Paul McCartney & Wings – Wild Live (Mainstream MAST-023/024)

Wild Live (Mainstream MAST-023/024)

Vejlby Risskov Hallen, Aarhus, Denmark – August 14th, 1972

Disc 1 (63:01):  Introduction, Eat At Home, Smile Away, Bip Bop, Mumbo, 1882, I Would Only Smile, Give Ireland Back To The Irish, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, The Mess, Best Friend, Soily, I Am Your Singer, Seaside Woman, Henry’s Blues

Disc 2 (65:05):  Say You Don’t Mind, Wild Life/Henry’s a capella, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Maybe I’m Amazed, Hi Hi Hi, Hi Hi Hi (reprise), Long Tall Sally.  Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands – August 17th, 1972:  Introduction/Eat At Home, Smile Away, 1882, I Would Only Smile, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Best Friend, Seaside Woman.  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands – August 20th, 1972:  I Am Your Singer.  Congressgebouw, Den Haag, Netherlands – August 21st, 1972:  The Mess

Paul McCartney’s first foray into live performance was the impromptu “university” tour of the UK early in 1972 where he played eleven shows over three weeks in February.  The first officially booked and advertised tour was of Europe that summer.  Beginning on July 9th at the Centre Culturelle in Chateau Vallon in France, they played twenty-five shows ending in Berlin on August 24th. 

In addition to breaking in the new band and gaining confidence as a live act, they were promoting their latest two singles “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”  The concerts were all officially recorded with the hope that some of the performances could be used for the new album, although only “The Mess” from Den Haag has ever surfaced as the b-side to the single “My Love” and as a bonus on the remastered CD Red Rose Speedway.  There were several incidents such as their arrest for marijuana possession in Gothenburg, Sweden and a death threat to McCartney.

Wild Live is an early Mainstream release which gathers together several key documents to offer a two-disc anthology of the tour.  The main show is the complete August 14th tape from Aarhus, Denmark. This was first released on vinyl on Wings Over Denmark, but Mainstream use the second generation copy of the same tape source that was issue on Rocking Goose’s Paul McCartney & Wings Over Aarhus on CDR.  The taper is distant but clear and captures the atmosphere of the event very well beginning as the mc is announcing the presence of Wings (with no mention of McCartney) and the instrumental introduction.  

“This next one is a bit slower than that one.  This one’s called, it’s off our new album, called ‘1882.’”  McCartney changed his mind since the song was going to be included on Red Rose Speedway but was scraped and it remains unreleased to this day, effectively being buried.  He recorded a demo of the song soon after leaving the Beatles in 1970.  That demo exists where it is played as a fast-paced waltz.  Wings recorded it for the album, but that version has yet to surface.  

The live versions are slowed down to a blues like dirge and tells the story of a poor boy arrested for stealing bread to feed his dead mother.  There is an additional verse sung that is not in the published lyrics which go:  “Good morning, young master, it’s twenty-five to nine / and they’ll be coming to get you in twenty minute’s time / you’ll be drawn, you’ll be quartered, you’ll be hung at the neck / and I want you to not get mad little man (that’s what he said) / said the boy ‘I am dying and leave it to you / as I’m leaving tell me what did I do?”

Denny Laine’s “I Would Only Smile” is an upbeat contrast and Laine laughs his way through the short little ditty.  This song would be released a decade later on Laine’s first solo album.  McCartney then gives the normal introduction to “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” about it being banned.  “Soily” is played in the middle of the set and in later years would be pushed back to the encores.  This is followed by a two song “Linda” set, where she shares vocals with Paul on “I Am Your Singer” and then sings her magnificent composition “Seaside Woman.”  Another unreleased song follows.  “Henry’s Blues” is McCullough’s solo spot, singing and playing lead but the recording is incomplete and fades out after seven minutes.

After playing “Wild Life” McCullough starts clapping, singing, and whistling something that is hard to decipher, lasting about a minute.  Denny Laine encourages the audience to sing along to the chorus for the next song, the “la la, la la, la la la la la la” part he says.  After they start the audience miss it the first time.  “Okay, that’s the bit, sing it next time” Paul sings.  “Hi, Hi, Hi” raises the energy to the point where the audience clap and cheer them on to play a reprise of the song and they oblige with another two minutes of the rocker.          

The bonus material on disc two is a copy of the famous vinyl title Complain To The Queen (Birthday Records) which has excerpts from shows in Rotterdam, Den Haag, and Amsterdam.  The Rotterdam excerpt, comprising of seven songs, is very good sound quality.  There is slight amounts of distortion and it is a bit distant, but has an acceptable level of clarity.  It is a good tape for having another recording of “1882” which is again introduced as a new song from the upcoming album. 

“I Am Your Singer” from the Concertgebouw is in very good and clear stereo with an abundance of atmosphere.  This version is notable for the audience giving Linda a big cheer when she sings her part and their short reprise of the song at the end.  Finally the recording of “The Mess” from Den Haag is the worst sounding fragment on the release.  Wild Live is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with the artwork covered in a collage of Captain Snaps photos from the tour.  This is a really good compendium of the tour with great documents of early Wings. 

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