Wings 1975 Elstree Studio Tour Rehearsals (no label)
Disc 1 (54:34): Venus And Mars / Rockshow / Jet, Let Me Roll It, Spirits Of Ancient Egypt, Little Woman Love / C Moon #1, Little Woman Love / C Moon #2, Lady Madonna, The Long And Winding Road, Live And Let Die, Picasso’s Last Words / Richard Cory, Bluebird, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Blackbird, Yesterday
Disc 2 (77:19): Let ‘Em In, You Gave Me The Answer / Old Man River / What A Wonderful World / Charlie Brown, You Gave Me The Answer, Magneto And Titanium Man, Go Now, Junior’s Farm #1, Junior’s Farm #2, Call Me Back Again, My Love, Listen To What The Man Said, Letting Go, Medicine Jar, Band On The Run, Hi Hi Hi, Soily #1, Soily #2. Bonus tracks: You Gave Me The Answer (from previous day’s rehearsal), Let ‘Em In (promo edit), Let ‘Em In (promo edit), Sally G (Ernie Winfrey alternate mix)
Wing’s live performances during their first couple of years were very few, low-key and and in modestly sized venues. With the enormous success of Band On The Run and Venus And Mars, Paul McCartney planned their biggest tour, traveling the UK, Europe, Australia and the US for the first time. Starting in Southampton on September 9th, 1975, this would be their first live performances in more than two years.
Intense live rehearsals were held in Elstree film studio in London just prior to opening night. Running through a massive setlist with contained their latest hits and Beatle songs (for the first time), a private concert was held on September 6th for 1200 EMI employees, tour associates, and 100 members of the Wings fan club, randomly chosen from those who live within the greater London area as well as various celebrities.
A very poor sounding and fragmented recording had been in circulation and was booted several times, but the recent Trevor Jones cache of tapes had several recordings from these rehearsals in very good sound quality. There are three cassettes in the Trevor Jones collection from this era, named “1975 Tour Setlist,” “Tour Rehearsal 1975,” and “Day 2 Elstree, 1975.” There is difficulty in determining which tracks are sourced from which tape.
Wings 1975 Elstree Studio Tour Rehearsalsis a no label release which edits the three tapes together into somewhat cohesive setlist form. The edits and difference in sound quality between the three sources is understandable and tolerable. All three are very good and clear professional records, so the difference between them isn’t too great.
And what is audible on the tape is very interesting. They are playing the songs and working out the arrangements, discussing cues and at certain points. Paul guides them through the arrangements as well.
The first hour follows the set closely. The are two runthroughs of “Little Woman Love / C Moon” which seem to come from different days. Things begin to stray in the middle after they practice the acoustic set. “Let ‘Em In” is a big surprise since it won’t be recorded and released until the following year. It was written much earlier than though and, even though this is a run through, the arrangement is complete with horn section.
“You Gave Me The Answer” strays into “Old Man River” and other standards before being started again. And “Junior’s Farm” is given two rehearsals as well with instructions to the light crew. “Call Me Back Again” is unfortunately only a short fragment. The rehearsals end with two versions of “Soily,” the song used as the encore.
The bonus tracks include another, more polished performance of “You Gave Me The Answer,” two rare promo edits of “Let ‘Em In” (mono and stereo), and finally the Ernie Winfrey alternate mix of the rare single “Sally G.” This ranks in the essential tapes to have in the McCartney / Wings / Beatles collection given the rarity, sound quality and interest.
Wings 1975 Elstree Studio Tour Rehearsals is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with very high quality paper inserts. The artwork and liner notes are printed on both sides to contain more information. It has been suggested this is a “STRAIT” (sic) copy of the Misterclaudel release Wings 1975 Studio Tour Rehearsals. The producers did the same thing that label did (download the tapes and arrange the tracks). His claim is as absurd as Empress Valley claiming all releases of Led Zeppelin’s Listen To This, Eddietape are “STRAIT” copies and should be avoided. The no label Wings tour rehearsal is recommended for the superior artwork, and the fact that it’s both available and affordable,a claim the gaijin hating Misterclaudel can’t really make.