Paul McCartney’s Outer Space “Rock Show!”
Here’s the former Beatle holding two planets…and here’s why – Paul’s late wife Linda was an amazing photographer, and she was capturing Macca with his “Venus And Mars” album cover prototypes: two circular orbs that represent our planetary neighbors:
“Venus And Mars Are Alright Tonight!”
Time to take a look at Paul McCartney’s followup to his greatest achievement of all time…yes, this is the album that Wings released after Macca’s masterpiece “Band On The Run”…
After a rocky start to Wings, the band hit their stride when they released this worldwide smash hit…see some great videos from the album here:
So how to follow up? Well, McCartney took the band right back into the studio and began working on new material…
“Venus & Mars”
“Band on the Run” overcame band defections, leaving only Paul, wife Linda and guitarist Denny Laine in the lineup. McCartney added Jimmy McCulloch on lead guitar and Geoff Britton on drums to the Wings line-up in 1974. Joe English also played drums on the album and the tour, and ended up in Wings for awhile…
“Venus And <ars / Rock Show" –
The album gets off to a raucous start, as Paul writes a song about the fans – who are off to see a rock show…
Here is the band performing "Venus And Mars / Rock Show" From "Wings Fly South" 1975 – a classic Macca performance!
“The Lights Go Down – They’re Back In Town O.K.
Behind The Stacks You Glimpse An Axe
The Tension Mounts You Score An Ounce Ole!
Temperatures Rise As You See The White Of Their Eyes
If There’s Rock Show
At The Concertgebow
You’re Got Long Hair
At The Madison Square
They’ve Got Rock And Roll
At The Hollywood Bowl,
We’ll Be There . . . Oo Yeah . . .”
What a great start to the album, and Paul was very happy with the band…
As Paul remembers:
“I felt really comfortable with that band. I had written Venus And Mars songs in Jamaica – we were getting around a bit in those days! – and had the album pretty much mapped out. Even though we didn’t use the style of New Orleans on the album, it influenced the way we felt about the music and added to the spirit.”
“Venus and Mars / Rock Show” was followed by a beautiful ballad “Love In Song”, then one of McCartney’s old style ditties, “You Gave Me The Answer”…
“Magneto and Titanium Man”
Next up was a fun, mid tempo rocker written by Paul – who was a Marvel comics fan – having fun with the Marvel characters Magneto, Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo The legendary Stan Lee, who co-created all three characters, said he thought the song was “terrific”.
Here is a spirited live performance from 1975.
Next up is a bluesy rocker from Paul, in the vein of “Let Me Roll It”…
Here is the great live version from the Wings 1976 world tour:
Side two begins with a short “Venus and Mars Reprise”, then a couple of mid-tempo rockers:
“Spirits Of Ancient Egypt” and “Medicine Jar”…
“Call Me Back Again”
Next up is a classic McCartney song, a soulful wail of a song as he pleas the love of his life to call him back again….check out this great video:
“Listen To What The Man Said”
Next up is a classic McCartney single: catchy, upbeat and fun….here is a video covered with great movies of Paul and Linda – look for Linda making a Wings logo out of carrots!
Thanks to “TheMusicalSteve” for posting on YouTube….and the video part was made by “mralan1969uk”!
“Treat Her Gently – Lonely Old People” is a great mashup of two soft ballads, with perfect Macca vocals…and “Crossroads” is a very short instrumental that wraps up a terrific album…
But There’s More!
A couple of years ago, Paul released “Venus & Mars” in a beautiful expanded package…in addition to the original CD, you get a bonus CD full of great songs, including the classic “non-album” track “Junior’s Farm”…here is “take 16” from Paul and the gang in 1974:
Here’s the lineup on the bonus CD:
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]
Almost A Lennon – McCartney Reunion!
Here’s some great trivia about John and Paul. According to wikipedia – John Lennon, in a nostalgic mood during his Lost Weekend period of the time, had told May Pang (his then girlfriend) that they would visit the McCartneys during the recording sessions for Venus and Mars, and considered writing with him again. Lennon’s planned visit never happened due to his reunion with Yoko Ono!
Well, that’s a shame, but Macca was flying high without him…here’s the promotional film explaining what is being offered on the remaster album!
“Venus And Mars” Soars!
Venus and Mars rocketed to the top of the music charts in the US, the UK and other countries around the world – and while many feel it’s not quite as good as “Band On The Run” – well, what could be?
The band headed out on the road for their classic “Wings Across America” tour – see some of the performances here:
Paul was on a creative roll during this period of the 70’s…and that included writing the greatest James Bond theme song of all time!
Here is my list of the best and worst Bond themes of all time:
Let me know your favorite song from “Venus And Mars!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, London, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, The Beatles, Uncategorized
You failed to mention the REAL creative mind behind Marvel Comics – artist/writer Jack Kirby. Jack was Macca’s special guest at the show in LA – Kirby gave Paul artwork he had drawn depicting Paul, Linda and the band as the characters Magneto, Titanium Man etc…
Great point – thanks for sharing!
No mention of Joe English? Shame on you!
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I can’t believe I forgot Joe…I added him on an update…thanks for catching that! I am a big fan of his!
A true fan’s appraisal here, John. Not one of my favourites, to be honest, but you certainly did it justice.
Best wishes, Pete.
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Thanks Pete! The McCartney fans respond well to these posts, and it’s fun to get their POV on different music!
You certainly have a big fan base to draw on there, John. Even though I was never a big fan, I feel somehow privileged to have been around for the start of that music revolution.