Wings Are Alright Tonight (Beatle Master Work BMW003 A/B)
Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England – October 19th, 1976
Disc 1 (62:36): Venus & 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, Richard Corey, Bluebird, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Blackbird, Yesterday
Disc 2 (55:37): You Gave Me The Answer, Magneto & Titanium Man, My Love, Listen To What The Man Said, Let Em In, Time To Hide, Silly Love Songs, Beware My Love, band introduction, Letting Go, Band On The Run, Hi Hi Hi
The longest tour Wings ever did began in England in September 1975 and after traveling around most of the world ended with three shows in the Empire Pool, Wembley in London on October 19th, 20th, and 21st. Wings Are Alright Tonight presents the first of the three concerts in London utilizing a fair to good recording. The taper was distant from the stage and it’s difficult to hear some parts.
There is a cut after “Live And Let Die” missing the first notes of “Picasso’s Last Words” and a cut in “Silly Love Songs” cutting out about minute.
Despite the middling sound quality this is one of the best documents from the era. It’s a relaxed, loose and fun show with the band enjoying playing in London in front of their friends. The acoustic set in the middle of the show provides several interesting events. Denny Laine, who varied his approach to his cover of Paul Simon’s “Richard Corey” sings the tune a la Paul McCartney and Corey has “money, praise and balls.”
McCartney mentions “the Wembley stamp” before “I’ve Just Seen A Face” which is augmented by cowboy whoops and hollers. While Paul plays “Blackbird” the audience is very quiet and respectful except for one individual who provides the bird whistles from the studio recording. Paul interrupt singing to comment on the birds.
‘You Gave Me The Answer” is dedicated to the actor and comedian Victor Spinetti (who starred with Paul in A Hard Day’s Night in 1964). PA problems prevent the trombones from being audible and also fail for the flutes in “Let ‘Em In” silent.
“Beware My Love” is one of the more underrated Wings songs, but always sounds quite heavy in concert. It sounds particularly nasty in this recording. Paul introduces the band before they get into “Letting Go.” The PA is thankfully functioning for the horns this time since this is their big spot. “Band On The Run” closes the show and the only encore is “Hi Hi Hi.”
Thus ends the one of the last Wings shows until their next live appearance three years later in 1979. By then Wings would drop the arena rock ethic and adopt something closer to the contemporary music scene. Wings Are Alright Tonight is a very good Wings release on BMW which, despite the middling sound quality, is worth having.