers), the McCartneys and Laine would remain together until the group’s split in 1981.
Together for ten years, Wings released seven studio albums, including the critically acclaimed Band on the Run and Venus and Mars. They have the ability to create a sense of happiness that comes across effortlessly in their music. When the backbone of a band has the pure charisma and skill of Paul, the melding harmonies of Linda and the versatility of Denny it’s hard not to fall in love.
To begin, Wings should always be described as a feeling.
They have has this imaginative, laid-back ambience about them. When I personally think of Wings, I picture a tour bus driving across Europe in 1972, filled to the brim with members of the band and their families, singing songs while sunshine and happiness exudes from everyone onboard.
Their music is a special kind of rock 'n' roll that only McCartney could think up. Imagine getting something that cheery from Lennon? It just couldn’t work for anyone but the exuberant and charming personality that Macca possesses.
As previously mentioned, Band on the Run and Venus and Mars can be seen as their pinnacle. "Band on the Run" and "Rockshow" are both up there with some of even the Beatles best opening tracks. That’s in addition to "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Come Together" and "Taxman."
In the mid-1970s, it was like commercially McCartney could do no wrong. He was playing large theatres and arenas all over the world, had patched up his relationship with his ex-songwriting partner, and had a healthy family travelling with him. By 1976, the band had three number one albums in a row in the United States. Even critics were finally loving what Wings were doing.
They could pack so many artistic ideas into every album to make them all different. Just like listening to the Beatles, listening to Wings takes the audience on a journey. Whether it be a rainy day, a shotty English pub, reading a comic under the covers as a child, or being on the run, Wings has got you covered. They can put the listener in any situation they come up with and make you feel it. That’s what has always made them special.
Wings is a more polished McCartney, facing his thirties head first and living life to the absolute fullest even after the height of his fame surpassed. He experienced a transition from a band to a solo artist, to a duo and back to a band that was completely seamless.
In the past, McCartney has stated that Wings wasn’t a "good band." Even at some of his most recent concerts, he’s been known to say "these are songs for the Wings fans" before introducing one of the few he still includes on his setlist. It’s time to let go of the bizarre idea that Wings were not up to par with McCartney’s other work when they encapsulated the emotion of a decade in their own way.