Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Venus and Mars At The Speed of Sound

It was just after Paul McCartney and Wings had lost two of their members (Henry McCullough Denny Seiwall), Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, and Denny Laine released their third and most successful album, Band on The Run, in December 1973, that Wings started on a new project; Venus and Mars.
"With this new album I did this scroll thing and sat down and put one song there, and another song here. Fiddle about. Fiddle about."- Paul McCartney, Melody Maker, 1975

(L-R) English, Laine, L. McCartney, McCulloch, P.McCartney
The band began recording at Abbey Road Studios in November, 1974 despite their desire to record the full album in the United States, which wasn't possible after Denny Laine had difficulties acquiring a visa to enter the US. Two months later the group, along with Laine, picked up their work and moved to Allen Toussaint's Sea Studios in New Orleans on 16 January and stayed til 24 February, 1975.  It was during this time that Wings went searching for two new members to replace their lost lead guitarist and drummer, that's when Jimmy McCulloch, a young and extremely gifted guitarist, and Geoff Britton, a former karate expert, joined the band. However, Britton was found fighting with Laine and McCulloch that he left the group half way through recording leaving Wings to find a new drummer. It was Tony Dorsey, Wings trombonist, who recommended a New Yorker who's drummed with names from Joplin to Hendrix; Joe English.
"I completed half the tracks on the album and then a local drummer called Joe English did the rest.
It's a funny band, Wings. From a musician's point of view, it's a privilege to do it. From a career point of view, it's madness! No matter how good you are, you're always in the shadow of Paul."- Geoff Britton, 1975
 The album was released after final recordings and mixing held at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles on 27 May, 1975 (US)/ 30 May, 1975 (UK). The album toppled charts, reaching Billboard Top 200 for one week and seventy-seven weeks in US Charts, not to mention the twenty-nine weeks the album spent in UK Charts including one week at number one and only three months later on 1 August, becoming platinum.  The album has sold over 4 million copies featuring the following tracklisting;
Wings in New Orleans, 1975
  1.  Venus and Mars (McCartney)
  2. Rock Show (McCartney)
  3. Love In Song (McCartney)
  4. You Gave Me The Answer (McCartney)
  5. Magneto and Titanium Man (McCartney)
  6. Letting Go (McCartney)
  7. Venus and Mars (Reprise) (McCartney)
  8. Spirits of ANcient Egypt (McCartney) -- Sung by Denny Laine
  9. Medicine Jar (McCulloch-Allen)
  10. Call Me Back Again (McCartney)
  11. Listing To What The Man Said (McCartney)
  12. Treat Her Gently - Lonely Old People (McCartney)
  13. Crossroads Theme (Hatch)

After the album was completed the group took a short break before they began working on Wings fifth studio album, Wings At The Speed Of Sound. Recording took place at EMI Studios starting in September of 1975, however the album was mainly put together in 1976.  During this time Wings had begun preparing for their most recognizable tour, Wings Over The World. It was during the tour that the album was released, on 22 March, 1976 (US) / 26 March, 1976 (UK). The album features a track sung by each band members;
  1.  Let 'Em In (McCartney)
  2. The Note You Never Wrote (Laine)
  3. She's My Baby (McCartney)
  4. Beware My Love (McCartney)
  5. Wino Junko (McCulloch - Allen)
  6. Silly Love Songs (McCartney)
  7. Cook of the House (McCartney)
  8. Time To Hide (Laine)
  9. Must Do Something About It (McCartney) --sung by Joe English
  10. San Ferry Anne (McCartney)
  11. Warm and Beautiful (McCartney)
The album peaked at number two in the UK and became the fourth best selling album of the year, even spending thirty-five weeks on UK charts.  In the US the album reached number one and held the position for seven (non-consecutive) weeks, and placed in US charts for fifty-one weeks. The album has sold 3.5 Million copies worldwide.

Now that you have a bit of history behind the album why not buy them? It was released today, 4 November, 2014, that these two history changing albums have been remastered for the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. The Paul McCartney official website posted this earlier today;
"Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound - the remastered Wings classic albums and latest instalment of the GRAMMY award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection – are out now!
Wings are one of the most successful acts the UK has ever produced, achieving no less than 14 US Top 10 hits and 12 Top 10 hits in the UK. Following 1973’s Band on the Run the mid ‘70s were a commercial heyday for Wings." PaulMcCartney.com
followed by this statement;
 "As with all the Archive Collection, Paul has personally supervised all aspects of the reissues.  The remastering work was done at Abbey Road by the same team who have worked on all the reissues as well as The Beatles’ catalogue."- PaulMcCartney.com

Each reissued album will contain three discs- two CDs and one DVD.
Venus and Mars will feature;

CD 1 – Remastered Album
1. Venus and Mars              
2. Rock Show                    
3. Love In Song                  
4. You Gave Me The Answer          
5. Magneto and Titanium Man      
6. Letting Go                  
7. Venus and Mars – Reprise          
8. Spirits Of Ancient Egypt          
9. Medicine Jar                  
10. Call Me Back Again              
11. Listen To What The Man Said          
12. Treat Her Gently – Lonely Old People      
13. Crossroads                

CD 2 – Bonus Audio
1. Junior’s Farm                                    
2. Sally G                                                
3. Walking In The Park With Eloise              
4. Bridge On The River Suite                                              
5. My Carnival                                                         
6. Going To New Orleans (My Carnival)              
7. Hey Diddle [Ernie Winfrey Mix]               
8.  Let’s Love                                       
9. Soily [from One Hand Clapping]                         
10. Baby Face [from One Hand Clapping]                                                    
11. Lunch Box/Odd Sox                       
12. 4th Of July                                     
13. Rock Show [Old Version]       
14. Letting Go [Single Edit]                  

DVD – Bonus Film
1. Recording My Carnival                      
2. Bon Voyageur          
3. Wings At Elstree                              
4. Venus and Mars TV Ad

You can purchase Venus and Mars here;

                                                                                                                                 Amazon- Click here.
                                                                                                                                    iTunes -Click here.

Wings at The Speed of Sound will feature;

CD 1 – Remastered Album
1. Let 'Em In                   
2. The Note You Never Wrote          
3. She’s My Baby                  
4. Beware My Love              
5. Wino Junko                  
6. Silly Love Songs              
7. Cook Of The House              
8. Time To Hide              
9. Must Do Something About It  
10. San Ferry Anne              
11. Warm And Beautiful          
CD 2 – Bonus Audio
1. Silly Love Songs [Demo]                  
2. She’s My Baby [Demo]                                    
3. Message To Joe                      
4. Beware My Love [John Bonham Version]          
5. Must Do Something About It [Paul’s Version]          
6. Let ‘Em In [Demo]                                         
7. Warm And Beautiful [Instrumental Demo]                   
DVD – Bonus Film
1. Silly Love Songs Music Video                  
2. Wings Over Wembley          
3. Wings In Venice

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