Paul McCartney and Wings, ‘Wings Over Boston – Steve Hopkins Master Tapes’ (No Label)
Disk one; 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 / Richard Cory / Bluebird / I’ve Just Seen A Face / Blackbird / Yesterday (67:49)
Disk two; 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 / Letting Go / Band On The Run / Hi Hi Hi – Bonus track – Soily (67:14)
Live at the Boston Gardens, Boston, MA, USA. 24th May, 1976. Bonus track from Tarrant Country Convention Hall, Fort Worth, TX, USA, 3rd May, 1976.
Ah, Mr. Hopkins, come on in, we’ve been expecting you.
Previously released as ‘Boston 1976
’, this famous recording by Steve Hopkins of the Wings show in Boston was one of those revered tapings that stands up with Mike Millard’s of the same tour in LA. Arguably the crowing period in the bands live life, the tape, as I mentioned at the time was, “ .. slightly distant from the stage. There’s a touch more audience than there is band at points – So rather than putting you right in the middle of the audience, you’re in the middle of your room listening to a near excellent audience recording while a few of the audience members around you keep standing up to sway as some of their neighbours shout at them to sit down. During the quieter moments, it draws you back in.”
Graf Zeppelin, No Label’s choice of remasterer has taken his hand to giving the recording a bit of a technical kneeding, pushing out some of the fitzy bits in the original tape that was released, shaving off the audible bobbles.
There’s a smoother feel about the tape, not that it’s drastically different – Maybe a little less crowd noise, certainly more wobbly backing vocals from the band every so often, it sounds warmer, but to what effect – The tape was pretty good as it was to be fair – coming to a par-with the afore mentioned Millard recording. I’ll defer to suggest it’s better, per-say, dependent on your favour for remastering, there’s millimetres taken from the audio itself, in fact, I’d almost treat this as a ‘second edition’ in some aspects, in others, I’d suggest that Graf helped out by leaving the windows open, wiping down the counters of the kitchen and rearranging the books on the shelves. Unless you were vastly overfamiliar with the source, you might not notice.
The covers are of a standard, really nice appraisals of Macca in concert, this time in B&W with soft yellow text. A lovely photo of young Jimmy McCulloch on the rear.
A fine release but if you have the original transfer, you likely don’t need this one.