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Paul McCartney & Wings – Last Flight Definitive Edition (Misterclaudel mccd-05/06)

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Last Flight Definitive Edition (Misterclaudel mccd-05/06)

Apollo Theater, Glasgow, Scotland – December 17th, 1979

Disc 1 (66:08):  Got To Get You Into My Life, Getting Closer, Every Night, Again And Again And Again, I’ve Had Enough, No Words, Cook Of The House, Old Siam Sir, Maybe I’m Amazed, Fool On The Hill, Let It Be, Hot As Sun, Spin It On, Twenty Flight Rock, Go Now, Arrow Through Me, Wonderful Christmas Time

Disc 2 (59:22):  Coming Up, Goodnight Tonight, Yesterday, Mull Of Kintyre, Band on The Run, Coming Up (single version), Coming Up (edit version).  Hammersmith Odeon, London, December 29th, 1979:  Got To Get You Into My Life, Every Night, Coming Up, Lucille, Let It Be, Rockestra Theme

Misterclaudel have re-released one of their initial, and most popular, releases.  This Glasgow tape has seen many releases since its initial surfacing many years ago.  The virtue of this release is that the awful tape defect in “Got To Get You Into My Life”, which plagued Last Flight (Silver Apple SIAP 011/12), has been corrected perfectly.  There isn’t even a hint on this release.  The only negative is the very slightest hint of mastering in the background of the tape. 

Last Flight (Vigotone VT-164/165)

Many labels leave traces of tampering by the crunchy metallic sound and this tape unfortunately has it.  The sounds are mostly noticeable in quieter passages however.  It certainly isn’t as heavy handed as some releases in the past but is enough to grade the sound quality a nine instead of a ten. They have also followed the tradition of tacking on the December 29th Kampuchea fragment that was officially released on vinyl but has never surfaced on compact disc.

But Misterclaudel have also included two versions of “Coming Up” that were officially released and taken from this show.  The performance is probably the best from what the band admitted was an uneven tour.  There are lots of surprises in the set like “Cook Of The House”, a song I never would have thought they would perform and does open the band up for criticism.  The second half of the show is the strongest with great songs like “Spin It On”, “Coming Up” and “Goodnight Tonight”. 

Like other releases on this label the packaging is simply outstanding.  This new re-release doesn’t have the slip cover from the first, just a simple fatboy jewel case with the obi slip and the mini tour program which is fun to read.  Like everything associated with these releases, whether this is an upgrade from previous releases is a matter of subjective taste.  I do like hearing ”Got To Get You Into My Life” without the tape flaw and enjoy reading the book.  Perhaps this is a more definitive edition instead of the definitive edition. 

McCartney fans everywhere rejoiced when Paul announced plans for his 1989 – 90 World Tour.  McCartney fever overtook the media who announced that this would be Paul’s first series of live gigs since Wings celebrated 1975 – 76 World Tour.

 

Say Say Say what!  The pundits seemed to forget that Wings undertook a nineteen date tour of the United Kingdom in the Winter of 1979.  What you have in your hands is evidence of that forgotten tour, a complete chronicle of Wings performance at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland on December 17, 1979.

 

After the Christmas holidays, the group reconvened for a charity performance, The Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea, highlights of which round out this package.  Rehearsals for the upcoming Japanese dates followed, as plans for American and European legs were set into motion all to go up the proverbial puff of smoke.

 

But back to the performances at hand.  Following the immensely successful Wings Over The World Tour, Paul and Co. entered the studio, and commenced sessions for a new album.  Over a year later, and following the departure of guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Joe English, London Town hit the racks.   Replacements were found in a pair of unknown British studio musicians.

 

The first to be contacted was drummer Steve Holly, who had made the acquaintance of Denny Laine through musician/actor David Essex.  Fresh off of sessions with Elton John, Holly’s first appearance with Wings was in the video for “With A Little Luck.”  Lead guitarist Lawrence Juber was added following auditions held in the basement of MPL headquarters.  Like Holly, Juber’s first public appearance with the group was in a promotional film, this time for the rocking “I’ve Had Enough.”

 

A tour to promote London Town took a backseat to Paul’s desire to spend time with his new son James, and the need to record and rehearse with the new Wings lineup.  Sessions for Back To The Egg began in the summer of 1978, culminating with the release of the album in early June, 1979.  Despite lukewarm reviews and lackluster sales, Paul felt there was still plenty of life in Back To The Egg to warrant a heavy promotional push from the concert stage.  Rehearsals started shortly after Buddy Holly Week, during which Paul, Linda, and Denny Laine made a brief appearance onstage the Crickets at the Hammersmith Odeon.

 

Tickets for the tour went on sale in early November and sold out rapidly as most of the venues were of a minimal capacity.  The set itself was also scaled down, running just over an hour and a half.  There was little duplication of material from the previous tour, resulting in an interesting collection of material from the new LP, a handful of Beatles numbers, hits from Wings and a few obscurities.  Most notable was the previously unreleased “Coming Up,” which originated from a series of solo McCartney sessions that summer.  In fact, it was the performance from Glasgow that was released as the B-side of “Coming Up” in April, 1980.  The live version was so popular in the States, that radio programmers opted to air it in lieu of the gimmicky studio track.

 

The tour opened with a benefit concert for the Liverpool Institute on November 23, 1979 at the Royal Court theatre in Liverpool.  This was indeed the same institution that was restored and re-christened over fifteen years later as the Liverpool Institute For The Performing Arts; LIPA for short.  The tour continued for just over a month, with no variations in the set list.  It was this, the final performance of the official itinerary that was committed to tape, and according to those involved, it was the best show of the tour.  An unsatisfactory performance at the aforementioned The Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea followed, and would in retrospect, be rationalized by Paul as his reason for taking a ten year vacation from touring.

The 1979 UK dates undoubtedly featured the most interesting and eclectic set list since Wings’ 1972 European Tour.  It offered a different perspective of McCartney’s talents, by not relying heavily on the hits of yore.  It proved to be his last attempt to distance himself and emphasize his merits as a solo performer, quite the opposite of the McCartney of today, ever anxious to reinforce his place in Beatle history.

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Paul McCartney & Wings - Last Flight Definitive Edition (Misterclaudel mccd-05/06), 3.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

3 Comments

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  1. Avatar of gsparaco
    gsparaco says
    November 12, 2011, 9:46 am

    Indeed. In fact, everything Vigotone released is great and definitive, and everything else is inferior. Everyone knows that.

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  2. Avatar of spinalcrackerbox
    November 11, 2011, 11:30 pm

    Let’s face it, the Vigotone release with booklet & slipcase will always remain the true “Definitive Edition”.

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  3. Avatar of gusdad28
    gusdad28 says
    April 8, 2010, 10:31 am

    What is the “awful” tape defect you refer to in the Silver Apple version? (And if it’s so bad, why isn’t it mentioned in the review of that release?)

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