“Back To The WHAT?”
If you aren’t familiar with Paul McCartney’s last Wings album, you aren’t alone! “Back To The Egg” was one of McCartney’s least successful albums ever, and led to the demise of Wings once and for all…too bad, because wait until you hear what the title meant!
I wanted to take a look at this “forgotten” Wings album and see if history has been kind to it, but first, here is the promo for the album, pushing “12 new songs~”
Now, Macca fans know that there are FOURTEEN songs on the album, and the remastered version swelled to seventeen! That may just have been one of the many reasons the album was doomed – no one at the record label was even counting the tunes right!
“Back to the Egg” was the seventh and final studio album by Wings, released in 1979…and it was the only Wings album for new band members Laurence Juber and Steve Holley.
According to wikipedia, “Back To The Egg” was a concept album! Authors Chip Madinger and Mark Easter write this about it in their book “Eight Arms to Hold You”:
“The idea was to have a theme of a working band, getting back on the road … or ‘back to the egg’ (or protective shell) of touring.”
yes, McCartney was trying to tell an ambitious tale of a “band on the run!”
The Critically Cracked “Egg!”
“Back to the Egg” got terrible reviews when it came out.
Rolling Stone magazine actually called it:
“The sorriest grab bag of dreck in recent memory”!
The album hit the top ten, but McCartney had a history of debuting at the top of the charts, and the album faded quickly from the charts…
The record company released three singles: “Old Siam, Sir”, “Getting Closer” and “Arrow Through Me” – but none became hits…and most McCartney fans don’t even think about these songs…
There was one silver lining – the song “Rockestra Theme”, recorded with a cast of guest musicians from The Who, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd!
Here is Paul’s live version from the “Concert for the people of Kampuchea” in 1979 – with a very energetic Pete Townsend!
The song even won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1980.
The long-planned Wings tour of the world ended in January 1980, when McCartney was arrested in Japan for possession of drugs.
And that was the end of Wings…so just how good or bad is “Back To The Egg?” I for one had no idea it was a concept album, but here is a medley of songs from he album:
There’s a bunch of catchy stuff here, and it plays in many ways like side two of “Abbey Road”: many of the songs are short, some fragments that segue into each other…and it has one gorgeous ballad – check out the music video for “Arrow Through Me”:
“After the Ball / Million Miles” is a perfect example, two very catchy songs put together in a montage on the album, followed by “Winter Rose / Love Awake” – and I really like the song “So Glad To See You Here”…but nothing popped on the album, and Paul has never really looked back at it…
But let’s not forget the “Rockestra Theme!” Look at that lineup! David Gilmour, Pete Townsend and many others joined in on that terrific song…here is a look at the entire “Concert For Kampuchea” – including the all-star band that joined Paul and Wings for this rocking instrumental:
“Back To The Egg” has become a little-remembered piece of Macca history…you never hear any of the songs played…
On the remastered version of the album, Paul included his “Wonderful Christmastime” single, which wasn’t on the original album…
So Paul’s “Egg” flopped, Wings was no more, and the 80’s lay ahead…more on that in a later post…let me know what you think of “Back To The Egg”!
The Magic Of The 70’s!
The 70’s may have ended on a sour note for Paul, but it was quite a decade of amazing music for him! Remember this one – his historic tour of America in the 70’s!
I saw Wings at Seattle’s Kingdome, and the show was amazing, as “Wings Over America” proves – Macca was on such a creative role at the time, but my favorite is:
Here is a look at Paul’s masterpiece “RAM”, and his epic battle with John Lennon!
Can you imagine the music if they had continued to collaborate?
That may be more than 40 years old, but it still plays fresh today…and Macca just keeps rocking!
I continue to enjoy his latest work, the terrific “NEW!” Songs such as “Queen Eye” and “Everybody Out There” are among his best…see the great music video here:
And take some time to let “Egg” back into your life!
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