Paul McCartney and Wings, ‘Wings Over Europe 1972/73 Expanded edition’ (Goldies GS 20091/2)
Disk 1- INTRO / BIG BARN BED – Newcastle 1973 / EAT AT HOME – The Hague 1972 / SMILE AWAY – Berlin 1972 / BIP BOP – The Hague 1972 / MUMBO – Antwerp 1973 / BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY – The Hague 1972 / 1882 – Berlin 1973 / I WOULD ONLY SMILE – Antwerp 1972 / GIVE IRELAND BACK TO THE IRISH – Groningen 1972 / THE MESS – Berlin 1972 / BEST FRIEND – Antwerp 1972 / SOILY – Berlin 1972 / I AM YOUR SINGER – The Hague 1972 / HENRY’S BLUES – The Hague 1972/ GO NOW – New Castle 1973 / SAY YOU DON’T MIND – Antwerp 1972 / COTTONFIELDS – Antwerp 1972 (69:41)
DISC 2 – SEASIDE WOMAN – Groningen 1972 / LITTLE WOMAN LOVE / C MOON – Newcastle 1973 / WILD LIFE – The Hague 1972 / MY LOVE – The Hague 1972 / MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB – The Hague 1972 / MAYBE I’M AMAZED – Groningen 1972 / HI HI HI – The Hague 1972 LONG TALL SALLY – Groningen 1972 EXTRA – INTRO / EAT AT HOME – Groningen 1972 / SMILE AWAY – Groningen 1972 / BIG BARN BED – Newcastle 1973 (Alternate) / WHEN THE NIGHT – New Castle 1973 / SEASIDE WOMAN – New Castle 1973 / WILD LIFE – New Castle 1973 / MAYBE I’M AMAZED – New Castle 1973 / MY LOVE – New Castle 1973 / LIVE AND LET DIE – New Castle 1973 (71:14)
1972 was a pivotal and inaugural touring year for Paul McCartney and Wings – from his university jaunts in February as Macca and the fledglings warmed up for bigger shows – the grew towards moving out of Britain for the second leg and heading towards Europe for a larger scale set of shows.
The Ram album having already seen release, the Red Rose Speedway album already half recorded, the first incarnation of Wings – Paul and Linda, Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell and Henry McCullough hopped on the gaudily psychedelic, twin decked bus and gadded out to East Europe for two legs – one in July, the second in August to present their new works to a more appreciative audience than the fans back home.
These tours had been roundly bootlegged before – mainly as fair / good audience recordings with a few abbreviated broadcasts or soundboard recordings – despite the fact that a lot of these shows were professionally recorded for the means of promotion – The long awaited Bruce McMouse film being one of the vehicles – B-side filler and inclusion on the following RRS album being the other – it took a long time before fans who weren’t at the shows got a taste of the ramshackle projection of these renditions.
One of the biggest releases of these sets so far has been the bonus CD that was included with the 2018 release of the deluxe boxed set, ‘Paul McCartney and Wings 1971 -‘73’, a lavish 11 disk collection that compiled the deluxe boxes for ‘Wildlife’ and ‘RRS’ while adding an additional compilation from some of these live tours. It’s this bonus disk that Goldies have mined for this release – utilising the songs adding some extra material to ensure an era specific set list then popping some more tracks alongside.
The main programme – Mainly based on the official set – sounds fantastic, as it should coming from only the best sources – it forms Tracks 1-13 of disk one, then tracks 1, 3-8 of disk 2 with the additional tracks filled in from other sources (The McCartney brand would also have you believe that that ‘Big Barn Bed’ was recorded in West Europe by tacking on a Dutch announcement, seemingly.
One of the things that niggles is that the extra tracks are slipped in without really trying – the movement from ‘I Am Your Singer’ to ‘Henry’s Blues’ is announced by a quick fade out / in for example. ‘Go Now’, which follows it sounds like it was selected from a multi disk changer. The best thing that the main attraction brings is that the recordings are all of a fantastic quality – Not uniformly as good as the official release.
The bonus tracks all seem to be plucked from the oft’ bootlegged Acetate from Newcastle with a couple of Groningen soundboard tracks at the front – in fact, they all sound the same as Strawberry’s ‘Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 1’.
Recommending the set is a difficult one – The first for piracy (which generally never stops a bootlegger), but also for the annoying way that the tracks don’t flow – what the label would have been better off doing is just putting out a double disk edition of the legit release and adding the bonus songs as extras. Everything would have been accounted for regardless, maybe a little out of sync for the live experience, but that’s not a big issue for me at the least. Annoyingly, ‘Newcastle’ is written as ‘New Castle’ each and EVERY TIME! Being British, this sticks out like a sore thumb every time and wouldn’t have taken much to google to check.
The fact that everything is in the best quality is definitely a plus though. If you can find another way of getting the boxed set bonus, I’d be tempted to suggest you do. However, if you’re out priced or out of luck, this double will suffice.