Wings – San Diego 1976 (No Label)

Wings, ‘San Diego 1976’ (No Label)

Disc 1 – Intro / Venus And Mars – Rock Show / Jet / Let Me Roll It / Spirits Of Ancient Egypt / Medicine Jar / Maybe I’m Amazed / Call Me Back Again / Lady Madonna / The Long And Winding Road / Live And Let Die / Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me) / Richard Cory / Bluebird / I’ve Just Seen A Face (61:11)
Disc 2 – Blackbird / Yesterday / You Gave Me The Answer / Magneto And Titanium Man / My Love / Listen To What The Man Said / Let ‘Em In / Time To Hide / Silly Love Songs / Beware My Love / Soily (49:34)

Live at San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA. USA 16th June 1976

Early 2018, two new Wings audience recordings popped up. This piece and L.A Forum 1976, First Night’, both reported to be upgrades of previously heard recordings, after a paucity of new Wings releases in the few years after the release of the Trevor Jones’ tapes, my hopes were high – How many more ‘Out There’ shows did I need to hear anyway?

Firstly, ‘San Diego’, as I don’t want to waste your times, “Is it worth picking up?” In a word, “No” but only maybe if you’re a very keen fan.

Right, now that’s out of the way, here’s a little more. The tape seems to have been recorded from outside of the stadium, never mind far from the stage. Apparently from the No Label’s own archive recording the full show marks it’s debut on silver disk – At least the first part is new – the second part of the show appeared on the vintage LP, ‘Oriental Nightfish’, a funny little hotchpotch of an album that also features the deathless detective-pastiche read by Linda, though the two halves are taken from tape sources. Our interepid taper recording up to and including, ‘Magneto and Titanium Man’. The merging of the two sources, indelible.

Admittedly, at first spin of this new release, I was listening through cheap in-ear head phones from which there are diminishing returns for 70’s audience tapes. I fiddled with the EQ a little just to try get a better sound to no avail. Then, just towards the end of ‘Rock Show / Venus and Mars’, things opened out, OK, maybe the taper had been covering his mike, the heat was off, too soon however, the sound was muffled again, it’s only after the music stops that the sounds becomes tenable but if you like audience applause, you’re either a masochist or Steve Martin. Or both, maybe.

It’s only after I listened on a superior set of headphones that I could hear this recording in it’s monaural glory – It is a much smoother headphones moment, still very distant from the stage but, if you’re not an audiophile and a fan of this Wings era, I would hesitantly recommend this show – As they were great gigs! – though there are better to be found.

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