The song was released as a single prior to Band on the Run and therefore was not included on the original British release of the album. However, it was included on the original American release and also the 25th anniversary version. The song was also included on Wingspan. The song peaked at number 10 in the United States on 12 January 1974 and at number 12 in the United Kingdom charts.
According to the book Paul McCartney in his own words published in 1976, "Helen wheels is our land rover. It's a name we gave to our land rover, which is a trusted vehicle that gets us around Scotland. It takes us up to the Shetland Islands and down to London. The song starts off in Glasgow, and it goes past Carlisle, goes to Kendal, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. It's the route coming down from our Scottish farm to London, so it's really the story of the trip down. Little images along the way. Liverpool is on the West coast of England, so that is all that means."