Paul McCartney and Wings “Band on the Run”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#384 in the Series, and #13 in the Whale Wednesday Series) is Paul McCartney and Wings, Band on the Run

Whenever I do one of these write-ups I first give the album a listen.  Heck, some of them I haven’t heard in quite some time.  I try to look for an angle on what to say.  You really don’t have to try to think of which angle you want.  I just let something come into my head.  What comes to you first when you give a listen?

What came to my first with this one was “underrated.”  I didn’t see that one coming, but when I listened to this one again I was actually a little surprised at just how good it is!  Don’t get me wrong, I always knew Band on the Run was a fine piece of music, but I had forgotten just how good it really is.

I recently saw Sir Paul on the Jimmy Kimmel show here in the States. He was on for the full hour and had some interesting things to say. I like the way that Paul and Jimmy actually discussed how the “Band on the Run” song is actually three songs in one.  That’s THE song on the album of course, it’s what really brought the record home.

“Jet” still sounds good as does “Bluebird.” In fact, “Bluebird” sounds more than just good!  “Let Me Roll” still had its nice rock feel to it as well.

“Helen Wheels” sounded better than I remembered as well. I thought this was more or less a throw away single but I liked how it sounds all these years later.  The one song that did not catch me by surprise was “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five.” I always knew that was a special song, one again, another track that stands up to time.

I also want to mention the song “No Words.”  Be sure to check out the video for this one. It’s in the playlist below with just about the full disc. The video was an interesting live acoustic version, this in 1975. That was way ahead of his time. Wow, Paul McCartney, ahead of his time once again. Who’d of thunk it!

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Paul and Linda McCartney, except “No Words” by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine.

Side one

  1. “Band on the Run” 5:10
  2. “Jet” 4:06
  3. “Bluebird” 3:22
  4. “Mrs. Vandebilt” 4:38
  5. “Let Me Roll It” 4:47

Side two

  1. “Mamunia” 4:50
  2. “No Words” 2:33
  3. “Helen Wheels” (US and international only; not UK) 3:34
  4. “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)” 5:50
  5. “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” 5:27


  • Paul McCartney – vocals, lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars, drums, piano, keyboards, percussion.
  • Linda McCartney – organ, keyboards, vocals
  • Denny Laine – rhythm, lead, acoustic, flamenco and bass guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals

Additional personnel

Paul on Drums

  • Howie Casey – saxophone
  • Ginger Baker – percussion
  • Remi Kabaka – percussion
  • Tony Visconti – orchestrations
  • Ian and Trevor – backing vocals
  • Geoff Emerick – Producer and Sound Engineer


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Posted by Larry Carta

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