Wings Over Amsterdam (Beatle Master Works BMW006 A/B)
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – August 20th, 1972
Disc 1 (45:52): Opening, 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
Disc 2 (44:58): I Am Your Singer, Henry’s Blues, Say You Don’t Mind, Seaside Woman, Wild Life, My Love, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Maybe I’m Amazed, Hi Hi Hi, Long Tall Sally
The final week of Wings’ first tour of Europe had four shows in the Netherlands, one in Belgium and concluded with a concert in Berlin. The two Amsterdam shows were a definite highlight. The first, on August 20th, was memorialized in song several years later with a reference to the Concertgebouw in “Rock Show,” and the August 21st show in The Hague contributed the only officially released material from the tour (“The Mess” released as a b-side to “My Love” in 1973).
The Concertgebouw on Wings Over Amsterdam is sourced by a very good and clear audience recording. It is a slight distance from the stage but it captures the atmosphere of the show very well with very nice dynamics. It is cut between most of the songs in the first half, but some remain in the second.
Some sources list the setlist differently by stating that the opening song was “Bip Bop.” McCartney changed the setlist around during the tour in order to keep the band playing fresh and “Eat At Home” servers as the set opener followed by “Eat At Home.” It’s ironic that McCartney, who was so adamant about presenting Wings as a group, opens the show with two songs from Ram, his second solo album.
“Bip Bop” and “Mumbo” are very energetic, but the concert slows down a bit for the slow, majestic blues “1882.” Denny Laine follows, giggling his way through “I Would Only Smile” followed by one of the singles they were promoting on the tour “Give Ireland Back To The Irish.” Linda sounds especially enthusiastic in this recording by shouting the chorus very loud.
“Blue Moon Of Kentucky” has a strong emphasis upon harmonica in the arrangement, almost taking lead at certain points. The first half of the show ends with “The Mess.”
The rockabilly tribute “Best Friend” opens the second half of the show followed by a light rendition of “Soiley.” The only real blemish on the is show is “I Am Your Singer.” It is a song that seems tough to pull off live because Paul and Linda have trouble singing in harmony. This version isn’t as bad as in Switzerland the previous month, but it is very rough sounding and thankfully would be dropped from the set after this tour.
“Henry’s Blues” is a seven minute showcase for Henry McCullough which never seems to have a proper title. It developed during the tour and by this show reached a peack of effectiveness which was good enough to be professionally recorded.
Linda fares much better than she did on “I Am Your Singer” with her big song “Seaside Woman.” She tends to narrate rather than actually sing the song. It is very well performed in this show. The show ends with “Hi Hi Hi” and the only encore is “Long Tall Sally,” the only song in the set that has any connection with the Beatles. This is a very good document from this important tour and is worth having.