Hard Rock United (Misterclaudel mccd-039)
Hard Rock, Manchester, England – May 17th, 1973
Soily, Big Barn Red, When The Night, Wild Life, Seaside Woman, Little Woman Love/C Moon, Live & Let Die, Maybe I’m Amazed, My Love, Go Now, Say You Don’t Mind, The Mess, Hi Hi Hi, Long Tall Sally
We’re fortunate that, for Wings’ first proper tour, most of the shows exist on either audience or, in the case of the final show in Newcastle, soundboard sources. Hard Rock United, the newest from the Misterclaudel people, utilizes a tape that surfaced only last year from the owner who is from Texas and was working in the Manchester area in the early seventies. The actual date of this tape has been questioned since Wings played two shows, on May 16th and May 17th.
Misterclaudel assure us in their press release that this is from the second show from the word of the owner. The sound quality of the tape is very good but distant from the stage. The music sounds a bit distant with noticeable echo in the venue. By the end of the tape distortion is more evident affecting “Hi Hi Hi” and “Long Tall Sally”. There are no cuts and this is the complete performance by the band with emphasis upon tunes from their latest release Red Rose Speedway and their new single, “Live & Let Die”.
The words used by critics most often in discussing this LP are “fluff” and “syrup”. I look at this the same way as with Queen’s Hot Space. Perhaps the project could be questioned, but the tunes translate much better live. “Big Red Barn”, “When The Night”, and especially “My Love” are much more effective live. With that being said, the show in Manchester is confident and loose. “There’s more talent in the audience” Denny Laine says, “how’s Manchester” in his best mock Manchester accent. “There’s more talent in the audience” he quips.
“This next one…shut up!…is written by Linda called ‘Seaside Woman'” to an unruly crowd. But by the end of the song the crowd is won over! “Maybe I’m Amazed” is played in the usual arrangement on this tour with emphasis upon the guitar instead of piano. Misterclaudel always issue quality releases and Hard Rock United is no exception. A lot of work went into the presentation and liner notes. They utilized several very rare photographs from the era on very thick glossy paper. They say they wanted to produce a collectable and permanent document of this new tape and they have definitely succeeded.