Paul McCartney – As Wings Fold (Godfather Records GR527)

As Wings Fold (Godfather Records GR527)

(75:29):  Home Demos, Recorded at Park Gate Studio, Sussex, England, August 1980:  Seems Like Old Times, Ballroom Dancing, Take It Away, Sweetest Little Show, Hear Me Lover, Give Us A Chord Roy, Dress Me Up As A Robber, We All Stand Together, Boil Crisis, Keep Under Cover, Average Person, The Unbelievable Experience, Stop You Don’t Know Where She Came From, The Pound Is Sinking, Wanderlust, Ebony And Ivory. 

Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello Demos, Hog Hill Mill, Icklesham, Sussex, UK, Summer/Autumn 1987:  The Lovers That Never Were, Twenty-Five Fingers, Tommy’s Coming Home, So Like Candy, You Want Her Too, Playboy To A Man, Don’t Be Careless Love, My Brave Face

As Wings Fold is the first Paul McCartney related release on the Godfather label and presents two interesting documents.  The first half contains demos recorded in August, 1980 which were planned for the next Wings release.  They would be, however, be used for subsequent projects such as Tug Of War and Give My Regards To Broadstreet.  Another tape from July 1980 circulates and has been pressed recently on Summertime 1980 (Audiofön AF-13), but this tape contains different material, all in excellent sound quality.

Concerning the first half, the liner notes claim:  “Of all of Rocks aristocracy then it wouldn’t come as any surprise that one of the closely guarded vaults is that of Paul McCartney’s. Having led the best part of his life in music & being one of the most prolific composers of his age then Paul must have millions of tunes stashed away in his ever growing tape cupboard. It’s only very occasionally that some of these spill out & enter in to the “public” domain.  

“The story behind this first set of recordings begins in early 1980 and Wing’s Japanese tour that unfortunately fell short due to Macca’s risk taking with a certain type of cigarette under the nose of Japan’s authorities. Having had the tour suspended indefinitely & his detainment in prison putting the hold on any other touring commitments Paul returned home to keep his head low & to try work any worries out of his system by writing up a diary of his experience ( The “Jailbird Journal” ) & preparing for the release of his next solo album “McCartney II” only to appear again in May to pick up an award for “Outstanding Music Personality 1979”.

“The music would resume again in July as Paul took the band to Kent, in the South of England to rehearse a few new McCartney penned titles. Yellow Dog has released these rehearsals on the hard to find “Ballroom Dancing” CD but they do nothing to build the legend of Wings the supergroup. Obviously shorn of his writers block & shame for his bust earlier this year Paul, Linda & Lawrence would also commute to France to help Paul’s old band mate Ringo Starr with a few new songs for his “Can’t Fight Lightning” LP.

“The ‘Macca Tracks’ that Ringo recorded were “Attention”, “Private Property” & the title track which must have fueled that rumor that if two Beatles were recording together again .. getting the 4 together in the studio again could be a possibility .. Though once finished it was time for Paul to knuckle back down with his own work & the next Wings LP.

“Wishing to reconcile with George Martin, Paul took to his own studio with Denny Laine to compile a section of his own demos to present to George & see what they could work out. Presented here are the fruits of Paul’s labour in spectacular studio sound & speed corrected from the original tapes. Although Paul had submitted some fine tracks to Ringo he was still tinkering with his own lyrics & some of the tracks here would be dragged up for further releases.

“We All Stand Together” would be used as the theme to Paul’s animated “Rupert The Bear” film another 4 years later, “Take It Away”, “Ballroom Dancing”, “The Pound Is Sinking”, “Wanderlust”, “Dress Me Up As A Robber” & “Ebony And Ivory” would all appear on 1982’s ‘Tug Of War’ the latter appearing as a duet with Stevie Wonder to highlight the analogy made for racial harmony. “Keep Under Cover”, “Sweetest Little Show” & “Average Person” would all appear on 1983’s “Pipes Of Peace”.

“The rest of the songs wouldn’t get as far, mostly running through the speculation period but would be left discarded & dumped back in the vaults for further use at a later date. Later on in the year Wings would convene for their final rehearsals before Paul decided that it was time for the next move in his career this, twinned with the worldwide shock of the events of December 8th, would have Paul cleaning his slate next year & starting anew.

The second half of the disc contains demos made in 1987 with McCartney working with Elvis Costello.  Again in excellent quality, they are interesting for revealing the creative process between the two.  Since the project was shelved, nothing was ever polished and officially released, so this is the only documentation we have.  The liner notes state:  “The second set of demos arise from Macca’s collaboration with ex – punk laureate Elvis Costello. Having met in 1982 while working on their own respective albums (Paul’s first post Lennon album & Elvis’ 5 album with the Attractions but having been engineered by Geoff Emerick) Paul’s musical partnership was thrilling to most fans, all expecting the sardonic & waspish wit of Mr. Macmanus to replicate that of our John & bring some of the old Beatles best sparkle in McCartney which his earlier get – together had failed to do. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be a long standing arrangement (baring a couple of short reconciliations during the 90’s) & only 9 demos from this session really bore fruit, of which 8 are presented here.

“These are fun, knock about demos as the duo were worried about putting the engineer off of his stride! The often wished for McCartney / Costello LP never appeared though & the songs were piece – mealed out between the two with Paul taking “You Want Her Too”, “Don’t Be Careless Love” & the single “My Brave Face” for his “Flowers In The Dirt” album & “So Like Candy” & “Playboy To A Man” appearing on Costello’s “Mighty Like A Rose” & the rest dropping in on various other albums & singles. The get together must really have put Paul on his uppers too as afterwards he was considering recording some of John’s solo works as other artists had had a go at it, so why shouldn’t he?”

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