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Tag Archives WINGS

STICKING OUT OF MY BACK POCKET: “WITH A LITTLE LUCK”

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From time-to-time the music world has a bit of a reset and it’s out with the old, in with the new. Such a year was 1977 with punk in full tilt and The Sex Pistols releasing their debut album. Bob Marley put out ‘Exodus’ the same year, as did Fleetwood Mac with ‘Rumours’. But electronic music was also turning heads: Bowie was in the middle of his “Berlin Trilogy” and Kraftwerk were just months away from releasing ‘The Man Machine’.

Wings ended 1977 on a high with their ‘Mull of Kintyre’ single going on to sell more than 2 million copies in the UK alone, a feat few songs have done since. But the upheaval in the music world was mirrored in the band with both Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English moving on, returning Wings to a three-piece for the first time since ‘Band on the Run’.
But as with ‘Band on the Run’ – which was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria –  the band chose another interesting location to record the follow up to ‘At The Speed Of Sound’ and their  ‘Wings Over The World’ tour: a yacht!
Anchoring their activities on the ‘Fair Carol’ yacht in the Virgin Islands which had been kitted out with a 24-track mixing desk, the band finished work on the ‘London Town’ album in early 1978 releasing it at the end of March, preceded by a few weeks earlier by the single ‘With A Little Luck’. Paul recently told us that part of him wished he had included ‘Mull of Kintyre’ on ‘London Town’ and it would have fitted perfectly. The album flawlessly combined a melting pot of styles, from upbeat rock to synth pop. It also features the track ‘Girlfriend’, which Michael Jackson covered on his 1979 album ‘Off The Wall’.

‘With A Little Luck’ combines expectant synths (an A major chord with a B in the bass!) intertwined with vocal harmonies, alongside an optimistic lyric that codas with a soulful lead vocal from Paul. The single reached number 1 in the US and is one of twelve tracks that appeared on the 1978 collection ‘Wings Greatest’, which will be reissued on vinyl this May18th.

Fans can PRE-ORDER all four 2018 edition catalogue reissues via MPL/Capitol:

🔅NEW (VINYL)

(CD)
🔅CHAOS AND CREATION IN THE BACKYARD (VINYL)

(CD)

🔅WINGS GREATEST (VINYL)
(CD)
🔅THRILLINGTON (VINYL)
(CD)

 

THE LONDON TOWN ALBUM – ARTWORK

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London Town is the sixth studio album by Wings, released in 1978. The album had a long and tumultuous gestation which saw the loss of two band members, the birth of James and the release of the then best-selling single in British history.

In February 1977, Wings began recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios, which continued until the end of March. Here, Wings recorded five songs: “Girls’ School”, “Name and Address”, “London Town”, “Children, Children” and Linda McCartney’s “B-Side to Seaside”, later issued as the flip-side of the Wings single “Seaside Woman” (issued under the name “Suzy and the Red Stripes”).The initial plan of touring the US again was thwarted by Linda’s discovery that she was pregnant with her and Paul’s third child. With the knowledge that they were not going to tour and had time at their disposal – and once again looking for different locales to record in – Wings found themselves moored on a yacht called “Fair Carol” in the Virgin Islands during the month of May where several new songs were recorded. Reflecting the nautical locale, the album’s initial working title was Water Wings. As Linda’s pregnancy progressed, the band halted the sessions for the album, save for the recording of a new track called “Mull of Kintyre” that August and the completion of the already begun “Girls’ School”, which would be released as a single – Wings’ one and only release in 1977.

Before the single’s release came two defections from Wings: drummer Joe English had become homesick for America and returned home, and lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch left to join the Small Faces that September. For the first time since 1973’s Band on the Run, Wings were down to the core three of Paul, Linda and Denny Laine, reflected on the picture sleeve of the single, which showed the three remaining members. In November, two months after the birth of son James, and shortly after sessions for London Town resumed, the Scottish tribute “Mull of Kintyre” was released to enormous commercial success, becoming the UK’s biggest-selling single (outstripping The Beatles’ largest seller “She Loves You”). Although it would be topped in 1984 by Band Aid, “Mull of Kintyre” still ranks as the UK’s fourth biggest selling single and the largest selling non-charity single.

After some final overdubbing in January 1978, London Town was completed and preceded by the US No. 1 “With a Little Luck” that March, while the album was released a week later.

London Town LP artwork

Uncropped photo of the London Town LP cover.

This is the original un-cropped photo that was used for the cover of the London Town album.

Original background used for the cover and labels :

 

The official album:

 

Vinyl :

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – vocal, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, violin, flageolet, recorder
  • Denny Laine – vocal, guitar, bass, flageolet, recorder, percussion
  • Linda McCartney – vocal, keyboards, percussion
  • Jimmy McCulloch – guitar, percussion
  • Joe English – vocal, drums, percussion, harmonica